MA/MSc Dissertation 2023-24
School of Arts, Culture And Language
Module - PGT
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 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.
Only students wishing to collect data involving children or vulnerable adults will need a DBS check (see below).
-threshold -C (50%): The student demonstrates the minimum acceptable level of understanding of the area they have chosen to research and achieved the minimum acceptable standard in all the learning outcomes. The answer must show some evidence of background study of sources, knowledge of the methodology used, the ability to interpret data and draw conclusions, and be relevant to the research topic chosen. Errors of spelling, grammar and punctuation must be minimal, so that the dissertation can be easily understood. -good -B: Data and/or review of literature must be collected, organized, and analysed with care, and be free from misunderstanding and errors of content, be free from irrelevant material, and have few errors of spelling, grammar and punctuation. Appreciation must be shown of some of the problems involved with collecting data and/or preparing a review of literature. The answer must show a better-than-average standard of knowledge and understanding. The answer must show evidence of background study of a variety of primary sources. Assertions must be supported by reference to a theory and/or empirical research. The answer must show evidence of analytical thinking and have a coherent structure that is adhered to in the most part; relationships between successive parts must be generally easy to follow. Students will have achieved an above average understanding and/or knowledge in all learning outcomes. -excellent -A: The student has revealed a thorough understanding of the area being researched, both in terms of content and theory. Data and/or review of literature must be evaluated critically and in detail, in a logical manner. The study must show evidence of being able to apply complex concepts clearly and accurately and display evidence of critical thought, clear and logical argument, and display communicative competence, free from irrelevant material and errors of spelling, grammar and punctuation. The research must have an originality of exposition and understanding; the author’s own thinking should be readily apparent. The research must show a clear line structure in which each successive stage is explicitly linked and the reader is explicitly told why these parts are relevant to the study. The research must show clear evidence of extensive reading of primary sources. Students will have achieved a thorough/excellent understanding and/or knowledge in all learning outcomes.
- Students will be able to able to present the research undertaken in the form of a written dissertation, producing a sustained and sophisticated argument in extended written form, subject to rigorous standards and conforming to the conventions of presentation found in linguistics.
- Students will be able to formulate and carry out a sophisticated and sustained individual academic research project of significant scope to an advanced standard, in order to investigate the identified research question.
- Students will be able to identify and utilise a relevant body of evidence to an advanced standard, identifying clear aims appropriate to a masters dissertation in linguistics.
- Students will be able to identify the limitations of the study.
- Students will demonstrate a sophisticated ability to consider ethical issues and constraints, and will know how to exercise this in both the planning and execution of the study.
- Students will demonstrate a sophisticated consideration of varying methodological approaches, and be able to critically appraise and deploy these methodologies by adopting and adapting the necessary approaches suitable to the topic being researched.
- Students will develop a great depth of knowledge in the appropriate area/topic under investigation, demonstrated through a confident and properly critical use of existing literature through reflection on a number of pieces of written research in an appropriate and thorough manner, and the presence of a reasoned theoretical defence of the research.
- Students will develop an increased independence of view, and demonstrate the ability to analyse critically, make judgements, and draw conclusions.
- Students will develop and demonstrate a high level of autonomy and responsibility in planning and executing the research.