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School of Social Sciences

Student in the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons
BSocSc Politics and International Relations
Gain the skills to critical examine international and comparative politics.

BSocSc Politics and International Relations / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Dissertation A

Unit code POLI30300
Credit rating 40
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Offered by Politics
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


A topic of a student's own choosing that is related to her/his final year politics course units or, when there is no relevant final year course unit, to one of her/his second or first year politics course units.


Available to student on the following degree programmes: BSocSc Politics & IR, PMH, Phil/Pol, BA Econ single specialists in Politics, BASS Politics pathways


The experience of undertaking a dissertation forms a core element of politics provision. In undertaking a dissertation, a student has the opportunity to develop independence while investigating in depth a topic that interests the student. In order to ensure that a student has an adequate foundation for heer/his independent project, the dissertation must be related to one of a student's final year politics (GV) course units or, when there is not a relevant 3rd year course unit, to a politics (GV) course unit taken in either the 1st or 2nd year. Dissertations teach students how to define a researchable problem, to decide upon appropriate sources, and to develop a sustained argument. In addition, dissertations reinforce and extend analytical skills, while also enabling students to learn how to use the scholarly techniques of constructing a bibliography and a framework of footnotes.

Learning outcomes

Objectives: A student will:- (1) study a chosen topic in depth; (2) learn to define a researchable problem; (3) learn to decide upon appropriate sources; (4) learn to use a scholarly apparatus of footnotes and bibliography; (5) learn to develop a sustained argument; (6) enhance analytic skills; and (7) develop intellectual independence.

Teaching and learning methods

4 compulsory dissertation meetings in 1st semester and individual supervision.

Assessment methods

12-15000 word Dissertation

Recommended reading

Dissertation handbook

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 7
Project supervision 3
Independent study hours
Independent study 390

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
David Richards Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Length of course: 23 weeks

POLI30300 is available only to Honours students on the following degree programmes:

BSocSc Politics and International Relations
Politics and Modern History
Philosophy and Politics
BA (Economic and Social Studies) with a single specialisation in politics

POLI30300 is NOT available to students who are permanently off Honours and also is NOT available to Phil/Pol and BA (Econ) students who are allowed to carry extra credits in an attempt to regain Honours.

A student may NOT register for both POLI30300 and POLI30380.


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