BA Linguistics and Social Anthropology / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Dissertation A

Course unit fact file
Unit code SOAN30610
Credit rating 40
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


This dissertation is for students on the BSocSc (Hons) in Social Anthropology, and for students on the BASS and joint degree programmes with Social Anthropology pathways who choose to write a Social Anthropology dissertation. Students will be provided with a workshop-style class in the first semester to discuss research methods and the key stages entailed - from crystallising research aims and objectives, devising research strategies, building a set of readings, and organising materials for the writing process. The class places emphasis on practical workshops, as well as theoretical and ethical concerns surrounding the politics of knowledge and ethnographic work and representation. Students will also have a chance to read past dissertations together so they know what is expected of them vis-à-vis the marking criteria. Semester 2 will involve more independent research and writing, with the guidance of dissertation supervisors who will have been working with the students from the first semester. There will not be timetabled seminars in Semester 2.


In the first semester, students will identify clear and limited research aims and objectives thus formulating clear research questions, devise research strategies, carry out a literature search, and build an initial organisation of materials for the writing process. During the second semester, students will write their dissertation.



Learning outcomes

By the end of the first semester, students will be able to formulate their own research questions, be aware of how to research them in an anthropological way, compile a portfolio of literature reviews, be aware of both ethical and theoretical concerns on how to address the question and have completed all the necessary background work to complete a dissertation. During the second semester, students will write a dissertation supported by regular meetings with their dissertation supervisor.



Teaching and learning methods

There will be a series of workshops during the first semester, complemented by one-to-one supervision with dissertation supervisors throughout the year. Whilst the workshops are optional, students will benefit from attending them.


Assessment methods

Dissertation of 10,000 words (100%)

Feedback methods

Students will receive one-to-one supervision to support their dissertation writing. They will therefore receive ongoing feedback on their progress, as long as they take advantage of the supervision on offer. Students are also encouraged to write a dissertation proposal before the Christmas break, and the supervisor will provide feedback on it. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Project supervision 8
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 382

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sonja Dobroski Unit coordinator

Additional notes



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