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TCP3099 : Dissertation

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ruth Raynor
  • Owning School: Architecture, Planning & Landscape
  • Teaching Location: Mixed Location

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

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0
European Credit Transfer System


1. To develop student skills in undertaking a literature review.
2. To enable students to develop their own research proposals.
3. To give an extended opportunity for individuals to undertake a piece of independent empirical research and develop their research skills.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module offers students the opportunity to develop and practice their social science research skills through a combination of flexible learning, 1-1 and group supervisions and independent study. The student will design and undertake an empirical study on a topic of their choosing (this must be planning related if registered as a BA Urban Planning /MPlan student). During Semester 1 each student will submit draft introduction, literature review and methodology chapters of their dissertation for formative assessment and detailed feedback. In Semester Two each students will conduct original research and analysis before submitting their dissertation at the end of the semester.
1. Introduction
2. Conducting a Literature Review - sources, searches, constructing an argument and referencing.
3. Developing your research questions, aims and objectives.
4. Research design.
5. Ethics and the role of the researcher revision.
6. Developing your ideas.
7. Working with your data.
8. Writing your dissertation

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00Present in person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops101:0010:00Present in person.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision61:006:00This may be in pairs/small group for first meeting and move to one:one meetings or one:one throughout all 6 interactions. Expectation of 3 meetings per semester.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1374:00374:00Reflects time requirement of dissertation of substantial engagement with literature and research preparation as well as data collection and analysis and preparation of written submission, across both semesters.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The dissertation is devised to assess a student’s capacity to undertake an individual (mentored) research project. Teaching methods combine structured guided learning, with group discussion, and mentoring; structured sessions will be used to introduce and recap key concepts and issues relating to a dissertation, group discussion (board) sessions will comprise of student led issues to help students develop their proposals and later in the module also work through issues with data and analysis. The module also requires private study providing an opportunity for students to research a topic of interest to them and develop critical and reflective research skills and understanding of the research process. Additional teaching and learning support is offered by the supervisory system.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation2M10010,000 words maximum excluding reference section and appendices.
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
Dissertation1M4,000 word draft of introduction, literature review and methodology chapters. Formative assessment only.
Oral Presentation1M2- minute ‘Lift Pitch’ presentation to small group detailing research question and rationale.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The research proposal assessment (Semester One) tests the ability to devise a research strategy with a reasoned discussion of topic, question(s), literature and choice of methodological approach – this will require submission of risk and ethical approval forms. The dissertation is assessed for the scope and rigour of the empirical study and the extent to which it demonstrates an ability to devise and carry out a successful research project, including analytical and written communication skills.

Reading Lists