Module Provider: Modern Languages
Number of credits: 90 [45 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Daniela La Penna


Summary module description:

Writing a dissertation based on original research questions and data/textual analysis

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module, it is expected that students will be able to:
• locate, analyse and evaluate primary sources relevant to their topic using appropriate critical method
• display a critical understanding of existing scholarly interpretations of their subject
• reveal an ability to deal with complex issues within a broader conceptual framework
• demonstrate initiative and self-direction in their methodology, and an appropriate level of originality in their application of knowledge
• organise and present their material to a high standard in accordance with scholarly protocols.

Additional outcomes:
By the end of this module students should have the skills needed to conduct an extended piece of research, including its presentation in an appropriate academic form, in preparation for the larger research project required for a PhD. The module will also develop the students’ skills of time management and oral communication and their skills of presentation and advocacy in discussion with their supervisor and with other students. Students will also have developed their IT skills by exploiting various electronic resources.

Outline content:
A research topic is chosen by the student, with the guidance of the Module Convenor, who then appoints a suitable Supervisor. The Supervisor directs the student’s research in one-to-one meetings. The 20,000 word dissertation will be submitted on or before the second Friday of the month of September. In September, the student will also offer a 20-minute presentation followed by a Q&A session based on the research findings of the dissertation.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Introductory orientation sessions in the Autumn term with the Supervisor guide students in their choice of topic to be studied. Students are expected to carry out their own extended searches, and to design their research methodology and the structure of their written work in consultation with the Supervisor. A portfolio including an outline of the reasons and purposes for undertaking the project, a written plan and working bibliography may be requested by the Supervisor, and this should be formally submitted at the beginning of the Summer term (formative assessment only). The dissertation will be submitted by the second Friday of the month of September. In September, the student will be required to give a presentation to discuss the research design and research findings (formative assessment only). The distribution of teaching hours is indicative only.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Tutorials 5 5
Total hours by term 5.00 5.00
Total hours for module 10.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Other information on summative assessment:
Dissertation of 20,000 words (100%)
Task criteria
1. Evidence of extensive reading and critical interpretation of relevant literature
2. Originality in design of study and/or methodological procedures
3. Accurate and logical presentation of material
4. Clear, reasoned, and sustained argument
5. Clarity of organisation and presentation, and appropriate style and referencing

Formative assessment methods:
1 presentation (formative only) in September.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A grade of at least 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission of Dissertation within one calendar year.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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