module specification

SS6P05 - Social Science Dissertation (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Social Science Dissertation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
 
294 hours Guided independent study
6 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Other 10%   Supervision
Coursework 20%   1,500 words project proposal
Dissertation 70%   8,000 words Dissertation
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

Building on previous core modules, this module is designed for students to examine, identify and evaluate the theoretical and methodological issues involved in investigating a topic of their choice within the framework of Social Science. They are encouraged and guided, through a series of workshops and one-to-one supervision, to apply the conceptual understanding gained in their course of study to a substantive issue. The students design an in-depth piece of research and analysis in an area of their choice. In the first half of this module students will refine their proposal and learn about different aspects of researching and writing a dissertation. In the second half of this module students will devote themselves to writing their dissertation.

Module aims

This module will help students in the following:
A1. Identify an area or theme of social science inquiry.
A2. Undertake a literature search and review. This will include a library search and other data sources relating to a general field in which the theme is located.
A3. Produce an independent and original piece of work with conclusions from this analysis and possible policy recommendations where appropriate.
A4. Write a well-presented piece of work in the conventional academic format with well-documented sources.

Syllabus

1   Weekly workshops for one month on the following topics:
                     - Research Question formation
                     - Literature Reviews
                     - Methods
                     - Ethical issues
- Proposal writing       
2.  Presentation of draft proposal to a seminar group for comment
3. Submit a 1,500 words project proposal
4. One to one meetings with supervisor
5. Weekly workshops for one month on
- Writing up the dissertation
- Editing
- Strengthening the analysis
6. Submit an 8,000 words dissertation.

Learning and teaching

The first part of the module will consist of a weekly combination of four lectures/workshops that will provide the students with guidance on giving them opportunities to discuss progress on their dissertation proposal. Supervisors will be allocated on the basis of their research and scholarship expertise in a particular topic. The dissertation supervisor will be responsible for advising the student in the selection of a project title and the organization and development of the material.
The students will be asked to present their draft proposal to a seminar group for comments and feedback by week 7. They will need to submit a 1,500 words project proposal in week 9.
In the second part of the module students will need to implement what they have set out in their project proposal throughout the process of writing an independent piece of work. A new series of four weekly lectures/workshops will provide the students with guidance i.e. on writing up their dissertation, interpreting some original data, building up their thesis coherently and editing. The total word count for the dissertation is about 8,000 words and will need to be submitted by week 30.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
(LO1) Identify an area or theme worthy of enquiry for a social science scholar.
(LO2)  Develop and produce a research proposal relating to the topic related to Social Science.
(LO3) Use theoretical and empirical knowledge, research and analytical skills gained in their course of study to produce a dissertation.
(LO4) Undertake a literature search and review successfully.
(LO5)  Apply the conceptual understanding gained in their programme of study to a substantive issue/theme related to Social Science.
(LO6) Respond constructively and productively to regular feedback throughout the developmental period of the independent project.

Assessment strategy

In week 9 students will submit a 1,500 words project proposal with 20% weighting. They have to attend and demonstrate their response to the feedback given in at least 3 supervisory sessions to pass the module (10%). In week 30 students will submit a 8,000 words dissertation (70%).

Bibliography

Blaxter L et al (2009) How to Research
Bryman, A. (2008) Social Research Methods, OUP.Gilbert N ed. (2009) Researching Social Life (+ companion website).
Neuman W (2011) Social Research Methods (Pearson)
Punch, K. (2005) The Introduction to Social Research: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches, Sage.
Rudestan, K & Newton, R (2007) Surviving Your Dissertation, Sage.