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

Postgraduate Course: Dissertation (MSc in Conflict, Security, and Development) (PGSP11626)

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
SummaryStudents will undertake a dissertation of no longer than 15,000 words on a topic related to conflict, security and development, to be submitted by a date specified in the University Regulations, usually in mid to late August. The dissertation is an extended piece of scholarship in which a student is expected to formulate and sustain a substantive piece of independent research related to conflict, security and development. 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 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 and in discussion with the Programme Director. It tests students' ability to conduct research autonomously, to organise effectively larger quantities of information, and to communicate their research findings in a fluent and structured fashion. Students are expected to engage with the expert literature and to reference adequately.

Outline content
The course largely consists of self-study and research but will also include taught workshops to help prepare for dissertation research and writing. All students are required to attend the dissertation preparation workshops, which will be held in flexible learning week (February) and after semester two coursework is complete (likely in May).

Student learning experience
This is a dissertation course. Therefore, the primary form of student experience consists of students conducting their own research and writing on an in-depth project of their own choice. However, students can expect the following from their supervisor in the dissertation project:

- Feedback on dissertation proposal
- Detailed feedback on one chapter
- Feedback on the general structure and organisation of the argument
- Ongoing help with specific queries
- Advice on ethical implications of the research

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Plan and execute a significant piece of independent research that demonstrates mastery of key research techniques relevant to the field
  2. Critically engage relevant concepts and theories in presenting a sustained argument/thesis which uses the significant relevant literature in the field
  3. Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in time and task management, taking primary responsibility for all aspects of their work
  4. Deal self-reflexively with complex ethical and academic issues
  5. Employ professional standards in referencing and presentation
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Display the ability to critically employ theories and concepts from social research for the analysis of a range of empirical examples

Develop personal and intellectual autonomy through the development and execution of a sustained independent research project

KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Maggie Dwyer
Tel: (0131 6)51 5076
Course secretary
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