DISSERTATION - 2017/8

Module code: LAS3005

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

POWRIE PP Prof (Lit & Langs)

Number of Credits

30

ECT Credits

15

Framework

FHEQ Level 6

JACs code

L300

Module cap (Maximum number of students)

N/A

Module Availability

Year long

Overall student workload

Personal Tutorial Hours: 4-5

Workshop Hours: 6

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework ABSTRACT, CHAPTER OUTLINE AND LITERATURE REVIEW (2,000 WORDS) 20%
Coursework DISSERTATION (OF APPROXIMATELY 10,000 WORDS) 80%

Alternative Assessment

120 credits at level 5

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None   Qualifying Condition(s) A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Module overview

This module enables students to conduct a significant independent study, supported by a supervisor, and resulting in either written or part written/part practical outcomes putting into practice some of the research skills they have developed through relevant modules at Levels 4 and 5, informed by relevant interdisciplinary approaches. it would normally be expected that the student’s topic will be located within questions drawing mainly from their main pathway of study, with perspectives drawn from the compulsory modules and their secondary pathway modules. Due account will be made of where this is not practicable: the integrity of the research project should be the primary concern. Students will be assigned a supervisor who will assist them in choosing their subject matter and 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 part of the preparation for the Dissertation, students will also submit an abstract, chapter outline and literature review.

Module aims

Give students an opportunity to put into practice some of the research skills they have developed through relevant modules at Levels 4 & 5

Enable students to explore, in an in-depth manner, an area of particular interest to them within their chosen pathway of study

Enhance students' skills at working independently, and managing their time effectively.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Formulate succinct and relevant ‘research questions' or identify a relevant topic for research.
Select research methods appropriate to their research questions and/or topic and use these methods effectively.
Critically analyse quantitative and/or qualitative data.
Present research findings in an appropriate format, constructing reasoned arguments and exercising critical judgement.
Work independently, over a sustained period of time, managing their time effectively

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

The module gives students an opportunity to engage in an extended piece of work and to develop, in a detailed manner, a substantive topic appropriate to their main pathway. The type of Dissertation will vary, depending on individual interests, but is likely to follow one of the following patterns, or a combination of them:


A piece of empirical research, using the research methods and skills covered by modules at Levels 4 and 5 of the programme. Students may conduct primary or secondary research in an area.
An action research project, which aims to bring about change in an organisation in which the student works. This would typically be carried out during the professional placement year, within the placement organisation but in negotiation with the tutor. It could also be conducted in another organisation with which the student has some connection, if appropriate.
A theoretical piece of work exploring, in considerable depth, one or more of the issues raised by programme modules.


Those students following the programme without Level P are encouraged to consider a topic relating to a placement in an organisation.

Students will be expected to submit an abstract, a chapter outline and a literature review during the autumn semester.  They will receive feedback on both pieces and their work will contribute towards their final mark.

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


Give students individual and group support in producing an extended piece of independent research;
Connect students’ individual experiences and understandings from across their studies to date through the Dissertation;
Provide opportunities for students to gain experience in presenting their research in a number of different ways.


Learning and teaching methods

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 three two-hour workshops which are compulsory for all students. Students will also have five supervisory meetings of approximately one hour each. They will submit an assessed component (abstract, chapter outline and literature review) by the end of Semester 1; this will be assessed and generic feedback given in the final workshop.

Programme with approximate timings:


Sem 1 Wk 1: Supervisory meeting 1
Sem 1 Wk 3: Workshop 1 on planning and structure
Sem 1 Wk 7:  Supervisory meeting 2
Sem 1 Wk 9: Workshop 2 (troubleshooting)
Sem 1 Wk 11: Supervisory meeting 3
Sem 1 Wk 15: Submission of abstract, chapter outline and literature review (end of Sem 1 exam period)
Sem 2 Wk 3: Workshop 3 (discussion of abstract, chapter outline and literature review)
Sem 2 Wk 4: Supervisory meeting 4
Sem 2 Wk 10: Supervisory meeting 5 (if required)
Sem 2 Wk 12: Submission of Dissertation (end of revision week)

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate the following.

The abstract, chapter outline and literature review aims to give students the opportunity to:


demonstrate their fundamental interest for the topic of their choice



reflect on their own learning throughout their degree and make use of the reading material
identify relevant theoretical frameworks and schools of thought
critically apply their perception on the needs of a research project
evaluate different research approaches and their relevance to their research question(s)
access relevant material to extract information
prepare the ground for their Dissertation


The module in addition aims to give students the opportunity to


assess and constructively incorporate previous feedback from their supervisor and the workshops
identify relevant literature that supports their choice of method
identify, investigate and analyse evidence through appropriate research methods and design
critically assess evidence to draw their own conclusions
demonstrate a range of research skills
become highly-versed in the topic of their choice
consolidate the knowledge gained through their degree


The summative assessment for this module consists of:


An abstract, chapter outline and literature review of 2000 words, setting the ground for the Dissertation.
A Dissertation of approximately 10,000 words that incorporates a revised version of the first assessment in addition to expanding on the research methods and research design components and adding on further empirical material as required by the topic.


Formative assessment and feedback is provided through the supervision sessions and the workshops. They will also receive feedback from their markers in the abstract, chapter outline and literature review components, to be used as frameworks for guidance in addition to their supervision meetings. Workshops will be an opportunity to discuss feedback and provide peer review for the students’ work.

Reading list

Reading list for DISSERTATION : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/las3005

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.