The University of Southampton
Courses

ENGL6135 Dissertation

Module Overview

This module allows you to undertake independent research, with guidance from a supervisor, to produce an in-depth, scholarly study of an aspect or body of literature which particularly interests you. Every student will have a supervisor appointed for the dissertation; though it is important that students recognise that the dissertation is an independent research project and they must take responsibility for its progress and for the final dissertation text. Advice on dissertations given during the supervisory process cannot be taken to guarantee a particular outcome for the piece of work, as this is determined by a separate and independent examination process.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• allow you to undertake independent research under individual supervision in an area of English literature chosen in consultation with a member of staff, which will develop skills and knowledge you have acquired over your course • formulate a distinctive research question and develop an argument • carry out a complex scholarly project at length and in depth with proper acknowledgement of a range of sources

Learning Outcomes

Cognitive Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • evaluate a wide range of material and engage critically with that material
  • define, structure, develop and manage a significant project within a set period of time
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • formulate and present an argument
  • write a sustained piece of work
  • research and plan independently
  • manage and complete a major project within a given time-frame
  • manage the transition to a PhD
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • research any given topic and present that research in a scholarly fashion

Syllabus

This module allows you to undertake independent research, with guidance from a supervisor, to produce an in-depth, scholarly study of an aspect or body of literature which particularly interests you. Every student will have a supervisor appointed for the dissertation, though it is important that students recognise that the dissertation is an independent research project and they must take responsibility for its progress and for the final dissertation text. Advice on dissertations given during the supervisory process cannot be taken to guarantee a particular outcome for the piece of work, as this is determined by a separate and independent examination process. You will normally have three face-to-face supervisions of up to an hour over the course of the project. In addition, it is likely that you will seek and receive further advice and feedback by email correspondence. Your supervisor will no normally be able to comment on more than one draft of any of your work, whether submitted as a full draft or as individual chapters over the course of the supervision. It is important for the student and the supervisor to agree beforehand a schedule for contact during the summer vacation, since supervisors will have other commitments and there may be times over the summer when they are not immediately available. Supervisors and students should ensure that a record is kept of dates of meetings, the content of those meetings, and of guidance given to the student.

Special Features

Unscheduled research time will enable you to work independently, to manage your own study arrangements, and to develop a project on a topic of particular interest to you, and which you will have selected in the light of having completed the taught components of your MA programme. Supervisions will give you the opportunity to present and discuss your research and work in progress. Sending drafts of all your work to your supervisor will enable you not only to receive specific feedback on the content and structuring of your material and argument, but also advice on how to edit and revise your dissertation. The individual nature of supervisions and correspondence will also prepare you for PhD work, and for communicating and working effectively with colleagues.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: • three one-to-one supervisions with your supervisor over the summer • maintenance of a record of supervision meetings and agreed actions • Research Skills is a core module geared towards dissertation preparation. This module provides structure teaching sessions and formal and informal assessments that cover effective academic writing, good presentation techniques, creating an annotated bibliography, and formulating a dissertation proposal Learning activities include • individual study and research time • presentation of research proposal at postgraduate symposium • accessing research materials (possibly including archival material) and on-line resources • preparation of a proposal, abstract, bibliography and draft material for review by your supervisor • preparation for supervision meetings • editing and presenting the final version of the dissertation in accordance with the approved conventions and by the appointed deadline

TypeHours
Completion of assessment task340
Project supervision3
Seminar7
Wider reading or practice250
Total study time600

Resources & Reading list

Relevant resources. Relevant resources will vary according to your individual research topic. You will be encouraged to seek information beyond that which is easily available in the University Library, and will be given advise on accessing specialists archives in your field.

Assessment

Formative

Proposal

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation  (15000 words) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Resubmit assessments 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

Costs

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

Costs for this module will not exceed £40

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 www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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