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Unit information: Dissertation in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Dissertation
Unit code GEOGM1007
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Fox
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 Advisor. 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

Tutorials plus workshops

Assessment Information

(10%) Short individual presentation on research design and ethics, to be given immediately after an intensive series of workshops in late May or early June. [ILO 1]

(90%) 10000 to 15000 word dissertation (including footnotes, bibliography and appendices). Meeting the length limit is part of the task and in the interests of equity, examiners may deduct marks for excessive length. [ILOs 1-6]

Reading and References

There are a huge number of texts that provide advice on various aspects of conducting research, from project design and methods, analysing data, to write-up and dissemination. Kitchin, R and Tate, N 2000 Conducting Research into Human Geography, Prentice Hall