Postgraduate Course: Dissertation (MSc International Relations of the Middle East) (PGSP11292)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The dissertation is an extended piece of scholarship in which a student is expected to produce a substantive piece of independent research in International Relations of the Middle East. The dissertation will be no longer than 15,000 words on a topic related to the international relations of the Middle East to be submitted by a date specified in the University Regulations.
The dissertation is expected to tackle a research problem, engage the relevant literature, and build upon the relevant concepts and theories introduced in the taught elements of the degree. Students will deploy a range of primary and secondary sources as well as appropriate data-analytic and bibliographic skills. Each student will be allocated a research supervisor from either IMES or Politics International Relations by the Spring to advise on and oversee her or his research progress.
The dissertation is an extended piece of writing of up to 15,000 words, based on independent study of a topic largely of the student┐s choosing. It tests students┐ ability to conduct research autonomously, to organise effectively bigger quantities of information and to communicate their research findings in a fluent and structured fashion. Within the field of study of the International Relations of the Middle East, that research should obviously concern some aspect of politics and international relations in the Middle East.
The course consists of self-study and research: however, an indicative timetable is below.
Early February - Dissertation meeting.
Late February - Students submit one page outline of project proposal.
Mid-March- Supervisors allocated.
April- First meeting with supervisor, discuss proposal.
Mid-May- Submit first draft chapter.
June and July- Contact supervisor as mutually agreed.
Mid-July- Finish first draft.
Early-Mid August- Submit dissertation.
This is a dissertation course. Therefore the primary form of student experience consists of the student conducting their own research and writing in an in-depth project of their own choice. However, students can expect the following from their supervisor in the dissertation project:
-normally 3-4 meetings,
- detailed feedback on a dissertation plan and one chapter
-help with and feedback on the general structure and organisation of the argument(s)
- ongoing help with specific queries
The supervisor should: help the student to define the research problem and focus your argument and topic, ┐ advise on methodology, coherence and relevance of the dissertation, ┐ discuss mutual availability and methods of contact etc, ┐ give basic advice on relevant bodies of literature to get the research started and/or refer the student to another member of staff for suggestions on sources; ┐ discuss and approve draft outline and timetable of work; ┐ provide diagnostic comment and constructive suggestions on one chapter in good time (normally within two weeks of receipt); help with issues of thesis and dissertation structure.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1)
||Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 5,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||100% assessed by a 15,000 word dissertation. The assessment criteria are:
1. Formulation and presentation of research problem
2. Review of literature and contextualisation of study
3. Discussion of methods used to collect and analyse relevant information, including ethics
4. Development and coherence of arguments
5. Use of supporting evidence and evaluation of evidence
6. Drawing together major arguments by way of conclusion in relation to the original research problem
7. Degree of reflexivity, critical thinking and originality of argument
8. Formal presentation of dissertation: correct referencing and quoting; spelling, grammar and style; layout and visual presentation
||Students will have the opportunity, as noted above, to receive detailed feedback on a dissertation plan and one chapter of the dissertation to ensure that they are on track with their research and build up to the final submission.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- undertake a sustained piece of independent research within the disciplinary fields of International Relations and Middle Eastern studies that demonstrates the research skills, training and knowledge acquired in the previous coursework;
- refine their abilities to engage critically and analytically with the significant literature in the field of their specialist interest;
- train to formulate a research problem and utilise relevant theories, theoretical frameworks and concepts in tackling a research problem;
- learn to develop a systematic research design
- demonstrate scrupulous attention to the relevant data-analytical, referencing, and bibliographic conventions
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Lucy Abbot
Tel: (0131 6)50 8254
|Course secretary||Miss Jemma Auns
Tel: (0131 6) 50 24 56