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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

PIED5800M Dissertation

60 creditsClass Size: 273

Module manager: Dr Neil Winn

Taught: 1 Jan to 30 Sep, 1 Oct to 30 Sep (12mth) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Must have passed sufficient modules to meet requirements of MA programmes

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective


This module is offered for all students studying for a Masters programme in the School of Politics and International Studies. It is designed to serve as an introduction to the Masters programmes and to provide guidance for your dissertation. The module is designed with five goals:
1. Understanding what to expect from a Masters at Leeds
2. Learning how to think, read, and write critically
3. Learning how to write a dissertation
4. Understanding research design
5. Introducing students to several qualitative methods

By the end of the module, students should be well equipped to read and think critically, to avoid plagiarism, to understand what is expected of them when writing a dissertation, and to understand the importance of research design. Online information about this course, as well as the lecture powerpoints, the reading, and other useful information, can be found on the VLE under the ‘POLIS Postgraduate Dissertation’ page.

Learning outcomes
Deeper understanding of a particular topic in their field.

Skills outcomes
- Research skills, including the skills of accessing relevant information from a range of sources;
- assessing, analysing and criticising information;
- appraising relevant concepts and theories;
- application of appropriate data generation and analysis skills;
- presenting and communicating effectively the product of independent research.


Students will research a topic agreed with supervisors and write a 12,000 word dissertation in respect of it.

In semester 1, students will receive advice and guidance on dissertation planning (topic-identification, source materials, dissertation-writing).

In semester 2, individual dissertation supervisors will be appointed and students will receive individual advice and guidance on developing their topics.

In semester 3, students will continue to receive individual advice and guidance on specifying their research questions, structuring their dissertations and planning their reading and writing, and feedback on their outlines and drafts (up to early-July).

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours578.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)600.00

Private study

Choice and specification of topic, research questions and chapter structure; Research and selection of reading list; Reading; Critical analysis; Writing 12,000 word dissertation

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Dissertation advice latter half of semester 1 and appointment of individual supervisor in semester 2.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation12,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 11/09/2023


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