MCH3073 : Media Research Dissertation

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 30
ECTS Credits: 20.0


To enable students to undertake primary research in the area of media, communication and cultural studies.

To facilitate the development and demonstration of knowledge, understanding and techniques necessary to research independently and in-depth.

To provide students with the opportunity to complete a substantial piece of written work that satisfies the requirements of the programme's marking criteria.

This research project provides the student with direct experience of the research process including the formulation, development and completion of an extensive piece of independent work. For this module students are asked to focus on a particular area of Media, Communication and Culture. They should draw upon their previous engagement with these areas over the course of their degree to help them consider and formulate a research question. As the research project is a piece of independent work, the content will vary from student to student; however, the following requirements apply in the choice of all topics:

Students should consider carefully which area of study is primarily to inform their research question and approach (media studies, communication studies, cultural studies).
The chosen research topic must be feasible (in terms of available sources), lend itself to investigation at an appropriate level for final-year work, and relate to the chosen courses of study on the programme and/ or staff research interests.
The project may be empirical or library-based research.

Empirical research must be accompanied by an approved ethics form.

All topics must be discussed in advance with a relevant member of staff and formally approved before research begins.

There are two forms of assessment on this module:

Preliminary submission of the literature review chapter. This contributes to 15% of the overall mark.
A dissertation. This contributes 85% to the overall mark.

Outline Of Syllabus

Semester one
Introduction to the module, The literature Review, Advanced Library Skills, Careers, Good Academic Practice, Ethical Issues, Writing a Methodology.

Semester two
Starting Semester Two, Analyzing Data, Submitting the Dissertation

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture81:008:00Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion164:0064:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00Small groups with supervisors
Guided Independent StudyProject work1200:00200:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00Workshops
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity125:0025:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery243:0072:00Module Surgery - 3 hour surgery for this module only. Response to student need.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study123:0023:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision31:003:001-2-1 Dissertation Supervision
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The research project involves different styles of teaching and learning at targeted stages of the research project. At the start of the module based on the research proposal completed in Research Methods II, students will be allocated a supervisor. This supervisor will at various times in semester one meet with the student both formally and informally to provide support, advice and specialist research knowledge. At the same time in the first semester, practical information about accessing information and its management, making contact with those involved in the research fieldwork and presentation skills will be delivered through formal lectures, practical sessions and group learning. Each session adopts the most appropriate format to address the particular needs of the students. For example, advanced information searching will take place in small groups in the library, making contact with those in the research field will involve a formal lecture style. However, as the students progress in their research work, more informal supervision support becomes predominant. In semester two, the students will have a minimum of three one hour sustained research support across the semester. This will involve the reading and feedback of chapter drafts.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A15Literature Review 2500-3000 words
Dissertation2A85Dissertation, 8000 - 10000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment is designed to support and acknowledge the work that the student undertakes across two semesters. In the first semester students will provide a formal literature review of the research project. This will assess the progress of the research and the rationale and explanation of this progress. This includes how the student is negotiating their research design, the stage of the primary research and the issues that they are engaging with in the literature review.

The main part of the assessment is a dissertation. This provides students with the opportunity to engage with their research question, the importance of their primary research and to critically review existing literature in the field. It also enables the results as well as drawing conclusions. Overall the dissertation will enable assessment of the student's ability to collect and interrogate data, the extent to which they manage ethical dimensions of researching communication and their knowledge and understanding of methodological/theoretical literature.

Reading Lists