Module Provider: Real Estate and Planning
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: REMH01 Understanding the Historic Environment and REMH02 History of Buildings and Landscapes and REMH03 Heritage Law and Economics
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Mr Henry Russell

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The dissertation provides students with the opportunity to follow an interest in heritage and conservation, and to investigate it in some depth. Students will draw on what they have learnt during the course of the programme. The module will build on the research skills developed during the programme and give students the skills to work independently and to use their skills of critical analysis in a new area. Students will learn how to build and structure a longer piece of work, which will be founded on their own research.


This module aims to develop students' research and analytical skills and to apply them to a substantive research project of a student’s (guided) choice. This module will enhance the students' ability to utilise the knowledge, understanding and skills developed previously across the whole programme, integrating this in the context of the particular study undertaken. 

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to: 

  • show a mastery of the principal styles of English architecture; 

  • critically debate the development of historic interiors; 

  • demonstrate awareness and understanding of how and why building legislation and codes have developed; 

  • evidence their understanding of the development of landscapes and gardens. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to: 

  • assemble a literature review on a given topic which provides a synthesis and critical analysis of the relevant literature; 

  • understand the main methodological questions concerning research in the area of conservation;

  • appreciate the different main approaches towards the integration of theory and practice into a research project; 

  • assess the suitability and usefulness of alternative sources of data for the analysis of research questions; 

  • compose a research proposal outlining a research project suitable for a Masters level dissertation; 

  • produce an original dissertation, which critically analyses a particular research question and examines this question using appropriate data and methodology.

Additional outcomes:

  • develop an understanding of the research process and the main challenges encountered in undertaking a research project; 

  • develop skills with regard to organising and executing such a project; 

  • enhance skills regarding the collection and analysis of data, and the surveying and synthesis of existing literature on a topic; 

  • apply theoretical models to practical questions; 

  • improve ability to prepare and produce substantial reports; 

  • develop the skills to conduct research and write up results independently; 

  • produce a structured research proposal and an original dissertation.

Outline content:

The student will, with appropriate guidance from the module convenor, select a topic of interest to them, which is of academic/professional relevance within the conservation of the historic environment sphere. The topic will need the approval of the module convenor. At this point the module convenor will enlist the help of other academic members of the programme team with specialist knowledge of, or interest in, the particular field, to act as dissertation supervisors. All students will be allocated a supervisor who will act as academic guide and provide support to the student.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

This module follows on from, and draws on, research skills and ideas developed in the autumn term. Students are required to apply the skills learned during the lectures and workshops to the development of an actual research project, for which they will produce a 12,000 word dissertation. Students are expected to commence any fieldwork necessary in the Spring term.

The summer term will be devoted to the completion of the research element and the writing-up stage o f the thesis. Each student will be allocated a further four hours of individual tutorial support in the summer, with further support being available by negotiation with the module convenor and allocated supervisor, as deemed necessary and appropriate in each case. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 8
Project Supervision 2 2
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 35 35
    Carry-out research project 120 35
    Dissertation writing 35 128
Total hours by term 0 200 200
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Dissertation (40 credits), guide of 12,000 words


As this is a capping module for the programme, and therefore brings together students’ learning from all other modules, before submitting the dissertation, students must have: 


1) Completed the co-requisite core modules (see ‘co-requisites’ above)  

2) Completed two elective modules  

3) Enrolled for two further elective modules 

Dissertation Submission Deadline: Monday 5th September 2022 (Out of term time)


Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here:
The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:


As this is a core Module of Special Significance for all students on the MSc Conservation of the Historic Environment a mark of 50 must be achieved in order to be awarded the MSc.

Reassessment arrangements:

Reassessment will be by the same method as for the module’s original assessment requirements, subject to variation by the Examination Board where appropriate.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 8 April 2021


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