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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

COMM5600M Dissertation and Research Methods

60 creditsClass Size: 300

Module manager: Lee Broughton

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

Year running 2024/25

This module is mutually exclusive with

COMM5800MFinal Independent Project

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module provides students with the academic competencies necessary to study successfully at postgraduate level, and particularly for conducting independent research and producing a good dissertation. Students are offered the opportunity to gain practical skills associated with empirical research design and conduct, which contributes to their transferable skills set and employability.


This module provides students with the theoretical and methodological knowledge that enables them to carry out an independent piece of research in the field of media and communication Studies.
The main objective of this module is to prepare students for researching and writing their dissertation (12,000 –12,500 words).
The module introduces the dissertation process, the key underlying principles of research projects and major methodological approaches that guide research in the field of Media and Communication, in order to help students’ develop a coherent research design for their own dissertation.
In addition, it makes students familiar with basic research techniques and approaches, the understanding and application of which are not only essential for an academic career, but also contribute to the acquisition of key transferable skills for professional careers in communications-related fields.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

1) Critically evaluate the primary philosophical and theoretical issues and main research methods used in Media and Communication research projects
2) Compare different approaches to empirical enquiry and interpret empirical evidence

3) Identify the strengths and limitations of particular methods for a specific research project and their attendant ethical implications

4) Develop coherent research designs that include fully formulated research questions and hypotheses and appropriate research instruments and data collection strategies

Skills Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module you will have demonstrated the following skills learning outcomes:
1) Problem solving & analytical skills: The ability to take a logical approach to solving problems. The ability to understand, interpret, analyse and manipulate research data relating to Media and Communication research projects.

2) Critical thinking: The ability to weigh up different arguments and perspectives, using supporting evidence to form opinions, arguments, theories and ideas from within the field of Media and Communication studies.

3) Planning and Mobilising Resources: Prioritizing, organizing and managing the resources you need to complete a research project within the field of Media and Communication studies.


Details of the syllabus will be provided on the Minerva organisation (or equivalent) for the module

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours569.50
Total Contact hours30.50
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)600.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

There are ample opportunities for students to receive formative feedback on this module. Firstly, students submit a Research Proposal and Supervisor Request Form in Week 11 of Semester 2. The module leader allocates students to an appropriate supervisor based on the content of the Form and this proposal is forwarded to their allocated supervisor for formative oral or written feedback in initial supervisions.

Students then submit a draft of the Literature Review (3000 words) in early February, Semester 2 and a draft of the Methodology (1000 words) in March, Semester 2 for formative feedback from their supervisor.

Students then have the option for formative feedback on a draft of 1000 words of the Discussion / Analysis chapter to be submitted by 1st July prior to final supervisions in July.

The module leader also provides office hours across the first 11 weeks of teaching, providing students with opportunities to discuss module content and the development of the research question and choice of methods.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation12,000-12,500 word dissertation to be submitted at the end of the academic year100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Resit available through original assessment method.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/05/2024 09:20:42


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