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Module UXS-3092:
Dissertation - Action Research

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

40 Credits or 20 ECTS Credits

Semester 1 & 2

Organiser: Dr Steffan Thomas

Overall aims and purpose

This module consists of two parts, a research methods component in the autumn semester which is assessed by means of a 2,000-word research response to the company brief, and a period of supervised research culminating in the submission of a 10,000-word written report or equivalent industrial case study portfolio.

Course content

This module provides students with an opportunity to study the skills and methodologies necessary to the production of a piece of critical research and/or research by practice, and to carry out a sustained research project with the support of an individual supervisor within the context of an industrial partner's brief.

Students will be expected to provide the company partner themselves, (rather than be assigned one by the school)

Students will provide an initial, one-page response to the company brief in the Spring of their second year after registering for the dissertation and gaining an industrial partner. A supervisor will be assigned to the student based on this proposal.

During the first semester ten hours of research methods workshops will be held, at the end of which students will be expected to complete an extended research response. Topics to be covered in semester 1 include:

  • management of a research project and expectations

  • how to formulate a research question

  • research methods for the Arts and Humanities

  • research ethics

  • research-led practice and practice-led research

  • writing and communication skills for academics and stakeholders

  • archival and digital research

  • writing a dissertation proposal

  • structuring a dissertation

Students will meet with their supervisor on a regular basis during the two semesters. Final thesis or industrial portfolios will be submitted at the end of Semester 2.

Assessment Criteria


C- to B+

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

  1. Demonstrates good or very good structure and logically developed arguments.
  2. Draws at least in parts on material that has been sourced and assessed as a result of independent study, or in a way unique to the student.
  3. Assertions are backed by evidence and sound reasoning.
  4. Accuracy and presentation in an appropriate academic style.


D- to D+

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

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


A- to A*

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

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

Learning outcomes

  1. LO1: Apply a range of study skills and methodologies appropriate to research in the Arts and Humanities.

  2. LO3: Embed a substantial piece of academic or practice-based research within an appropriate set of cultural, social, institutional, economic and/or critical frameworks.

  3. LO4: Work independently to deadline over a sustained period of time.

  4. LO2: Define a coherent research question, and design and implement a programme of study to investigate this question.

  5. LO5: Develop a relationship with an industrial partner, gaining industry insights and enhancing your future employment skills.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Research response 10
Dissertation 90

Teaching and Learning Strategy


1 x 2 hour lecture per week for the first five weeks of autumn semester

Individual Project

Work with industry partner to complete dissertation project.


Supervision: 10 hours of contact periods with supervisor over the course of the two semesters


Transferable skills

  • 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.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • 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


Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: