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Dissertation (CEP)

  • Module code: PH7002
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 7
  • Credits: 90.00
  • Pre-requisites: PH7601 Contemporary European Philosophies, PH7602 Special Study Module
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module provides students with an opportunity for intensive and detailed research-based study of their chosen topic under the guidance of an appropriate MA dissertation supervisor.

Aims

The aims of this module are to:

  • Provide students with an opportunity to research, plan and compose a detailed analysis of a specific topic of their choice at an advanced level, in consultation with academic staff.
  • Enable students to situate this analysis in relation to current academic discussions and debate.
  • Enable students to undertake close and sustained analysis of demanding philosophical texts and problems.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Undertake intensive and complex independent research at an advanced level, and provide critical treatment of a clearly defined area of academic discussion.
  • Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the distinctive features, issues and problems of a particular topic within their chosen field.
  • Situate this topic in relation to current academic discussions and debate.
  • Prepare a literature review of both the primary and pertinent secondary literature of a field.
  • Undertake close and sustained textual analysis of demanding philosophical texts.
  • Comprehend, reconstruct and interpret philosophical arguments, and situate these arguments in the context of the history of philosophy.
  • Produce a, sustained, coherent and appropriately presented written analysis (up to 20,000 words, including all footnotes but not including bibliography) of their chosen topic.

Curriculum content

The topic of a dissertation is to be determined by the student, in consultation with academic staff. (Please note that if we are unable to provide a supervisor with appropriate expertise, students may be asked to consider an alternative topic).

     Students on the MA in Contemporary European Philosophy have the choice of preparing their dissertation either at Kingston or in Paris, or some combination of the two; the latter will involve co-supervision, i.e. the selection of a supervisor from both Kingston and Paris. Co-supervised students can expect to receive the same overall amount of supervision as other students, but are free to decide on how they decide to divide up their study and supervision, between the two institutions.

Teaching and learning strategy

A full-time student will begin work on their MA dissertation in June, and submit it eight months later, the following March. In addition to the dissertation itself (worth 100% of the final mark), the module involves two compulsory pass/fail components: an outline proposal and a literature review, both of 2,000 words).

     The module is taught through a combination of research skills seminars, group tutorials, oral presentations, individual supervision and individual library-based study. The topic of a dissertation is to be determined by the student, in consultation with a supervisor. Preparation of the dissertation is undertaken in consultation with the supervisor, supplemented by a series of five Research Skills seminars. Provision for these seminars may vary slightly between Kingston and Paris, but the normal minimal pattern will include the following components, taught as seminars or group tutorials:

  • The first seminar provides an overview of editing and composition.
  • A second seminar deals with electronic resources and information technology issues (internet and database searches, bibliographical software).
  • A third seminar deals with the initial choice of a dissertation topic..
  • A fourth seminar involves the oral presentation and review of a full dissertation proposal (followed by submission of a 2,000-word proposal outline, assessed as a pass-fail component).
  • A final session, to take place late in the autumn semester, will give students an opportunity to make an oral 'interim progress presentation', offering an overview of their work thus far.

MA dissertation supervisors will reinforce aspects of the research skills seminars when they meet with students individually during the summer and autumn/winter. Emphasis is placed on individual study.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Seminars/lectures: 5 taught sessions 4 x 2.5 = 10
Scheduled learning and teaching Individual and Group Tutorials 3
Guided independent study Directed and Independent learning 887
Total (number of credits x 10) 900

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to test a student's ability to meet the module's learning outcomes. Formative assessment involves oral presentations and two pass/fail written components, which must both be completed before a student can submit the dissertation itself:

  • Dissertation proposal of 2,000 words (pass-fail component), due in the early autumn
  • Literature review of 2,000 words (pass-fail component), due in mid to late autumn

Summative assessment is based on evaluation of a written dissertation of up to a maximum of 20,000 words (100%), due in March of year two of the degree for a full-time student (or March of year three for a part-time student).

The skills required to prepare these assessed elements will be developed in formative activities throughout the module, notably through individual tutorials, group discussion, and feedback on in-class presentations. These activies offer opportunities for formative peer and staff assessment. Preparation of the dissertation normally includes at least four or five tutorials with a supervisor, supplemented by email correspondence.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1. Undertake intensive and complex independent research at an advanced level, and provide critical treatment of a clearly defined area of academic discussion. Assessed formatively through group discussion, individual presentations, tutorials and preparation of the dissertation proposal, and summatively through preparation of the dissertation itself.
2. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the distinctive features, issues and problems of a particular topic within their chosen field. Assessed formatively through group discussion, individual presentations, tutorials and preparation of the dissertation proposal, and summatively through preparation of the dissertation itself.
3. Situate this topic in relation to current academic discussions and debate. Assessed formatively through group discussion, individual presentations, tutorials and preparation of the dissertation proposal, and summatively through preparation of the dissertation itself.
4. Undertake the work of close textual analysis of demanding philosophical texts. Assessed formatively through group discussion, individual presentations, tutorials and preparation of the dissertation proposal, and summatively through preparation of the dissertation itself.
5. Comprehend, reconstruct and interpret philosophical arguments, and situate these arguments in the context of the history of philosophy. Assessed formatively through group discussion, individual presentations, tutorials and preparation of the dissertation proposal, and summatively through preparation of the dissertation itself.
6. Produce a, sustained, coherent and appropriately presented written analysis (up to 20,000 words, including all footnotes) of their chosen topic. Assessed formatively through group discussion, individual presentations, tutorials and preparation of the dissertation proposal, and summatively through preparation of the dissertation itself.

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Dissertation 20000 words 100
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It is a requirement that the major categories of assessment are passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

To be determined by the student in consultation with academic staff.

Bibliography recommended reading

To be determined by the student in consultation with academic staff.

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