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Policy Report (PCS Placement) - POL00082M

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  • Department: Politics and International Relations
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Gyda Sindre
  • Credit value: 60 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22
    • See module specification for other years: 2022-23
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Summer Term 2021-22

Module aims

This module gives students the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills gained in previous modules in practice by doing a 6-8 week work placement with an organisation involved in the field of post-war recovery. Students gain invaluable professional experience of working in the field, and gain an insight into some of the constraints, challenges and opportunities that exist when working for such an organisation. Students are encouraged to reflect on the theoretical content of the programme as a whole, and critically evaluate it against their experience on the ground. They should think critically about how their organisation both reflects and addresses the significant political, ethical, logistical, and methodological challenges to post-war recovery.

Students will use the research skills they have learned and practiced throughout the course of the programme to conduct research for an original dissertation which combines primary and secondary research methods to investigate a theme relevant to post-war recovery. A significant proportion of the primary research should be collected during their work placement, whether while working for the organisation in question or in their own free time. This will depend on arrangements made with the host organisation. There should be a clear connection between the work placement and the dissertation, whether by virtue of the theme analysed or the case study chosen. This will allow them to produce a sophisticated, in-depth analysis which brings together the theory and practice of post-war recovery. Dissertations should demonstrate critical thinking skills, methodological rigour, both theoretical and empirical understanding, and the ability to make a structured, evidenced argument.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

At the end of the module, students should:

  • Demonstrate a specialist insight into the political, logistical, ethical, and methodological complexities of working and researching in a conflict-affected context
  • Be able to identify and discuss the organisational and bureaucratic challenges faced when working in their chosen organisation and specific location
  • Be able to explain the difficulty of designing, planning, and implementing effective post-war recovery programmes
  • Be able to accurately, systematically and critically reflect upon a period of work experience, drawing connections between theoretical issues taught in the course and practice in the workplace
  • Be able to explain the need to integrate both the theory and practice of post-war recovery

Academic and graduate skills

At the end of the module, students should:

  • Be able to competently and persuasively communicate verbally and in writing using appropriate forms for both the professional workplace (through the work placement) and the academic community (through their dissertation)
  • Demonstrate the ability to use their own initiative to operate in the field safely, confidently, and professionally
  • Be able to independently research, evidence and present an in-depth analysis of a particular theme of post-war recovery, showing awareness of methodological, theoretical, and empirical issues
  • Be able to critically evaluate, and offer alternatives to existing research, methodologies and arguments
  • Be able to produce substantial pieces of writing to a high professional and academic standard


Task Length % of module mark
Policy Report: 12,000 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules




Module feedback

Students receive written feedback on their dissertation proposals within 14 days, written feedback on their presentation within 14 days, and written feedback on their dissertation within 6 weeks of submission.

Indicative reading

Sluka, Jeffrey A., (1989) "Prologue: I’m Alive and Well, My Kneecaps are Still intact, and my Research is Coming Along Fine" from Sluka, Jeffrey A., Hearts and minds, water and fish: support for the IRA and INLA in a Northern Irish ghetto pp.1-40

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.