A dissertation is a 10,000 word piece of original research based upon a topic that you decide in consultation with your supervisor. A dissertation is a great opportunity to explore a topic that you are interested in, but has not been covered elsewhere on the course, or for you to follow up in more depth on an aspect of film or television covered earlier in the degree that you have found particularly interesting.
You will work independently, guided by a supervisor who is a specialist in your chosen area, to undertake a research project in film and television studies. This is a wonderful opportunity to consolidate the academic and transferable skills that you have gained during your studies: literature searching, textual analysis, using archives, using secondary sources. The module also includes an undergraduate symposium day, where students present their work-in-progress to their peers and staff in the Department. The dissertation module includes a series of training workshops including presentation skills and writing a review of literature.
Before you are accepted onto the dissertation module, you will need to fill out a proposal form. The decision to permit a student to write a dissertation will be taken by the Head of Department. The HoD will consider
[i] your background in the proposed subject area
[ii] your record, particularly the marks for assessed essay work, so far in the degree
[iii] the suitability of the topic as an undergraduate dissertation
[iv] the availability of suitable supervision.
You’ll get guidance on how to formulate an appropriate dissertation topic at a workshop in Week 7 Term Two of your second year.
Students writing dissertations are allowed to do a minimum of 35% of their work by formal written examination, rather than the 50% which applies in other cases. This means they will need to have 2.8 units of examination over the two years calculated on the basis above, rather than 4.
If you are writing a dissertation, you must attend all of the lectures and meetings listed below.
In the Second Year:
Week Seven of Term Two: Lecture/workshop: ‘Formulating a Dissertation Topic’. Anyone considering taking the Dissertation option must attend this session.
During this session we will discuss how to formulate a workable dissertation topic and distribute the proposal form.
Friday of Week Ten, Term Two: Last day for return of forms.
Monday of Week Two, Term Three: You’ll be informed whether your application to do a dissertation has been successful, and assigned to your supervisor if applicable.
Week 9/10 Term Three (after the last second year exam): Lecture/workshop on researching, structuring and writing your dissertation.
Week 9/10 Term Three: First meeting with your supervisor.
In the Third Year:
Monday of Week 2 Term One: Review of Literature submitted to supervisor.
Monday of Week 7 Term One: First chapter draft submitted to supervisor.
Week 9: Symposium where students give presentations on their on-going research
Monday of Week 2 Term Two: Second chapter draft submitted to supervisor.
Week 5 Term Two: Final meeting with supervisor
Monday of Week 7 Term Two: Final date for handing in dissertations.