Run by School of Human and Behavioural Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Semester 1 & 2
Organiser: Dr Tommie Du Preez
Overall aims and purpose
Effective planning and design are integral skill-sets for many employability pathways. This module has been developed to help you plan and design your own dissertation in an area of interest to you. This choice may be based on future career aspirations, previous experience and expertise, or equally, just because you are passionate about a particular topic area. However, your dissertation proposal should be driven by a goal to contribute in a meaningful way to the current knowledge base within a specific area. This module will help prepare you for a Dissertation module, where you will be given the opportunity to carry out your proposed work.
This module provides the opportunity to work closely with, and be supported by, an expert member of staff on a one-to-one or small group basis to help develop your ideas. You will be supported to advance your understanding of the current knowledge base in an area of interest to you, as well as your critical-thinking, writing and presentation skills in preparation to be able to articulate ideas effectively to relevant parties e.g. practitioners, academics.
The dissertation proposal will be assessed holistically for content, critical thinking, structure and style. Marks of A*to A- will be awarded where most or all criteria are met to an exceptionally high standard ; the remainder are met to an excellent standard. This work will pass at a distinction level.
The dissertation proposal will be assessed holistically for content, critical thinking, structure and style. Marks of B+ to B- i.e. a pass / threshold level will be awarded where most or all criteria are met to a good standard and achieves a merit grade.
The dissertation proposal will be assessed holistically for content, critical thinking, structure and style. Marks of C+ to C- i.e. a pass / threshold level will be awarded where most or all criteria are met to an acceptable standard. A pass mark will note the level of this work.
Demonstrate a range of communication skills appropriate to the outcomes of postgraduate study, including the production of a verbal proposal presentation and written dissertation proposal.
Critically appraise empirical literature in order to formulate an appropriate dissertation aim / question.
Develop and propose an appropriate methodological approach in line with your dissertation aim / question e.g. a discursive approach, meta-analysis or systematic review.
Provide evidence of a critical and analytical approach to how scientific data might be collected, organised and interpreted.
|INDIVIDUAL PRESENTATION||Dissertation proposal presentation||
Students will be required to complete a verbal dissertation proposal presentation, outlining relevant literature and theory, dissertation aims, proposed methodological approach and expected findings / implications in line with literature.
|WRITTEN PLAN||Written Proposal||
Students will be required to complete a written dissertation proposal outlining relevant literature and theory, dissertation aims, proposed methodological approach and expected findings / implications in line with literature.
Teaching and Learning Strategy
The student will be required to work closely with their supervisor to discuss and propose an area of interest. This will be done online via Skype meetings, email communication and telephone calls where required.
Students will be required to complete a significant amount of independent study in the form of reading, writing practice, assignment specific preparation and development.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
- Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in
Subject specific skills
- research and assess paradigms, theories, principles, concepts and factual information, and apply such skills in explaining and solving problems
- critically assess and evaluate data and evidence in the context of research methodologies and data sources
- describe, synthesise, interpret, analyse and evaluate information and data relevant to a professional or vocational context
- plan, design, execute and communicate a sustained piece of independent intellectual work, which provides evidence of critical engagement with, and interpretation of, appropriate data
- apply knowledge to the solution of familiar and unfamiliar problems
- develop a sustained reasoned argument, perhaps challenging previously held assumptions
- demonstrate effective written and/or oral communication and presentation skills
- work effectively independently and with others
- take and demonstrate responsibility for their own learning and continuing personal and professional development
- demonstrate an understanding of the philosophical basis of scientific paradigms
- demonstrate evidence of competence in the scientific methods of enquiry, and interpretation and analysis of relevant data and statistical outputs.
Jahan, N., Naveed, S., Zeshan, M., & Tahir, M. (2016). How to conduct a systematic review: A narrative literature review. Cureus, 8, 864. DOI 10.7759/cureus.864.
Pae, C.U. (2015). Why systematic review rather than narrative review? Psychiatry Investigation, DOI: https://doi.org/10.4306/pi.2015.12.3.417.
This module does not have a specific reading list attached to it as this will be dependent on the dissertation topic area. Supervisors will support students to develop an appropriate reading list.