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Postgraduate Independent Study (Dissertation) - SPY00171M

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Antonios Roumpakis
  • 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 introduce you to independent research activity

  • To offer you the opportunity to select a topic of your own choice and analyse it in-depth

  • To familiarise you with literature search techniques, retrieve published outputs relevant to your topic and synthesise arguments available in the literature

  • To identify research gaps in the literature and develop relevant research questions

  • To identify appropriate methodological approaches and research method to answer your research question

  • To collect and retrieve appropriate primary and/or secondary evidence, as appropriate to answer your research question

  • To present and analyse findings, expand on their importance and identify answers to your research questions

  • To analyse and draw conclusions balancing the weight of evidence and in doing so, reflecting on strengths and weakness of your own approach

  • To identify appropriate conceptual, methodological and policy implications of the analysis

  • To conduct your research ethically and subject to the University code of conduct.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate advanced understanding and knowledge of key theoretical and analytical approaches, including concepts and tools as appropriate to your field of study

  • Identify research gaps in the literature and promote knowledge creation by setting appropriate research questions

  • Identify appropriate research approaches and methods and critically reflect on their use in answering your research questions

  • Formulate a research question and undertake a piece of independent research using primary and/or secondary data sources, with awareness of the social, ethical and political context of policy research.

  • Demonstrate balance and judiciousness in the analysis of research evidence, whether this refers to primary or secondary evidence, and selected literature.

  • Communicate research in an authoritative and accessible way both in written and visual form.

  • Undertake independent study; project management; problem solving; time management skills; dealing with critical feedback; work to deadlines; preparing a longer piece of work.


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

Special assessment rules



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

Module feedback

Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.

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.