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Unit information: Dissertation: MSc Human Geography: Society and Space in 2021/22

Unit name Dissertation: MSc Human Geography: Society and Space
Unit code GEOGM0064
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Sue Rodway-Dyer
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

The dissertation is based upon an independent research project developed by the individual student in consultation with an supervisor. The dissertation provides students with practical experience of formulating, designing, and undertaking a substantive and original piece of social science research. Students are introduced to key principles of research design and research ethics through intensive training in this unit. The submitted dissertation is evaluated to judge the individual student’s ability to formulate, design and conduct independent research into a clearly defined research problem; to select and deploy appropriate methodologies in investigating the problem; and to assess critically the relationships between empirical research findings and broader substantive and conceptual issues.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful completion of the dissertation will:

  1. Demonstrate a sound understanding of research design and ethics;
  2. give you the experience and confidence necessary to carry out all stages of a research project;
  3. require that you review and evaluate the existing, relevant literature on a chosen topic, challenging you to link your own results to that wider literature;
  4. deepen your understanding of a particular area of research and its connections to other areas of knowledge;
  5. sharpen your ability to present a clear, coherent, and structured argument in written form;
  6. demand that you successfully organise your own resources, including time, to produce a piece of work under a tight timeline.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through a blended combination of online and, if possible, in-person teaching, including

  • online resources
  • synchronous group workshops, seminars, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous individual activities and guided reading for students to work through at their own pace

Assessment Information

(100%) 12,000 word dissertation (including footnotes, bibliography and appendices). Meeting the length limit is part of the task, and standard word count penalties will apply for excessive length. [ILOs 1-6]


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. GEOGM0064).

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.