module specification

GI7P77 - Securities Studies Dissertation (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Securities Studies Dissertation
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 504
492 hours Guided independent study
12 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Dissertation 100%   Dissertation 15000 words *FC*
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

Security Studies Dissertation
This is a module which requires studens to conduct an extended piece of research on a topic in the security studies field.

Prior learning requirements

GIP028C Theory and Research Methods in International Relations

Module aims

To enable students to engage in a major piece of independent research in security studies, which is sensitive to theoretical and methodological issues and which employs a full scholarly apparatus.


Students are expected to identify a field of research and complete a 15,000 word dissertation with guidance provided by the module leader and their supervisors.

Learning and teaching

Students will have been prepared for their dissertation work through the core module Theory and Research Methods in International Relations. They are given a detailed course outline offering advice on the planning and carrying out of their research for the dissertation. They also receive 6 weeks of classes at the start of their dissertation and are then allocated a tutor with whom they will meet regularly in order to receive feedback and guidance as their work progresses.

The module has a WebLearn site and pdp opportunities are provided to students in GIP028C.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the dissertation students will be able to show:
1. the ability to formulate a significant research question and to carry through systematic research towards a defensible answer to the question
2. the ability to master available sources in the given research topic area.
3. the ability to reflect upon and find solutions to theoretical and methodological issues entailed by the search for answers to the research question chosen.
4. the ability to critically evaluate evidence and relevant secondary sources in the field.
5. the ability to thoroughly reference their work, using a consistent referencing system.
6. the ability to organise their work rigorously and effectively and to present it in a professional way


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• John Biggam, Succeeding with Your Master’s Dissertation: A Step-by-Step Handbook, Open University Press, 2011.
• Catherine Dawson, Introduction to Research Methods: A Practical Guide for Anyone Undertaking a Research Project, How to Books Ltd., 4th Edition, 2009.
• Christopher Hart, Doing Your Masters Dissertation (Essential Study Skills Series), Sage Publications Ltd., December 2004.
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• John Bolker, Writing Your Dissertation in Fifteen Minutes a Day, Owl Books, US, 1998.
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• Berry, Ralph, The research project. How to write it, 3rd edition (London: Routledge, 1994).
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• Marsh, David, Stoker, Gerry (ed.), Theory and methods in Political Science (London: Macmillan, 1995).
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• Rudestam, K.E. and Newton, R.R., Surviving your dissertation. A comprehensive guide to content and process (Newbury Park: Sage, 1992).
• Turabian, Kate L., (revised by John Grossman and Alice Bernstein), A manual for writers of term papers, theses and dissertations, 6th edition (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996).