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Sociology Dissertation - SOC00024H

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  • Department: Sociology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Ruth Penfold-Mounce
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20 to Summer Term 2019-20

Module aims

•Support students in undertaking an independent research project;

•Enable students to develop an in-depth understanding of their chosen topic in the context of relevant sociological perspectives and theories;

•Support students engaging in empirical research to devise and conduct a feasible, appropriate and ethical methodology to investigate their topic;

•Support students engaging in theoretical research to devise and conduct a feasible, and appropriate approach to their topic;

•Advise students on identifying and exploring the relevant literature and empirical research in their chosen field;

Support students in producing a well-structured, clearly written and analytically robust research report.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

  • Show a cumulative grasp of a range of sociological concepts

  • Demonstrate in-depth understanding of sociological debates and empirical material in their chosen field;

  • Demonstrate a capacity to conduct a literature review on their topic

  • (Where appropriate) show knowledge of a range of social science research methodologies and assess their appropriateness for their own research questions;

  • Demonstrate a good understanding of the relationship between sociological arguments and evidence.

  • Where empirical research is undertaken, demonstrate an understanding of ethical concerns and an ability to address them.


Academic and graduate skills

  • Demonstrate skills in critical thinking and analysis;

  • Be able to formulate a sociological research question and design a project to explore answers to it;

  • Show an ability to conduct an extended research project;

  • Show advanced skills in structuring and writing a research report;

  • Demonstrate skills in independent learning and project management.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Prior to submission, students receive:

written feedback on the 1,500 word draft

ongoing verbal advice and feedback on their progress from supervisors


After submission, students will receive:

Detailed written feedback on the dissertation – the planning and execution of the research, analysis of findings (if empirical research has been done) and overall expression and presentation.


Indicative reading

n.b. key texts will depend on the study undertaken but the following are indicative generic texts on dissertation writing in the social sciences:

Arksey, H. & Harris, D. (2007) How to succeed in your social science degree. London: Sage

Becker, H.S., ( 2007) Writing for Social Scientists (2nd edn), Chicago: University of Chicago Press

Bell, J. (2010) Doing your research project (5th ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press

Burnett, J. (2009) Doing your social science dissertation. London: Sage

Greetham, B. (2009) How to write your undergraduate dissertation. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Murray, N. & Hughes G. (2008) Writing up your university assignments and research projects: a practical handbook .Maidenhead: Open University Press

Reardon, D. (2006) Doing your undergraduate project. London: Sage

Robson, C. (2007) How to do a research project: a guide for undergraduate students. Malden; Oxford: Blackwell Pub.

Sharp, J. A., Peters, J. & Howard, K. (2002) The management of a student research project (3rd edn) . Aldershot: Gower

Silverman, David (2006). Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analyzing Talk, Text and Interaction (3rd ed)., London: Sage

Smith, K., Todd, M. & Waldman, J. (2009) Doing your undergraduate social science dissertation. London: Routledge

Walliman, N. S. R. (2005) Your research project: a step-by-step guide for the first-time researcher ( 2nd edn). London: Sage

Walliman, N. S. R. (2004) Your undergraduate dissertation : The essential guide for success .. London: Sage

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.