Module Information

Module Identifier
IP30040
Module Title
Dissertation
Academic Year
2016/2017
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
External Examiners
  • Dr Catriona L Pennell (Senior Lecturer - University of Exeter)
  • Dr Felix J Rosch (Senior Lecturer - Coventry University)
  • Professor Matthew Stibbe (Professor - Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Dr Rachel C Kerr (Senior Lecturer - King's College London)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 2 Hour Seminars
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Dissertation 1 x 12,000 words  Research Proposal (2,000 words and bibliography)  85%
Semester Assessment Research Proposal 1 x 1,500  15%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Identify and demonstrate knowledge of a range of relevant research methods and techniques in organizing their research inquiry
2. Demonstrate referencing and bibliographic skills
3. Formulate a research question suitable for an independent inquiry
4. Analyze and critically evaluate scholarship in the chosen field of study.
5. Structure an argument in a coherent and convincing manner displaying a wide range of accurate knowledge and understanding of key issues.
6. Write a dissertation in compliance with the substantive as well as formal requirements.

Brief description

The module gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their substantive knowledge in the chosen subject area. It enables students to develop necessary skills and write a dissertation. The module offers general knowledge of research methods, methodologies and theoretical frameworks to enable students to undertake independent research inquiry.

Content

1. General introduction to doing a dissertation
2. How to formulate a question and the importance of an argument
3. Referencing and bibliographic skills
4. Undertaking literature review and developing skills of critical thought

Aims

This module offers final year students a one-year opportunity to study a specific topic related to their degree scheme in greater detail. It equips students with the knowledge of research methods, basic research and presentation skills necessary for the completion of their dissertations. It also allows students to demonstrate their initiative, their ability to work independently and their ability to construct a coherent argument over some length.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number n/a
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to assert themselves to advantage. They will understand the importance of information and clear communication and how to exploit these. They will know how to use the many sources of information available and how to use the most appropriate form of communication to the best advantage. They will learn to be clear and direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Students will be encouraged to critique various scholarships available in the chosen field of inquiry or to assess any knowledge ¿gaps¿ in the filed and how they could be ¿filled¿.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but in the context of using feedback from the allocated advisor on early coursework to improve and focus their subsequent work. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and to exercise their own initiative, including searching for sources, compiling reading lists, and deciding (under guidance) the direction of their written work. The need to submit two pieces of assessed work by the required deadline will focus students¿ attention on the need to manage their time and opportunity resources well.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format. Also, students will be encouraged to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources (such as Web of Science and OCLC).
Personal Development and Career planning The discussions in particular will help to develop students¿ verbal and presentation skills. Learning about the process of planning and undertaking research, framing the parameters of the projects, honing and developing dissertation and seeing through to completion will contribute towards their portfolio of transferable skills
Problem solving Independent dissertation work and problem solving will be one of the central goals of the module; the submission of written work will require that the student develops independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems.
Research skills The submission of two written works (research proposal and bibliography & a dissertation) will reflect the independent research skills of the student. The need to locate appropriate research resources and write up the results will also facilitate research skills.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practise and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas of the modules undertaken previously, as well as to develop better and deeper understanding of the subject researched. These subject specific skills include: - Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the chosen research question; - Ability to critique and evaluate competing perspectives - Demonstrate subject specific research techniques - Apply a range of methodologies to complex political problems - Formulate own understanding and appreciation of the chosen question
Team work Dissertation fair (semester one) and forum (semester two) will consist in part of small-group discussion where students moderated by their advisors will be obliged to discuss as a group the core issues related to their studied field and receive evaluation from the peers and staff. These group discussions will constitute one of the vital components of the module.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6