BAEcon Development Studies

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:
Dissertation (20 credits)

Unit code SOCY30920
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Sociology
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


A dissertation involves independent study of a topic chosen by the student after consultation with their supervisor. Sources for dissertation topics include issues in your everyday life that intrigue you and questions that have arisen in your taught modules that you would like to pursue further. 


The aim of the 20-credit dissertation is to give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge of sociological theories and concepts. Working under the guidance of a supervisor, they will undertake primary, secondary or library research on a sociological topic of their choosing and present the results in a 6,000 to 7,000 word dissertation. The aim of the dissertation course is to provide guidance on the selection of topics, the development of the research proposal, the conduct of the research, the analysis of results, the oral presentation of the project, the process of writing, and the structure and format of the dissertation. Students will gain experience in planning, conducting and presenting sociological research.

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture-style material will be delivered  through a mix of up to one hour pre-recorded (i.e. asynchronous) content and one hour live (i.e. synchronous) lecturer-led classes. 

 Individual supervision will be delivered on-campus as long as government guidelines allow, otherwise they will be delivered online., plus a virtual seminar

Assessment methods

Dissertation of between 6,000 and 7,000 words (85%) and Research Proposal of 2500 words (15%)

Feedback methods


All sociology courses include both formative feedback – which lets you know how you’re getting on and what you could do to improve – and summative feedback – which gives you a mark for your assessed work.

Recommended reading

Alan Bryman
Social Research Methods, Oxford, 2001

Nigel Gilbert, ed
Researching Social Life, Sage, 1993

Jennifer Mason
Qualitative Researching, Sage, 1996

The Craft of Writing Sociology 


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment practical exam 0.5
Lectures 24
Project supervision 8
Independent study hours
Independent study 167.5

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
James Rhodes Unit coordinator
Richie Nimmo Unit coordinator

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