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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: Dissertation (MSW) (PGSP11039)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits60
Home subject areaPostgrad (School of Social and Political Studies) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe dissertation course is an independent programme of study in which students are engaged throughout their degree programme which culminates in the submission of a 13,000 word dissertation. Students are expected to take responsibility for identifying their chosen topic, carrying out all the necessary work and producing the dissertation. Input on dissertation preparation is provided through three workshop sessions and students will be encouraged to keep a learning log or diary detailing their developing knowledge of their topic. In addition, individual support and guidance in the form of written feedback work is available at key points through the process, and students may request additional help if needed.

The MSW dissertation is not designed as an empirical study. Instead, its focus is an investigation of a social work topic through two fields of enquiry: firstly, a critical appraisal of written sources (research and literature, legislation, policy documents relevant to the topic etc) and secondly, an analysis of material from discussion with key informants (e.g. practitioners, researchers, service user groups, managers from social work and social care settings). Students are expected to bring together these two sources into a series of implications for social work policy and practice.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Social Work in Context (PG) (PGSP11033) AND Social Science for Social Work (PGSP10001) AND Research and Evaluation in Social Work (PGSP11083) AND Learning for Practice (PG) 1 (PGSP11036)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
Ability to work independently

Ability to think and write creatively

Ability to carry out a literature search (through library and internet research) and identify relevant reading

Ability to examine a topic in depth, critically analysing sources and producing a balanced review of evidence

Ability to set up meetings and interview key informants purposefully

Ability to write at length coherently and to purpose

Ability to identify implications for social work policy and practice

Ability to work to and meet deadlines
Assessment Information
The student's study is assessed formatively through the proposal and critical review of the literature (its submission is a pre-requisite for progress to dissertation) and summatively through the 13000 word dissertation. It is intended to test:

a) the participant's knowledge, understanding and critical appraisal of theory and research findings related to the topic;

b) the participant's ability to examine a topic in depth, drawing on material from a range of sources to carry out an empirical research activity;

c) the participant's ability to use research methods, and to present a critical evaluation of his/her material demonstrating a mastery of the subject;

d) the participant's understanding of the implications of this material for social work policy, practice and management. Reference should be made to the legal context of the topic undertaken.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Lorraine Waterhouse
Tel: (0131 6)50 3913
Course secretaryMrs Jane Marshall
Tel: (0131 6)50 3912
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