Module SXU-2010:
Dissertation Preparation

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Diane Seddon

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of the dissertation preparation module is to provide a framework for independent study and research activity. The specific aims of the module are to: 1) Help students understand what a research project is and how it can be carried out. 2) Encourage the selection of appropriate topics for research. 3) Support students in designing and planning a research project. 4) Enable students to lay the foundations for their dissertation proper and provide a framework for conducting their research. 5) Encourage the development of communication skills.

Course content

The dissertation is a substantial piece of work, completed at years 2 and 3. Within this year 2 double module students will select and research a topic that reflects their own interest and which relates to their degree programme. Work will be assessed on the basis of a power point presentation to peers that describes the dissertation research idea and a research protocol.

SXU 2010 is divided into 2 parts: For part 1, the power point presentation, students will be required to do 5 things: 1) Choose a research topic and explain why they chose it; 2) Describe the aims and objectives of the planned research; 3) Formulate a set of research questions; 4) Specify a method(s) for the research; 5) Identify (in the form of a bibliography) literature that is relevant to the research topic. Part 1 will span the first semester.

For part two, which will span the second semester, students will be expected to complete a research protocol that describes in detail the proposed dissertation work, including the research method(s) and the key practical and ethical issues. In preparing their research protocol students will take into account staff and peer feedback on their power point presentation and advice from their dissertation supervisor. A protocol template will help to guide students.

Students will be required to attend the School of Social Sciences Annual Research Day which is intended to support them in planning and organising their dissertation work. This event showcases existing research undertaken by staff and students in the school and provides advice on key aspects of research design and implementation. By the end of the module, students should have thought in detail about their dissertation and laid its core foundations, thus paving the way for the year 3 module, where the main body of their research will be completed and the findings written-up.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Select a specific topic for individual study; identify a number of research aims; formulate a set of research questions; show an awareness of the importance of formulating an approach to research; design and write a research proposal; show an awareness of the key texts relating to the selected topic of research; demonstrate an ability to summarize the main concerns and research findings of the relevant literature.

good

Select a specific topic for individual study and explain why it is important and how it relates to both the empirical and theoretical concerns of the degree programme; identify and justify the aims of the proposed research; formulate a set of research questions; demonstrate a sensitivity about research methodology; design and write a viable research proposal; show a good understanding of the key texts relating to the selected topic of research; demonstrate an ability to summarize and insightfully describe the main concerns and research findings of the relevant literature.

excellent

Select a specific topic for individual study and explain why it is important and how it relates to both the empirical and theoretical concerns of the degree programme; identify and convincingly justify the aims of the proposed research; formulate a set of research questions; demonstrate a cogent understanding of a variety of research methodologies; design and write a research proposal which is both viable and innovative; show an excellent understanding of the key texts relating to the selected topic of research; demonstrate an ability to summarize, insightfully describe and critically engage with the main concerns and research findings of the relevant literature.

Learning outcomes

  1. Design a power point presentation.

  2. Show initiative and independence in researching sources of information relating to the chosen topic.

  3. Complete a research protocal.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Individual Presentation 40
2,000 Word Research Protocol s2 60

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Workshop

There are a series of compulsory dissertation support sessions. These are in addition to one-to-one support and guidance offered by the dissertation supervisor and weekly dissertation drop-in sessions.

6
 

2 hour dissertation drop in sessions each week semesters 1 and 2

48

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
  • 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.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • 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

  • Critically evaluate the mixed economy of welfare and the interrelationships between health and social care and between the agencies, practitioners and individuals involved in their provision;
  • Explain the origins and nature of the social organisation of healthcare and associated services in advanced industrialised and majority world societies globally;
  • Evaluate the impact of difference and diversity on the incidence and experience of illness;
  • Compare and contrast cultural variations in medicine;
  • Analyse health and health issues, alongside health information and data that may be drawn from a wide range of disciplines;
  • Draw upon, and consider, lived experiences of health, well-being and illness from diverse sources and perspectives.
  • Capacity to identify and describe the causes and consequences of social order and change in specific contexts.
  • Ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions.
  • Appreciate a range of research designs and strategies and how they may be applied to sociological investigations.
  • Competence to carry out a piece of sociological research using either primary or secondary data, or both.
  • Be able to recognize how social data and sociological knowledge apply to questions of public policy.
  • Use the theories and concepts of social policy and other social sciences to analyse policy problems and issues
  • Undertake either on their own, or in collaboration with others, investigations of social questions, issues and problems, using statistical and other data derived from research publications.
  • Analyse and discuss social policy and related issues distinguishing between normative and empirical questions
  • The ability to identify criminological problems, formulate questions and investigate them
  • Competence in using criminological theory and concepts to understand crime, victimisation, responses to crime and deviance; and representations of crime, victimisation, and responses to these, as presented in the traditional and new media and official reports
  • The capacity to analyse, assess and communicate empirical information about crime, victimisation, responses to crime and deviance, and representations of crime
  • The ability to recognise a range of ethical problems associated with research and to take action in accordance with the guidelines of ethical practice developed by the British Society of Criminology and cognate professional bodies
  • The ability to identify and deploy a range of research strategies including qualitative and quantitative methods and the use of published data sources and to select and apply appropriate strategies for specific research problems; and the ability to present the philosophical and methodological background to the research of others and to one's own research.
  • Dealltwriaeth o ddulliau ymchwil ynghyd a dealltwriaeth o gryfderau a gwendidau darnau o ymchwil a’u defnydd
  • the ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions
  • competence in using major theoretical perspectives and concepts in sociology, and their application to social life
  • the capacity to analyse, assess and communicate empirical sociological information
  • the ability to identify a range of qualitative and quantitative research strategies and methods
  • the ability to conduct sociological research
  • the ability to undertake and present scholarly work
  • the ability to understand the ethical implications of sociological enquiry
  • the ability to recognise the relevance of sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: