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Unit information: Supervised Independent Study in 2021/22

Unit name Supervised Independent Study
Unit code SPOLM4300
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Demi Patsios
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will enable students to pursue a topic of interest and relevance to them with the support of individual supervision. This unit is only available to students registered for MSc/Diploma degrees in Policy Research and Social Work Research in the School for Policy Studies. Agreement will be on the proviso that the work done is not covered by content already available to the student in the taught part of the programme attended by the student. The student will undertake independent study in accordance with the published guidelines and produce a piece of work for assessment.


This unit will enable participants to:

  • Identify a suitable topic or issue in policy research that can be researched independently
  • Structure patterns of study independently
  • Conduct a small-scale supervised independent study

Produce a written assignment, presentation or other appropriate document as agreed with the supervisor and described in the proposal for independent study.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will have:

  1. Developed their understanding of their chosen topic or issue in policy research or social work research.
  2. Gained experience and some competency in conducting this exploration
  3. Demonstrated their ability to articulate their findings and related ideas cogently and critically.

Teaching Information

Supervised Individual Study will normally be conducted independently with regular, negotiated, supervisory contact.

Assessment Information

The assessment tests all the learning outcomes on the unit. It will comprise a written assignment of 4,000 words or equivalent, which takes the form of a report or any other product or combination of products which demonstrate that the student has developed his or her ability to explore analytically an appropriate issue or area of policy research or social work research.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SPOLM4300).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.