Supervised Independent Study in the Humanities (HISM186)

StaffDr Tawny Paul - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

To provide you with the opportunity to delve deeply into a particular area of interest, applying appropriate research methodologies and drawing on appropriate materials;
To develop the critical and analytical skills necessary to explore an area of Humanities research that goes beyond topics in taught modules of existing Masters programmes;
To develop goal setting and time management skills in pursuing a personal programme of research;
To enhance writing skills in order to improve dissertation writing.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Display an advanced knowledge of your chosen subject.
  • 2. Critically analyse arguments by reading and discussing key primary and secondary texts.
  • 3. Present sophisticated arguments concisely, explain difficult points; and identify key aspects of a debate.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Assimilate and critically analyse data from an appropriate range of sources.
  • 5. Develop a cogent argument.
  • 6. Communicate complex information and ideas effectively in writing.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Undertake an individual research project in a structured, time-effective fashion.
  • 8. Locate and use literature effectively.
  • 9. Construct and evaluate ideas and formulate and express ideas at different levels of abstraction.
  • 10. Assess and criticise the views of others; write at the level required for ongoing and future research.

Syllabus plan

This module allows you to work independently towards an extended essay on a research area in which a member of academic staff of the College of Humanities has particular expertise. There will be at least five supervision meetings. At the first, you will discuss with your supervisor a potential area of research and a study plan will be agreed. The subsequent supervision meetings will give you academic guidance, including detailed feedback on a formative essay plan that you will submit.

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 activities5Individual meetings with supervisor
Guided independent study295Research, planning and writing of extended essay

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Oral presentation of draft material at each of the 5 supervision meetings10 minutes1-10Oral feedback
Essay plan500 words maximum1, 3-5, 7Written/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
Extended essay10010,000 words1-10written/oral

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Extended essayExtended essay 10,000 words1-10Next reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

To be devised for each individual study programme by the student and relevant staff member.

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Additional web-based resources to be identified by the student as part of the independent study programme.

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Additional resources to be identified by the student as part of the independent study programme.

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Humanities, independent study, research