Study Abroad and Exchanges



SEL3362 : Dissertation in English Literature

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0


To allow students to develop an in depth study of an area of literary studies that reflects their own particular interests and intellectual strengths. Students will have considerable choice and can orientate their dissertation towards written texts, or film or theatre.

To demonstrate an ability to plan, conceptualise, research and execute an extended piece of work.

To foster independent thinking and develop research skills and skills in critical thinking, writing and presentation.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module allows students to write at length on a self-directed topic in English Literature. Students will have considerable choice in terms of how they decide to proceed and could choose to orientate their research towards the analysis of written texts, or film or theatre, or indeed to shape a project that is interdisciplinary in character.

They will be asked to identify their likely area of interest at the end of their second year and be required to produce a research plan in the first few weeks of semester 1 of their third year. In this process they will be supported by the module leader and required to attend a series of plenary lectures designed to guide them in their initial planning. They will then be assigned a supervisor with expertise in their chosen subject area and be expected to work with that supervisor over the remaining months of the dissertation module. In regular meetings, they will discuss the overall design of their dissertation and have the opportunity to work on redrafting the project under the guidance of their academic supervisor. They will also have the opportunity to work with other students on processes of peer review and benefit from further support delivered in plenary lectures on academic skills, independent research, approaches to argument and scholarly presentation.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture51:005:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1140:00140:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1140:00140:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity71:007:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1100:00100:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision81:008:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will be guided initially by the module leader and then directed to consult with an appropriate member of staff about their topic and approach. They will only be allowed to begin to work on the dissertation when their topic has been approved.

There will be regular consultation with the supervisor over the 2 semesters to check progress and to support reading, study and conceptual approach. Students are given more formal support with the series of plenary lectures and will support each other through peer learning/review sessions organised by their supervisor.

The main aim of the dissertation is to foster skills of independent working and to allow the students to plan and complete an extended piece of work.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation2A100A dissertation of 10,000 words and portfolio to contain: research proposal; research plan; records of supervision; draft chapter.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The 10,000 word dissertation written under individual supervision will demonstrate both detailed knowledge of the student's chosen subject and that they acquired the appropriate skills. This will be submitted at the end of the second semester.

The portfolio is designed to ensure that students keep up steady progress on their essay over the semester, attend supervisory meetings and complete appropriate drafts and plans to schedule.

Failure to produce a portfolio will constitute a rubric violation, resulting in a deduction of 5% of the total possible marks awarded.

Reading Lists