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Dissertation (HI3S2)

Undertaking a dissertation will allow students to undertake a substantive piece of historical research and produce an article-length essay. It gives students the opportunity to work in a way similar to an academic historian: identifying a suitable research topic; mastering the relevant historiography; immersing themselves in a wide variety of primary sources, where appropriate; and being able to sustain a coherent and logical argument. As a final year module it will encourage students to put the training received in their earlier years of study to practical use.

A dissertation is compulsory for all History single honours students and an option for all joint degree students. The dissertation is weighted at 30 CATS and will usually based either on a final year module that the student is enrolled on, a module taken in year 2, or a module taken during the Year Abroad. Students who wish to explore topics where they are not enrolled on the relevant module will need to explain their experience in studying the topic. Students will not be permitted to undertake a dissertation in a topic that they have little/no prior knowledge of. The dissertation length is up to 9,000 words, not including footnotes or bibliography.

Each student will receive regular personal guidance from a supervisor throughout the dissertation process. Supervisors will be assigned during Term One of the Final Year. In addition, the Dissertations Coordinator will be available for general guidance and queries. Students spending one term of their final year in Venice will be supported by the Venice tutors during that term, but can also contact the Dissertations Coordinator for advice. Warwick-based students who have a supervisor based in Venice can contact their tutor remotely during that term, or can see the Dissertations Coordinator for advice.

Learning Outcomes
  • Critically review and consolidate the secondary literature on their area of research.
  • Act with minimal supervision and take responsibility to identify and design an original research project.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of research ethics and personal responsibility and incorporate this into their practice where appropriate.
  • Critically evaluate evidence from a range of primary sources to support their argument.
  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of their area of research to produce a coherently argued and professionally-written thesis.
  • Effectively reflect on and communicate their research progress.
  • Presentation (10%)
  • 9000 word dissertation (90%)
Preparing for the Dissertation: Information for Year 2 Students

There are no requirements for Year 2 (or returning Year Abroad) students to begin work on the dissertation before the start of the Final Year.

This information is for Year 2 students who wish to begin thinking about their dissertation over the summer, and to outline the process of choosing a topic and being allocated a supervisor, all of which will take place in the Autumn Term of the Final Year.


Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (27 October, 1989)

Dissertations Coordinator:
Dr Simon PeplowLink opens in a new window
MoodleLink opens in a new window
Reading ListLink opens in a new window