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PGT Dissertation - SOC00009M

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  • Department: Sociology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Jennifer Chubb
  • Credit value: 60 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module summary

This is an independent study module that enables students to design, conduct and manage an independent research project, using the skills and knowledge that they have learnt so far in their degree.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2023-24 to Summer Semester 2023-24

Module aims

The aims of this module are to:

  1. Apply appropriate methodological, conceptual and analytical skills to an independent research project

  2. Design, implement and manage an extended independent research project.

  3. Produce a well-structured, clearly written, and analytically robust research project

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  1. Design and formulate appropriate research questions and a project that answers it.

  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the broader intellectual and disciplinary context of their research, by critically evaluating existing literature

  3. Articulate the relevance of your research to conceptual, theoretical and/or epistemological debates within sociology or, if relevant, to the wider social sciences.

  4. Where empirical research is conducted, demonstrate a critical understanding of research ethics and an ability to collect and evaluate qualitative or quantitative data.

  5. Demonstrate an ability to independently manage a project over an extended period of time.

  6. Communicate research findings clearly in an organised manner, following academic and stylistic conventions.

Module content

Workshops will run on the following topics:

  1. Starting a dissertation and choosing a research question

  2. The conceptual framework

  3. The literature review

  4. Doing ethical research (empirical research)

  5. Doing ethical research (desktop-based research)

  6. Practical workshop (lab-based): doing ethical research

  7. Methods

  8. Analysis


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

For formative work - dissertation extract - students will receive written and verbal feedback on how to improve their skills in areas that will contribute towards their summative assessment which is in line with MLOs 1-3. The formative assessment provides practice for the summative task which entails writing a dissertation on the research project designed and conducted by the student. Students will also receive ongoing verbal feedback on their progress from their supervisors during supervision meetings (up to 6 hours of contact).

For summative work - dissertation - students will receive an overall mark and grading according to clearly defined criteria for assessing their knowledge, skills and abilities in line with MLOs 1-8. They will also receive written feedback on the dissertation - the design and execution of the research, analysis of findings (if empirical research has been done) and overall expression and presentation- showing areas in which they have done well and those areas in which they need to improve.

Indicative reading

Students are referred to the reading lists of the core modules of their respective degree programmes.

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.