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Social Policy & Social Work Independent Study Module - SPY00035M

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Antonios Roumpakis
  • Credit value: 80 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module summary

This module is compulsory for students on the associated programmes and provides opportunity to demonstrate the programme learning outcomes linked to competence in research design, project execution and scholarly expertise.

Module will run

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

Module aims


The Independent Study Module is designed to assess a student’s ability to define a researchable question that is topical within their field of study, and to execute a research project addressing this question. The independent study project will reflect the theoretical, empirical and methodological issues examined in the prior components of their degree programme. The ISM provides an opportunity for students to develop and apply both research skills and independent learning skills including self-direction and time-management, data management and the ability to address complex social issues through scholarly activity.

Module learning outcomes

Learning Outcomes 

By the end of the Independent Study module, students will be able to:

  • Effectively design a policy or practice-relevant research project drawing on appropriate research theory and methods
  • Retrieve, generate and interpret relevant primary and secondary data and digital resources
  • Demonstrate familiarity with appropriate research ethics including codes of conduct and data protection
  • Identify, synthesise and critically apply relevant theories and concepts to the analysis of social issues 
  • Demonstrate systematic knowledge and understanding of scholarship in the field of study and the multiple interests and levels of policy or practice governance
  • Communicate research findings and policy analyses authoritatively in a substantial piece of written work that demonstrates academic rigour and the ability to effectively present complex information 

Module content

In addition to supervision, students will have the opportunity to attend a number of masterclasses related to preparation skills for completion of a dissertation.


Task Length % of module mark
Graduate/Postgraduate Dissertation
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Graduate/Postgraduate Dissertation
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback is provided via meetings with the allocated dissertation supervisor and through written comments on draft work where submitted for comment prior to final submission. Following submission summative feedback is provided using the SPSW M level dissertation feedback sheet within the appropriate turnaround period.

Indicative reading

Students should consult the indicative reading lists for their taught modules, including research training modules, to inform their work at the beginning of the module.

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.