Module code: POLM010

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 specialise in an aspect of the taught programme which is of particular interest and to synthesise the skills and knowledge which they have acquired.

Module provider


Module Leader

KAEDING Malte (Politics)

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: 570

Tutorial Hours: 10

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

A pass in the PG Diploma assessments with a 50% or higher mark. Introduction to Research (POLM009) and Research in Practice (POLM011)

Module content

The dissertation is a piece of academic research on a well-specified research question relating to a research area covered by the programme. The work may be of a theoretical or empirical nature (quantitative or qualitative), clearly demonstrating contribution to ongoing debates in the relevant field, and must be written in English.

Students will attend a Dissertation workshop in Semester 2 and notify the Programme Director of their provisional topic. They will subsequently submit an abstract and outline in the second half of the spring semester which begins the supervision. Students seek additional guidance from the Director throughout the year, as necessary.

Students will attend regular meetings with their supervisor, to identify their research topic, map out their outline and plan of work, and receive feedback for each stage of their dissertation. Dissertation meetings will take place in regular intervals during the spring semester and summer.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) COURSEWORK (10000 - 15000 WORDS) 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their fundamental interest for the topic of their choice and to reflect on their own learning throughout their degree, it also:

  • Strengthens the ability to organise an independent research project, develop resilience and sustainability through the application of project and time management skills obtained through their programme.

  • Deepens their critical research abilities to identify relevant research puzzles and formulate research questions.

  • Reinforces the capacity to collect, synthesise, interpret, and present evidence or data on a specific research question through appropriate research methods and research design.

  • Supports the writing of a critical in-depth piece of research work.

  • Ability to independently research a topic under supervision

Therefore, the following assessment has been identified as appropriate for assessing students on the criteria above:

  • Coursework in the form of a written dissertation between 10,000-15,000 words 

Additional formative work in form of an outline and abstract to be submitted in the second semester. The formative work will guide the student-supervisor relationship.

Module aims

  • Explore and develop a research project relating to the course of study and turn it into an extended piece of writing, which demonstrates the student's ability to collect, synthesise, interpret and present that research.
  • In essence the module brings together all the necessary knowledge and skills to demonstrate digital capabilities, sustainable thinking, recourcefulness and resilience, global and cultural intelligence all geared towards enhancing employment prospects and inform future career pathways

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Critical awareness of contemporary theoretical and methodological debates in the study of the specified area of politics KCPT
002 Understanding and application of techniques of research and enquiry for data collection, management and analysis (qualitative or quantitative) KCPT
003 Carry out independent research under the supervision of academic staff, engage with constructive feedback and organize workload to meet deadlines. KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

This is an independent research project led by the student under supervision by a member of staff.

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Enhance independent study; develop project and time management skills; explore research areas related to the degree pathway; enhance and specialise knowledge of a research topic.

It includes access to regular one-to-one supervision and appropriate guidance through the module workshop.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Dissertation workshop;

  • Library workshop to enhance research and writing skills with information on databases and citations/referencing management;

  • Individual supervision meetings of students with staff members assigned to them as supervisors

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: POLM010

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
International Relations (International Intervention) MSc(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
International Relations MSc(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Public Affairs MSc(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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 2025/6 academic year.