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Unit information: Special Independent Study in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Special Independent Study
Unit code SPOLD0002
Credit points 10
Level of study D/8
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Payne
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit is used in exceptional circumstances that require an individually negotiated programme of study, submission of work and assessment that could not be met by any other available unit in the programme. This unit devised for these purposes must be consistent with and contribute to significant aspects of the Programme Specification.

This unit aims to:

  • Provide the candidate with the knowledge and skills required to ensure they can address all the outcomes defined in the Programme Specification as would be required to exit the programme with a Masters award.
  • Enable students to undertake a challenging and rigorous programme of supported independent study on a topic negotiated with the teaching team
  • Undertake and produce assessed work under circumstances that are comparable to those of the dissertation. i.e. through self-directed study.
  • Enable the candidate to actively engage with issues involved in submitting individually negotiated work for assessment.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes achieved by a successful candidate will be to:

  • Advance their knowledge and critical understanding of an agreed topic
  • Demonstrate intellectual skills and attributes of analysis, critical evaluation and synthesis at doctoral level.
  • Undertake self-motivated and self-directed work at doctoral level
  • Enhance and extend practical, professional and transferable skills at an expert level.

Teaching Information

The primary method of academic support is provided through negotiating a programme of reading and/or relevant activity supported by opportunities for discussion with the academic tutor and responding to comments and suggestions about ideas and submitted draft text. These contacts may be by face to face communication, by Skype or telephone. Additional support may be available from support services and informal contacts with other staff and students.

Assessment Information

A 3000 word assignment or equivalent is assessed by two markers with expertise within the negotiated field of study.

Reading and References

Key reading and references will be specific to the topic of the Special Independent Study. It will be negotiated accordingly.