TYMCDDT-Communication Design: Dissertation TD

Module Provider: Typography
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Mr Gerry Leonidas

Email: g.leonidas@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module develops students' abilities to plan, research, and write an extended research project. It combines tutorials and workshops on fundamental skills with substantial self-directed elements, to enable students to identify appropriate topics and research questions, to develop cogent arguments,  locate and analyse primary and secondary sources, and analyse research material, in order to create a substantial piece of writing. This module is delivered at University of Reading.


This module aims to enable students to develop and demonstrate their mastery of a particular aspect of their subject, through academic research and writing, by engaging in an advanced study of a topic relating to typeface design, and producing an extended piece of scholarly writing. This output will aim to be coherently argued, display an active awareness of, and an ability to effectively employ, relevant and appropriate methods of investigation and enquiry. It will be well-written and well-presented.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module students should be able to:

exercise independent intellectual judgement through research and academic writing

locate, analyse and explain information about their topic

critically review and evaluate the literature associated with their topic

employ methods of enquiry appropriate for and relevant to their topic

organise complex material

make and use illustrations that explain and reinforce their argument

write clearly, and present their dissertation to a satisfactory standard

Additional outcomes:

By the end of the module students should have further developed their skills in personal organisation and time management through self-directed study, and should be able to make constructive use of feedback.


Outline content:

Students choose their topic in consultation with staff. 

Preliminary work will provide students with guidance on:

  • identifying the characteristics of good dissertations

  • searching effectively for published and unpublished sources of

information and exploring relevant contacts

  • efficient methods for note-taking and recording bibliographical details

  • literature reviews and bibliographic referencing

  • drafting, presenting, revising and finalising a topic proposal

  • choice of appropriate methods of enquiry (students may work with primary source materials, conduct interviews, and engage in empirical studies)

  • writing and presenting the dissertation

Once the topic has been agreed by the Programme Director, work will be mainly self-directed, though supported by tutorials with supervisors. Students will be expected to show the development of their writing in drafts for discussion.

Global context:

The module approaches the development of academic writing skills with recognition of the diversity of training and education in this area globally. It therefore places particular emphasis on developing in students an understanding of the Department’s approach to academic writing at Masters level, and introducing concepts of research at higher degree level

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Although work will be mainly self-directed independent study, the module includes a series of seminars and workshops on key research and writing skills. Students prepare draft outlines and proposals for their selected topic, on which they receive feedback in workshops. As their work develops, students' drafts provide the basis for tutorial meetings with supervisors. Supervisors will use these tutorials to monitor students' progress, and contact hours will be determined by agreement between student and supervisor

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 4 5 7
Tutorials 3 2
Project Supervision 10 20
Guided independent study: 23 163 363
Total hours by term 30 180 390
Total hours for module 600

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

A substantial written study of approximately 10,000–13,000 words.

Formative assessment methods:

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:

A module mark of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission of all coursework in the module.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 10 April 2019


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