Module code: SOC3028

Module Overview

This module involves working on an individual dissertation with the guidance of an individual supervisor and participating in a series of workshops designed to provide guidance for key stages of the dissertation. The dissertation requires students to conduct independent, original research on a topic of significance in relation to the student’s degree programme (i.e. sociology, criminology or media studies as appropriate). This will involve reviewing appropriate literature, developing a suitable research approach and carrying out appropriate forms of analysis. This analysis  may relate to data collected by the student (through interviews, self-completion questionnaires or observation for example), to secondary analysis of large-scale or other existing data sets, to library research on primary theoretical sources, or to  artistic, literary or media content.



Module provider


Module Leader

BURNINGHAM Kate (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 45

ECTS Credits: 22.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 5

Independent Learning Hours: 417

Seminar Hours: 7

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The dissertation requires students to conduct independent, original research on a topic of significance in relation to the student’s degree programme (i.e. sociology, criminology or media studies as appropriate).

The workshops will provide support for key stages of dissertation preparation including:

  • developing a research question

  • reviewing literature

  • designing a research project

  • ethical issues

  • data analysis

  • drawing conclusions

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) DISSERTATION REPORT 100

Alternative Assessment

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to formulate a research question, relate this to relevant literature, design and execute a small piece of empirical research and write up research findings.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         A dissertation report of 10,000-12,000 words usually comprising an introduction, literature review, methodology, analysis and discussion and conclusions.

Formative assessment and feedback

A dissertation proposal is submitted to the supervisor to enable feedback on the viability and ethics of the project and early suggestions for improvements. Supervisors provide written feedback on drafts of each chapter of the dissertation and oral feedback and guidance in one to one sessions. The workshops provide forums for students to discuss common issues with peers and receive general guidance from workshop leaders. The dissertation co-ordinator is available for one to one meeting with any student who requires information about the dissertation process.

Module aims

  • The dissertation aims to provide experience of undertaking an individual research project
  • The workshops aim to provide support for all stages of dissertation preparation

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Formulate a clear research question and design appropriate methodology for a small piece of social, criminological or media research KCP
2 Critically review academic literature relevant to the research question KC
3 Identify or collect relevant data, documents, media content or primary theoretical sources KPT
4 Undertake appropriate analysis and identify findings KCPT
5 Develop conclusions through relating findings to existing research and/or theory KCP

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to support students in independently designing and undertaking their own piece of empirical research. The bulk of the module involves the student designing and carrying out research on a topic of their choice and writing this up into a report.  The workshops provide general guidance on the dissertation requirements, ethical considerations and the content of specific sections while individual sessions with supervisors provide ongoing guidance, support and feedback on the student’s own project.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Workshops which integrate elements of lecture style content with practical, student-centred exercises

Individual sessions with dissertation supervisor

Individual reading, data collection, analysis and writing up of 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: SOC3028

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 2024/5 academic year.