Module code: SOCM035

Module Overview

The dissertation is an extended piece of writing (10,000-15,000 words) which allows the student to work on a topic independently in depth, with appropriate guidance from a supervisor. It enables students to use the social research methodologies developed during the taught programme to explore a sociological topic of particular interest and to synthesise the skills and knowledge which they have acquired.


Module provider


Module Leader

SETTY Emily (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 594

Seminar Hours: 3

Captured Content: 3

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

A pass in the PG Diploma assessments with a 50% or higher mark.

Module content

  • Dissertation Workshop at residential Conference, week 7 Semester 1

  • Supervisions


The dissertation is a piece of research on a well-specified question relating to an academic area covered by the programme.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to formulate research questions, design a research project using appropriate methods, carry out independent analysis and finally to present a well- structured and competent dissertation.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • 10,000-15,000 word Dissertation

Formative assessment and feedback

  • All full-time and Year 2 part-time students should submit a short statement of their proposed research topic in in Week 6 Semester 1 for full-time students and Week 15, Semester 2 for part-time students.

  • All full-time and Year 2 part-time students should submit a written dissertation research proposal of 2-3 pages by week 1 of Semester 2 for full-time students and by  week 6, semester 3 for part-time students.

Supervisors will give formative feedback on drafts of chapters of the dissertation and discuss progress with students during supervision meetings.

Module aims

  • Critically identify, define and conceptualise an appropriate topic for research within the social sciences.
  • Undertake a systematic review and analysis of relevant and appropriate primary and secondary sources.
  • Execute a defined research project using appropriate research methodologies and techniques of enquiry.
  • Critically evaluate, analyse and present research findings.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Critical awareness of contemporary debates in the study of one or more particular areas of sociology K
2 In-depth understanding of relevant theoretical perspectives K
3 Understanding of techniques of research and enquiry and their application to the study of sociology K
4 The demonstration of a critical knowledge and understanding of the relationship between the theory and the practice of research with in the social sciences. K
5 Gather, organise and deploy evidence and information from a range of different sources C
6 Analyse and synthesise a wide range of material in verbal and numerical formats C
7 Deal with complex issues systematically and creatively C
8 Make sound judgements on basis of incomplete evidence C
9 Demonstrate self-direction and originality in solving problems and analysing evidence C
10 Construct reasoned argument C
11 Apply theoretical frameworks to empirical analysis C
12 The critical evaluation and analysis of complex and contested ideas and concepts within the social sciences. C
13 The critical review of knowledge, understanding skills and practice within social science research. C
14 Judging, evaluating and synthesising contested concepts and data in the production of cogent argument. C
15 Demonstrate competencies in library-based information search and retrieval skills. P
16 Form effective arguments P
17 Organise workload to meet deadlines P
18 Formulate research questions P
19 Design and conduct a research project, selecting appropriate methods of data collection and analysis P
20 Present research findings in writing P
21 The communication and interpretation of quantitative and/or qualitative data in the production of a written thesis. P
22 The development in key skills relating to the use and application of research software. P
23 The development of digital literacy in the use of online research engines and tools. P
24 Communicate and present ideas effectively T
25 Reason critically T
26 Organise and plan own work T
27 Adopt a proactive approach to problem-solving T
28 Deploy a range of relevant research skills T
29 Make decisions in complex situations T
30 Take responsibility for own learning T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

By individual consultation and discussion as well as independent research. See also Dissertation Guidelines in the Programme Handbook for detailed guidance on scholarly conventions and procedures for writing the dissertation.


Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOCM035

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Criminology MSc(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module
Criminology (Corporate Crime and Corporate Responsibility) MSc(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module
Criminology (Cybercrime and Cybersecurity) MSc(CORE) Year-long Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.