Module code: PL7503

Module co-ordinator: Dr Helen Dexter

Module Outline

All MA Degrees require students to complete a 12,000 - 15,000 word dissertation. The dissertation provides an opportunity for students to develop their specific subject and specialist knowledge which means that the dissertation has to be on a topic that fits with the degree title.

The Dissertation module is broken down into four stages, each of which follows a taught module. Each stage develops skills that will help students to write their dissertation. Students are also assigned to a Dissertation Advisor after completion of Stage 2 and the submission of the dissertation proposal.

The four stages of the dissertation module are as follows:

Dissertation Part 1

This stage of the dissertation module introduces students to independent research, a key skill of post graduate study. It explores how a research question is chosen and develops the skills needed to begin an extended research project.

Dissertation Part 2

In this stage of the module students look at example dissertation proposals and revisit the topic selected in Part One before moving on to develop an outline of their own research project and discussing the ethical implications of research. This module will cumulate in students submitting a dissertation proposal.

Dissertation Part 3

Here students will look in detail at literature reviews and how they can be used to further understanding of the research topic. This module will be an opportunity for students to develop their own literature reviews as a starting point for writing up the dissertation.

Dissertation Part 4

This final stage of the dissertation module is designed to help students through the writing up stage. It encourages students to revisit the research question and brings together all the skills learnt on the previous stages. The module provides an open forum for students to discuss their work with peers and finishes with submission of the dissertation.


  • Dissertation, 12,000-15,000 words (100%)