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Sociology Dissertation

  • Module code: SO6016
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 6
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: Successful completion of level 5 Sociology or equivalent
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module provides students with an opportunity to develop their own sociological specialism by conducting an extended and in-depth study on a topic of their choosing. Students will be tutored in the skills necessary to successfully complete a final year dissertation and will work with a staff supervisor to develop a critical understanding of their research topic. These skills, involving an ability to organise and plan work effectively and autonomously will enhance their employability.

Aims

  • To enhance and exercise the study skills necessary to the successful completion of a final year dissertation.
  • To plan and design an extended piece of academic work and present the completed work as a written dissertation.
  • To develop a detailed and critical understanding of field of sociological enquiry.

Learning outcomes

  • Formulate a clearly viable research proposal and extensive literature search appropriate for a final level dissertation
  • Demonstrate an ability to organise and plan work effectively over a limited period of time
  • Demonstrate an ability to successfully complete a substantial piece of written work to satisfy the demands of the marking criteria
  • Demonstrate an ability to work autonomously

Curriculum content

  • The nature of a sociology dissertation
  • Advanced literature search and research skills
  • Refining research design and questions
  • Assessing feasibility and planning
  • Ethics
  • Project management
  • Information and data collection and presentation.
  • Structuring and Writing up a dissertation

Teaching and learning strategy

This module will be taught by a combination of two hour research skills workshops and one-to-one supervision sessions. Workshops will be interactive in nature and will provide students the opportunity to develop their dissertation through individual and group work tasks. The seminars will give the students opportunities to discuss their own dissertation and how this relates to the material outlined in the workshop programme. Relevant learning materials will be provided on StudySpace, including digitised reading materials, workshop slides and templates. Students will be expected to engage in a significant amount of independent study which will involve reviewing literature, conducting research, analysing data and preparing assessment.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Workshops (7 x 2 hours) Individual supervision 14 10
Guided independent study Research and writing of dissertation 276
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

The module will be assessed using a combination of formative and summative assessment. Students will receive individual feedback on formative assessment so that they are able to use this constructively in the summative assessment on the module.

Draft critical literature review (formative) 1,000 words 

A1 Portfolio (20%) consisting of: a dissertation proposal including an annotated bibliography (1,500 word) and an action plan (timetable)

A2 Dissertation (80%) 8,000 – 10,000 words

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
Formulate a clearly viable research proposal and extensive literature search appropriate for a Final level dissertation Draft Critical Literature Review(formative) A1 Portfolio A2 Dissertation
Demonstrate an ability to organise and plan work effectively over a limited period of time Draft Critical Literature Review (formative) A1 Portfolio (summative) A2 Dissertation (summative)
Demonstrate the ability to successfully complete a substantial piece of written work to satisfy the demands of the marking criteria A1 Portfolio A2 Dissertation
Demonstrate an ability to work autonomously Draft Critical Literature Review(formative) A1 Portfolio A2 Dissertation

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Portfolio 1500 words 20
CWK 8,000 - 10,000 word dissertation 80
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module

Bibliography core texts

Czarniawska, B (2014) Social Science Research: From Field to Desk, London: Sage.

Greetham B (2009) How to Write your Undergraduate Dissertation, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Walliman, N (2013) Your Undergraduate Dissertation: The Essential Guide for Success, London: Sage.

Bibliography recommended reading

Becker, L (2014) Writing Successfully Reports and Dissertations, Sage.

Becker, L (2014) Presenting your Research : Conferences, Symposiums, Poster Presentations and Beyond, Sage.

Elster, J (1989) Nuts and Bolts for Social Science, Cambridge University Press.

Fasett, D (2014) A Student Workbook for Public Speaking: Speak from the Heart, Sage

Gelbart L and Palumbo D (2000) Writing from Inside Out, John Wiley and Sons.

Johnson, W and Rittig RP (2005) Sociology Student Writer's Manual, Pearson.

Swetnam D and Swetnam R (2009) Writing your Dissertation, 3rd ed, How to Books.

Richlin-Klonsky J and Strenski E (2001) A Guide to Writing Sociology Papers, Worth Publishers.

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