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

Postgraduate Course: Placement-Based Dissertation (MSc Global Environment, Politics and Society) (PGSP11543)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits60 ECTS Credits30
SummaryAs an alternative to the standard dissertation, students will undertake a 15,000 word dissertation linked to a work-based placement on a topic related to Global Environment, Politics and Society issues, to be submitted by a date specified in the University Regulations, usually mid-August. The dissertation will comprise a 12,000 word research paper and a 3,000 word project diary. The placements generally consist of eight weeks of on-location research with a host organisation in the UK or overseas, from our network of contacts which includes NGOs, charities, social enterprises, think-tanks and government bodies.

The dissertation is an extended piece of scholarship in which a student is expected to formulate and sustain a substantive piece of independent research in Global Environment, Politics and Society. Previous placement students have produced briefing papers, literature reviews, project progress reports, field monitoring reports, grant proposals, annual reports, policy documents, and field based research outputs. The final 3,000 word diary will be submitted alongside the research paper, and fortnightly draft submissions will also be required.

The work is expected to engage critically and analytically with the literature in the field, building upon relevant concepts and theories introduced in the taught elements of the degree and deploying a range of primary and secondary sources as well as appropriate data-analytic and bibliographic skills. Each student will be allocated a research supervisor by the end of the second semester to advise on and oversee her/his research progress.
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Block 5 (Sem 2) and beyond
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 600 ( Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 583 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
A dissertation of up to 15,000 words in length
Feedback During the dissertation project, learning takes place on a much more individual and independent basis.
General guidance on the dissertation is contained in the Graduate School Taught Masters Student
Structure and guidance for the project is provided in part through regular meetings with a supervisor,
through formal presentations of dissertation proposals and preliminary conclusions (in dedicated
workshops that will be organized for subject area once dissertation work is underway), and through
informal discussion sessions with the Programme Director and other students on the programme. The
project is, however, your own responsibility, and must be entirely of your own work. Students - and
supervisors - rights and responsibilities during the dissertation stage are described in the Code of Practice
for Taught Postgraduate Programmes.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Learn to undertake independent work on a topic chosen in conjunction with a host organisation, but drawing on knowledge and insights form one or more of the GEPS's core disciplinary fields (politics, ethics, sociology);
  2. Display and extend their research skills, training and knowledge acquired in the previous coursework, and apply them to the agreed project;
  3. Employ relevant knowledge, concepts, and analytical approaches from their chosen field to inform their project report;
  4. Exercise and consolidate their time-management, task-management, and self-motivational skills in the planning, conduct, and execution of their research;
  5. Develop and refine their communication and verbal presentational skills and demonstrate attention to the relevant data analysis, referencing, and bibliographic skills necessary to complete the report
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Darrick Evensen
Tel: (0131 6)51 1624
Course secretaryMrs Casey Behringer
Tel: (0131 6)50 2456
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