Interdisciplinary Final-Year Dissertation in History and Politics (CHP3040)

StaffDr Martha Vandrei - Lecturer
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The dissertation is compulsory for all final-year Combined Honours History and Politics students. By the time you have completed your dissertation you should be capable of pursuing research at quite a sophisticated level, be well aware of the possibilities and problems presented by the use of primary sources, and have an extensive knowledge of the scholarly literature on their subject.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Define a suitable research topic and pursue it to completion
  • 2. Evaluate the main themes in works of history and politics
  • 3. Assess the professionalism and scholarly value of published works in the two disciplines
  • 4. Evaluate the reasons for changes in evaluative and interpretative trends in the literature of the two disciplines
  • 5. Use primary sources in a professional manner
  • 6. Present work in a scholarly fashion

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 7. Critically assess the work of scholars
  • 8. Collate and critique data from a range of sources
  • 9. Understand and deploy the terminology of the two disciplines in a comprehensible manner
  • 10. Handle different approaches in areas of controversy
  • 11. Analyse and differentiate between complex original sources

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 12. Pursue independent study and work
  • 13. Digest, select and organise large amounts of material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment
  • 14. Plan the execution of work over a very long time-scale

Syllabus plan

During the latter half of the academic year prior to their final year, you will be asked to identify, from a list of broad possibilities, an area which you might wish to study, and will then discuss its viability with the relevant member of staff. Once a subject has been agreed, you will set to work to produce a piece of work which makes significant use of primary sources. You will then research and write up your dissertation, with supervision on an individual basis. In terms of supervision, you will be entitled to a maximum of one hour to set up the dissertation subject, plus a further 3 hours maximum of consultation with the relevant tutor. It is envisaged that the bulk of your time will be spent on private study, at the rate of 10 hours per week. Supervisors will be allowed to see and comment on either a detailed plan of the whole work or a draft version of up to 25 per cent of the whole (usually one chapter). Dissertations are regarded as examinable components and as such, feedback will not be available until after the exam board has met.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching2Briefing sessions introducing the module.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching4This comprises an initial consultation with the supervisor to set up the dissertation and three formal supervisions.
Guided Independent Study294Dissertation research and writing.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Annotated bibliographyUp to 3,000 words1-12, 14Written and oral
Brief introduction to topic750 words2, 4, 6, 9, 12, 14Written and oral
Draft first sectionUp to 3,000 words1-14Written and oral
Summary of dissertationUp to 1,000 words4, 6-12, 14Written and oral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Dissertation10010,000 words1-14Mark and written or oral comments

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
DissertationDissertation1-14Referral/deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • As appropriate to the topic chosen.

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

History, politics, research, writing, historiography