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Unit information: Dissertation in 2020/21

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 SOCI30050
Credit points 40
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Marshall
Open unit status Not open

SOCI20064 Investigating the Social or SOAD20004 Social Research Methods



School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

Your aim is to develop and present independent critical thought on a research question of sociological relevance, which has been chosen by you having consulted your supervisor. The dissertation is an extended piece of written work which gives you the opportunity to identify and investigate a particular question in depth and explore it systematically. You should explore a range of appropriate methodological options, research the literature on a specialist area within sociology, and discover an original angle on your selected topic.

The teaching for this unit combines lectures, workshops, a dedicated dissertation conference, and a highly structured supervisory and support system. We will provide you with the methodological foundation for your research project and guide you through this process during your final undergraduate academic year.

On successful completion of the unit, the student will have produced an extended piece of work which demonstrates a detailed understanding of their chosen topic, capacity to apply or interrogate sociological concepts, an ability to present research professionally and cogently, and provides evidence of their organisational and time-management capabilities.

Unit aims

This unit will enable participants to:

• Identify a suitable sociological topic that can be researched independently;

• Structure independent work over a sustained period;

• Conduct a piece of supervised independent study;

• Produce a dissertation based on independent sociological research; and

• Present research findings to an academic audience.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the unit the student will have:

  1. Identified and conducted an independent piece of research on a sociological topic
  2. Planned a viable research project
  3. Demonstrated a detailed understanding of their chosen topic
  4. Produced an extended piece of cogently argued written work
  5. Presented their work to an audience of peers and staff members

Teaching Information

Dissertation lectures, dissertation workshops (on ethics, data collection, data analysis, and presentation skills), drop-in sessions with unit convenor, and individual study supported by regular, negotiated, supervisory meetings.

Assessment Information


10-15 minute presentation at Dissertation Conference (learning outcomes 1 & 5) Summative:

Dissertation proposal (2000 words) (10% of final mark) (learning outcomes 1 & 2)

Dissertation (approx 10000 words) (90% of final mark) (learning outcomes 1, 3 &4)

Reading and References

To be negotiated with the supervisor.