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Dissertation Workshop - SPY00114M

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Kevin Caraher
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2017-18

Module summary

This is a core module to prepare students to complete their dissertation.

Professional requirements


Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2017-18

Module aims

The purpose of the module is to prepare students for their Dissertation, to ensure that students fully understand the expectations of the Dissertation and develop specific academic skills such as designing and structuring a feasible research project, identifying a solid theoretical foundation and planning for their work.

To achieve these objectives, the module combines directed private studies in preparation of the student’s Dissertation proposal, opportunities for tutor-guided peer review by fellow students, and feedback by the module tutor. All these activities culminate in a detailed Dissertation proposal at the end of the Dissertation Workshop, which is assessed on a pass/fail basis.

The preparation for the Dissertation is done in an incremental and scaffolded way over one term, so that students can build up their final Dissertation proposal ‘layer by layer’, supported by their peers and especially by regular feedback from the module tutor and the allocated Dissertation supervisor.

Even though the primary purpose of the Workshop is to prepare students to undertake the Dissertation, students who exit at the Diploma stage will acquire skills in preparing and planning an independent research project, which will be transferable to research and evaluation roles in the workplace.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Understand the expectations of a Dissertation, the Dissertation process and the support that will be provided by the supervisor.
  • Plan for an independent research project to manage and schedule appropriate stages of the research process.
  • Identify and delimit an appropriate research topic, both regarding the theoretical foundations and if appropriate the case study.
  • Communicate the nature of their Dissertation project to others.
  • Identify relevant literature and develop a logical structure for your work.


Task Length % of module mark
Dissertation proposal
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Dissertation proposal
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback on formative assessment by the tutor will be returned within one week, either in form of detailed in-text comments on the ISM proposal and/or a direct communication between student and tutor. Students will also receive feedback from their peers, over a period of 2-3 weeks.

Feedback on the summative assessment at the end of the module will be returned within four weeks, in form of detailed in-text comments and summary feedback on the final ISM proposal.

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.