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The University of Southampton

RESM6021 Dissertation (Brighton)

Module Overview

This module may be carried out in parallel with the study of other modules, or students may elect to complete all other taught modules before commencing the dissertation module. The topic may be identified at the beginning of the course or may emerge later in the programme through the insights and understanding gained from the core modules. The dissertation is seen as a major test of Master’s level study and as such involves the integration of the research knowledge and philosophies underpinning the Master’s course. The student is required to demonstrate a high level of understanding of the philosophy and principles of research and show competence in the design, execution and reporting of a research project. The student is also required to demonstrate a high level of autonomy in their understanding of applied social science and its use to conceptualise social issues. In this way the student’s ability is developed to subsequently carry out social science research independently and to evaluate the research of others.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • identify clear aims appropriate to a master's level dissertation and to the participant's professional situation
  • develop and demonstrate a high level of autonomy and responsibility in planning and executing research
  • develop their ability to identify a research question, to carry out an investigation of the problem, and to present findings in a clear and thoughtful way
  • identify and apply appropriate choice of methodology and critical awareness of data collection, methods used, including those for the interpretation of data
  • identify limitations of the study
  • exercise appropriate ethical and methodological awareness both in planning and execution of the study
  • develop a depth of knowledge in the appropriate field of study
  • develop an increased independence of view, and demonstrate the ability to analyse critically, make judgements and draw conclusions
  • demonstrate a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights at the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional practice.


The module content will meet the specific requirements of the course for which the student is registered and will depend on the nature of the students chosen topic and methodology. For investigative, scientifically focused study content will include: the research process; using electronic databases; scientific writing; critical analysis; qualitative and/or quantitative research; quantitative data analysis statistics/associated computing and/or qualitative analysis techniques; reliability, validity, experimental design, survey and/or questionnaire design; ethics and research. An extended literature review may be acceptable if it shows methodological knowledge in the evaluation of existing research. All students need to submit a brief proposal outlining the intentions of their dissertation to the course leader for approval and confirmation of a supervisor.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Students will normally be expected to undertake one of the research methods modules as preparation for this dissertation module. Prior to commencing this module, students will be allocated a supervisor and required to submit a dissertation proposal for approval; joint supervision may be necessary in some cases. The supervisor will normally be a member of the course team who is familiar with the broad area of study selected by the student and who has the appropriate academic and professional expertise. Where necessary, alternative supervisors may be identified within the Faculty. The student will be entitled to 8 hours of supervisory contact time. The dissertation supervisor will facilitate student development, help students become self-critical and support their growing autonomy as researchers. Students are strongly advised to attend the dissertation day, held once a year. Students are encouraged to participate in relevant school, faculty and university events that encourage their involvement in the academic community.

Practical classes and workshops4
Project supervision8
Completion of assessment task581
Total study time600



MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (20000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (20000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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