ARCH41390 Masters Dissertation

Academic Year 2023/2024

During this module you will develop your own independent master's dissertation research project, progressing through key stages of research design, including identifying a clear research question, selecting an appropriate dataset and methodology, and drafting a proposal. We will address topics that are foundational for conducting academic research, including constructing research questions, developing strategies for time management, identifying and planning for potential obstacles, understanding research ethics, and summarising your work in a presentation to an academic audience. The module structure will incorporate lectures, small group discussion, and interactive activities. "Spring Trimester assignments are designed to scaffold the process of research design, including the development of a project abstract, presentation, and proposal, with final proposals approved by the School in time to allow students to work on their projects in Summer Trimester. The overall aim of the two-trimester module is to provide the research skills necessary to design and develop your master's dissertation, which will be submitted during the summer trimester.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Upon completing this module you will have:

1) Learned how to identify and develop an academic research question
2) Designed and conducted an independent research project
3) Learned to prepare for and overcome the challenges inherent in carrying out research
4) Produced a 15,000 word dissertation (the thesis)

Indicative Module Content:

Discussion and creation of a topic for dissertation research, and a plan for carrying out that research. Topics will include: ethics, defining your research interests, structure of a viable research plan, time management. Much of the fundamental feedback will come via assignments and one-on-one meetings with the module coordinator. Peer group feedback, where possible, will play a coaching vs advisory function.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
– Lectures on approaches to research design, i.e. developing a research question, locating appropriate references, identifying key methodology, etc.
– Scaffolded approach to development of student dissertation project including project abstract and initial bibliography, project presentation, and project proposal
– Students will complete the module by submitting their master's dissertation 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Project Proposal: Week 9 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Project Presentation - individual presentations Week 7 n/a Other No


Assignment: Master's minor thesis Unspecified n/a Graded No


Assignment: Project abstract, proposed approach and initial bibliography. This can be submitted as a written assignment (<1500 words plus bibliography) OR as a video assignment (scripted, <10min, incl biblio) Week 3 n/a Other No


Carry forward of passed components
Remediation Type Remediation Timing
In-Module Resit Prior to relevant Programme Exam Board
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
2 Trimester (Jan-Aug)
Lecture Offering M1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Thurs 12:00 - 13:50