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Module Code: POU44000

Module Name: Year Long Research Project (Capstone/Dissertation) 2020-21

  • ECTS Weighting: 20
  • Semester/Term Taught: Semester 1 and 2
  • Contact Hours: 2 hour seminars weekly
  • Module Personnel: Dr Liam Kneafsey
  • Office hours: TBC

PLEASE NOTE: Students choosing a Capstone project must submit both

  1. a completed Module Choice form and
  2. a completed Capstone Theme Choice form
to the Department of Political Science on polsci@tcd.ie on the same date.


Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Execute a demanding political science research project;
  • Collaborate with peers and act in leadership roles;
  • Constructively evaluate and the work of others;
  • Synthesise and evaluate a variety of research methods, sources, findings and analysis.
  • Critically analyse of an area of political science through independent research;
  • Effectively communicate research findings.

Module Learning Aims, Module Content, and Methods of Teaching and Student Learning

Details of the Capstone research project are set out in detail in the “Capstone 2020-21 Document”, available from Dr Kneafsey, Capstone Coordinator. All students are advised to read this document when making this module choice and submit Capstone Theme Choice Form, available here. Please note, you must submit your Module Choice Form and your Capstone Theme Choice Form to the Department of Political Science Executive Officer for Undergraduate Courses. If you do not submit both documents on time, you will be not permitted to enrol in this module.


Assessment Details

Research projects, written assignments, poster sessions, participation in class will be assessed by the Theme instructor, in coordination with the Departmental Capstone coordinator, and subject to moderation by the Political Science Department and the External Examiner.  Materials may be sent for review to an external examiner. In exceptional cases, an oral examination of the candidate may be required by the examiner(s).

Capstone research projects will be expected to include basic features of research in political science, such as defining a research question in terms of a “variation to be explained”, an assessment of previous scholarship, the elaboration of an explanation, an empirical test, and the drawing of conclusions from the project.

If different / more specific grading criteria are appropriate for a particular Capstone theme, (for example, there is a greater focus on historical research, or computer programming, or a political theory topic) these will be made clear to students at the start of the academic year.

The research projects will also be assessed on the quality of writing, structure and presentation. Overall standards for the assessment of students’ work are set out in the Department of Political Science Undergraduate Handbook.

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