International relations

BA Dissertation (International Relations)

Module code: 004IR
Level 6
30 credits in autumn & spring teaching
Teaching method: Workshop
Assessment modes: Dissertation, Coursework

The International Relations Undergraduate Dissertation serves as a capstone module integrating all that students have learnt during their programme of study into a single, sustained piece of writing allowing them to explore a topic in depth. The module involves the design, planning and execution of the dissertation, with the support of a supervisor, and may include the collection of empirical data or the use of secondary source material. Students choose their own topics, and develop their own approaches to investigating that topic, drawing on earlier skills-based modules, the methodology training offered within the module itself and on interests developed through the degree programme. Students are asked to write a 1,000 word proposal during semester 1 (ESS, AB1, 10% of assessment weighting) and an 8,000 word dissertation in semester 2 (DIS, AB1, 90% of assessment weighting). Students are provided with academic support over two semesters. In the winter semester students are offered six 2 hour workshops where they are coached in research methods commonly used in the IR discipline. During this period students are expected to investigate a subject area and define their topic that leads to the completion of a 1,000 word proposal. Students will then be assigned a supervisor who will provide supervision during the spring semester. Spring supervisions are broken down into three, thirty-minute meetings. The final 8,000 word dissertation will be completed for AB2.

Module learning outcomes

  • 1. Develop students’ ability to manage their own learning and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources.
  • 2. Apply methods and techniques of analysis and enquiry to critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data relevant to International Relations.
  • 3. Devise and sustain arguments and/or solve problems over an extended piece of work.
  • 4. Use ideas and techniques drawn from International Relations in order to produce an extensive investigation that allows the student to develop an appreciation for the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge