Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Dissertation in Food and Water Security
Academic Year
Semester 3 (Dissertation)
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Dissertation (13,000-15,000 words)  90%
Semester Assessment 15 minute oral presentation (September)  10%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Independently formulate a research design and hypotheses

Demonstrate their knowledge of the theoretical principles of social science / scientific research

Place research in appropriate wider contexts

Search for relevant literature and/or databases

Demonstrate proficiency in appropriate data collection and analysis techniques

Present the results and conclusions of their research in a coherent manner in the form of a professionally produced dissertation

Prsent the results and conclusions of their research in a coherent manner in the form of an oral presentation


Students will be encouraged to meet with staff to discuss their dissertation plans in semester 1 and 2. In semester 2 students will be assigned a supervisor to provide guidance and advice during the course of the research and the writing of the dissertation. The process is divided into several key stages:

  • Devise research project
  • Complete necessary background reading
  • Complete necessary data collection
  • Complete written dissertation
  • Prepare and deliver research presentation.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number The dissertation may involve the collection and analysis of primary data. in which case students will organise data with appropriate statistical techniques and present sometimes complex quantitative datasets using graphs and tables.
Communication There is an oral presentation to staff and peers. Written communication is assessed through the submission of the dissertation.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will undertake a significant amount of self-directed study, including extensive reading, field and laboratory work. In order to complete the research on time, students need to demonstrate good time management.
Information Technology Students will be expected to use a range of information technology in the generation of their dissertations and in the oral presentation of their work. Students will become familiar with the critical use of online source materials such as journals and policy documents. Some students may choose to use GIS software or freely available remote sensing data as part of their research. Others may wish to use numerical modelling software, Excel or statistical packages to interrogate databases, generate analyses and produce graphical outputs.
Personal Development and Career planning The dissertation will develop high level skills in synthesising, evaluating and presenting complex information. The presentation of information, orally and in the dissertation are key components of the module. This is useful preparatory experience for PhD research, and positions in environmental consultancies, conservation groups and government environmental management agencies.
Problem solving Students are expected to define a research problem and to devise an appropriate strategy to solve the problem.
Research skills Research skills are integral to the dissertation as it is based on research enquiry. All students will develop a range of research skills, dependent on the nature of their topic.
Subject Specific Skills This will depend on the topic of the dissertation.
Team work This is an independent project and teamwork is only anticipated if safety considerations in the field demand it.


This module is at CQFW Level 7