Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Welsh Politics and Society Dissertation
Academic Year
Semester 3 (Dissertation)
Reading List

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 15 min oral presentation on their dissertation project  10%
Semester Assessment 1 x 13,000-15,000 word dissertation  90%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 13,000-15,000 word dissertation  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate research expertise in the particular academic discipline or field of study
2. Plan, design and execute a piece of rigorous historical, geographical or political research or enquiry
3. Produce a substantial written dissertation in an appropriate academic style which demonstrates critical and analytical skills
4.Demonstrate systematic engagement with key debates relevant to the topic selected
5. Present the research findings in a professional manner in terms of referencing and presentation

Brief description

This module involves researching and presenting the MA dissertation, a piece of independent research of between 13,000 to 15,000 words supervised by a designated member of staff from one of the following IGHPP departments: Geography and Earth Sciences, International Politics and History and Welsh History.


A total of 5 x 30 minute meetings with a member of staff and a dissertation conference.

Semester 1 - two meetings
meeting 1: with potential supervisor and/or the MA coordinator to identify a suitable topic and supervisor
meeting 2: to discuss dissertation proposal (to be completed as part of the assessment for HYM0120 or GGM1220)

Semester 2 - 3 meetings with the dissertation supervisor, including meeting to discuss feedback on the dissertation proposal, on their presentation at the Dissertation Forum, and feedback on the draft chapter.
Dissertation Forum (in February or March) – where students will deliver an oral presentation on their dissertation plans that is assessed as part of this module. The Forum will be an opportunity to consider different types of projects relating to Wales, the types of sources, methodologies and approaches to be utilized. It will be attended by staff from the three departments and lead to discussions on different disciplinary approaches and on presence and absence in ways of thinking about studying Wales.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Where appropriate to the project, students may collect and analyse statistical data.
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas both verbally and in writing and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will learn 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 best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be 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 also be required to submit their written assessments in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The dissertation module aims to promote self-management in relation to a substantial piece of work within a context in which support and assistance is available, particularly from the dissertation adviser. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources, undertaking historical or empirical research thus requiring them to decide on the appropriate methodologies and deciding on the direction of their project. The dissertation project requires students to set realistic targets and to plan how best to meet them, by following the guidelines set and by monitoring one’s own progress to achieve the best results.
Information Technology Students will be expected to submit their work in word-processed format, via the on-line platform Blackboard. The needs of the project will determine the extent to which students make appropriate use of various tools to search for sources of information on the web, as well as seeking sources through electronic information sources. They may also make use of various software packages.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will develop an awareness of personal skills, relevant to future employability prospects. Moreover, the module develops two important skills in the workplace: presentation skills and the ability to write clearly and concisely. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Problem solving Independent work and problem solving will be a central goal of the module; the preparation of a substantial piece of written work will require that students develop 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 formulate an answer to the problem; reason logically; construct theoretical arguments; divide issues into smaller problems. The research process may also mean that students encounter problematic issues and will need to determine ways of addressing these within the dissertation and its organization.
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research for elements of the assessed work. This will include utilizing a range of information sources, locating and evaluating a range of primary and secondary sources and making effective use of these to construct and present a sustained argument.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills from a historical, geography or politics disciplinary perspective that help them to conceptualise their topic and critically engage with the subject matter. The module will also encourage students to consider how other disciplines may approach their research project. Common subject specific masters’ level skills include: • Locating and analyzing a body of material which may include own empirical research, primary and secondary sources • Understanding a wide range of data and analyzing it • Evaluating competing perspectives • Applying a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary social and political problems. • Presenting independent research in written form appropriate to an academic audience.
Team work As the dissertation is predominantly a student-led advanced independent research project, team work is limited. However, the Dissertation conference will provide a venue for students to support each other and ask constructive questions regarding their respective dissertation projects.


This module is at CQFW Level 7