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The University of Southampton

FILM6043 Preparing for the Dissertation (30 credit version)

Module Overview

This module prepares you for writing the Masters dissertation. It includes both taught sessions and one-to-one tutorials.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• enable you to define a topic appropriate for a Masters dissertation; • enable you to research and evaluate sources; • develop research and methodological skills appropriate for your topic; • enable you to research and construct a survey of the key literature of your chosen academic field; • equip you to write a viable research proposal; • prepare you for writing an extended piece of academic analysis at postgraduate level

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • recent research findings relevant to the academic discipline of Film Studies;
  • research skills suitable for the preparation of a dissertation on a film or television related topic;
  • appropriate ways to present research project outlines clearly and concisely;
  • key debates in the field.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • evaluate and develop different research methodologies, using them effectively for your chosen project;
  • evaluate your sources
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • define and manage small research projects;
  • demonstrate effective research skills;
  • communicate clearly and persuasively in an academic register;
  • construct, develop, and sustain an argument.


This module aims to prepare you for writing your Masters dissertation. In doing so, it will show you how to identify and define your topic and its scope, as well as developing your existing research and methodological skills. You will research and evaluate key sources, developing an annotated bibliography and literature review. The research proposal produced for the final assignment will form the research outline for your Masters dissertation. The module comprises both plenary taught sessions, one-to-one tutorials and independent study.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • tutor-supported individual work • seminars Learning activities include • identifying important sources of information for your chosen research topic • assessing key sources for research • assessing and analysing the arguments of key critics • gaining an awareness of key debates in the field • individual research and analysis

Independent Study293
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Walliman, Nicholas (2011). Your Research Project. 

Bond, Alan, ed (2006). Your Masters Thesis. 

Thody, Angela (2006). Writing and Presenting Research. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Literature review  (2000 words) 50%
Research proposal  (2000 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Literature review  (4000 words) 50%
Research proposal  (4000 words) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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