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Study information


Module titleDissertation
Module codeCLA3009
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Giacomo Fedeli (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module affords you the opportunity to pursue an independent research project, on a topic of your choice in the field of Classics and Ancient History, and to write up your research in an extended dissertation.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module will allow you to carry out independent research in a sustained way on a topic of your choice (with advice) and to present the findings of the research in an extended piece of analytical writing in academic prose.

Although you will work for the most part independently, each dissertation will be supervised by a member of staff, to be assigned by the module convenor. Supervisors will read and comment on drafts, giving advice on the style, the argument, and directions for further investigation. There should be at least five meetings between you and your supervisor, and it is in your interest, and obligation, to attend all meetings that are arranged.

The decision to write a dissertation should not be taken lightly. Not all students find the degree of independent learning and thinking required for the writing of a dissertation appropriate for their learning style.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Identify a suitable topic in Classics and Ancient History and relevant research questions
  • 2. Carry out independent research

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Think creatively and independently and to create a sustained written argument
  • 4. Create a sustained written argument
  • 5. Evaluate critically existing literature
  • 6. Collate and analyse data from a range of different sources

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Work independently
  • 8. Plan work over a longer time-scale

Syllabus plan

The topic of the dissertation must be decided early in the Summer Term of the second year. Any student who wishes to write a dissertation must consult a member of staff for guidance on the topic. You will be expected to have already at least a rough idea of the area within which you wish to work; members of staff will help you define the topic in detail and give assistance with bibliography. The exact subject must be signed off by a member of the Department and submitted to the module convenor by the end of the first week after the Easter vacation of your second year, and you will need to start work during the summer. Although you may seek assistance in forming your proposal with members of staff, it cannot be guaranteed that this person will be your supervisor. Dissertation supervisors will be allocated prior to the start of the first term of your third year.  

By the first week back after the Easter vacation of your second year, you should have submitted the following: a) a brief account of the dissertation topic, indicating the research questions which you intend to address b) a chapter plan, with brief statements of the projected content of each chapter c) a bibliography of the works which you have consulted or will need to consult, set out in the format you will use in the dissertation itself d) a description of the range of source material available on your topic, with a brief statement of how you intend to handle it and any problems of method which it may pose. (A dissertation proposal form is available as part of the Dissertation Handbook which can be found at

You must submit a 2,000 word extended proposal at the beginning of the first week of term of your final year. The plan will not be marked, and you will be free to change direction as your research progresses. If you fail to submit the extended proposal, you will be assigned to a taught module.

In January/February of your third year you will present your project at a Dissertation Conference, organised by the module convenor, in which all the students on the module will have an opportunity to present and receive feedback from other finalists, as well as by the members of staff. 

Dissertations are regarded as examinable components and, as such, feedback will not be available until after the exam board has met.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching2Meetings with dissertation module convenor
Scheduled learning and teaching5Meetings with dissertation supervisor
Guided independent study293Independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Extended dissertation proposal (at registration day for the final academic year)2,000 words1-7Oral feedback
Presentation at the dissertation conference5 minutes1-7Feedback forms

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Dissertation10010 000 to 12 000 words1-7Mark and written comments

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
DissertationDissertation1-7Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

To be agreed between you and your supervisor.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

Completion of the required proposals.

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date