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The University of Southampton

LANG6025 MA Dissertation (Languages & Cultures and Translation & Professional Communication Skills)

Module Overview

The dissertation is an extended piece of work of 15,000 words, which results from independent research on a topic in Languages & Cultures or Translation & Professional Communication Skills. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to explore a topic of particular interest to you in greater depth than is possible within the scope of a taught module. Your topic will be agreed with course tutors, and you will be allocated a supervisor accordingly.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • the subject chosen for your dissertation, at an advanced level
  • principal primary source materials and advanced scholarly literature related to your dissertation subject
  • advanced conceptualisations, theories and debates related to your dissertation subject
  • the principles of research design in the Humanities, appropriate to your dissertation subject.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • develop a sustained, high-level argument over an extended piece of work
  • interpret and reflect critically, at an advanced level, on a range of global cultural texts and case studies appropriate to your dissertation subject
  • design, implement and communicate a small-scale advanced research project in Languages & Cultures or Translation & Professional Communication Skills
  • demonstrate originality of thought and approach while communicating an advanced academic argument in writing.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify, select and draw upon a wide range of printed and electronic sources
  • manage deadlines and make effective use of your time
  • research and synthesise a large volume of primary and secondary materials, and present them in an extended piece of advanced, coherently argued writing that conforms to the conventions of academic style and referencing
  • show awareness of the processes required to address research ethics, where appropriate
  • engage in high-level analysis of texts/case studies and arguments.


The dissertation is a significant piece of self-directed research. It aims to give you the opportunity to undertake an extended piece of independent research, with guidance from a supervisor. It will require reflection on theoretical and methodological frameworks, and critical analysis relating to your chosen topic. It will enable you to make an original contribution to the literature on Languages & Cultures or Translation & Professional Communication Skills and prepare you for progression to more advanced study and/or to independent work beyond academia. During the two semesters (or, in the case of part time study, two years) preceding your dissertation, you will: – be introduced to key ways of reading and analysing texts and case studies using the critical concepts central to the MA Languages and Cultures programme – identify and develop the research skills that you need to undertake your dissertation project. – be encouraged to engage with the research community through attending and/or presenting at a range of relevant seminars, workshops or conferences, and through digital channels such as blogs. – prepare a preliminary plan for your dissertation project. During the summer you will primarily be working independently to execute and write up your research project. You will have periodic meetings with a supervisor to monitor your progress and discuss any problems that arise. Throughout this period, you will submit draft chapters and sections for feedback at your supervision meetings.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

You will develop your ideas and skills for the dissertation in LANG6iXX Research Skills (Dissertation Preparation), a compulsory module which runs in Semester 2 and is structured around dissertation-specific skills training in regular group meetings. As part of LANG6iXX, you will prepare, present and discuss various pieces of work relating to your project, and will receive tutor feedback on these. Within the present module, meanwhile, you learn primarily through research and independent study, accompanied by individual tutorials with your dissertation supervisor. In early supervisions you and your supervisor will agree the scope, design, theoretical approach and methodology for your project, and discuss the structure of the dissertation. In later meetings, you will discuss pre-prepared work, such as draft chapters.

Independent Study594
Project supervision6
Total study time600

Resources & Reading list

Furseth, Inger (2013). Doing your Master's dissertation. 

Kirton, Bill. (2011). Brilliant dissertation : what you need to know and how to do it. 

Foss, Sonja K. (2016). Destination dissertation: a traveler's guide to a done dissertation. 

Ball, Steve (2012). The complete guide to writing your dissertation: advice, techniques and insights to help you enhance your grades. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation  (15000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation  (15000 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:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

Unlike assessment in other modules, you must submit two printed copies of your dissertation, which must be professionally bound in accordance with University guidelines.

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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