Accessibility statement

MA Social Research Dissertation - SPY00160M

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Daniel Horsfall
  • Credit value: 60 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Summer Semester 2024-25

Module aims


  • To provide students with the opportunity to undertake an independent research project in a social science related area
  • To provide students with the opportunity to apply the research methodologies, skills and knowledge acquired from taught modules to a substantive piece of work

In addition, students will have the opportunity to work with an academic member of staff with
expertise knowledge in their field and to present their dissertations idea to their peers

Module learning outcomes

Students who complete the course successfully should be able to:

  • Organise and structure an independent piece of social science research
  • Formulate and refine research questions related to social science
  • Select and apply appropriate research methodologies to design and conduct an independent piece of research
  • Undertake a full or systematic literature review based on up to date up to date sources of information
  • Critically appraise and interpret existing literature
  • Present complex arguments and synthesise complex ideas
  • Critically evaluate their own work and outline strengths and limitations of their approach and choice of methodologies
  • Communicate and present research findings
  • Organise and manage work load effectively

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive formative feedback on drafts of their dissertation as they progress in accordance with the guidance set out for all MA students.
In addition, a poster and pitch have been included in the timeline as formative work, and feedback will be provided accordingly by dissertation supervisors.
Guidance will be provided on the format of the presentation in advance, and students will be encouraged to ask questions of their colleagues.

Indicative reading

As each dissertation differs, key texts are provided by the supervisors/Departments.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores 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. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.