Dissertation (ARCM008)

90 credits

This module is designed to allow students to pursue a master’s dissertation project that may require relatively more research time and/or depth than what is usually allowed by the standard master’s dissertation, subject to formal approval of the relevant supervisor.

The dissertation is a self-contained study of 30,000 words based on your own research, counting for 90 credits.  While all master’s dissertations offer you the chance to undertake research and present the results at greater length than you have had in other parts of your course, this module enables you to undertake a dissertation project that might require significantly more time and/or depth compared to a standard master’s dissertation.  You will need to work out a topic to study, in conjunction with a potential supervisor, and to establish how you will set about answering the questions posed (i.e. a methodology).  The choice of topic is your own; it is important to choose something that offers good possibilities for developing an independent piece of work.  While there is no requirement that the topic is ‘original’, in the sense that a PhD must be original, it must obviously not be something where you can simply copy from a few basic texts.   You need to work out your own approach; we encourage students to collect and analyse their own data in the field or the laboratory, though library-based studies are also possible.

The work on the dissertation is designed to enable you to develop your skills at individual work within a research framework.  You will learn how to collect and collate information from a range of sources, to analyse and present published or unpublished data, to develop skills relating to illustration, and to create hypotheses about the data based on your analysis.  The completed work should be a well-written study of the topic under discussion, with illustrations of high quality and a fully developed bibliography.