Dissertation in Medieval Studies (HISM181)

StaffDr Rebecca Williams - Convenor
Credit Value90
ECTS Value45
NQF Level7
Co-requisitesHISM184 Current Research in Medieval Studies
Duration of Module Term 2: 11 weeks; Term 3: 11 weeks;

Module aims

This module allows students to pursue an individual programme of research on a topic chosen by them and approved by their supervisor and the programme director.  It aims to develop their skills at independent research at a high scholarly level.  As well as choosing and researching their topic, students will be asked to demonstrate the significance and originality of their topic within the research field; to use an appropriate range of primary and secondary resources; and to use appropriate methodologies and theoretical approaches to set their topic in its historical, cultural and other relevant contexts. The module also requires the student to demonstrate his/her abilities to analyse, synthesise and present cogent arguments in accordance with the academic parameters of a dissertation and to use proper systems of referencing, citation and bibliography.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Display an advanced knowledge of a discipline or disciplines within Medieval Studies.
  • 2. Review and engage with previous research into both the subject matter of the dissertation and the specialist field to which it relates.
  • 3. Identify a suitable topic of research and produce a plan for its execution.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Assimilate and critically analyse primary and published sources.
  • 5. Present a clearly structured, logically argued and well written dissertation with a full scholarly apparatus appropriate to the discipline chosen.
  • 6. Produce a piece of original research that demonstrates attention to concepts, to detail, and to argument.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Demonstrate independent work that engages with core aspects of a higher degree course.
  • 8. Write fluently and cogently within word and time limits.

Syllabus plan

In the first half of term 2, seminars on the core module Current Research in Medieval Studies introduce students to the requirements and scope of the dissertation and to the sources and methods associated with Medieval Studies research.  The content of these will vary depending on tutor availability and student choice but may include Official Records; Visual Sources and Performance; Local and Family Records; and Pre-Modern Libraries and Texts.

Towards the middle of term 2 and in term 3, allocated dissertation supervisors provide individual tutorials giving specific advice on the research topic and the writing up of the dissertation.

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 teaching activities6Individual supervision.
Guided independent study894Research and writing of dissertation.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Reading of draft chapter(s).Up to 25% of word limit1-8Verbal and written
Reading of detailed plan of the dissertation.1-3 sides of A4.1-8Verbal and written

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
Dissertation10025,000 words1-8After submission of the dissertation, students will be able to collect a marked copy of the dissertation, with comments from the first marker

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
DissertationDissertation, 25000 words1-8Referral/deferral period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

The reading list will depend on the topic chosen for the individual dissertation.

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Key words search

Medieval studies, dissertation, independent study