Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

TRAN6014 Dissertation (Transnational Studies)

Module Overview

The dissertation is an extended piece of work of 20,000 words, which results from independent research on a topic in Transnational Studies. 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 topic you have selected in your chosen field of study;
  • key theoretical approaches applicable to your topic;
  • research design appropriate for your area of study;
  • scholarly debates relating to your topic
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • develop a sustained argument over an extended piece of work;
  • critically assess some previous work on your chosen subject;
  • design, implement and evaluate a small scale empirical research project in transnational studies;
  • demonstrate originality of thought and approach which moves beyond a simple synthesis of secondary materials.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • demonstrate specific, as well as general, research skills, such as information retrieval and library searches and internet resources and the use of a range of fieldwork techniques;
  • use information technology appropriately to support and present your research;
  • compose under deadline conditions an extended piece of writing which is logically structured, coherently argued, and clearly written in academic register and style, supported by a detailed bibliography;
  • apply empirical fieldwork techniques where appropriate, showing an awareness of the processes required to address ethical considerations involved in relevant areas of research;
  • demonstrate interpersonal skills whilst working with others in the investigation of problems, and in the presentation of arguments and evidence
  • work with greater autonomy.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • plan and execute an independent piece of research and communicate the results of this research effectively in written and verbal forms.
  • plan, conduct and report on empirical field work.
  • formulate and test concepts and hypotheses
  • record and account for data gathered in the field.
  • synthesise information/data from a variety of sources.
  • analyse, evaluate/interpret a range of data .
  • use a scholarly apparatus (referencing, bibliographies) correctly in written work and make appropriate use of the relevant research literature.


The dissertation is a considerable 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 a theoretical framework and critical analysis relating to your chosen topic. It will enable you to make an original contribution to the literature on Archaeology and prepare you for progressing to more advanced study and to preparation of work autonomously beyond academia. It offers an opportunity considerably to enhance your archaeological skills, and in particular those based within your chosen programme During the two semesters preceding your dissertation, you will: • 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 presenting at a range of relevant seminars, workshops or conferences, and through digital channels such as blogs. • Prepare a Project Design. 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. Towards the end of the summer vacation you will submit draft chapters and sections for feedback at these supervision meetings.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The Dissertation is prepared in TRAN 6001 (Research Skills 2), a core module which runs in Semester 2 and is structured around Dissertation-specific skills-training in regular group meetings. Tutor feedback and group discussion arising from oral presentations of work in progress is part of the remit of TRAN 6001. Within this module you learn primarily through research and independent study, accompanied by individual tutorials with your dissertation supervisor. In the early individual supervisions the scope of the project and the design and methodology for investigation of the topic are agreed, and the structure of the finished dissertation is discussed. Later meetings require you to have prepared a section of the work.

Independent Study594
Total study time600

Resources & Reading list

Bryman, Alan (2012). Social Research Methods. 

Bell, J (1999). Doing Your Research Project: A guide for first-time researchers in education and social science. 

Walliman, N (2001). Your Research Project: A step by step guide for the first-time researcher. 


Assessment Strategy

The assessment is based on your empirical project and is designed in line with the main learning outcomes to evaluate your ability (a) to devise and design a research project, (b) to apply appropriate research methods in conducting the project, (c) to analyse and interpret the data from your project using relevant theoretical concepts, and (d) to present your findings effectively in both oral and written modes.


MethodPercentage contribution
Diligence and Initiative  (20000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings