module specification

GI7P12 - International Relations Dissertation (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title International Relations Dissertation
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 500
482 hours Guided independent study
18 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Dissertation 100%   Dissertation (15,000 words)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North - -
Spring semester North - -
Summer studies North - -

Module summary

This module asks students to undertake a major piece of independent research in International Relations and write up their findings as a dissertation.

Module aims

The module aims to:

  • allow students the opportunity to engage in a major piece of independent research in International Relations
  • enable students to apply the knowledge and analytical techniques they have gained from studying International Relations to a topic of their choice
  • develop their research, analytical and time-management skills
  • apply and develop their skills in writing up their findings in dissertation form


Students will receive guidance in topic selection and research investigation in lectures/workshops, and personal tutorials with their supervisor. The lectures/ workshops will provide assistance in areas such as choosing research topics, undertaking research, finding library/electronic resources, examining sources, working with a supervisor, writing and presenting a dissertation, referencing and avoiding plagiarism.

Learning and teaching

Students enrol in this module for the whole year. They are given a detailed course handbook offering advice on the planning and carrying out of their research for the dissertation. They are prepared for their dissertation work through the lecture/workshop classes in the first semester enrolled in the module. They are then allocated a tutor with whom they will meet regularly in order to receive feedback and guidance as their work progresses.

Learning outcomes

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

  • the ability to formulate a significant research question and to carry through systematic research towards a defensible answer to the question
  • the ability to master available sources in the given research topic area
  • the ability to reflect upon and find solutions to theoretical and methodological issues raised by the research
  • the ability to evaluate critically evidence and relevant secondary sources in the field
  • the ability to reference their work thoroughly, using a consistent referencing system
  • the ability to organise their work rigorously and effectively, and to present it in a professional way

Assessment strategy

Students must produce a dissertation of 15,000 words, which will be assessed in line with the learning outcomes above, accounting for 100% of the final grade. (The dissertation may be no more than 10% longer or shorter than the set word length.)

Students will also be required to produce a 500 word research proposal during the first semester of study. This will be an ungraded formative piece of assessment, designed to allow students to be given feedback on their initial research plans.


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