The University of Southampton
Courses

PAIR6008 MSc Dissertation in Politics & International Relations

Module Overview

The researching and writing of a 12,500 – 15,000 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. In writing your dissertation, you must engage with problems/issues/topics that broadly reflect the substantive content and/or methodological concerns of your chosen programme.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The researching and writing of a 12,500 – 15,000 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. In writing your dissertation, you must engage with problems/issues/topics that broadly reflect the substantive content and/or methodological concerns of your chosen programme.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Integrate and hone a variety of skills acquired and extended during the studies
  • Significantly deepen knowledge of a topic of student's choice
  • Engage with problems/issues/topics that broadly reflect the substantive content and/or methodological concerns of student's chosen programme
  • Master the skills related to conducting research, compiling evidence, analysis, summarising, assessing, arguing, formulating, structuring, and evaluating

Syllabus

The researching and writing of a 12,500 – 15,000 word dissertation is a lengthy 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.

Learning and Teaching

TypeHours
Teaching10
Independent Study590
Total study time600

Resources & Reading list

Ridley. The Literature Review. 

Alvesson, Sandberg. Constructing Research Questions. 

Burnett. Doing Your Social Science Dissertation. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation  (15000 words) 90%
Dissertation proposal  (1500 words) 10%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Revised Dissertation  (15000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

All dissertations need to printed and bounded.

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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