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EN320 Dissertation


The new module code for 2019/20 will be: EN3E0.


Students registered for English Literature, English and Creative Writing, English and Film, Philosophy and Literature, English and Theatre Studies, English and French, English and German, English and Latin or English and Cultural Studies, may be permitted, at the discretion of the department, to write a dissertation of 9,000 words (from 2019/20) (see here for further note on word count/submission/referencing) on a chosen research topic, instead of one 30 CATS taught module. The department only allows you to take this option in your final year. If you would like to write a dissertation as your option you must draw up an outline proposal, consult with your Personal Tutor about potential supervisors, obtain a supervisor's agreement and then fill out the dissertation application form. A step-by-step guide is available when you follow this link. You are advised to start thinking about opting for the dissertation module during the spring term.


The module is 100% assessed only and you should take the module in the final year of your degree. See the relevant subpage (above) for details regarding submitting your final Dissertation.


Please note that you should receive the minimum supervision of 8 half hour meetings spread through terms 1 and 2 - either 4/4 or 3/5. These meetings should be scheduled with your superviser, be uninterrupted and not take place during their office hours.

As a minimum for the reading of drafts, students may submit one draft section, chapter or literature survey of any length during the latter weeks of Term 1, to be read and receive feedback on a date to be agreed with the supervisor. Students are to arrange with supervisors the latest possible date when they will look at a full draft of the dissertation. This will normally be no later than Week One of Term Three.

**How to apply for 2020/21**

This module is only available to finalist students for the degrees listed in the Overview section (above). If you are not a student within one of these degrees and are interested in taking this module, you should email the convenor for more information.

Rochelle Sibley and Kate Courage, our subject Librarian, will hold information sessions in Week 8 of Term 2 to open up the process of thinking and research that you need to undertake to prepare for application for this module. These will run on the following dates and times:

Group 1: Tuesday 25th February 2020 at 16:30-18:00 in the Library Training Room

Group 2: Friday 28th February 2020 at 10:00-11:30 in the Library Training Room

This session will outline the timeline for applying to the dissertation module and will cover the specifics of the dissertation proposal as well as what you need to consider when creating a dissertation project and how to begin preliminary research for the proposal. Your principal objective is to find a supervisor to oversee the project. You may want first to discuss opting for the dissertation with your personal tutor if you are unsure who to ask, or approach your preferred supervisor directly. You must draw up an outline proposal, consult with your Personal Tutor, identify a suitable supervisor and obtain their agreement. Then you should fill in this dissertation application form, indicating where required that you have followed these steps.

Rochelle Sibley (Senior Teaching Fellow with responsibility for Dissertation support) will hold further drop-in clinics for any questions or concerns about the dissertation proposal or application process. These will run in Week 9 of Term 2 (times and dates TBC).

If you want to take the dissertation, you must submit a completed ONLINE form (see link above the picture) by the end of week 11 of Term 2, alongside your module choices for the following year.

After you submit this form, we will check with your prospective supervisor that they agree the final proposal. Then the Dissertation Convenor will let you know if your proposal has been accepted. Some applicants may be asked to revise their proposal before it’s finalised.

The next step

There will be a follow up workshop in Week 9 of Term 3 once you have been accepted (dates and times TBC).

This workshop aims to help you to make a productive start to the research for your dissertation over the summer. We will focus on the following:

  • the difference in approach needed for dissertation research, compared with essay research
  • developing a plan for conducting your research effectively
  • finding, selecting and using primary and secondary sources
  • some practical and time-saving tips for conducting literature searches
  • time to start some practical searching for your topic, with support

It should help you to make a confident start to your research over the vacation, and save you a lot of time next year!


Please address questions to Rochelle dot Sibley at warwick dot ac dot uk