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NES3108 : Dissertation

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Guy Garrod
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 15.0
European Credit Transfer System


(i) to integrate and develop applied social science skills and knowledge gained through earlier modules
(ii) to encourage students to work on their own initiative while seeking appropriate assistance from
(iii) to provide practical experience of gathering and critically evaluating data on a problem or issue relevant
to the rural economy
This module requires students to undertake a significant piece of independent research based on a topic chosen by them following discussion with their project supervisor and a project development process begun in ACE2069. Students will be required to report their research in the form of a dissertation and in an oral presentation of research progress.

Outline Of Syllabus

The student will undertake independent research to generate a 10,000-12,000 word dissertation. The study may make use of any disciplinary skills and data available to the student and will be supervised by a member of staff. In particular it will build upon research methods outlined in ACE2069 and will utilise the research proposal that students submit for that module.During Semester one students will give presentations outlining their progress and towards the end of Semester one students will submit draft versions of their dissertations. Final dissertations will be submitted during the Easter vacation.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00Oral Presentaion
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Preparation and completion of Draft presentation
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00Preparation and completion of Final dissertation
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials11:001:00Module introduction
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading125:0025:00Directed reading on dissertation topic
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops121:0012:00Semester 1 dissertation preparation activities
Guided Independent StudyProject work1130:00130:00Methodological development; data collection & analysis
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision101:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study138:0038:00Literature review/reading around
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The skills associated with the completion of the Special Study have been introduced in other modules. The main purpose of this module is therefore to allow students sufficient time for the following activities: a review of relevant management and policy issues; a detailed review of relevant literature on the topic area of the Special Study, the collection and analysis of primary and secondary data; reflection on the results of the analysis and their broader implications for management and policy; the preparation of the oral presentation and the writing up of both draft and final dissertations.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation1M30Draft dissertation (everything up to the results section); 5,000 words
Dissertation2M70Final dissertation; 10,000 - 12,000 words
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1Moral presentation of progress
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The oral presentation and the draft dissertation allows for the assessment of the progress of students in organising, planning and writing their dissertations. The draft dissertation allows an assessment of progress towards the final assessment of the dissertation and for further feedback to be provided. The bulk of the assessment covers the final dissertation, the completion of which will require students to develop their written and analytical skills in terms of developing hypotheses, constructing logical arguments, based on data, and coming to relevant conclusions based on the analysis of that data. Students will have to work on their own initiative utilising supervisors and other resources and will learn the need to adapt and revise arguments to take account of new information.

Reading Lists