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Unit information: The Core Skills of Social Research (2): Dissertation Preparation in 2015/16

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Unit name The Core Skills of Social Research (2): Dissertation Preparation
Unit code SPOLD1003
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


This unit provides the core skills of research for dissertations and theses and through to a career in research (public private, and academic). Sessions include: introduction to the research process and research design, operationalisation of the research question, the planning and management of the research process; timetabling and multi-task management; the student-adviser contract, research ethics.


To introduce students to the core transferable skills of research and to prepare them for the preparation and completion of their dissertation.

Intended learning outcomes

Student will have a grasp of the basic skills of information searching, the mechanics of thesis production; an understanding of the generics of the research process both in independent and collaborative research; an ability to plan for the main forms of research dissemination.

Teaching details

Lectures and student led discussions.

Assessment Details

A written assignment of 4,000 words as a dissertation proposal.

Reading and References

  • Gilbert, N. (2008) Researching Social Life 4rd Edition, London: Sage.
  • Creswell, J. (2008) Research Design the Third Edition: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches, London: Sage
  • Denscombe, M. (2010) The Good Research Guide for small-scale social research projects 4th edition, Maidenhead: Open University Press
  • Blaxter, L., Hughes, C., and Tight, M. (2010) How to Research 4th edition, Maidenhead: Open University Press