Module code: ELI3033

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

MCCORMACK D Dr (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 6

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Year long

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 439

Lecture Hours: 8

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites

120 credits at level 5

Module overview

The dissertation module is intended to provide students with an opportunity to select a research topic relating to an aspect of literary study which has engaged their own particular interest, and to explore it in detail through guided self-study. Each student will be assigned a tutor who will assist them in choosing their subject matter and literary approach, and who will provide advice, encouragement and formative feedback over the course of the writing process, as well as suggesting relevant reading material which may help inspire or critically locate the project. As well as the dissertation itself, students will also submit a commentary that reflects on the way in which their writing and research practices have developed over the course of the project.


Module aims

the opportunity to pursue a specific interest in depth;

the relevant in-depth subject knowledge required for their topic;

appropriate critical and theoretical awareness;

the necessary methodology skills and self-reflexive thinking;

the ability to undertake independent research, analysis, critical thinking, writing and guided self-study;

the skills needed to think self-reflexively about their own work;

skills in time management;

research methodology skills specific to the individual topic;

the ability to undertake independent scholarly research.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Detailed knowledge of a specific interest; K
In-depth subject knowledge required for their topic; K
A high level of critical and theoretical awareness; CT
Methodology skills and self-reflexive thinking;
The ability to undertake independent research, analysis, critical thinking, writing and guided self-study; CPT
The ability to think self-reflexively about their own skills and practices; PT
The ability to manage time effectively; PT
Research methodology skills specific to their own topic; PT
The ability to undertake independent scholarly research. PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

In order to give students training in the research skills needed to plan and complete an independent and large-scale research project, this module includes four two-hour workshops which are compulsory for all students:


Workshop 1: Planning and structure (start of semester 1)
Workshop 2: Troubleshooting (mid-semester 1)
Workshop 3: Self-reflexive commentary and other exercises (start of semester 2)
Workshop 4: Troubleshooting (mid-semester 2)


Assessment Deadlines

Research proposal and research plan: 31st May 2014

Dissertation and self-reflexive commentary: tbc [circa March 2015)

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to deliver subject knowledge, to develop cognitive/ analytical skills, and to develop in-depth transferable, practical, and professional skills.

At FHEQ Level 6, optional modules are usually delivered through a two-hour seminar, and hence with more student-led involvement and more sophisticated development of critical analytical and rhetorical skills. As these are research-led modules, there is also more emphasis on developing students’ knowledge of critical and theoretical discourses. The English Dissertation and Creative Writing submission are delivered mainly through regular tutorials between the student and an allocated supervisor, therefore aiming to develop students’ time management skills and ability to demonstrate independent thought and judgement, and carry out research projects.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Independent research and writing, alongside individual supervision and skills workshops, throughout the year.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate achieve-ment of the module learning outcomes.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

10,000-word dissertation + 2000-word self-reflexive commentary


Formative assessment and feedback

Formative ‘feed forward’ is provided through the supervision sessions. Students are able to submit a 2,000-word extract to their supervisors for written and verbal feedback, which helps them better finalise their final summative assessment, i.e. the dissertation.

Reading list

Reading list for DISSERTATION : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/eli3033

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.