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SO4200 Sociology/Social Policy Dissertation (15 ECTS credits)

Lecturer(s): Dr Pablo Gracia

Module Content/Outline:

The dissertation is available to single honours majors in sociology, final year TSM majors and Sociology and Social Policy students. It involves writing a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words. Students work with an individual supervisor drawing on a research proposal completed as part of the Junior Sophister Researching Society module.
Part I of the fortnightly seminar (Michaelmas Term) discusses thematic issues including how to formulate research questions, how to write a literature review, how to structure a dissertation and how to connect theory, methodology and data. Part II (Hilary Term) is based on individual presentations of students' work in progress including problems encountered.
The instructor will include some readings on the course to get the skills needed to successfully engage in the work on the dissertation. This means that the three recommended books are optional.

Learning Objectives:

Students successfully completing the module will be able to:

  • Identify a sociological topic or problem and formulate appropriate research question(s) to answer it;
  • Critically discuss and synthesise relevant literature and link it with your research problem;
  • Discuss and reflect on your research methodology including ethical issues;
  • Analyse data and link new original findings to existing literature and theoretical aspects;
  • Discuss and reflect on your work-in-progress through individual in-class presentations;
  • Demonstrate the research skills required to carry out postgraduate research;
  • Write a dissertation to professional standards.

Lectures & Tutorials/ Contact hours:

One hour per fortnight attendance at dissertation seminar, plus regular contact with supervisor (see dissertation guidelines).
Workload: Lectures: 10 hrs; Self-study/dissertation: 300-340 hrs. Total: 350 hours.

Recommended Texts/ Key Reading:

  • Bryman, A., 2015. Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Thomas, G. (2009) How to do your Research Project, London: Sage.
  • Walliman, N. (2004) Your Undergraduate Dissertation,London: Sage.

Assessment: Dissertation accounts for 100% of overall grade.

Dates for submission: Research Proposal/Ethics Form: 25th October 2017

Undergraduate Dissertation: Thursday 5th April 2018.

Penalties for late submission: Without an authorised extension, the mark given will be lowered by one grade