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Study information

Supervised Independent Study in the Humanities

Module titleSupervised Independent Study in the Humanities
Module codeHISM185
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr David Thackeray (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module allows you to pursue a specialist research interest in the Humanities under the expert supervision of a member of academic staff. It will be particularly suitable for you if you wish to explore certain topics in more depth than is offered within existing taught modules. You are encouraged to devise your own research project, subject to approval by an established member of staff.

Module aims - intentions of the module

  • To provide you with the opportunity to delve deeply into a particular area of interest, applying appropriate research methodologies and drawing on appropriate materials.
  • To develop the critical and analytical skills necessary to explore an area of Humanities research that goes beyond topics in taught modules of existing Masters programmes.
  • To develop goal setting and time management skills in pursuing a personal programme of research.
  • To enhance writing skills in order to improve dissertation writing.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Display an advanced knowledge of your chosen subject
  • 2. Critically analyse arguments by reading and discussing key primary and secondary texts
  • 3. Present sophisticated arguments concisely, explain difficult points; and identify key aspects of a debate

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. Assimilate and critically analyse data from an appropriate range of sources
  • 5. Develop a cogent argument
  • 6. Communicate complex information and ideas effectively in writing

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 7. Undertake an individual research project in a structured, time-effective fashion
  • 8. Locate and use literature effectively
  • 9. Construct and evaluate ideas; formulate and express ideas at different levels of abstraction
  • 10. Assess and criticise the views of others; write at the level required for ongoing and future research

Syllabus plan

This module allows you to work independently towards an extended essay on a research area in which a member of academic staff of the College of Humanities has particular expertise. There will be at least five supervision meetings. At the first, you will discuss with your supervisor a potential area of research and a study plan will be agreed. The subsequent supervision meetings will give you academic guidance, including detailed feedback on a formative essay plan that you will submit.

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 teaching5Individual supervision
Guided independent study145Research, planning and writing of extended essay

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Oral presentation of draft material at each of the 5 supervision meetings10 minutes1-10Oral feedback
Essay plan500 words maximum1, 3-5, 7Written/Oral feedback

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
Extended essay1004000 words1-10Written/Oral feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Extended essay (4000 words)Extended essay (4000 words)1-10Referral/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 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Indicative basic reading list to be devised for each individual study programme by you and the relevant staff member.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Additional web-based resources to be identified by you as part of the independent study programme.

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Additional resources to be identified by you as part of the independent study programme.

Key words search

Humanities, independent study, research

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date