GEO9089 : Research Dissertation

Semester 3 Credit Value: 60
ECTS Credits: 30.0


•       To provide learning opportunities to enable course participants to acquire the knowledge and understanding, skills and attributes necessary to undertake research in contemporary local and regional development theory, policy and practice.

•       To provide the theoretical, policy and practical skills to enable the student to produce an independent research project – the MA dissertation – on a topic of their choice (subject to the approval of the Degree Programme Director) and, where appropriate, successfully to enhance their CPD activity or pursue further postgraduate study for a PhD.

The MA research dissertation provides an opportunity to put the knowledge and understanding of regional development theory and policy acquired in the programme to work. An independent research project, on a topic chosen by the programme participant, is designed, developed and undertaken under the supervision of a member of the programme staff. Topics can relate to issues covered in the programme, individual concerns and/or the research interests of programme staff.

Outline Of Syllabus

Research Dissertation Guidelines
From Week 10 of Semester 2 attend a minimum of two supervisions with allocated Supervisor.

Module content will comprise:
-       individual meetings between supervisor and student
-       independent primary research by the student which will vary in nature according to the topic selected
-       the production of a Research Dissertation by the student

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1396:00396:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1200:00200:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision41:004:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

•       Application in a piece of independent research of advanced knowledge and understanding of contemporary local and regional development and governance theory, policy and practice.
•       Utilisation of analytical methodologies, techniques and data sources in local and regional development.
•       Critical engagement in a piece of independent research with local and regional development and governance theory, policy and practice.
•       Application and practice of subject specific/practical and key skills including problem solving, utilisation of appropriate research techniques and data sources, synthesis and presentation of data.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation3M10015,000 Word Dissertation
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Research Dissertation involves the extended presentation of all the stages of the research process from introduction and justification of project, through theoretical context and methodology to results and conclusions.

The Research Dissertation is the summation of the student's efforts in undertaking an original research project of their own conception and design. The Dissertation will demonstrate how the students have formulated their research topic, situated them in the appropriate literature, developed a conceptual framework and methodology, undertaken research, analysed, interpreted and discussed findings, drawn conclusions and delivered a well-written, well-presented report to the appropriate academic standard.

Reading Lists