module specification

SS7P38 - Woman and Child Abuse Dissertation (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Woman and Child Abuse Dissertation
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 600
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
560 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Week All day
Spring semester North Week All day
Summer studies North Week All day

Module summary

The dissertation is a major part of the MA Woman and Child Abuse programme and for this reason it carries triple the weight of a normal module [i.e. 60 credits]. It allows you to conduct an extended investigation into a topic of your choice within the area of violence against women and children. It may be the biggest test of the academic skills that you have developed during the MA.

This module aims to enable you:

-To integrate the skills and knowledge-base that you have acquired through the other four core modules on the Woman and Child Abuse programme and to focus these on a specific topic.
- To learn how to identify a specific research question and develop a project around this.
- To apply appropriate skills of analysis and knowledge of methodologies.
- To manage your own research project.
- To demonstrate your ability to plan, organise and write a lengthy prose work.
- To engage in critical reflection on the process of producing a sustained piece of work.

Prior learning requirements


Available for Study Abroad? NO


The student, in consultation with their supervisor, will formulate a programme of study. This will take account of whether the student is full time or part time, their personal circumstances and the nature of the project they intend to undertake.

Students are required to:

- Submit a research plan or dissertation proposal form. [LO 1, 2 & 3] 
- Have at least four meetings with their supervisor to review progress, plan future work and set an agenda for future meeting(s). [LO 1]
- Manage and undertake an independent project with clear aim/objectives and methodology. [LO 1 & 3]
- Discuss ethical considerations. [LO 5]
- Collect the relevant data and produce an analysis of this. [LO 4]
- Submit the completed dissertation by the relevant deadline and in accordance with the formal dissertation requirements. [LO 1, 6 & 7]

Any research undertaken for the dissertation that involves human subjects as participants will require approval from the dissertation supervisor and the Module Leader before the commencement of data collection.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students will already have gained a grounding in research methodologies, research methods, and ethics from attending SS7168 Researching Violence and Evaluating Interventions. During the early stages of the dissertation, they are invited to attend dissertation workshops to understand what is involved in completing a dissertation project, clarify their question, define their research aims and objectives and plan out their projects.  Appointments can also be booked with library staff to gain assistance with literature searches and access to library resources. Moreover, dissertations from previous years are available for students to view to gain an understanding of the structure and overall work involved in producing the dissertation. 

This triple module programme requires a high degree of responsibility and autonomy on the part of the student in the planning and execution of a sustained piece of work. Students will receive a dissertation booklet early in the programme and will be required to complete a proposal form or produce a research plan on which they will receive written feedback. Following the submission of a research plan or dissertation proposal form, the student will be assigned a dissertation supervisor who will provide formal personal supervision sessions which will include the setting out of a work schedule.

Student and supervisor will meet at intervals on at least four further occasions, and should keep a log of meetings, in which objectives for the forthcoming weeks are agreed and used for review at subsequent meetings. Feedback is offered on draft chapters by supervisors.

To support students with disabilities, lecture slides and recordings are available in advance through the virtual learning environment and we work with the library to ensure that as much of the material is available as e-books or internet downloads as possible.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this triple weighted module, students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate the ability to conduct a substantive piece of research within their chosen field of study.

2. Select and justify the methodologies they have chosen.

3. Conduct and write up a literature search.

4. Understand the purpose of a literature review and how to undertake one.

5. Understand ethical implications of research activity.

6. Demonstrate appropriate analytic and writing skills.

7. Make a contribution to the chosen field of study.