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Media and Communication Dissertation

  • Module code: MD7004
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 60
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module enables students to demonstrate their ability to undertake a sustained piece of independent project in media and communication at an advanced level on a topic of their choice agreed in conjunction with their dissertation supervisor. Dissertations may be based on some primary research into a particular case study, archive or canon in combination with an engagement with secondary material, criticism or literature review. Students can either undertake a standard dissertation (12- 15,000 words) or a practice-based dissertation (plus a maximum of 5,000 word reflection on practice and/ or the creative process). The second part of MD7001 provides the teaching for this module, and covers research skills such as constructing a proposal, editing and composition, reflection on practice, referencing, and on online and electronic research methods.

Aims

The aims of this module are to:

  • To enable students to conduct detailed and extensive research into a distinctive area of inquiry in the field of media and communication
  • To enable students to devise and define a research topic of their choice relevant to their field
  • To provide students with an opportunity to engage in supervised but independently undertaken research, study and learning
  • To allow students to demonstrate the research skills and knowledge they have acquired on the course

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of a specialised area of research
  • Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of current critical, theoretical, historical and methodological debates appropriate to the selected research topic
  • Structure and present a complex argument in a coherent fashion backed up with detailed and extensive evidence
  • Organise and sustain wide ranging research over a period of time

Produce a, sustained, coherent and appropriately presented written dissertation or an extended practical project with a written component to reflect on practice.

Curriculum content

In addition to working closely with their allocated supervisors, students are responsible for planning and managing their independent study following feedback on their research proposal and work in progress

Teaching and learning strategy

Part II of MD7001 provides the teaching for the dissertation module. Supervisions are designed to help students with expert knowledge on their selected topic, and provide them with academic support to refine their research question, develop a research bibliography, and select appropriate research methods and theoretical frameworks to carry out research on their selected topic.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive UNISTATS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled Supervision 6
Guided independent study Researching and writing (for traditional dissertations) or researching, production and reflection (for practice-based projects) 594
Total (number of credits x 10) 600

Assessment strategy

A draft research proposal and supervision logs will offer formative feedback on the students' work-in-progress.

Traditional dissertation option: The 12-15,000 word Dissertation will enable the students to demonstrate their ability to collect data and to organize and present their data using appropriate academic protocols and presentational skills.

Practice-based dissertation option: The practice-based project includes a written component of up to 5000 word, and will enable students to demonstrate their ability to reflect on their own practice and apply appropriate theoretical concepts.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of a specialised area of research Assessed formatively by the dissertation proposal and summatively by the dissertation (standard or practice-based)
Demonstrate advanced knowledge and understanding of current critical, theoretical, historical and methodological debates appropriate to the selected research topic Assessed by the dissertation (Standard or practice-based)
Structure and present a complex argument in a coherent fashion backed up with detailed and extensive evidence Standard Dissertation or practice-based reflection
Organise and sustain wide-ranging research over a period of time Standard Dissertation or practice-based reflection
Produce a sustained, coherent and appropriately presented written dissertation or an extended practical project with a written component to reflect on practice Standard dissertation or practice-based project with written reflection on practice

Elements of Assessment

Description of Assessment Definitive UNISTATS Categories Percentage
CWK Dissertation 12-15,000 words Or practice-based dissertation with up to 5000 word reflection 100
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS a requirement that the major category of assessment is passed in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

This will vary depending on the object of analysis, but students are also referred to one of the following:

Cottrell, Stella (2005) Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis and Argument New York: Palgrave.

Cottrell, Stella (2008) Study Skills Handbook (3rd Edition). New York: Palgrave

Deacon, David, Pickering, Michael, Golding, Peter and Murdock, Graham (2007) Researching Communications (2nd Edition). London: Arnold.

Northedge, Andy (2005) The Good Study Guide. Milton Keynes: Open University.

Schutt, Russell K. (2006) Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research (5th Edition). London: Pine Forge Press

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