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Dissertation

This module gives students the chance to work as active and independent scholars, rather than responding to the requirements of a taught module. Having designed their own research project during their second year, and researched the primary materials needed during the summer between their second and third years, they now organise and reflect on the material they have gathered, plan the structure of their arguments and interpretations, draft a chapter and outline to submit for feedback, and then write and submit their 10,000-word dissertation. This work will spread across the whole academic year. Full details about the various stages of the process, the tasks to be completed, and the relevant deadlines, are provided in the departmental Dissertation Handbook which can be found on the student intranet. This guide also provides much advice and information to help and support students as they work on their dissertations.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this module successfully will:

  • Have gained experience of designing and managing a large scale project to completion
  • Have gained experience of exploring and explaining a specific research topic at length
  • Have acquired skills and understanding from extended research into original material
  • Have learned to situate their specific research results among the debates and views of others

Teaching Programme

Students are undertaking an independently researched project and not a taught module. They will continue, however, to have support, advice, and feedback from their dissertation advisor as they work to produce their dissertation. They will have a meeting with their advisor in the autumn term at which they will discuss the progress of their research and confirm plans to develop an interpretation or argument about their research question as they reflect on the evidence and ideas which they have acquired form primary research and secondary reading. Students have the opportunity to write a draft chapter and thesis outline for submission to their advisor at the start of the Spring Term. They will have a meeting with their advisor later that term at which they will receive feedback and advice which will help them towards the completion of the whole dissertation.

Assessment

A 10,000-word dissertation written and presented according to the requirements and conventions set out in the Dissertation Handbook to be submitted at the start of the Summer Term.