Core Module Information
Module title: Dissertation Project

SCQF level: 11:
SCQF credit value: 60.00
ECTS credit value: 30

Module code: SSC11123
Module leader: Roberto Kulpa
School School of Applied Sciences
Subject area group: Social Science


Description of module content:

The dissertation project is a piece of advanced, independent scholarship & research work that you will carry out individually. It is the module that builds on, and elevates the knowledge, skills, and capacities developed across other modules, into a sustained, systematic and comprehensive piece of work that demonstrates the achievement of the learning outcomes for the MSC Social Research programme. In the project, you will be expected to critically engage with academic, public, and other literatures and sources, relating to the relevant theories, concepts, and models covered during the programme. The project also enables you to illustrate and utilise a range of transferable skills that you will have developed during workshops and peer activities across the programme. These skills and interpersonal capacities form a bedrock of professional attitudes in any workplace. You will be matched with a Dissertation Mentor best placed to guide you through the project. We have a wealth of expertise in the social sciences but where appropriate, may offer supervision from colleagues, for example, in Criminology, Psychology, Health and Social Care, or Business.

The dissertation project that you will carry out will be structured according to your interests and post-graduation plans. For example:
• You may opt to design and execute a new research project and seek to disseminate the findings to the relevant audiences.
• If you have (or will undertake) work experience that is relevant to the programme of study, you may opt in to do practice-based project.

Learning Outcomes for module:

1. Evidence the appropriate depth of knowledge in a chosen field/topic, through a critical and comprehensive review of key texts and ongoing debates in the field.
2. Exemplify the complex theoretical and practical aspects, as well as for ethical and socio-political issues affecting the preparation, delivery, and dissemination of your project.
3. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of research and evaluation methods appropriate to the scope of your project, by preparing a range of related outputs from different stages of project development (e.g. topic presentations to a larger audience, a project impact plan, reports or other dissemination outputs, a dissertation).
4. Carry out a sustained, extended, independent research/scholarship/work-practice project. This will evidence a robust research design and its implementation plan through tailored data collection and analysis strategies, resulting in theoretically sound and empirically grounded scholarship.
5. Show effective project and time management skills, professional aptitudes, and conduct.

Full Details of Teaching and Assessment
2022/3, Trimester 3, FACE-TO-FACE,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: SIGHTHILL
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Roberto Kulpa
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
Teaching and leaning on the Dissertation Project develops across several modalities and channels of delivery:
• through the workshops, scheduled guest sessions, periodic programme-exclusive events, individual work,
• delivered on campus, online, through fieldwork and external visits,
• enhanced through individual, personalised tutoring and mentorship activities,
• self-evaluation exercises, and diverse assessment strategies enhancing and mobilising further learning.

Module is driven by individual relationship between you and your Dissertation Mentor, with whom you will craft an individual project and managements strategy, best suited to the research scope, interests shared between you and the mentor, your life commitments, and other professional duties you may have. Periodic activities scheduled for all the group will guide you towards milestones in achieving your Dissertation Project goals, and key skills. We will use blended learning technologies in response to your needs, and diverse and applied nature of learned and practised content. Enriching the in-class activities hosted on campus, we will hold meetings and activities outdoors, in museums and galleries, organise fieldwork days and research visits to the partner organisations and businesses (where and if appropriate, and conditions permitting).

You will take part in the annual MSc Research Awayday during which Dissertation Project Presentations will be held. These programme-exclusive events organised specifically to build sense of group and programme identity, are also aimed at extending employability opportunities by facilitated networking opportunities with members of our Advisory Board and business partners. You will also be asked to participate in Social Sciences Seminars run in our subject group, whereby staff and external guests present and discuss their research and work. This participation will further enhance your experience, support individual learning at an advanced level, and strengthen mentoring relation that you will develop with the Social Sciences staff.

In particular, on this module:
1. Individual meetings with the Dissertation Mentor to discuss the individual progress will directly support you in achieving LO 1,2,3,4,5.
2. The Annual MSc Research Awayday is an excellent chance to enhance LO 1,2,3.
3. Guest lectures from invitees across the business sector will help you with tailoring LO 3,4.
4. Systematic, individual, self-guided work, which forms the core basis of this module, is the main pathway for you to show your readiness in fulfilling LO 1,2,3,4,5.

Formative Assessment:
Formative feedback for this module has been situated (and signposted) in modules earlier in the programmes, in addition to tasks situated within this module directed towards the summative portfolio. In doing this, the programme thus builds a project-wide a scaffolded feedback arrangement that is deployed throughout the year, underpinning your progression and nurturing systematic insight. For instance:
• Feedback from Applied Research Design on your research proposal will help you with refining and adjusting ideas for presentation of your project during planned MSc Research Awayday.
• Feedback from Evaluation and Impact will help you refine and adjust the Project Impact Plan.
• Feedback from qualitative and quantitative methods modules will help you craft individual research strategy.
Additionally, there will be ongoing feedback opportunities within the module itself:
• You will practice presentations during tutorials and receive peer-feedback to refine your dissemination skills (supporting you in crafting element 1).
• Main feedback is in the form of an individual mentoring with the Dissertation Mentor, along CPD (Continuous Professional Development) activities, informing your tailored Project Collection.

Summative Assessment:
You will complete two components for your summative assessment: component 1, which is worth 20% of the module mark, and component 2 (where you have a choice of assessment format), which is worth 80%.
Component 1:
• 20% - Project Impact Plan (Assessed LO: 2,3). A single output outlining possible dissemination / communication plans for findings/ knowledge/ skills produced during the Dissertation Project. Length and format will be specified by and agreed with the Dissertation Mentor, reflecting your individual ideas and choices (typically it may be between 1,000-2,000 words).

Component 2:
• 80% - Dissertation Thesis (Assessed LO: 1,2,3,4,5) A single output in the form of a written dissertation, based on a piece of applied research utilising primary or secondary data. The dissertation will include an appendix evidencing LO5 (e.g. Gantt Chart and Self-Reflection statement). Submitted at the end of Trim 3. Length and format will be specified by and agreed with the Dissertation Mentor, reflecting your individual ideas and choices (typically it may be between 13,000-14,000 words).

• 80% - Dissertation Project Collection (Assessed LO: 1,2,3,4,5) (min. 5000 words) (Submitted at the end of Trim 3) A collection of evidence (documents, objects, and other outputs related to your specific project), showcasing applied research skills within a broader professional context. The content of the Collection will depend on the nature of the carried project, therefore the format and length will be agreed with a Dissertation Mentor in advance.. In all the cases, the following three types of collected evidence will be included:
o Review of key literature, policy documents, datasets, or other sources/evidence relevant to the dissertation project. (indicative length: ca. 3,000-4,000 words)
o Self-reflexive diary in which you critically reflect on professional progression during the work experience as an outcome of the learning on the MSc programme. (indicative length: ca. 1,000-2,000 words)
o Selection of outputs exemplifying knowledge, skills, and capacity increase during the work experience. These may include, among others, video diaries, testimonials from the supervisor and/or colleagues, workplace visit report from the programme team, documents/outputs/objects created during the work experience, critical annotations on these outputs, and other relevant items. (Variable length and format, agreed with the Dissertation Mentor).

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Independent Learning Guided independent study 558
Face To Face Project Supervision 30
Face To Face Practical classes and workshops 12
Total Study Hours600
Expected Total Study Hours for Module600

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Portfolio 20 2,3 5 , WORDS= 2000
Portfolio 80 1,2,3,4,5 14/15 , WORDS= 14000
Component 1 subtotal: 20
Component 2 subtotal: 80
Module subtotal: 100

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
Contact your module leader