Accessibility statement

Dissertation - SPY00104M

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Kevin Caraher
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims


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.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules




Module feedback

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.

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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students