BA History and Sociology

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Dissertation B (40 credits)

Course unit fact file
Unit code SOCY30930
Credit rating 40
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Sociology
Available as a free choice unit? No


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 dissertation module is only open to BSocSociology students and students on any joint programme or pathway that involves sociology  (although each joint programme has its own pre-requisites or regulations about credit options etc).

In order to pursue a dissertation project involving primary qualitative data, such as observations or interviews, you must have completed a relevant qualitative research methods module in year 2 of your programme. To pursue a project involving quantitative data, you must have completed a relevant quantitative methods or statistical methods module in year 2 of your programme. Students who have not completed relevant research methods modules in year 2 may still choose the dissertation module, but they will be limited to a theoretical or library-based dissertation.


The aim of the 40-credit dissertation is to give students an extended 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 12,000 to 13,000 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

Lectures through a mix of up to one hour pre-recorded (i.e. asynchronous) content and one hour live (i.e. synchronous) lecturer-led classes and individual supervision and seminars will be delivered on-campus as long as government guidelines allow, otherwise they will be delivered online.

Assessment methods


2500 word research proposal worth 15%

15 minute presentation worth 10%

12000-13000 word dissertation worth 75%

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

Roger Sapsford and Victor Jupp, eds.
Data Collection and Analysis, Sage/Open University, 1996

The Craft of Writing Sociology 


Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 30
Project supervision 4
Independent study hours
Independent study 366

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Gemma Edwards Unit coordinator
Richie Nimmo Unit coordinator

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