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Study information


Module titleDissertation
Module codeGEOM107
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Dr Sean Carter (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

The dissertation gives you the opportunity to pursue a programme of independent research of your determination in agreement with the relevant staff and should be an original and theoretically informed study. You can choose a dissertation which reflects your interest in the subject and which attempts to address current debates in your field of research.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to nurture further your skills in formulating appropriate research questions, developing a research agenda, planning and conducting a research programme, analysis and evaluation of self-generated results and communicating the corpus within a set deadline. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Collect, collate and prioritise disparate sources as appropriate
  • 2. Independently select appropriate methodologies to research problems in geography
  • 3. Analyse and integrate primary and secondary data in a coherent manner

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. Identify and evaluate approaches to problem-solving in a highly specialised context
  • 5. Present a clearly structured, well-written and appropriately illustrated dissertation
  • 6. Draw valid conclusions based on an ability to synthesise and prioritise relevant data
  • 7. Confidently apply understanding of concepts and theories to the research problem
  • 8. Approach systematically accuracy, precision and uncertainty in their research with a high degree of autonomy

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 9. Research a topic as an independent worker
  • 10. Adhere to deadlines
  • 11. Relate material appropriately to an intended audience
  • 12. Adapt your knowledge to the often complex, unpredictable and specialised demands of the research process
  • 13. Reflect on the research process and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your approach

Syllabus plan

Autumn term:

  • Discipline research seminars

Spring Term:

  • Discipline research seminars
  • One seminar introducing the requirements and scope of the dissertation (short reference handbook to be provided).  Dissertation proposal form to be issued and returned prior to Summer Term and Summer Vacation.
  • Meeting to discuss and ratify/invite revision of the outline proposal, and to offer specific advice on research topic.

Summer term:

  • Discipline research seminars

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 Teaching5Meetings with dissertation advisor and group meeting
Scheduled Learning and Teaching48.5Geography discipline research seminars (29 x 1.5 hours)
Guided Independent Study595Research, reading and writing of dissertation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Proposal1500 words1-4Oral, written

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
Dissertation10015000 wordsAllWritten

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
DissertationDissertationAllAutumn Term of next year

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 50%) you will be required to resubmit the original assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Thematic Reading:  Varies depending on individual research topic
  • Dissertation Process per se: Baxter, L., Hughes, C. and Tight, M. (1996) How to Research; Bell, J. (1993) Doing your research project

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Dissertation, independent research, communication

Credit value60
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date