Module UXS-3090:
Dissertation

Module Facts

Run by School of Music and Media

40 Credits or 20 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Eben Muse

Overall aims and purpose

The dissertation is an independent research project that enables you to explore an idea or topic of personal or professional interest. You take an active and independent role in conducting a period of sustained research that culminates in a critical research report or evidence based essay. The dissertation is an opportunity to demonstrate to yourself and others the skills you have learnt during the course of your degree programme. It is also an opportunity to develop your expertise in in a specialism that you have particularly enjoyed. Students completing a dissertation project develop powers of sustained independent inquiry and enhanced originality and depth of thought while demonstrating the ability to devise, plan and execute a major project.

Course content

This module involves the production of an extended piece of critical writing of a length and quality appropriate to the culmination of the undergraduate degree scheme. Drawing on knowledge and critical methodologies learned earlier in the degree, students are assisted via workshops and individual supervisions in devising, refining, developing and presenting a substantial piece of critical work on a topic of their choosing. The series of introductory lectures and workshops focus on how to develop the initial research idea into a workable project presented in appropriate scholarly form. Students develop critical self-reflection via Research Progress Log and via regular discussions with the supervisor.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Submitted work is adequate and shows an acceptable level of competence as follows:

  • Generally accurate but with omissions and errors.
  • Assertions are made without clear supporting evidence or reasoning.
  • Has structure but is lacking in clarity and therefore relies on the reader to make links and assumptions.
  • Draws on a relatively narrow range of material.

good

Good: 50% +

Submitted work is competent throughout and occasionally distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It demonstrates:

  • Good structure and logically developed arguments.
  • At least in parts draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  • Assertions are, in the main, backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  • Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

Very Good: 60% +.

Submitted work is competent throughout and distinguished by superior style, approach and choice of supporting materials. It demonstrates:

  • Very good structure and logically developed arguments.
  • Draws on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  • Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  • Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.

excellent

Submitted work is of an outstanding quality and excellent in one or more of the following ways:

  • Has originality of exposition with the student's own thinking being readily apparent.
  • Provides clear evidence of extensive and relevant independent study.
  • Arguments are laid down with clarity and provide the reader with successive stages of consideration to reach conclusions.

Learning outcomes

  1. The student will have demonstrated an ability to work independently to deadline over a sustained period.

  2. The student will have demonstrated originality and depth of thought

  3. The student will have demonstrated an ability to design and implement a programme of study to investigate an area of enquiry.

  4. The student will have demonstrated an ability to embed a substantial piece of research within an appropriate set of cultural, social, institutional, creative, economic and/or critical frameworks.

  5. The student will have demonstrated an ability to construct an argument and analyse evidence in a relevant manner.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
DISSERTATION Dissertation

10,000-word evidence-based essay or research report

90
LOGBOOK OR PORTFOLIO Research Progress Log

Students must maintain a log of activity during the course of the dissertation project, including workshops and dissertation supervisions.

10

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Workshop

4 2-hour workshops in semester one on research design and methodology 4 2-hour workshops in semester two on analysis and dissertation writing Additional optional workshops available in School and College

16
Tutorial

Students meet with their supervisor regularly over the course of their dissertation--at least once each month but normally an average of 15 mins per week with supervisor.

6
Private study

Students work independently over a sustained period of time developing a research topic, selecting a methodology for the research, conducting the research and analysing the findings, and producing a written dissertation reporting on the research and its results.

378

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.
  • 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

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: