Dissertation (SML3015)

StaffDr Susana Pinto Cavadas Afonso - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesMLX 2001 (or equivalent) with a final mark of 65% or above plus an average mark of 60% across Level 2 modules relevant to the subject of the dissertation (see below under Details of Learning and Teaching Methods) Students desiring to take this module in their final year should agree their topic area with a supervisor from Modern Languages by the end of Term 2 of their third year of study. Dissertation choice forms should be returned to the Dissertation Co-ordinator by email at this point. Students interested in the Dissertation Portfolio should also contact the Curator of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at this time.
Co-requisitesNone
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The module aims to enable you to operate independently and responsibly and to take a positive and active role in your learning, in the service of the production of a sustained piece of critical work. It allows you to devise your own research questions and to pursue these lines of inquiry. You will work under the guidance of an academic supervisor.
If you choose the Dissertation Portfolio option you will use original materials from the collection of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum to create and curate a small exhibition for public display at the Museum. You will work under the guidance of an academic supervisor and, additionally, the Museum Curator. You will independently research, select, and collate items for display from the museum’s collection; in addition, you will produce written work presenting a rationale for the selection and reflecting on skills gained from the curation experience.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of the chosen subject, building appropriately on the work completed during the earlier years of their programme
  • 2. Demonstrate a capacity for independent study and self-directed inquiry and research
  • 3. Demonstrate an ability to identify and pursue appropriate, subject specific questions
  • 4. Demonstrate an ability to reflect on research methodologies and to draft, revise and edit written work accordingly

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. With guidance from the dissertation supervisor, analyse the chosen texts, materials, artefacts or evidence, and relate it/them to relevant historical, cultural, linguistic and/or theoretical contexts within Modern Languages
  • 6. Make effective use of all sources of information relevant to the topic (including digital and online resources, secondary critical literature, archival material), including source material in the target language
  • 7. Demonstrate an advanced ability to understand and analyse relevant theoretical ideas, and to apply these ideas to relevant arguments, cultural phenomena or historical events
  • 8. Using recommended bibliographical tools, present a critical bibliography giving a balanced overview of the topic

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. Demonstrate time management skills and flexibility to devise and follow your own research questions, extending your knowledge in a specialist research field
  • 10. Through essay-writing, demonstrate appropriate research and bibliographic skills, an advanced capacity to construct a coherent, substantiated argument, and a capacity to write clear and correct prose
  • 11. By completing independent research for the dissertation or dissertation portfolio, demonstrate advanced proficiency in information retrieval and analysis, competence in compiling a bibliography, and advancing a critical interpretation and/or an original argument

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, the schedule of tasks and supervision sessions normally looks like this for the standard Dissertation essay:

  • Contact potential supervisors in your subject area. You should provisionally agree a topic with your supervisor, and confirm their availability to supervise you, by the end of Term 2. At this point you should complete the Dissertation Choice Form and send it to the ML Dissertation Co-ordinator for approval
  • Submit to your supervisor a brief (one-side) outline of your planned topic, saying which primary material you intend to use, how you intend to go about the project, and any problems you envisage
  • Submit to your supervisor a draft bibliography, stating the sources used to compile it (e.g. bibliographies in secondary literature, electronic bibliographies, Internet searches). Your bibliography should comprise sources available in the University Library, the electronic library, or free-to-access elsewhere
  • Submit to your supervisor a one-side plan of the chapters of the dissertation
  • Submit to your supervisor a draft of one section of the dissertation (of about 750 words)

For students undertaking the Exhibition (Dissertation Portfolio) option, the schedule of tasks and supervision sessions normally looks like this:

  • Contact potential supervisors in your subject area. You should provisionally agree a topic with your supervisor, and confirm their availability to supervise you, by the end of Term 2
  • Once you have confirmed a supervisor, you should contact both the Curator of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum and the ML Dissertation Co-ordinator to seek approval for your exhibition
  • If they give permission for your project, you should complete the Dissertation Choice Form and send it to the ML Dissertation Co-ordinator
  • Submit to your supervisor a brief (one-side) outline of your planned topic, saying which primary material you intend to use, how you intend to go about the project, and any problems you envisage
  • Organise a formal visit to the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. The Curator or their assistants will give you a one-hour training session on selecting and organising materials for your exhibition. They will also be available throughout the term to help you optimise your access to the museum’s resources
  • Submit to your ML supervisor a draft rationale, justifying your selection of objects for your exhibition and explaining their significance
  • Create a draft listing of all the items in your exhibition, with draft captions, and circulate to the Museum Curator and your ML supervisor
  • Tutorial with your ML supervisor, which may optionally take place at one of the study rooms in the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum in order to view your exhibition (if wholly or partially complete). You should also commence your reflective essay at this point.

In between the supervision sessions you are expected to work independently.

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
51450

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 2Lectures by dissertation co-ordinator on course preparation and bibliographic skills
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 3One-to-one tutorials with supervisor; dissertation portfolio students will have 1 tutorial on exhibition curation with BDCM Curator and 2 tutorials with the supervisor.
Guided Independent Study145Independent research and writing

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft Bibliography, Chapter Plan, Draft Section of DissertationUp to 2000 words1-11Meetings with tutors to discuss formative dissertation tasks
Draft Rationale, Draft Items List with captionsUp to 1500 words1-11Meetings with tutors/Bill Douglas Cinema Museum staff to discuss formative dissertation tasks

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams
10000

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written Dissertation100Dissertation of approximately 5000 words1-11Dissertation feedback sheet
Exhibition (if working in partnership with Bill Douglas Cinema Museum) (40%)0Exhibition displayed at Bill Douglas Cinema Museum, including up to 750 words of captions1-11Dissertation feedback sheet
Exhibition Rationale (if working in partnership with Bill Douglas Cinema Museum) (40%)0Essay of approximately 2500 words plus bibliography; outlining rationale for the display, its arguments and explaining rigorously how the artefacts selected justify these1-11Dissertation feedback sheet
Reflective essay (if working in partnership with Bill Douglas Cinema Museum) (20%)0Essay of approximately 750 words, reflecting on research skills and methodological insights acquired through curating the exhibition2-4Dissertation feedback sheet

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written DissertationWritten Dissertation1-11Referral/Deferral period
Dissertation Portfolio, including Exhibition and two essaysDissertation Portfolio, including Exhibition and two essays. At the discretion of the Museum Curator, the Exhibition element may be replaced by a written description of the artefacts selected for display1-11Referral/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%.

Module has an active ELE page?

Yes

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

  • The Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

Available as distance learning?

No

Origin date

2010

Last revision date

02/04/2020

Key words search

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