Accessibility statement

Dissertation - SPY00067M

« Back to module search

  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Kevin Caraher
  • Credit value: 60 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
B Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

  • Review and integrate learning from a range of modules that have been taken on the programme.  The project must be related to the studies students have undertaken and the content of some of the modules in which they have participated.
  • Undertake empirical research, if appropriate to the project, in agreement with and under supervision of an appointed supervisor. There is no definitive model for this and students will work closely with both their academic and dissertation supervisor to plan and effectively carry out the empirical research element.
  • Apply some of the models, frameworks and theories encountered on the programme to help students analyse and evaluate the issue and data chosen and produced as the focus for their project. The dissertation should 'add value' by actively using some models, frameworks, theories and research methods students have encountered to help analyse and draw conclusions about an issue.
  • The dissertation offers scope to bring in a broad range of literature and both primary and secondary data and to discuss/analyse a topic or thesis in greater depth than is possible through the shorter ISP routes.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the dissertation, students will:

  • Have a systematic knowledge of existing scholarship in their chosen field
  • Have a systematic knowledge of alternative ways of approaching public and social policy issues and research questions
  • Have  the ability to critically to appraise published research findings in their own substantive areas of study
  • Have demonstrated self-direction and ability in tackling and solving more complex public and social policy issues and research questions
  • Have the ability to develop and employ transferable skills of topic appropriate research methods.
  • Have worked autonomously (under the direction of their appointed supervisor) in planning, executing, analysing and writing up a piece of extended academic writing over an extended period
  • Have demonstrated independent learning ability especially initiative and skills in social research and written communication.


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

Special assessment rules




Module feedback


Feedback will be given in three ways:

(1) Comments within the actual text will highlight specific points and examples that the marker wants to draw to your attention.

(2) The marking criteria will be highlighted to show how your assignment has been rated against those criteria. This will enable you to calibrate your performance against a consistent scale, and therefore to aim to improve in specific areas.

(3) Finally the marker will provide a narrative summary in which the main points will be set out and any major areas for improvement highlighted.


Indicative reading


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.