Module code: SOC3088

Module Overview

This module enables students to focus on and research a topic of significance of their own choice. It enables them to build on, bring together and demonstrate the range of analytic, knowledge based and digital skills they have developed throughout their degree and equips them with new transferable skills of designing and developing an independent project. Students will use their digital, global and cultural capabilities to synthesize and communicate knowledge within their chosen project.

Students work on their project with the guidance of an individual supervisor and participate in a series of workshops designed to provide guidance for key stages of the project. Students conduct independent research which will involve reviewing appropriate literature, developing a suitable research approach and carrying out appropriate forms of analysis. Project approaches are diverse and include collection of primary data (e.g through interviews or surveys); secondary analysis of existing data sets; analysis of documentary or media sources or a systematic review of existing literature. A final project report of 10-12,00 words is prepared.

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: 13

Independent Learning Hours: 415

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

The  final year project requires students to conduct independent research on a topic of their choice relevant to their degree programme.

A series of workshops provide support for key stages of project planning and preparation including:

  • Identifying a topic and developing a research question

  • Designing an independent project

  • Using library resources and data sets

  • Improving your writing

  • Ethical principles and practice

  • Writing a literature review

  • Conducting a systematic review

  • Preparing a methodology chapter

  • Factors in successful projects

  • Analysing data

  • Presenting analyses

  • Producing a final report

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Final Year Project 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to design and deliver an independent project  involving formulating a research question, relating this to relevant literature, accessing and analyzing appropriate data, documents or literature,  identifying and discussing findings and drawing up conclusions.
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. ‘Soft’ deadlines are set for the submission of drafts of two initial chapters for feedback during the first semester. The workshops and small group supervisions provide forums for students to discuss common issues with peers and receive general guidance from workshop leaders. The final year project co-ordinator is available for one to one meeting with any student who requires information about the project process.

Module aims

  • Enable students to design independent projects on topics of their own interest relevant to their degree programme
  • Allow students to develop and demonstrate research skills
  • Develop students¿ competencies and capacities to communicate and present evidence
  • Prepare students to research and evaluate data, literature and documents in employment or postgraduate contexts

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Students will be able to formulate clear research topics and questions CKT
002 Students will be able to design and deliver an independent project CKPT
003 Students will develop critical literature reviewing skills CKPT
004 Students will be experienced in managing data in line with ethical and governance guidelines PT
005 Students will be able to apply relevant theories and concepts to analyze data or materials of their choice CK
006 Students will develop key digital capabilities to access and analyze literature and data and present analyses CK

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 project. 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 or (from 2025-26) portfolio. The workshops provide general guidance on the project requirements, ethical considerations and the content of specific sections while individual and small group 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 and small group sessions with dissertation supervisor

Individual reading, data/documents/literature 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: SOC3088

Other information

The Department of Sociology is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module enhances students skills in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, and Resourcefulness and Resilience.


Digital capabilities - Students will be required to engage with digital information technologies (such as Surrey Learn, Surrey Search, Google Scholar) to access and utilise academic, policy and media sources for their projects. They may use software for data collection (e.g. Qualtrics) and analysis (e.g. NVivo, R-Studio) and presentation.  They will also be expected to produce a professional final report using Microsoft Word. Students choosing the portfolio option from 2025-26 will develop skills in presenting podcasts, videos, websites or blogs in addition to producing professional Policy Briefing notes using appropriate software..


Employability - Students will develop a range of transferrable skills associated with the development and management of an independent project. These include critical thinking, reading and writing skills, data analysis and evaluation skills, data management skills, verbal communication skills, and the ability to construct, support and present a well-evidenced argument.


Global and cultural capabilities –The module has been designed to allow students to focus in depth on topics of local or global issues of significance which they have learnt about earlier in their degree programmes.  


Resourcefulness and resilience - Students will be required to independently design and conduct their projects. They will need to manage their time carefully, evaluate risks and develop potential alternatives if initial plans founder. Through one to one feedback sessions with supervisors they will build their confidence to discuss their work and develop their ability to respond well to constructive feedback.  


Sustainability - Students may focus on topics of sustainability drawing on learning in earlier modules. Projects enable students to focus on developing conclusions and recommendations which support and enact positive change in relation to issues of environmental sustainability, equality, diversity and social wellbeing in a range of contexts.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Criminology BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Criminology and Sociology BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Sociology BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Media and Communication BSc (Hons)(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required 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 2024/5 academic year.