BA Dissertation (International Relations) (004IR)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn and spring teaching

The International Relations Undergraduate Dissertation serves as a capstone module integrating all that you have learnt during their programme of study into a single, sustained piece of writing allowing you 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. You choose your own topics, and develop your 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.

You will be 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).

You will be provided with academic support over two semesters. In the winter semester you are offered six 2 hour workshops where you are coached in research methods commonly used in the IR discipline. During this period you are expected to investigate a subject area and define your topic that leads to the completion of a 1,000 word proposal. You 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.


100%: Practical (Workshop)


10%: Coursework (Essay)
90%: Written assessment (Dissertation)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 12 hours of contact time and about 288 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: