Skip to main content


HSS8003 : Dissertation Preparation

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Abigail Marks
  • Owning School: HASS Faculty Office
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0


To support students to perfect the final Masters level dissertation proposal and review progress
To enable students to develop, plan and manage their own Masters 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
Data analysis
Building a substantiated argument
Writing styles and presentation
Using graphics, images etc
Approaches to managing the writing

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials100:305:0010 x 30min narrated PowerPoints
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops101:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study100:305:00One exercise to follow each narrated online lecture
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study180:0080:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will be delivered in manageable 30 minute, narrated powerpoint, non-synchronous, online sessions. Lectures will help students translate their learning into an actual Masters level dissertation proposal. Additional lectures will add to that learning by covering additional topics more relevant to the writing up of the dissertation into a well presented, substantiated argument.

The sessions will each lead to a detailed, practical activity which builds the dissertation proposal iteratively. These iterative, small stages of proposal preparation will be reviewed by the module leader and teaching assistants and formative feedback given via e-mail or Canvas.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M100Either a 2500 word essay assessing critical analysis or a 2500 word dissertation proposal
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment has two rationales:

1) To assess the student’s ability to transfer knowledge and understanding of the research process from one subject to another, as their final dissertation proposal;

2) To assess the student’s ability to undertake the proposed final Masters level dissertation, in terms of topic, current understanding of the topic, methodological approach and data collection methods, risks and assumptions; writing ability and critical thinking.

All students must take the essay assessing critical analysis apart from the MA Education Research (4018) students who must take the dissertation proposal.

Reading Lists