Module QXL-3341:
Dissertation

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

40 Credits or 20 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Christopher Shank

Overall aims and purpose

strong textThe 7000 word dissertation allows a student to identify a research question, and develop a significant piece of individual research in order to address the question. Each student is assigned a supervisor, a member of staff who has research interests most closely connected to that topic. The supervisor will liaise with the student to enhance their ability to focus the scope, methodology and content of the dissertation, and give advice throughout the duration of this research. The dissertation will be a substantial piece of written work, enabling students to develop an independent research project.

Aims:
• Allow students to complete a major piece of independent learning and research in extended form.
• Reinforces key skills of research, critical analysis and academic writing.
• Require students to formulate a practical research project of their own; identify and utilise a relevant body of evidence; and produce a sustained argument in written form.

Course content

Topics vary depending on individual students choices and degree programme. They relate to a wide array of issues in linguistics but must be relevant to the degree programme that the student is registered on. Topics will include, but not be confined to, research in English Language Studies, Cognitive Linguistics, Bilingualism, Language Acquisition, Language Development, and Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Most topics will involve the collection and analysis of data, but the possibility of utilising exiting data or doing an extended literature review is not precluded if relevant to the topic and agreed with the supervisor. The School makes every effort to supervise the topic of the students' choice, however, on the rare occasions that the School does not have the capacity to supervise a topic, students will be advised to choose a new topic.

However, classes will include:
• How to formulate a research question.
• Producing a research proposal.
• Research methodologies.
• Statistics.

Only students wishing to collect data involving children or vulnerable adults will need a DBS check (see below).

Assessment Criteria

good

B:
Student has achieved a better-than-average standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all LOs

excellent

A:
Student has achieved a thorough standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all LOs; or student has demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement in one or more LOs

threshold

D:
Student has achieved the minimum acceptable standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all the LOs

Learning outcomes

  1. Students will be able to evidence critical reading that reflects on a number of pieces of written research in an appropriate and thorough manner.

  2. Students will be able to produce a sustained argument in extended written form.

  3. Students will be able to formulate a research proposal that will lead to a practical research project of significant scope of their own.

  4. Students will be able to identify and utilise a relevant body of evidence.

  5. Students will be able to engage in a sustained piece of individual, academic research on a chosen topic.

  6. Students will be able to evidence an understanding of ethical constraints on research collection and reports.

  7. Students will be able to evidence a consideration of varying methodological approaches and to adopt the necessary approaches suitable to the topic being researched

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Workshop Exercises 10
Review of outstanding proposal 5
Dissertation Proposal 20
Dissertation 65
Questions 0
Revise questions 0

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Individual Project

Students will be preparing, researching and writing their dissertation through private study.

376
Workshop

Two out of five 2 hour workshops on research methodologies in semester 1 (Students may attend all workshops, but must attend at least 2).

Two 2 hour workshops on analysing data and producing a dissertation in semester 2.

8
Tutorial

Whilst preparing, researching and writing the dissertation students will have eight 30 minute one-on-one supervisory meetings with a supervisor, 2 in semester 1 and 6 in semester 2.

4
Lecture

Six 2 hour lectures in semester 1 on basics of research and producing a proposal.

12

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • Understanding of the nature of bi/multilingualism - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to the nature of bilingual and multilingual individuals and communities.
  • Writing & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in written form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language studies.
  • Analysis & interpretation skills - students will be able to analyse, interpret data accurately, and draw appropriate conclusions based on the application of appropriate analytic and theoretical frameworks available in linguistics and English language studies.
  • Research skills - students will be able undertake independent research, involving formulating a research question, identifying and deploying appropriate linguistic methodology (theoretical or empirical) and data collection techniques (theoretical, experimental or field-based), and the selection and application of appropriate theoretical frameworks in order to adequately address the research question.
  • Problem solving - students will be able to evidence problem-solving skills in formulating problems (factual, empirical, theoretical) in precise terms, identifying key issues, and developing the confidence to address challenging problems using a variety of different approaches
  • Evaluation & reflection - students will be able to critically evaluate a particular position, viewpoint or argument in relation to a specific area of investigation. They will be able to reflect on the efficacy of a particular approach, practice or performance, and moderate these as a consequence in order to achieve specific goals.
  • Knowledge of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) theory and practice - students will demonstrate familiarity with core terms, issues, principles, aspects and best practices related to the teaching of English as a foreign language.
  • Independent investigation - students will develop the ability to plan, design and execute a significant piece of research or inquiry, either independently or as a member of a team in order to discover a specific solution to an outstanding issue or question through searching out and synthesizing written, visual and oral information. Students will also develop skills of independent investigation, including interacting with peers and subjects/informants.
  • Fluency, confidence and proficiency in the use of English -students will demonstrate their ability and proficiency to use and understand and instruct others in English in a range of academic and classroom contexts.
  • Awareness of and appreciation for linguistic and cultural differences - students will develop an awareness of and an appreciation for the range and nature of linguistic and cultural diversity
  • Personal organisation - students will develop the ability to undertake self-directed study and learning with appropriate time-management
  • Information technology - students will develop the ability to use computing and IT skills in order to find, store, interpret and present information, to produce a range of electronic documents and use software confidently
  • Proficiency in the use of English in reading, writing, speaking and/or listening - students will demonstrate proficiency in their ability to use and understand English in a range of different contexts and via different media.
  • Understanding of the nature and organization of language - students will demonstrate familiarity with observations and findings relating to various aspects of linguistic phenomena and organization.
  • Understanding the nature of commonalities and differences across languages - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to universals and diversity exhibited by and across languages.
  • Knowledge of the nature of language origins, change and use - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to the nature of language origins, the way language changes, and factors involved in and affecting language use.

Resources

Resource implications for students

None

Talis Reading list

http://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/qxl-3341.html

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: