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Postgraduate Module Descriptor

ARAM233: Dissertation skills

This module descriptor refers to the 2018/9 academic year.

Module Aims

This module is designed to develop the advanced skills you will need to undertake an MA in Middle East Studies, especially to research and write.

Postgraduate study in the social sciences includes both comprehension of research methods and the ability to use them yourself. This module exposes you to different types of methods within the social sciences, ranging from qualitative methods such as ethnography and participant observation to quantitative methods such as surveys. There is an emphasis on both good research design and ethical research, with opportunities for you to apply the techniques learned to your own research project.

Throughout the duration of the course you will learn to plan a major research project and to communicate that research – its aims, objects, methods and discoveries – which is an essential part of your development as a postgraduate researcher.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. Design an individual research programme, incorporating appropriate social science and humanities research methods.
2. Collate and analyse subject-specific information from a range of appropriate sources.
3. Understand the relationship between research questions and conceptual tools, and apply this when formulating a proposal for a dissertation project.
Discipline-Specific Skills4. Develop the skills requisite to conducting an extended piece of academic writing, including: settling on a research question, designing a research proposal, how to write a literature review organizing and summarizing key debates and ideas.
5. Locate your own research in key disciplinary debates.
6. Recognise the theoretical and conceptual links to other disciplines within the social sciences and humanities.
7. Evaluate the most effective means of presenting research, reviewing it and developing research in line with feedback from peers and staff.
Personal and Key Skills8. Use IT for information retrieval and presentation.
9. Conduct independent study and group work, including participating in oral discussions.
10. Demonstrate ability to construct and defend a sustained argument concisely and clearly in writing.
11. Demonstrate capacity for independent critical analysis.