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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: EDU3002 Module Title: DISSERTATION 10,000 WORDS (BA)
Module Provider: English Short Name: XX02X
Level: HE3 Module Co-ordinator: LUNA I Ms (English)
Number of credits: 40 Number of ECTS credits: 20
Module Availability
Assessment Pattern
Unit(s) of Assessment
Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)
Qualifying Condition(s)
Dissertation  (100% of total assessment)
10,000  words

The assessment strategy for this module is designed to assess the student’s ability to produce a critical/analytical piece of extensive research on a chosen topic that demonstrates appropriate academic skills. Although the dissertation is not necessarily based on primary research, familiarity with and reference to primary sources and scholarly interpretation will be expected as a means of demonstrating extended evaluation skills. The length of this dissertation module also provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate a wider and more detailed contextual understanding of the topic. Some evidence or academic originality is expected.
As part of the formative learning students will produce a draft synopsis and bibliography of the intended dissertation, to be submitted to the student’s supervisor at an early stage in the module. This will enable the supervisor to assess the appropriateness of the topic and the student’s organisation before progressing further. The draft and the completed work should fulfil the learning outcomes of the module. The final assessment also allows students to reflect in detail on their own learning. This process will be assisted by the use of a learning diary that students will complete during the course of the module and submit together with the final version of the dissertation.

In order to achieve the threshold standard for the award of credits for this module, the student must meet the following criteria related to the learning outcomes:
  • Display accurate factual knowledge of the chosen topic.
  • Display some evidence of academic originality.
  • Deploy relevant sources, evidence and interpretation of related scholarship.
  • Demonstrate some capacity for critical, analytical and contextual understanding of the issues addressed.
  • Demonstrate the ability to organise the material to produce a coherent structure.
  • Demonstrate the capacity to produce a coherent argument.
  • Provide acknowledgement and referencing of the sources used.
Module Overview
This module provides students with the opportunity to undertake extensive independent research, under minimal supervision, into a topic of their choice. The subject chosen for special study, which in most cases is likely to reflect interest stimulated from within the themes studied during the programme, will be identified and approved in consultation with a supervisor. This module will test the depth and development of the student’s academic and research skills acquired at levels 2 and extended at level 3 (in preparation, for example) for postgraduate study and independent research.
60 credits at Level 2.
Module Aims
  • To provide students with the opportunity to carry out extended independent research into an appropriately defined topic of their choice with guidance from an individual supervisor.
  • To develop and extend the academic potential and skill of the student.
  • To demonstrate the student’s ability to carry out in-depth research using an extended range of sources, organise the material and write to a high standard of academic competence.
  • Show detailed evidence of reflective learning processes and the ability to evaluate critically their own work and that of others.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the student should be able to:
Knowledge and Understanding
  • Demonstrate a high level of critical understanding of the selected topic.
  • Demonstrate originality in, for instance, the presentation of new facts, research design, synthesis of evidence and/or the application of independent critical power.
  • Demonstrate a very good knowledge of scholarship in their chosen field of study, including the ability to undertake a reasonably comprehensive literature survey.
  • Demonstrate an extended understanding of their chosen topic in an appropriate and wide-ranging cultural context.
Cognitive / Intellectual Skills
  • Ability to evaluate critically and apply different approaches and methodologies.
  • Ability to analyse critically a range of source material.
  • Ability to research independently with minimal supervision.

Key / Transferable/Practical Skills

  • Appropriate analytical skills.
  • Presentation of material in the format requested with full academic apparatus, including bibliographies and appendices (where appropriate).
  • Ability to meet deadlines and manage study-time efficiently.

Module Content
The individual dissertation topic and hence the detailed subject content is chosen by the student. The module is designed to enable the student to develop and demonstrate skills in research and writing with minimal supervision. The individual subject should be based on the knowledge and skills that students have developed in their previous studies. The student should design appropriate questions to ask of their research material. The topic should have appropriate content for a project of this length and should be designed to demonstrate the student’s analytical, critical and evaluative skills to a high level.
The emphasis will be on self-directed learning, and although students will present a draft synopsis of their dissertation, most of the work will be undertaken on their own.
Methods of Teaching/Learning
3 x 2 hours sessions, plus seminars.

Students will attend a series of workshops/seminars where generic issues regarding research and academic skills required in order to meet the learning outcomes of the module will be addressed. Tutor-led debate and group discussion will ensure that students have the opportunity to raise questions and discuss such issues as: appropriate choice of topics, finding relevant sources material, referencing and methodologies for developing a clear and well-structured final assignment. Individual tutorial sessions with the personal supervisor will provide guidance to ensure that students choose an appropriate topic and approach it systematically and complete it within the allotted timeframe. Additional supervision will support students’ requirement to demonstrate greater complexity and depth of understanding in this 10,000 word dissertation.
Selected Texts/Journals
Recommended Reading
Blaxter, L. et al (1996) How to research, Buckingham, Open University.

Dunleavey (1986) Studying for a degree in the Humanities and Social Science Chapters 5-6.
Casey, F. (1993) How to study a practical guide, London.

Cryer, P. (1996) The research student’s guide to success, Buckingham, Open University.

McMillan, K. & Weyers, J. (2007) How to write dissertation and project reports, Pearson.

Murray, N. & Hughes, G. (2008) Writing Up your University Assignments & Research Projects: a practical handbook, OUP Study Skills

Newman, R. (1991) Study and research: a systematic approach for all students, Oxford Bookmarque.

Patton,M.Q. (2002) Qualitative Evaluation and Research Methods, Sage.
Rowntree, D. (1998) Learn how to study: a guide for students of all ages, Waister.

Walliman, N. (2004) Your Undergraduate Dissertation: the essential guide for success, Sage.

Last Updated

26 August 2008