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BA German Studies / Course details
Year of entry: 2022
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Course unit details:
Dissertation in German Studies
|Unit level||Level 3|
|Teaching period(s)||Full year|
|Offered by||German Studies|
|Available as a free choice unit?||No|
This course unit is a guided research unit, in which the student submits a 12,000-word dissertation on a subject of her or his own choosing that relates to the German-speaking world (subject to approval by the convenor). The student will be expected to identify and develop a dissertation topic appropriate to the scale of the project. They will shape a central research question that should provide scope to explore sophisticated critical issues and undertake complex research and analysis. Following some initial lectures on key issues related to undertaking and designing a dissertation project, the convenor will allocate the student a dissertation supervisor, who will provide guidance with relevant research methods, writing skills and analysis of data. Thus, this course unit affords the student the opportunity to design and undertake a large research project, and will involve significant independent research.
IMPORTANT: Students are reminded that they should seek formal ethical approval before undertaking any research for their dissertation that involves third parties (e.g. interviews, questionnaires, etc.). This includes any preliminary research that students may wish to undertake during their year abroad or the summer prior to their final year. They should contact the dissertation convenor for guidance on how and when to apply for such approval.
None. However, an average mark of 60% at Level 2 is usually necessary for admission onto this course unit.
To develop a better understanding of the languages, cultures and/or histories of the German-speaking world
To explore an aspect of the languages, cultures and/or histories of the German-speaking world in greater analytical depth
To develop critical thinking, conceptual reasoning and analytical skills
To place an analysis of culture and/or history in their social, aesthetic and political context
On successful completion of the course the student will be able to:
Knowledge and understanding
Show an in-depth knowledge of an aspect of the languages, cultures and/or histories of the German-speaking world
Show familiarity with key scholarly debates and literature about their chosen topic
Define a topic for research
Write and revise a key research question
Write analytical plans for extended pieces of work
Develop a written argument of depth and complexity, using primary sources and critical literature, with a standard of scholarly presentation of the material produced appropriate to Level 3 study.¿
Use the library, electronic and online resources
Engage in significant independent research
Design a large-scale research project appropriate to Level 3 study
Organize a large volume of information
Transferable skills and personal qualities
Manage time effectively, self-motivate and work to deadlines
Communicate a coherent and critical argument of depth and complexity in written form
Use information and communication technology (ICT)
Assess the relevance and importance of the ideas of others
Demonstrate powers of analysis
Display good literacy skills in English
Show awareness of and responsiveness to the nature and extent of intercultural diversity.
- Analytical skills
- Students taking this unit will be able to analyse and evaluate both existing literature on the material studied and the primary set materials themselves. Above all, committed students will emerge from this course unit with an advanced capacity to think critically, i.e. knowledgeably, rigorously, confidently and independently.
- On this unit students are encouraged to design a large-scale research project, and respond imaginatively and independently to the questions and ideas raised by existing literature on the topic and the primary materials studied.
- Project management
- Students taking this unit will be able to work towards deadlines, work independently and to manage their time effectively.
- Students on this unit will be required to digest, summarise and present large amounts of information. They are encouraged to enrich their responses and arguments with a wide range of further reading.
- Written communication
- Students on this unit will develop their ability to communicate a coherent and critical argument of depth and complexity in written form and to write in a way that is lucid, precise and compelling
Dissertation title, abstract and annotated bibliography - 5%
Dissertation plan - 5%
Draft Chapter (Formative)
Dissertation - 90%
Formative or Summative
Written and oral feedback on the title, abstract and annotated bibliography
Written and oral feedback on the dissertation plan
Written and oral feedback on draft chapter
Written feedback on the dissertation
Suggested further readings
Chambers, Ellie, and Northledge, Andrew, The Arts Good Study Guide (Milton Keynes: Oxford University Press, 1997)
Reardon, Denis, Doing Your Undergraduate Project (London: SAGE, 2004)
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Matthew Jefferies||Unit coordinator|
|Wiebke Brockhaus-Grand||Unit coordinator|