Skip to main content


FIN8099 : Dissertation

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Richard Talbot
  • Lecturer: Professor Jane Wilson, Ms Helen Smith, Professor Louise Wilson, Professor Uta Kogelsberger, Dr Christian Mieves, Ms Jo Coupe
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 30
ECTS Credits: 15.0


The Master of Fine Art dissertation enables a sustained investigation into a subject of interest to the student and relevant to their studio practice that will support their development as a practitioner. It will develop the capacity to produce a piece of sustained and well-structured writing and/or a professional presentation on a topic relevant to the student's creative practice, encouraging detailed discussion of the contents of the dissertation, constructive research and clarity in written and verbal argument. The module encourages the exploration of a variety of approaches to the formation of the dissertation and the development of a format appropriate to its content and aims. The length is between 3000 and 5000 words (not including bibliography, appendices etc). The 15-20 minute presentation should be a succinct verbal account of the dissertation topic supported by a well-structured PowerPoint presentation.

Outline Of Syllabus

Tutorials will support the student in the structuring and finessing of the dissertation from the proposal stage though the draft stages to the final submission together with a workshop on presentation techniques.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00Dissertation Presentation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Presentation techniques. PIP/SYNC
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery20:301:00Additional surgery hours to support dissertation development, PIP/SYNC.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision31:003:00Individual Tutorials. PIP/SYNC
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1253:00253:00Research and writing dissertation.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Introduction to module. PIP/SYNC
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The ability to produce a sustained and well structured piece of writing on a visual arts topic will be developed through individual tutorials and written feedback. Tutorials will monitor progress and focus on the planning, development and structuring of the dissertation. They will also develop the clarity of the written argument, and the content and form of the dissertation. Students will be asked to prepare for their tutorials and submit draft pieces of writing in advance.

The presentation techniques workshop will develop the students ability to present a 15 minute 'paper' developed from the 3000 word dissertation, verbally using powerpoint and/or video to an audience of their peers and Tutors.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation1M100There are 2 options: A - 5000 word dissertation; or B - 3000 word dissertation/extended essay, & 15-20 minute presentation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment Option A: 5000-word dissertation. The subject of the dissertation will be identified as an outcome of the Year 1 Dissertation Subject Development module FIN8001. An aspect of the self-reflective, critical essay and contextual review of FIN8001 will be examined here in greater depth.

Assessment Option B: 3000-word dissertation/extended essay, Plus a 15-20 minute presentation – including PowerPoint or video. The subject of the dissertation/extended essay will be identified as an outcome of the Year 1 Dissertation Subject development Module FIN8001. An aspect of the self reflective, critical essay and contextual review from FIN8001 will be examined here in greater depth and also presented to a group of peers and examiners as an illustrated presentation/ publicly presented paper.

Both Option A and B can be submitted and/or delivered online as required.

Reading Lists