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The University of Southampton

DEMO6008 Project/Dissertation

Module Overview

This module will provide you with guidance and support throughout the writing of your dissertation. From discussing your initial ideas of your dissertation through the process of actually writing the document, this module will provide you with the information and support required from both the teaching staff and your allocated dissertation supervisor.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify key research questions within the field of Demography on which you will carry out independent research.
  • Manage your time effectively whilst working on your independent research.
  • Demonstrate appropriate referencing and develop skills in other aspects of academic writing.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of report writing.
  • Apply the demographic/statistical research training acquired in the taught element of the programme by designing an appropriate research strategy and research methodology to carry out your research.
  • Use and develop written and oral presentation skills.
  • Identify, summarise and critically evaluate relevant literature and write a literature review of the relevant field.
  • Identify, analyse and interpret suitable data to enable the research question to be answered.
  • Understand and apply theoretical frameworks to the chosen area of study.
  • Show evidence of clarity of argument, understanding of the chosen topic area, and presentation of technical information.
  • Describe the process of carrying out independent research in written format and report your results and conclusions with reference to existing literature.
  • Analyse and synthesise research findings.


The module will include: - At least three dissertation skills workshops in Semester 2 to outline expectations for the preparation of the Dissertation and to discuss how to develop and refine research questions, skills for literature searching and other relevant topics related to designing and writing a dissertation. - One 10-minute presentation to be given by students at the start of the dissertation period where you will present your project proposal. - Meetings with your Dissertation Supervisor over the summer period. - Independent study. As part of this module, you will be offered an opportunity to discuss and agree the topic of your dissertation with the MSc Programme Co-ordinator and your allocated Dissertation Supervisor. You will receive instructions regarding a range of available/potential topics. However, we encourage you to choose a dissertation topic on your own, which could be based on a specific area of your research interest, work experience or reflecting on the modules taught in the programme.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be taught mainly through individual supervision and independent learning, although there will be some formal lectures (which may be online) and oral presentations with feedback. Face-to-face teaching opportunities will be explored depending on circumstances and feasbility.

Independent Study580
Total study time600

Resources & Reading list

Swetnam, Derek (1997). Writing your dissertation: how to plan, prepare and present your work successfully. 

Rudestam, Kjell Erik (2007). Surviving your dissertation: a comprehensive guide to content and process. 

Hart, Chris (2005). Doing your masters dissertation: realizing your potential as a social scientist. 

Other. Dissertation skills workshop slides and materials will be available on Blackboard along with suggested reading and links to other useful resources. Detailed guidance on practical aspects of producing the dissertation can be found in the MSc Handbook



Individual Presentation


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (20000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (20000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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