Postgraduate Course: Dissertation (MSc by Research Social Policy) (PGSP11216)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|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 formulate and sustain a focused piece of independent research in the field of social policy. The dissertation is expected to engage critically and analytically with relevant literature, building upon salient concepts and theory covered in the taught element of the degree and deploying appropriate analytic and bibliographic skills.
The nature of a dissertation for the MSc by Research may vary. It can be: a research proposal, in preparation for a PhD Project; a pilot project in preparation for a PhD project; a stand-alone project, that could involve analysis of documents, secondary data or it could be fieldwork based. Other types of dissertations are possible, as agreed with the Programme Director of the MSc by Research (Social Policy).
The dissertation is an extended piece of writing of up to 15,000 words, based on independent study of a topic largely of your own choosing. It tests your ability to conduct research autonomously, to organise effectively bigger quantities of information and to communicate your research findings in a fluent and structured fashion. The topic is negotiated with your supervisor from within the broad field of social policy.
This is a supervised course in which you work autonomously, and so you will have a great deal of freedom to choose your own content.
If you are proceeding from this dissertation to a PhD or MPhil, the dissertation will normally take the form of a full research proposal. In this case, it will contain an extended review of the literature, establishing the research questions, plus an extended discussion of the likely research design and any methodological issues. Alternatively, the dissertation may comprise a discrete piece of (usually empirical) research, possibly a pilot study for the eventual doctoral research. This will usually incorporate literature review, research questions, research design and method, data collection and analysis elements, and conclusions.
The course consists of independent study and research, under the guidance of your supervisor. The timetable is for you to negotiate with your supervisor, working from January through to the submission date of mid-August. You would meet your supervisor regularly in that period, and receive advice on what to read, on your emerging ideas, and - in due course - on drafts of your dissertation.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate the ability to undertake an extended piece of independent scholarship in the field of social policy
- Critically discuss the empirical and theoretical literature in the field
- Establish feasible research questions
- Develop an appropriate research design
- Critically discuss methodological and data issues
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
|Course organiser||Dr Richard Freeman
Tel: (0131 6)50 4680
|Course secretary||Mr Jack Smith
Tel: (0131 6)51 1485