BFS-30006 - Dissertation in International Governance and Public Policy
Coordinator: Monalisa Adhikari
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2021/22


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2021/22

You will write a dissertation on a topic within the themes of International Governance and Public Policy, and will be supervised by appropriately qualified staff from Keele.
You will develop your own research skills, including your ability to identify a dissertation topic and to formulate appropriate research questions, your ability to find literature relevant to your chosen topic, your ability to apply or develop theoretical and conceptual frameworks, your ability to identify and collect appropriate evidence, and your ability to apply critical skills to formulate arguments, analyse evidence and reach persuasive conclusions. You will also develop your capacity to conduct independent work and manage your time, and your ability to plan, structure and complete a substantial piece of written work.
Completing a dissertation will enable you to develop key research skills, problem solving skills, critical thinking skills, information handling skills, and written communication skills. It will also demonstrate that you have a clear ability to work independently and autonomously and to plan your activities and manage your time. All these skills are very transferable and are extremely valuable for life after your degree, whether that be in postgraduate study or in the workplace.
The module is a 15 credit module which begins at Keele at the end of year three and is completed in Beijing at the end of the first semester of the fourth year. Assessment is based on a 1,500 word plan and draft literature review (submitted during the first semester) which is compulsory but does not apply towards the final mark, and a 5,000 word dissertation (submitted in January) which counts for the entire module mark.

The module aims are to:
- Develop students knowledge of how research in the social sciences is planned, conducted and reported;
- Acquaint students with various forms of evidence, evidence collecting techniques, and types of analysis used in social science research;
- Develop and enhance students own research skills, including their ability to identify a research/dissertation topic;
- Formulate an appropriate research question and hypotheses;
- Identify, access and collate literature relevant to the research topic/question;
- Apply existing or develop students' own theoretical and conceptual frameworks relevant to their dissertation topic and research question;

Intended Learning Outcomes

demonstrate knowledge of the different stages of the research process and of how research in the social sciences is planned, conducted and reported: 1,2
identify the topic of their dissertation and explain and justify why this research topic is worthy of investigation, and identify and present the dissertation¿s research question (and hypotheses, if relevant), and explain key terms and concepts related to the question/hypotheses: 1,2
identify, access and collate literature relevant to the research topic/question: 1,2
apply and critically evaluate existing theoretical and conceptual frameworks relevant to their dissertation topic and question, or develop their own: 2
demonstrate an awareness of the importance of personal responsibility and ethical issues in the research process: 1,2
identify and collect evidence/data appropriate to the dissertation¿s research question and select appropriate techniques to analyse the evidence/data collected: 2
apply critical skills to formulate arguments, analyse and evaluate evidence and reach persuasive conclusions so as to answer their dissertation¿s research question: 2
plan, structure and complete a substantial piece of written work: 2
demonstrate an ability to conduct independent research, and thus to manage their own learning and to take responsibility for their work: 2

Study hours

5 hours contact time in a mix of workshops at Keele and Beijing Foreign Studies University
5 hours of meetings with supervisor
20 hours preparation for workshops
120 hours preparation and writing of dissertation

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Portfolio weighted 0%
1500 words portfolio outlining proposed dissertation
The 1500 word long portfolio should outline and explain the proposed research topic and research question, identify the proposed research design, outline the proposed evidence gathering techniques and methods of data analysis, outline the proposed structure of the dissertation, and include an indicative list of sources on which the dissertation will draw.

2: Dissertation weighted 100%
5000 word dissertation
A 5,000 word long dissertation. (Word length excludes notes and references), based on a topic of the students' choice, as discussed and approved by their supervisor.