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POL8099 : Dissertation

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Anthony Zito
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 3 Credit Value: 60
ECTS Credits: 30.0


This module aims to:

•       enable students to undertake an in-depth study of a topic within the area of their MA degree
•       provide students with the opportunity to engage in a major research exercise that, in scope and scale, significantly exceeds that of their coursework papers
•       give students experience of selecting and applying intellectual frameworks, undertaking original research and presenting their results in a scholarly fashion
•       develop skills such as written communication, planning and initiative

Outline Of Syllabus

The module leader will allocate an appropriate dissertation supervisor.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials31:003:00Asynchronous; PCAP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00In person, S 2
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00In person, S 2
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision61:006:00Meet with supervisor
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1588:00588:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyOnline Discussion11:001:00Q&A on Canvas
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students will have the support of a supervisor to help them design the project and to be available to offer advice whilst the work is completed.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal2M51000 word Dissertation Proposal
Dissertation3M9510,000 word Dissertation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The proposal encompasses a clear statement of a relevant research topic or question; a brief review of the literature to indicate the contribution this research will make; a research design including a description of the methods to be used in gathering and analysing information; and a proposed chapter outline and timeline. This proposal is linked to the knowledge outcomes with regard to signalling a sufficient knowledge of the field to be able to identify the contribution the research will make as well as a sufficient knowledge of the appropriate theoretical, methodological and disciplinary questions. The proposal also prepares the students to begin to develop the skills described here, particularly their ability to find information using effective research techniques. The dissertation itself is an extended report of the research and findings and thus must demonstrate not only the ability to employ effective research techniques and also to draft and edit a lengthy report, but also elaborate a theoretically and methodologically informed argument that demonstrates breadth and depth of knowledge of the topic of the dissertation.

Reading Lists