module specification

GI6P51 - Project 1 Semester (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
Module title Project 1 Semester
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 150
10 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
140 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Dissertation 5,000 words
Running in 2020/21
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Monday Afternoon
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module providing an advanced research element for PIR undergraduate courses aims to:
• enable the student to demonstrate an understanding of a complex body of knowledge, and be able to apply analytical techniques, problem solving and project management skills commensurate with a short dissertation.
• enable the student to synthesise skills and knowledge and apply them successfully to complex issues in a short dissertation.
• provide an opportunity to design a short dissertation relevant to their degree.
• allow the student to utilise research and analytical skills acquired during their programme of studies.
• enable the student to undertake relevant research and write up findings in short dissertation form.

Prior learning requirements

Successful completion of Level 5


Students will receive guidance in topic selection and research investigation in lectures/workshops, and personal tutorials with their supervisor. There will be a series of Lectures/Workshops the purpose of which will be to provide guidelines on Dissertation Writing, Choosing  a Topic, Researching and Presenting Work, Role of the Supervisor; Preparation; Organisation of Materials; Collecting Information; Methodology; Research Proposal; Bibliographies and Referencing; Quotations; Avoiding Plagiarism; Guide to Electronic Resources; The Internet; Databases; Guide to other Library Resources. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will be delivered through lectures/workshops and personal supervision. There will be a blended approach to learning so that contact time with academic staff is complemented by a range of on-line resources, particularly delivered by using Weblearn. In completing the dissertation students are expected to develop skills to enable them to: Select and define a topic of research commensurate with a short dissertation; Produce a research plan; Display analytical capability; Work on their own under the guidance of a supervisor; Understand how to conduct research at undergraduate honours level commensurate with a short dissertation. This may involve: searching for, consulting and organising Primary and Secondary Source Material; Making Notes; Submitting properly referenced work in accordance with academic standards; Discovering the potential and limitations of the Internet; Write up a short dissertation that is a coherent academic study.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1) Identify, formulate, analyse and make proposals for solving a problem, making use of complex knowledge and project management skills and effective communication skills commensurate with a short dissertation.
2) Demonstrate synthesis and application of problem solving skills.
3) Develop a final profile of personal/professional attributes within the context of qualities and transferable skills, including self-evaluation, necessary for employment and further study or professional development.
4) Demonstrate an ability to work independently under the guidance of a tutor.
5) Understand how to conduct research at an advanced undergraduate level commensurate with a short dissertation.

Assessment strategy

The final dissertation carries 100% of the mark.
Students have to register their initial research interests in week 2 of the semester of commencement.
They finalise their area of research, are allocated a supervisor and provide a 500-word research proposal by week 4, with opportunities for diagnostic formative feedback.
They also adhere to a learning agreement with their supervisor to ensure regular meetings.
The word-processed summative dissertation must be submitted electronically via Turnitin.


Core Reading
Greetham, B., How to Write your Undergraduate Dissertation, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2009.
Silbergh, D.M., Doing Dissertations in Politics: A Student Guide, London, Routledge, 2001.
Additional Reading
Bell, Judith, Doing your research project. A guide to first-time researchers in education and social science, Buckingham, Open University Press, Third edition, 1999.
Berry, Ralph, The research project: How to write it, London, Routledge, Third Edition, 1994.
Bouma, Gary D. and Atkinson, G.B.J., A handbook of social science research, Oxford, Oxford University Press, Second Edition, 1995.
Bryman, A., Social Research Methods, Oxford, Oxford University Press, Second Edition, 2004.
Burnham, P., Gill, K., Grant, W. and Layton-Henry, Z., Research Methods in Politics, Basingstoke, Palgrave, Second Edition, 2008.
Davies, Martin Brett, Doing a Successful Research Project: Using Qualitative or Quantitative Methods, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
Grix, Jonathan, The Foundations of Research, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, 2004.
Harrison, L., Political Research: An Introduction, London, Routledge, 2001.
Hart, Chris, Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination, London, Sage, 2001.
Marsh, David & Stoker, Gerry, Theory and Methods in Political Science, London, Macmillan, Second Edition, 2002.
Marsh, David & Stoker, Gerry, Theory and Methods in Political Science, London, Palgrave Macmillan, Third Edition, 2010.
Mounsey, Chris, Essays and Dissertations, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2002.
Pennings, P. et al., Doing Research in Political Science: An Introduction to Comparative Methods and Statistics, London, Sage, Second Edition, 2006.
Preece, Roy, Starting research: An introduction to academic research and dissertation writing, London, Pinter, 1994.
Rudestam, K.E. and Newton, R.R., Surviving your dissertation: A comprehensive guide to content and process, Newbury Park, Sage, 1992.
Wisker, G., The Undergraduate Research Handbook, Basingstoke, Palgrave, 2009.
Where possible, the current version of reading materials is used during the delivery of this module.  Comprehensive reading lists are provided to students in their handbooks.  Reading Lists will be updated annually.