Module Catalogue 2024/25

SEL3362 : Dissertation: Long-Form Essay

SEL3362 : Dissertation: Long-Form Essay

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor James Annesley
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment

Students will have completed SEL2210 or SEL2218, or have permission from the module leader to enrol on this module.


Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



To allow students to develop an in depth study of an area of literary studies that reflects their own particular interests and intellectual strengths.

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 provided with a series of guided learning activities to support them in their initial planning. They will be assigned a supervisor and be expected to work with that supervisor over the course of the dissertation module. In regular meetings, they will discuss the overall design of their dissertation and have the opportunity to receive feedback on a submitted plan and annotated bibliography at the mid-module point. Further guided learning activities throughout the year will support student reflection on academic skills, independent research, approaches to argument and scholarly presentation.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students will gain knowledge of a particular topic in depth through extended independent study supported by a member of staff.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the module the student will be able to:

- formulate essay question and approach

- demonstrate research skills of assembling and documenting reading appropriate to a topic

- demonstrate skills in independent working

- structure critical thinking in relation to a substantial piece of work

- assimilate information from a range of sources

- demonstrate skills in writing and presenting a substantial piece of work

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1140:00140:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1140:00140:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision51:005:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1100:00100:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will be guided initially by the module leader and then directed to consult with an assigned member of staff about their topic and approach.

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 guided learning activities. There will be a scheduled drop in/surgery prior to each of the assessment points.

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.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation2A90A dissertation of between 8,000-10,000 words.
Written exercise1M10The semester 1 written assessment will be a project plan of 500 words, plus an annotated bibliography of at least 15 items.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The dissertation (8,000-10,000 words) 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 500-word mid module plan and annotated bibliography, submitted in semester 1, is designed to ensure that students keep up steady progress on their dissertation over the semester, and to provide formative feedback on the developing project that can feed into the writing in the second semester.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Welcome to Newcastle University Module Catalogue

This is where you will be able to find all key information about modules on your programme of study. It will help you make an informed decision on the options available to you within your programme.

You may have some queries about the modules available to you. Your school office will be able to signpost you to someone who will support you with any queries.


The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 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 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.