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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Research (EDU)

Postgraduate Course: Dissertation: Capstone Approach (MSc CEID) (REDU11093)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeDissertation AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits60 ECTS Credits30
SummaryThe capstone approach to the dissertation increases student agency by providing students a choice in how they demonstrate their ability to critical reflect on, synthesize, and apply knowledge they have gained through the programme through the completion of an independent research-based study. The capstone study provides students with the opportunity to identify, reflect on and explore a topic related to comparative education and/or education and international development that is of interest to them. To ensure that students are able to complete a study that meaningfully prepares them for the next stages of their career, the capstone approach permits students to choose between two options: a traditional dissertation or a placement-based dissertation. During this period, students lead the development, with guidance from their supervisor, of the planning, execution, and write up of an autonomous research project.
Course description This programme takes a capstone approach to the dissertation. This flexible approach allows students to better align their study with their future aims. While most students complete a traditional academic dissertation for their capstone study, students may choose to apply for a placement-based dissertation. The latter is a competitive process with space available contingent on the demand of partner organizations. Interested students must meet the academic requirements and apply for placement. Those that are accepted into a placement work, in an unpaid capacity, with a relevant local, regional, or international organisation. It is estimated that 20-30% of students annually will complete a placement-based dissertation.

Regardless of the option chosen (traditional or placement-based), students will be expected to complete a dissertation, meeting the same learning outcomes and marked via the same criteria. Given the multi-disciplinary nature of this programme and recognizing the diversity in research approaches and paradigms, dissertations may take different forms, equivalent to 12,000 to 15,000 words. 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 comparative education and/or education and international 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 analytic and bibliographic skills. Each student will be allocated a dissertation supervisor by the end of the second semester to advise on and oversee their research progress.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 600 ( Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 12, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 12, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 576 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Regardless of the capstone approach chosen (traditional or placement-based), course marks will be based on the 12,000 to 15,000-word dissertation, which will be evaluated following the common marking criteria as laid out in the MHSES PGT Handbook.«br /»
1. 12,000 to 15,000-word dissertation: 100%
Feedback There are multiple points of formative feedback available to students through the dissertation process:
- Students will plan meetings with their dissertation supervisor to discuss progress and challenges, and receive guidance and feedback.
- Dissertation supervisors will provide detailed feedback on student's dissertation proposal, ethics form, and draft chapter of the students choice.
- Dissertation supervisors will provide general feedback on a full draft of the student's dissertation.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Plan and execute a significant piece of independent work within the field of comparative education and/or education and international development that displays and extends research skills, training and knowledge acquired in previous coursework.
  2. Engage in writing demonstrating skills of communicating with clarity and making a coherent, well-supported argument, based on relevant up-to-date evidence.
  3. Justify the decisions made at each step of your research, including evaluating the benefits and shortcoming of a range of potential methods of enquiry that could be considered in examining the identified research question.
  4. Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in time and task management, taking primary responsibility for all aspects of their work.
  5. Deal self-reflexively with complex ethical and professional/academic issues and make informed judgements on issues arising in the context of independent research.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Aliandra Barlete
Course secretaryMiss Mariana Duarte
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