The Dissertation is designed to assess a student’s ability to define a researchable question or thesis in the light of past and current programme-related academic research and professional practice. The purpose of the project is to enable you to:
Review and integrate your learning from a range of modules that you have taken on the programme. You are not expected to draw on all of the modules or even most of them and in most cases you will find yourself drawing on perhaps two or three, depending on what suits the purpose of your topic. However, the project must be related to the studies you have undertaken and the content of some of the modules you have participated in.
Apply some of the models, frameworks and theories encountered on the programme to help you analyse and evaluate the issue you have chosen as the focus for your project. This is crucial. Your project needs to be more than simply a description of an issue, or a description of the literature. Instead, it should 'add value' by actively using some models, frameworks and theories you have encountered to help you analyse and draw conclusions about an issue.
In the vast majority of cases, your project will be literature-based. In other words, the focus of the project will be on using relevant and up to date literature to explore a topic, to extend your understanding and to draw some conclusions.
Module learning outcomes
At the end of the Dissertation, a student will:
Have demonstrated a systematic knowledge of existing scholarship in their chosen field
Have demonstrated a systematic knowledge of alternative ways of approaching public and social policy issues and research questions
Have demonstrated self-direction and ability in tackling and solving more complex public and social policy issues and research questions
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 written communication.
% of module mark
Special assessment rules
Feedback is provided in writing both within the text and in summary form under the headings of structure, knowledge, analysis and style, and in response to any particular issues highlighted by the student on the cover sheet. Supervisors discuss feedback with students and offer support and guidance where reassessment is under consideration.