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Unit information: Theology and Religious Studies Dissertation in 2021/22

Unit name Theology and Religious Studies Dissertation
Unit code THRS30026
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Lomi
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Religion and Theology
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

Third-year joint-honours students have the option of working under the supervision of a full-time member of Theology and Religious staff in order to produce an 6,000-word dissertation in an area of particular personal interest. Students are asked to submit in order of preference three proposals for topics appropriate to the interests of three different members of the full-time academic staff; please note that in certain cases the same proposal may be appropriate for more than one member of staff. While we will endeavour to allocate students to their first choice of topic and supervisor we are unable to guarantee that we can do this. In preparation for this unit, students are required to attend a library research-training session at the end of their second year of study.

The Dissertation is an exercise in extended independent research. Students are required to identify their own research topic, formulate the particular research questions to be addressed, identify the main primary sources to be used, set the research questions in the context of the issues arising from the secondary literature, and execute a scholarly and analytical text to high scholarly standards consistent with this level of study.

Students will have the opportunity to present their work to non-specialist audiences and to organize elements of an academic event.

Students are also introduced to higher level research and scholarly cutting edge material by fortnightly attendance at the department's research seminars.


The unit enables students to identify an issue which interests them and follow that interest through independently into a substantial independent research project.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a deep understanding of a chosen subject
  2. demonstrate research skills through the production an extended piece of independent research in accordance with level H;
  3. form their own research questions;
  4. work with both secondary and primary resources and draw reasoned and considered conclusions from them appropriate to level H;
  5. compile their own bibliography.
  6. Present their work to non-specialist audiences and to organize elements of an academic event.

Teaching Information

Teaching will involve a combination of seminars, workshops, group meetings and 1-2-1 supervision. Students will be expected to attend fortnightly seminars and regular workshops, engage with readings for their chosen topics and participate in a half day conference. Students will be supported in their work with tutor and peer feedback.

Assessment Information

1 x 6,000 word dissertation project (including footnotes) (100%) [ILOs 1-5]

1 x 300-word reflective piece based on organisation and participation of research at annual UG/MArts conference (formative) [ILO 6]


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. THRS30026).

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.