Module Catalogue 2020/21

TCP3099 : Dissertation

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ruth Raynor
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
TCP2027Research Skills
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



1. To develop student skills in undertaking a literature review.
2. To enable students to develop their own research proposals.
3. To give an extended opportunity for individuals to undertake a piece of independent empirical research and develop their research skills.

This module offers students the opportunity to develop and practise their social science research skills through a combination of lectures and discussions, supervisions and independent study. The student will design and undertake an empirical study on a topic of their choosing (this must be planning related if registered as a BA Town Planning student). During Semester One each student will submit draft introduction, literature review and methodology chapters of their dissertation for formative assessment and detailed feedback. In Semester Two each students will conduct original research and analysis before submitting their dissertation at the end of the semester.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Introduction
2. Conducting a Literature Review - sources, searches, constructing an argument and referencing.
3. Developing your research questions, aims and objectives.
4. Research design.
5. Ethics and the role of the researcher revision.
6. Developing your ideas.
7. Working with your data.
8. Writing your dissertation.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

1. Students will be aware of the nature and scope of social science research.
2. Demonstrate competence in conducting a literature review (identifying key issues and analysing existing knowledge).
3. Be able to construct and articulate a clear and concise research question with clear aims and objectives for their study.
4. Be able to discuss the process of selecting appropriate research methodologies for investigating specific issues.
5. Identify and respond to ethical dilemmas and research bias.
6. Design and carry out independent empirical research (through building on the above).
7. Analyse, interpret and present their data.
8. Summarise and discuss findings and apply these to existing practice/policy, proposing recommendations where appropriate.

Intended Skill Outcomes

1. Develop literature search and critical analysis skills.
2. Develop an ability to design and conduct a range of research methodologies, building on knowledge and skills learned in stage 2.
3. Develop research management skills.
4. Develop analytical and communication skills.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00Cluster based workshop
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyProject work1150:00150:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1226:00226:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision61:006:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
APL3003Creative Practice
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The dissertation is devised to assess a student’s capacity to undertake an individual (supervised) research project. Teaching methods combine lectures and group discussion; lectures will be used to introduce and recap key concepts and issues relating to a dissertation, group discussion sessions will comprise of student led issues to help students develop their proposals and later in the module also work through issues with data and analysis. The module also requires private study providing an opportunity for students to research a topic of interest to them and develop critical and reflective research skills and understanding of the research process. Additional teaching and learning support is offered by the supervisory system.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation2M10010,000 words maximum excluding reference section and appendices.
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Dissertation1M4,000 word draft of introduction, literature review and methodology chapters. Formative assessment only.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The research proposal assessment (Semester One) tests the ability to devise a research strategy with a reasoned discussion of topic, question(s), literature and choice of methodological approach – this will require submission of time plan, risk and ethical approval forms. The dissertation is assessed for the scope and rigour of the empirical study and the extent to which it demonstrates an ability to devise and carry out a successful research project, including analytical and written communication skills.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Please note there will be some shared teaching in semester 1 with the equivalent module APL3003 Creative Practice Dissertation.

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 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 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.