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IP302 Dissertation

Person writing
Dr William Rupp. Dr Rupp is smiling at the camera, wearing a suit Module leader: Dr William Rupp

Core module | 30 CATS

Terms 1-3 | 22 weeks

5 lecture hours | 12 supervisions

Not available to students outside the School for Cross-Faculty Studies

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Principal Aims

This module requires you to demonstrate your acquisition of a range of intellectual and practical skills for engaging with a topical issue that you have identified in the course of your studies. The module requires you to bring together the approaches to critical thinking and research that you learned on the Liberal Arts course and to apply them to a problem you have identified from your chosen Disciplinary Interest or Specialist Interest. The main aim of the module is to allow you to demonstrate your ability to think across disciplines and produce an original piece of research.

Furthermore, the module requires you to present the findings of your project in a public forum and to adapt your presentation to suit the particular audience.

Principal Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module you'll have:

  • learned to design a feasible research project
  • planned, implemented and managed a research project
  • produced a piece of original research that is based on a topical issue within your chosen Disciplinary or Specialist Interests
  • presented an argument that engages with the topical issue from a variety of perspectives
  • presented the findings of your research project in a public forum


Year 2, Term 3
  • Lecture : What is a dissertation? How to choose a topic? The dissertation proposal (ppt Slides)
  • Lecture : Generating original ideas and deciding on a project; Selecting a supervisor; Managing your project
  • Supervision 1
Year 3, Term 1 (weekly schedule)
  1. Supervision 2
  2. Lecture : Deciding on the format of your project; managing the relationship with your supervisor
  3. Independent work
  4. Lecture: writing the proposal
  5. Supervision 3
  6. Independent work and Submission of the proposal
  7. Independent work
  8. Supervision 4: feedback on proposal and action points for consideration
  9. Lecture: Using Evidence and constructing an argument
  10. Idependent work
Year 3, Term 2 (weekly schedule)
  1. Supervision 5
  2. Lecture : Components of the dissertation
  3. Independent work
  4. Lecture: Referencing and Citations
  5. Independent work
  6. Supervision 6
  7. Independent work
  8. Supervision 7
  9. Lecture : Editing, Revising, Presenting your findings; Preparing for the Viva
  10. Superivision 8
Year 3, Term 3
  1. Optional Supervision
  2. Submission
  3. Viva Voce (individually arranged during Term 3)


Oral Presentation (Viva)


Project/Dissertation (including the proposal)


Exam Timing

No Exam

Illustrative Bibliography

You're encouraged to consult the research methods bibliography you used in the research methods modules in year 1. In addition you'll be directed (as appropriate to your individual project) to additional sources.

Here is a list of useful writing manuals that you may wish to consult in the library:

Bailey, S Academic Writing: A practical guide for students (2003)

Barrass, R Scientists Must Write: A guide to better writing for Scientists, Engineers and Students (2002)

Browne, N Asking the Right Questions (2011)

Cage, J The Shape of Reason (2006)

Fabb, N How to Write Essays, Dissertations & Theses in Literary Studies (1993)

Metcalf, M Reading Critically at University (2006)

Redman, P, Good Essay Writing: A social sciences guide (2003)