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Social Research Dissertation


  • Credit value: 60 credits at Level 7
  • Convenor: Chao-Yo Cheng
  • Assessment: a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words (100%)

Module description

Supervisors will help you to choose a topic which is appropriate and workable. In particular, they advise on whether:

  • there is relevant academic literature which can be discussed in the literature review and built on in developing the research
  • the topic allows for an original contribution, for example by using primary sources or employing novel methods
  • the research question is genuinely researchable; in other words, whether it can be answered through systematic academic enquiry, as opposed to assertion or speculation.

Students write dissertations on a very wide range of topics. Issues posed in students’ working lives often provide a starting point, for example in highlighting a policy area of interest or indicating an issue in the provision of a service. However, the dissertation is a specific academic exercise with its own rules and requirements, so it is always important to seek supervisory advice on the topic.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate your knowledge of a research problem using methods covered in the programme
  • examine a subject in substantial depth
  • undertake sustained critical analysis
  • demonstrate research skills
  • produce a long piece of written work that demonstrates understanding of your area of study.