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Unit information: Dissertation in 2015/16

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Unit name Dissertation
Unit code HART31047
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Austin
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

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.


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

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit students should have:

  • a deep understanding of a chosen subject
  • produced an extended piece of art historical analysis in accordance with high scholarly standards
  • developed proficiency in forming their own research questions
  • have demonstrated that they can compile their own bibliography
  • the ability to work with both secondary and primary resources demonstrating an awareness of the provenance and nature of those resources and how to draw reasoned and considered conclusions from them
  • have put into practice most (if not all) of the learning outcomes listed under Special Topic Project (Level C) and Special Field Project (Level I)
  • demonstrated the ability to work almost entirely independently in producing an extended piece of research
  • a greater understanding of the process of independent learning and research and have a clearer understanding of their own capabilities in those areas.

Teaching Information

  • Introductory seminar
  • Limited supervisory sessions with Special Subject tutor at key stages on the production of the Project
  • Access to tutorial consultation with unit tutor in office hours

Assessment Information

5,000 word project (including footnotes)

Reading and References

Bibliographical references will depend on the topic chosen and the student will be responsible for assembling a bibliography which will include both primary and secondary sources. The student will be expected to show considerable initiative in devising the bibliography and will be encouraged, in appropriate contexts, to include a diverse range of sources (including textual, visual, film, electronic etc).