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Module code: PAMG 3000

Module description

The dissertation provides the student with an opportunity to concentrate on a specific topic of their own choosing, and to pursue it with the maximum degree of depth which they are capable of as undergraduate students. The dissertation will provide an opportunity to further develop the analytical and research skills introduced in other parts of the programme. It will comprise a piece of research where students are encouraged to define and analyse a question or problem, or test a hypothesis.

Topics may develop from one of the taught modules or may be linked to issues touched on only peripherally or not at all in the taught modules. In all cases the dissertation will be encompassed within the broad rationale of the named award in Politics (e.g. BA Public Administration and Management) and must be within the supervisory capacity of the subject team.

For some students, the dissertation provides an opportunity to look beyond the textbooks and other secondary sources generally used in degree work and get to grips with primary evidence - official documents, voting statistics, memoirs, diaries, newspapers - perhaps involving work in local or national archives. For others, the dissertation will not involve primary sources but will instead incorporate a critical review of the existing literature on a particular topic.

This module will: 1. Outline the factors associated with undertaking an extended piece of writing in the form of a dissertation, including choosing the research topic, refining the research question, searching for information, understanding roles and responsibilities, and planning research work; 2. Consider the importance of research resources and methodologies in undertaking a dissertation; 3. Examine the nature of research findings and explore the manner by which they are analysed, structured and presented.

Contact hours per student per year

  • Lectures: 24 hours
  • Others (Supervision): 9 hours


  • Dissertation 80%
  • Coursework 20%

Additional costs: No extra costs other than purchase of books