Skip to main content

Unit information: The Core Skills of Social Research (2): Dissertation Preparation in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name The Core Skills of Social Research (2): Dissertation Preparation
Unit code SPOLD1003
Credit points 10
Level of study D/8
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Payne
Open unit status Not open
Units you must take before you take this one (pre-requisite units)


Units you must take alongside this one (co-requisite units)


Units you may not take alongside this one
School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Unit Information

This unit provides the core skills of research for dissertations and theses and through to a career in research (public private, and academic). Sessions include: introduction to the research process and research design, operationalisation of the research question, the planning and management of the research process; timetabling and multi-task management; the student-adviser contract, research ethics.


To introduce students to the core transferable skills of research and to prepare them for the preparation and completion of their dissertation.

Your learning on this unit

Student will have a grasp of the basic skills of information searching, the mechanics of thesis production; an understanding of the generics of the research process both in independent and collaborative research; an ability to plan for the main forms of research dissemination.

How you will learn

Lectures and student led discussions.

How you will be assessed

A written assignment of 4,000 words as a dissertation proposal.


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. SPOLD1003).

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.