Programme/Approved Electives for 2019/20
International Relations Combined Honours (Level 6)Politics Minor (Level 6)
Available as a Free Standing Elective
Thinking of writing a dissertation in Politics or International Relations in your final year? Interested in the opportunity to examine and investigate a specific topic, question or issue of your own choosing, in considerable depth? If so, this module is for you.You may write a dissertation on any topic in Politics or International Relations that is of interest to you, and we will organize supervision from the most appropriate member of academic staff within SPIRE. You will meet regularly with your supervisor throughout the year and they will provide you with guidance and advice at every stage of your project ¿ from initial ideas and thoughts, to what to read, to how to structure your dissertation. In addition, in Semester 1 you will attend 6 workshops in which you will obtain further guidance on how to successfully undertake and complete a Level 6 dissertation in Politics or International Relations. In these workshops, and as a result of supervisory meetings, 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 Keele, whether that be in postgraduate study or in the workplace.
Talis Aspire Reading ListAny reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.http://lists.lib.keele.ac.uk/modules/pir-30130/lists
The aim of this module is to: provide guidance in the writing of a Level 6 undergraduate dissertation in Politics and International Relations;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 their own theoretical and conceptual frameworks relevant to their dissertation topic and research question;demonstrate an awareness of the ethical issues involved in conducting research;identify and collect evidence/data appropriate to their research question; apply critical skills to formulate arguments, analyse evidence and reach conclusions so as to persuasively answer their research question;develop students ability to plan, structure and complete a more substantial piece of written work than is required for traditional 15 credit curriculum-based modules;develop students ability to conduct independent research.
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: 1,2identify, access and collate literature relevant to the research topic/question: 1,2apply and critically evaluate existing theoretical and conceptual frameworks relevant to their dissertation topic and question, or develop their own: 1,2demonstrate an awareness of the importance of personal responsibility and ethical issues in the research process: 1,2identify and collect evidence/data appropriate to the dissertation¿s research question and select appropriate techniques to analyse the evidence/data collected: 1,2apply critical skills to formulate arguments, analyse and evaluate evidence and reach persuasive conclusions so as to answer their dissertation¿s research question: 1,2plan, structure and complete a more substantial piece of written work than is required on a traditional 15 credit curriculum-based module: 1,2demonstrate an ability to conduct independent research, and thus to manage their own learning and to take responsibility for their work: 1,2identify 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
18 hours: contact time in 6 workshops, each workshop is on average 3 hours.18 hours: preparation for these seminars20 hours: preparation and writing of portfolio244 hours: writing of dissertation
1: Portfolio weighted 0%
Description of Module Assessment
1500 words portfolio outlining proposed dissertationThe 1,500 words 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%
9000 words dissertationA 9,000 word long dissertation. (Word length excludes notes and references)