This compulsory module undertaken by all Social and Political Sciences students in the final year of their studies, is different in many respects from other course assignments. Instead of choosing a title from a list of essay topics, for example, you are required to select your own area to investigate and construct your own questions to answer. You may possibly design and carry out some empirical research as an aspect of your inquiry. Moreover, at a length of 10,000 words it is also longer than any other written assessment you will be asked to do.
|A||Autumn Term 2019-20 to Summer Term 2019-20|
The SPS Dissertation is an independent piece of work that demonstrates a critical, in-depth engagement with a particular topic related to the social and political sciences. It should display a strong analytical quality accompanied by evidence of a sound understanding of the existing research in the field. Students are encouraged to choose a research question that will allow them to draw on knowledge and approaches from more than one social science discipline although it is not a requirement that the dissertation should be inter-disciplinary.
During the teaching programme and in the final assessment dissertation candidates should be able to demonstrate the following
By the end of the module students will be able to:
Academic and graduate skills
Students should be able to:
During your final year you are required to attend the SPS Forum. This final year compulsory module is designed to incorporate a number of learning, research and skills opportunities. These include the SPS seminar series which will be jointly organized, chaired and recorded by the students; workshops to develop advanced research, academic, media and presentation skills; career and employability sessions; and, dissertation presentations.
|Task||Length||% of module mark|
|Task||Length||% of module mark|
Students will submit a 1,500 words overview of their project (this can include but is not limited to a section of the introduction, methodology or literature review) and receive feedback within 4 weeks of submission.
The final dissertation mark will not be released until after the final exam boards in week 10 of the summer term of year 3. Written feedback will be provided for this final piece of work.
Reardon, D. (2006) Doing your Undergraduate Project
Sharp, J. A., Peters, J. & Howard, K. (2002) The management of a student research project (3rd edn)
Silverman, David (2006). Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analyzing Talk, Text and Interaction (3rd ed).
Walliman, N. S. R. (2005) Your research project: a step-by-step guide for the first-time researcher (2nd edn)
Walliman, N. S. R. (2004) Your undergraduate dissertation: The essential guide for success
Companion for Undergraduate Dissertations: Sociology, Anthropology, Politics, Social Policy, Social Work and Criminology
This site provides free access to a ‘survival guide’ published by the Higher Education Academy's Centre for Sociology, Anthropology and Politics, the Centre for Social Work and Policy and Sheffield Hallam University. It provides useful tips on literature searching skills and preparing a dissertation at undergraduate level. There is also a glossary of terms and bibliography of further reading.