The dissertation provides students with an opportunity to pursue in some depth one academic topic they encountered within the area of contemporary European studies that interests them especially. More specifically, the dissertation provides students with the opportunity to design and complete a research project drawing on the assistance of a designated academic supervisor. A well designed dissertation should comprise a clear, original, interesting and answerable research question or problem which is:
- Focused and clear;
- Addressing one main question, not many;
- Related to a topic which has sufficient existing material i.e. a literature;
- Interesting and challenging;
- Draws from, and relates to, issues raised in the taught component of the degree programme;
- Original in the evidence brought to bear on a particular debate.
Students successfully completing this unit will have:
- Practiced and developed skills required to pursue independent learning, with limited supervision;
- Undertaken primary research relevant to the chosen field of study and/or;
- Demonstrated an ability to develop a level of conceptual and theoretical analysis commensurate with a Masters level degree.
The skills the unit will develop are:
- Advanced research skills in identifying, locating and exploiting a wide range of descriptive, evaluative and theoretical literature.
- Intellectual skills of conceptual, original and independent thinking, critical analysis, synthesis and reasoned argument.
- Skills of assessment and judgement in relation to the soundness of competing arguments and scenarios including the reporting and assessing of qualitative and quantitative data.
- Generic and transferable skills related to the oral and written presentation of ideas.
- Skills of self-direction, self-evaluation and time-management.
A topic relevant to the previous modules of the degree programme.
Dissertations, compared to coursework that you may have produced previously, test your ability to develop a more sustained argument, as well as providing you with the opportunity to analyse a chosen question in more detail. Students are advised to commence thinking about possible dissertation topics early in the programme, but to then develop these ideas as the programme develops.