PIR-40105 - Masters Dissertation in Politics and International Relations
Coordinator: Liz Carter Room: CBA2.009 Tel: +44 1782 7 34248
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 7
Credits: 60
Study Hours: 600
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2024/25

None

Available as a Free Standing Elective

No

Co-requisites

None

Prerequisites

None


Barred Combinations

None

Description for 2024/25

Researching and writing a Masters dissertation in Politics and/or International Relations provides an opportunity for students to examine and investigate a specific topic, question or issue of their own choosing, in considerable depth. In addition, completing a dissertation at this level enables students to develop key transferable and employability skills, including advanced research skills, problem solving skills, information handling skills, and written communication skills. Students who have successfully completed a Masters dissertation also demonstrate a clear ability to work independently and autonomously and to plan their activities and manage their time.
This module develops students' knowledge of how research in the social sciences is planned, conducted and reported, and it enhances students' own research skills, including their ability to identify a dissertation topic and to formulate appropriate research questions; to identify, access and collate literature relevant to their dissertation; to apply existing or develop their own theoretical and conceptual frameworks; to identify and collect appropriate evidence/data; and to apply critical skills to formulate arguments, analyse evidence and reach conclusions so as to persuasively answer their research question. The module also develops students' ability to plan, structure and complete a more substantial piece of written work than is required for traditional curriculum-based modules, and to conduct research independently and autonomously.
Throughout this module students will be engaged in independent research. This will be supported by regular meeting with their dissertation supervisor.
The module is a 60 credit module. Assessment for MA in Politics and International Relations is based on a 15,000 word dissertation and 15,000-20,000 word dissertation for MRes students (submitted in September).

Aims
This module aims to:
- offer students the opportunity to pursue research on an approved subject in which they have a particular interest
- develop students┐ knowledge of and ability to critically evaluate advanced scholarship and recent research relevant in their area of interest
- develop students┐ knowledge of how research in the social sciences is planned, conducted and reported
- develop and enhance students┐ own research skills, including their ability to identify a research/dissertation topic and formulate an appropriate research question; identify, access and collate literature relevant to the research topic and question; critically evaluate and apply existing theoretical, conceptual and/or analytical frameworks relevant to their dissertation topic and research question, or to develop their own; demonstrate an awareness of the ethical issues involved in conducting research; identify and collect evidence/data appropriate to their research question; and apply critical skills, self-direction and originality to analyse evidence, formulate arguments, and reach conclusions so as to persuasively and creatively answer their research question
- develop students┐ ability to plan, structure and complete a more substantial piece of written work than is required for traditional curriculum-based modules, and thereby to manage their own learning and take responsibility for their work
- develop students┐ ability to conduct independent research

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.
http://lists.lib.keele.ac.uk/modules/pir-40105/lists

Intended Learning Outcomes

demonstrate the ability to identify the topic of their dissertation; explain and justify why this research topic is worthy of investigation; identify and present the dissertation┐s research question (and hypotheses, if relevant); and explain key terms and concepts related to the question/hypotheses: 1
demonstrate the ability to identify, access and collate literature relevant to the topic of the dissertation: 1
demonstrate systematic knowledge of advanced scholarship and recent research relevant to the topic of the dissertation, and the ability to critically evaluate this literature: 1
demonstrate systematic knowledge of, critically evaluate, and apply existing theoretical, conceptual and/or analytical frameworks relevant to the dissertation topic and question, or demonstrate the ability to develop their own: 1
demonstrate systematic knowledge of and critically evaluate the methodologies and techniques applicable to the research topic: 1
identify and collect evidence/data appropriate to the dissertation┐s research question and select appropriate techniques to analyse the evidence/data collected: 1
demonstrate an awareness of the importance of personal responsibility and ethical issues in the research process: 1
apply critical skills, self-direction, and originality in analysing evidence, formulating arguments, and reaching persuasive and creative conclusions so as to answer their dissertation┐s research question: 1
demonstrate knowledge of how research in the social sciences is planned, conducted and reported, and the ability to conduct their own advanced independent research: 1
demonstrate the ability to plan, structure and complete a more substantial piece of written work than is required on a traditional curriculum-based module and thereby the ability to manage their own learning effectively and to take responsibility for their work: 1

Study hours

Active learning hours:
8 hours: workshops
10 hours: meetings with dissertation supervisor
Independent study hours:
17 hours: preparation for presentation on proposed dissertation
45 hours: preparing, drafting and writing research proposal
350 hours: reading, note-taking, researching dissertation
170 hours: drafting and writing dissertation

School Rules

None

Description of Module Assessment

1: Dissertation weighted 100%
15,000 word dissertation
A 15,000 word-long dissertation (word length excludes front matter, notes, bibliography, and any appendices).