Module Provider: Art
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: FAMCB Critical Art Practice and Exhibition
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Rachel Garfield

Email: r.s.garfield@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module is designed to develop students' abilities in conducting and writing up an extended research project.


This module aims to enable students to conduct an extended independent research project. It aims to develop students' ability to identify appropriate topics and research questions, to analyse and structure research material, to develop cogent arguments, to sustain an enquiry over a lengthy period of time, and to organize a lengthy piece of writing.

Assessable learning outcomes:

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

- identify (and refine with the supervisor's guidance), and research in detail an academic topic suitable for a scholarly inquiry and appropriate to the length of an MA dissertation

- plan and organise the processes of research and writing of a substantial piece of academic inquiry

- sustain throughout the dissertation a scholarly argument that incorporates critical evidence and information derived from a variety of sources, including suitable primary sources where appropriate, and data derived from direct experience and study of works of art and architecture, and/or text under discussion

- show that they have a critical understanding of the dissertation topic, and demonstrate critical evaluation of bibliographical research

- demonstrate a critical understanding of the various research methods and scholarly approaches used in the field of their dissertation topic

- use appropriately scholarly apparatus for referring to sources and ideas as well as compiling a bibliography relevant to the dissertation

- analyse and use visual evidence and illustrations effectively and as an integral part of a critical analysis of a particular theme, issue or problem

Additional outcomes:

In working on their dissertation, students acquire relevant skills in planning and managing their own work schedule. They will need to demonstrate these skills and techniques in both tutorials with their supervisor and the dissertation presentations that they are required to give. They will also need to show self-motivation over an extended time period. The dissertation will also consolidate students' research and IT skills by requiring them to make extensive use of library, archival (where appropriate) and other relevant research sources.

Outline content:

The module provides the students with the opportunity to identify, research, and organise a significant piece of scholarly writing. The dissertation is undertaken with the support and advice provided through general, small-group, and tutorial meetings. The dissertation will be an independent, scholarly piece of work that should be between 10,000 - 12,000 words in length.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Throughout their work on the dissertation students are required to attend general, small-group, and tutorial meetings, in order to present and discuss the development and progress of the dissertation.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 1
Tutorials 4 4
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 95 96
    Preparation for tutorials 1 1
    Dissertation writing 30 40 60
    Essay preparation 15 30 20
Total hours by term 147 173 80
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One dissertation between 10,000 - 12,000 words (excluding notes and bibliography)

Formative assessment methods:

Regular submission of drafts with subsequent tutorials

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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:

A failed dissertation must be resubmitted within one year.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 29 July 2019


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