module specification

SS6P02 - Sociology Dissertation (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Sociology Dissertation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
25 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
275 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 0%   Dissertation proposal
Coursework 0%   Draft literature review 3,000 words
Coursework 100%   Dissertation 10,000 words
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

A1. The students will use theoretical and empirical knowledge, research and analytical skills gained in their programme of study to investigate their chosen topic and formulate a dissertation.
A2. The students will produce an original investigation/examination of a relevant sociological topic.
A3. The students will learn how to apply their knowledge of research methods, design and analysis to a specific research project.


The dissertation module allows students to undertake a piece of independent research using theoretical and empirical knowledge, research and anaytical skills learned over the course of their under-graduate study. Students will produce a 10,000 word dissertation. A series of workshops are run weekly alongside the supervision sessions students receive to provide support in key skills as indicated belwo:
- Research questions and topic (LO1)
- Literature review (LO2, LO3)
- Research design – qualitative and quantitative methods and ethics (LO4)
- Data analysis and writing up (LO5, LO6)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

In the first semester, weekly workshops will provide the students with guidance on doing their dissertation and give them opportunities to discuss progress. The students will be required to submit the project proposal. In the second semester, students will work independently, supported by their supervisors, there will be three further workshops on data analysis and writing up you dissertation. Supervisors will be allocated on the basis of their research and scholarship expertise in a particular topic. Learning will also be guided by reading and resources made available through the VLE.

Learning outcomes

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

(LO1) Identify an area or theme worthy of sociological enquiry
(LO2) Use theoretical and empirical knowledge, research and analytical skills gained in their course of study to investigate an area and formulate a dissertation
(LO3) Undertake a literature search and review.
(LO4) Make a critical sociological analysis of an area or theme under investigation with particular attention being paid to the theoretical and methodological components of the analysis
(LO5) Draw conclusions from their analysis and where appropriate make possible policy recommendations
(LO6) Write a well-presented piece of work in the conventional academic format using documented sources

Assessment strategy

The dissertation plan will assess the student’s ability to identify an inquiry theme and to formulate a project. The 3000 words draft literature review will assess the ability to summarise existing research and policy documents. The final written submission should be about 10,000 words.


Core Reading:

Bryman, A.(2008)  Social Research Methods, OUP
Luker, K. (2010) Salsa Dancing into the Social Sciences: Research in an Age of Info-Glut, Harvard University Press

Additional reading:

Punch, K. (2005) The Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches  Sage
Rudestan, K & Newton, R (2007)   Surviving Your Dissertation, Sage