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PAIR3003 Dissertation in Politics & International Relations

Module Overview

The researching and writing of an 8,000-word dissertation provides you with the opportunity to integrate and hone a variety of skills acquired and extended during your studies, and to significantly deepen your knowledge of a topic of your choice. In many ways, the dissertation is the culmination of your studies in the Division of Politics & International Relations. Writing a dissertation will require you to research, compile, analyse, summarise, assess, argue, formulate, structure, and evaluate. As part of the module, students: (1) are assigned a dissertation supervisor (2) attend whole cohort lectures, group meetings with their supervisor, and individual meetings with their supervisor (those on Study Abroad may miss some meetings, but will have access to Blackboard). (3) submit 2,000 word short assignments that, following revision based on the grade and feedback received, become constitutive parts of the dissertation (4) submit the 8,000 words dissertation.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Identify a research puzzle, formulate a clearly stated research question, and justify the topic of the dissertation.
  • Review relevant academic literature and critically assess the main arguments and explanations proposed by scholars to answer the research question addressed in the dissertation
  • Implement a well-formulated research design/method and conduct independent data collection/evidence gathering
  • Analyse evidence and assess the explanatory power of theoretical arguments in light of empirical findings/evidence

Syllabus

The researching and writing of an 8,000 word dissertation is a year-long project of largely independent study. The examiners will be looking for evidence that the thesis accurately reflects the title. They will look for a clear analysis and a coherent, consistent argument, informed by a good knowledge of available sources. They will expect accurate spelling, punctuation, grammar, good general presentation, etc., correct and complete referencing, and a full bibliography. These criteria are to be met by the student being examined, whilst a supervisor will offer formal advice as to structure and argument. Students will be assigned an individual supervisor, but also receive guidance via whole cohort lectures. Students will get formal training on how to write a dissertation in different fields of political science and will be offered tailored advice on how to successfully complete a piece of original research. As part of the module, students: (1) are assigned a dissertation supervisor (2) attend whole cohort lectures, group meetings with their supervisor, and individual meetings with their supervisor (those on Study Abroad may miss some meetings, but will have access to Blackboard). (3) submit 2,000 words of short assignments (500 words and 1,500 words) that, following revision based on the grade and feedback received, become constitutive parts of the dissertation (4) submit the 8,000 words dissertation.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Individual study and research developed under the guidance of the dissertation supervisor. This will be supported by whole cohort lectures covering aspects of the dissertation process and assignments.

TypeHours
Independent Study290
Lecture10
Total study time300

Assessment

Assessment Strategy

There are two short assignments (500 words and 1,500 words) ahead of the final dissertation submission.

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 5%
Coursework assignment(s) 15%
Diligence and Initiative 80%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: PAIR2004

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