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Unit information: Dissertation in 2016/17

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Unit name Dissertation
Unit code HART31047
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Dent
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

The Dissertation is an exercise in extended independent research. Students are required to identify their own research topic, formulate the particular research questions to be addressed, identify the main primary sources to be used, set the research questions in the context of the issues arising from the secondary literature, and execute a scholarly and analytical text to high scholarly standards consistent with this level of study.


The unit enables students to identify an issue which interests them and follow that interest through independently into a substantial research project.

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit successful students will be able to demonstrate:

  • a deep understanding of a chosen subject
  • the ability to produce an extended piece of historical analysis in accordance with high scholarly standards
  • advanced proficiency in identifying and in forming their own questions
  • advanced bibliographical skills
  • the ability to work with primary sources, demonstrating an awareness of the provenance and nature of those sources and how to draw reasoned and considered conclusions from them
  • the ability to work almost entirely independently in producing an extended piece of research.

Teaching Information

  • A series of lectures (c.8-10 hours)
  • regular small and medium-sized group meetings (c.6-10 hours)
  • one-to-one tuition with the designated dissertation supervisor (up to 3 hours)
  • access to tutorial consultation with academic staff in consultation hours

Assessment Information

5,000 word project (including footnotes)

Reading and References

Bibliographical references will depend on the topic chosen and the student will be responsible for assembling a bibliography which will include both primary and secondary sources. The student will be expected to show considerable initiative in devising the bibliography and will be encouraged, in appropriate contexts, to include a diverse range of sources (including textual, visual, film, electronic etc).