MI 411 – Dissertation (Core- MA only)



As agreed with the supervisor supplemented by a series of four Research Methodology seminars. The first seminar, normally held in March, deals with the formulation of a dissertation proposal and the composition of an outline. A second seminar deals with bibliographical and information technology issues (internet and database searches). A third seminar provides an overview of editing and copyright law. A final seminar involves the oral presentation and review of every student’s dissertation proposal, and normally takes place in late April. MA supervisors will reinforce aspects of the research skills seminars when they meet with students individually during the latter part of the spring semester.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy

Learners are supported through research methodology seminars, oral presentation of proposal, individual supervision and private library-based study. Students receive formative assessment from staff during the oral presentation of their dissertation proposals.

Assessment Scheme
Dissertation of 15,000 words (excluding footnotes and appendices), and the Proposal needs to be at least 1500 words. Viva voce examination may be required in some cases.

Assessment Weighting
Coursework: 100 out of 100 (of which 20 out of 100 is allocated to the proposal essay)

Learning materials

Core readings
Brundage, A. (2002) Going to the Sources: A Guide to Historical Research and Writing (3rd ed.). Harlan Davidson.Griden, E. (2001) Evaluating Research Articles. London: SAGE.
Griden, E. (1996) Evaluating research articles from start to finish. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.
Hart, C. (2001) Doing a Literature Review. UK: SAGE.
Murray, R. (2006) How to Write a Thesis (2nd ed.). UK: Open University Press.
Oliver, P. (2003) The student’s guide to research ethics, Buckingham: Open University Press.
Potter, S. (2006) Doing Postgraduate Research. UK: SAGE.
Phillips, E. (2005) How to Get a PhD – 4th edition: A Handbook for Students and Their Supervisors (4th ed.). UK: Open University Press.
Neville, C. (2007) The complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism, Buckingham: Open University Press.
Rumsey, S. (2008) How to find information: a guide for researchers, 2nd ed, Maidenhead: Oxford University Press.
Swetnam, D. (2000) Writing Your Dissertation: The Bestselling Guide to Planning, Preparing and Presenting First-Class Work (3rd ed.). Oxford: How To Books Ltd.