module specification

SS6P01 - Community Development and Leadership Dissertation (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Community Development and Leadership Dissertation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
240 hours Guided independent study
60 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Project proposal 1000 words
Coursework 20%   Research log 2000 words
Coursework 60%   Dissertation 5000 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Morning

Module summary

This module develops students’ research skills and involves the design, completion and write-up of a supervised, independent research project. It incorporates an on-going self -evaluation written up as a reflective research log and demands considerable time management abilities as well as the deployment of academic skills.  On Community Development and Leadership, the Dissertation is usually done at the same organisation where the Work Placement is carried out. Where appropriate, this may also be linked to the activities of the International centre for Community development (ICCD).

Prior learning requirements

Researching Cultures and Communities or completion of FD in Community Work

Module aims

This module aims to enable students to
• develop, refine and apply research skills and critical capacities, building on the core research skills developed through the Intermediate level module Researching Cultures and Communities
• undertake a manageable research project in an area of their choice.
• focus an issue affecting community organisations or communities into a small-scale project using either primary or secondary research.
• explore complex issues which are of importance to communities and /or community organisations


 Defining a research topic
 identifying, formulating, and drawing up a proposal
 Roles and responsibilities, research ethics and the role of the researcher
 The literature review
 Selection of relevant methodology and appropriate materials  for the investigation of the chosen topic
 Formulating, carrying out and managing the research project
 Honing research instruments
 Collecting analysing the data
 Limitations and boundaries of the research
 Sustaining independent study over a period of time
 Editing and final version

Learning and teaching

A series of workshops will introduce the module, in which key points relevant to completing a dissertation will be will be presented and discussed. The subject librarian is invited to speak at one of these workshops. Students are encouraged to make full use of the University library resources as well as other on-line resources and, where appropriate, other libraries.
Students are encouraged to discuss and reflect on their ideas for a research topic and this leads to the proposal stage.
Following the completion of a research proposal, each student is matched with an appropriate member of teaching staff for individual supervision throughout the remainder of the module.
Throughout the research students are required to keep a research diary to log thoughts, feelings or more practical matters concerning their research.

Learning outcomes

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

• identify, formulate, analyse and make proposals for solving a problem, making use of complex knowledge and project management skills and effective communication skills, working within agroup as appropriate.
• demonstrate synthesis and application of problem solving skills in a complex and unpredictable scenario.
• define a research topic
• select a relevant methodology and appropriate materials for the investigation of a chosen topic
• formulate, carry-out and manage their own research project
• sustain independent study over a period of time

Assessment strategy

The first piece of assessment is the research proposal. Completion of this provides impetus and direction for the main assessment, the final research report. The reflection on the learning process is recorded in the student's research log and self-assessment which is presented as an accompanying appendix of the final report.


• Barbour, R. (2008) Introducing Qualitative Research: A student guide to the craft of Doing Qualitative Research London: Sage.
• Bryman A. (2008) Social Research Methods (3rd  ed) Oxford: Oxford U.P.
• Gobo, G (2008) Doing Ethnography. London: Sage
• Hanley B (2005)Research as empowerment? Report of a series of seminars organised by the Toronto Group
• Ritchie J. & Lewis J. (eds) (2003) Qualitative Research Practice: A Guide for Social Science Students and Researchers London: Sage
• Wright, S (eds). Power and Participatory development: Theory and Practice. ITDG Publishing
• Other reading for this module will largely depend on the topic being researched
Online resources
• Academic Phrasebank:
• Neil's Toolbox:
Useful lists of academic web sites on the library home page