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Unit information: Dissertation (Inclusive Theory and Practice) in 2014/15

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Unit name Dissertation (Inclusive Theory and Practice)
Unit code ACHSM0004
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Val Williams
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

Disability Studies research is built on a sound basis of both quantitative and qualitative research methods in the Social Sciences. In addition, researchers in this field take into account the turn towards user-involvement and both mancipatory and participatory paradigms of disability research. This unit gives students the chance to undertake a dissertation in this area. This will take one of the following forms:

A small-scale empirical research study. The aim is to put into practice the key research approaches and knowledge gained from other units in the programme. An indepth literature review, which will focus on a major aspect of Disability Studies research, and will explore, argue and present findings from a theoretical point of view.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Design a small-scale research study within a Disability Studies context;
  • Identify and address ethical issues in research;
  • Explore and justify a chosen methodology;
  • Collect, analyse and report on data collected.

Alternatively, in the case of a literature-based dissertation, they will be able to:

  • Conduct a systematic literature review in a Disability Studies context;
  • Identify and address ethical issues in the research explored;
  • Critically evaluate research literature
  • Collect, analyse and report on a given topic in Disability Studies.

Teaching Information

Students carrying out dissertations will be assigned to individual supervisors. They will carry out independent study, with the support of their supervisor, and will attend workshop(s) as offered by SPS Masters programmes.

Assessment Information

A 15,000 word dissertation, assessed against the generic marking criteria for level M work (as in the programme handbook) and the specific learning outcomes

Reading and References

  • Lowes, L. and Hulatt, I. (2005) Involving Service Users in Health and Social Care Research. London: Routledge.
  • Riessman, Catherine Kohler (2008) Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences, Los Angeles, CA: Sage.
  • Walmsley, J. and Johnson, K. (2003) Inclusive Research with People with Learning Disabilities: Past, Present and Futures. London: Jessica Kingsley.
  • Williams, V. (2011) Disability and Discourse: analysing inclusive conversation with people with intellectual disabilities. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.