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Unit information: Independent Study 1 in 2021/22

Unit name Independent Study 1
Unit code MODL30005
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Connor Doak
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Modern Languages
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

Students undertake supervised research to produce a project of approximately 6,000 words on a particular aspect of their studies. They will follow a series of fortnightly lectures in TB1 allowing them to identify and begin to research a topic, and fortnightly seminars in TB2, where they will be able to present their research on a regular basis to staff and students researching in a similar area or stream. Seminar streams may include: visual cultures (including film); literature; history (cultural and socio-political); and translation. The project may develop and analyse a chosen theme related to a second-year unit, year-abroad work of a final year. It may take the form of an extended translation or may coincide with staff interests. Where the project is related to a taught course, the student must develop the area beyond coverage in the taught unit and must not duplicate work required for this or any other assessed unit in their Bristol programme of study.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful students will be able

  1. to identify a viable area of independent study with a clear rationale and focus;
  2. to develop methods and materials by which to broaden the student’s knowledge of the field and deepen understanding of research methods and of relevant disciplines;
  3. to facilitate students’ engagement with a body of material, including primary or secondary literature, texts, including in non-print media, other sources and ideas as a basis for their own analysis and development. Normally many or most of these sources will be in a language other than English and will enhance the development of linguistic skills;
  4. to develop skills of analysis and synthesis beyond the level achieved in Part I and in more conventionally taught final-year seminar-based options;
  5. to produce a coherent piece of researched scholarship.
  6. be knowledgeable about a significant cultural, historical or linguistic subject related to the language they are studying;
  7. will have advanced skills in the selection and synthesis of relevant material;
  8. be able to evaluate and analyse relevant material from a significant body of source materials, usually in a foreign language, at an advanced level;
  9. be able to respond to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at an advanced level of complexity.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous sessions and asynchronous activities, including seminars, lectures, and collaborative as well as self-directed learning opportunities supported by tutor consultation

Assessment Information

A dissertation of approximately 6,000 words, testing ILOs 1-9. A formative oral presentation or presentations will test ILOs 3, 4, 6, 8 and 9.


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. MODL30005).

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.