All MSc students are required to write a 10,000 - 15,000 word dissertation. This contributes one-third (60 credits) of the overall assessment. It is personally chosen and managed research project, undertaken over the duration of the programme (with an initial project plan submitted within three months of registration and an interim report presented at the half-way stage).
The dissertation provides the opportunity for each Masters participant to apply aspects of the learning from the other modules to a particular issue or problem. We encourage participants to adopt a practical management/policy focus to their dissertations, for example designing and implementing proposals for change. That said, the regulations are flexible and allow for a range of dissertation types, including studies of a more theoretical nature and based more heavily on published literature.
Preparation for the dissertation starts during the Autumn Term with an introduction to research methods. This is followed in the first week of the Spring Term with an intensive dissertation workshop after which each student will identify a provisional dissertation topic and will be allocated a supervisor.
A dissertation of pass standard is required for the award of the MSc. The pass mark is 50% and candidates gaining overall averages of 60-69% and, where appropriate, a dissertation in this range, are awarded a ‘Pass with Merit’. Those achieving an average score of 70% or more, and a dissertation mark in this range where appropriate, are awarded a ‘Pass with Distinction’.
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