Extended Dissertation (25,000 words)

Module code: EN7228

Module co-ordinator: Dr Kate Loveman

The 90-credit dissertation is 25,000 words long. If you decide to take this dissertation, you will not be able to take the Cities of Words module.

You will need to start planning your proposal towards the end of Semester 1. In the first instance you should approach either your personal tutor or the module co-ordinator, who will discuss your topic with you to ensure that it is suitable; they may also advise you to talk with a member of staff who has a research specialism in your proposed area of study.

Dissertation proposal

You are required to submit a 200-word proposal, after which you will be allocated a supervisor. The supervision process will start early in Semester 2 and continue until you have completed the dissertation.

The key questions the proposal must address are: what, why, and how?

  • What is the topic? What questions will you be asking about this topic as you undertake research? (You may, if you wish, include a list of research questions in your proposal.)
  • Why are you writing it? That is, why is this topic interesting and significant? What is the rationale? How will your work challenge or extend existing scholarship?
  • How are you going to do it? Which texts will you use? How will it be structured? What is your methodology and/or theoretical framework?

Dissertation presentation

In Semester 2 you will deliver a 15-minute assessed presentation that will be examined by two members of the School of English; the audience will consist of students and tutors from the MA programme. A week before the presentation, you will have an opportunity to practice it at a student-only session; this is intended to be a mutually supportive occasion during which you can offer feedback to your peers.

Your presentation should:

  • Give an outline of your topic and address two or three issues relating to it
  • Indicate your chosen methodology
  • Identify research questions
  • Be of a professional standard (including, for instance, the use of a handout or PowerPoint as appropriate)
  • Demonstrate that you have developed good presentation skills

A question-and-answer session with the audience will follow your presentation.


This is an independent project but at every stage, from conception through composition and revision to final submission, academic staff are available to offer support and feedback.

A dissertation supervisor will be allocated to you after your proposal is submitted, but you're encouraged to seek the advice of academic staff in the early stages of your project.

With the help of the supervisor's advice and guidance, students plan, develop, revise and improve their work through a series of drafts. You will be provided with up to ten hours of one-to-one supervision and must meet with your supervisor at least five times during the process of writing the dissertation (generally between January and September).