Module Catalogue 2022/23

HSS8003 : Dissertation Preparation

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Mr Nicholas Gardiner
  • Co-Module Leader: Dr Jen Tarr
  • Owning School: HASS Faculty Office
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



To support students in writing Masters level dissertations
To enable students to develop, plan and manage their research strategy
To demonstrate the requirements of a Masters level dissertation
To demonstrate the appropriate use of data and findings, including triangulation and building a substantiated argument
To highlight the importance of language in the writing up process
To explore approaches to presentation and the use of graphics

Outline Of Syllabus

Requirements of a Masters level dissertation
Building a literature review
Clarifying the research topic, problem, questions
Building a substantiated argument
Writing styles and presentation
Using graphics, images etc
Approaches to managing writing

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of these sessions students will:
• Understand the requirements of a Masters level dissertation and proposal;
• Recognise the need to substantiate arguments and how to use different data to do so;
• Have greater clarity about their dissertation topic and research questions;
• Recognise the need for critical reflection within the research process:
• Understand the role of conceptual and theoretical frameworks in academic research.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module students will be able to:
• Write with clarity and with confidence;
• Understand how to build an academic argument and use multiple data sources to substantiate it;
• Use text and graphics to convey findings;
• Understand the role of critical reflection in the research process;
• Be able to integrate conceptual and theoretical frameworks into their own work.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture51:005:00lecture materials
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops101:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study100:305:00exercises in preparation for each workshop
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study180:0080:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will introduce students to key concepts and issues in writing a dissertation. Structured writing activities will be undertaken in preparation for the workshops, building toward a portfolio for assessment. In workshops, students will work together on writing exercises and learn to critique their own and others' work.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M100A 1500-2000 word portfolio of writing activities
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment will build a portfolio of writing activities to assess the students' ability to write a masters level dissertation. Aspects such as research design, use of diverse sources, written presentation skills, and appropriate use of language will be assessed.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.