BA English Language and Russian

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:

Course unit fact file
Unit code LELA30000
Credit rating 40
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course unit is a guided research module, in which the student submits a 10,000-word dissertation on a subject of their own choosing. A dissertation supervisor provides guidance on the research methods, writing skills and analysis of data. The student is expected to identify and develop a dissertation topic appropriate to the scale of the project. The project will have a specific research question which will be explored on the basis of empirical data and a critical analysis of relevant literature. Thus, this course unit gives students the opportunity to design and undertake their own research project with an expectation that they will study independently and produce a significant result. The first three lectures will address important training issues and the technical aspects of writing a dissertation.


Independent research in an area of the student’s choice (subject to supervision expertise), involving:

  • Design of a research project of appropriate scale and methods
  • Critical discussion of relevant research literature
  • Analysis of empirical data
  • Presentation of results

Teaching and learning methods

As this is a research module, there will be three one-hour lectures in weeks 1, 2 and 3 of Semester 1 only.

Supervision methods must be agreed between the supervisor and the student on an individual basis. The student can expect five one-to-one face-to-face supervision meetings: three in semester 1 and two in semester 2. In cases in which a supervisor has more than one student working on similar topics, group supervision sessions may be offered.

Students will submit three pieces of formative work at specific times in the year and receive comments on these from their supervisor.

On Blackboard, students will find: slides for the introductory lectures; the dissertation guide; information about ethical approval; guidance documents on dissertation presentation and referencing. Submission of formative and summative pieces of work will be via Turnitin on Blackboard.

Knowledge and understanding

After successful completion of this unit, students will have:

  • Increased their knowledge and understanding of the chosen research area
  • Identified research methods and analytical skills relevant to their chosen research area

Intellectual skills

After successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Develop an extended written argument of depth and complexity
  • Evaluate and synthesize a substantial body of primary research literature
  • Most students will collect, describe, and analyse substantial data sets using the appropriate methodologies and theoretical frameworks

Practical skills

After successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  • Design and manage an independent research project
  • Identify and access relevant primary sources and critical literature
  • Analyse data sets using the appropriate methods for a given topic
  • Present a 10,000-word piece of writing with a standard of scholarly presentation appropriate to Level 3 study

Transferable skills and personal qualities

On successful completion of the course the student will have acquired:

  • The ability to communicate a coherent and critical argument of depth and complexity in written form
  • The ability to engage in significant independent research and design a large research project
  • Plan a long-term task with appropriate time-management

Employability skills

This course is especially relevant to students who plan to pursue a career that involves research skills. It prepares students for postgraduate study, but the skills acquired will also be relevant for careers that involve non-academic types of research, for example, journalism or law. The experience of managing a project independently will be an asset for many careers across different sectors

Assessment methods

Assessment Task

Formative or Summative


Expanded Research Proposal



Dissertation-specific piece (to be agreed with supervisor)



Draft Chapter







Feedback methods

Feedback Method

Formative or Summative

Feedback in this module will consist of comments made by your supervisor during individual or group meetings throughout the academic year. Students will receive written and/or oral feedback on the formative pieces of coursework via Turnitin and in face-to-face meetings. Please note that different arrangements may be made by different supervisors.


Individual written feedback will be provided in Turnitin on the dissertation.




Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 3
Project supervision 5
Independent study hours
Independent study 392

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Eva Schultze-Berndt Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Enrolment procedure: Students must submit their dissertation topic proposal form to the discipline area Undergraduate Support Officer in May preceding the academic year in which they want to start work on their dissertation. It is expected that students will have already thought about a potential topic before beginning the course module. Only students who average at least 60% in their second year will be allowed to register for a dissertation (special provisions will be made for students who take first sits during the August resit period). Students are allowed to submit a first and reserve proposal, which must be clearly marked as such. Students have to specify a potential supervisor for each proposal and are encouraged to contact potential supervisors before submitting a proposal. Each member of staff provides a list of areas in which they are willing to supervise and dissertation topics are subject to the availability of a staff member with relevant expertise. The course convenor will coordinate distribution of proposals and allocation of supervisors. Staff consider the proposals they have received, and decide which of them they wish to accept, interviewing students if necessary. Students whose dissertation proposals are rejected will have to register for other course units.

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