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

Undergraduate Course: Dissertation in Sustainable Development, SPS (SSPS10015)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryPLEASE NOTE: This course is only available to MA Sustainable Development students.
The dissertation in Sustainable Development, SPS is an extended piece of independent, in-depth scholarship on a sustainable development topic.
Course description The Dissertation in Sustainable Development, SPS, is an extended piece of independent, in-depth scholarship on an sustainable development topic with a clear political, international, sociological, anthropological or human geographical dimension. The topic is largely of the student's own choosing, but must be approved by the Dissertation Convenor. The work should engage critically and analytically with the literature in the chosen field. Students will be expected to refine and extend their understanding of relevant concepts and theories introduced in the courses completed in Years 1-3 of the degree. Students are further expected to demonstrate competence in research involving primary and/or secondary sources, and to apply appropriate referencing and bibliographic skills.

Students are required to attend a set number of non-assessed dissertation workshops during Year 3, organised for all students undertaking a Dissertation for the MA (Hons) Sustainable Development. The sessions will provide general advice on dissertation questions, structure, research methods and other relevant topics. Students on the geography pathway for MA in Sustainable Development should take the Geography Dissertation in Sustainable Development (GEGR10111).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  21
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 6, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 386 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) A 12,000 word dissertation will be due at a specified date (it will fall near the end of Semester 2 in Year 4) given in the Course Handbook.
Feedback Students will receive feedback on their dissertation within six weeks of the submission date.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. undertake sustained, independent work, drawing on one or more of disciplinary fields from the degree
  2. engage critically and analytically with the significant literature in their chosen field of interest
  3. employ relevant knowledge, concepts, theories and analytical approaches to formulate an extended argument
  4. develop task-management, presentational, and self-motivational skills
  5. demonstrate attention to the relevant data analysis, referencing, and bibliographic conventions.
Reading List
A guide that some students have found useful is Karen Smith et al, "Doing your undergraduate social sciences dissertation", which is available as an e-book and in hard copy. There is also a very good on-line resource about researching and writing undergraduate dissertations in the social sciences available at:

Other similar guides include:

Murray R (2002), "How to write a thesis" (Buckingham: Open University Press)
Oliver P (2004), "Writing your thesis" (London: Sage)
Silbergh, D (2001), "Doing Dissertations in Politics: a student guide" (London: Routledge).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sarah Parry
Tel: (0131 6)50 6389
Course secretaryMr Ewen Miller
Tel: (0131 6)50 3925
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