Placement-Based Dissertation

Department of Theology and Religion, School of Philosophy, Theology and Religion

College of Arts and Law


Code 24096

Level of study Third/Final year

Credit value 40

Semester 1+2

Pre-requisite modules Dissertation Preparation (Theology) - 15648

Other pre-requisites None

Module description

The placement-based dissertation is an extended piece of substantial independent research (9,000 words) on a subject in Theology and/or Religion chosen by the individual student from within the range of supervision topics offered within the department in any one year, linked in this case to a practical outcome in a specific placement context. Students work closely on an individual basis with a supervisor (i.e. a member of staff appointed to assist them and guide them through their research). Students should meet with their supervisor to report on progress and discuss their dissertation between two and five times per term. The Supervisor may advise on the dissertation as a whole, and provide detailed feedback on draft chapters. They are not permitted to see or comment on the final draft. The dissertation should ordinarily be submitted on the Friday of week six in Semester 2.

The dissertation allows students to put into practice the skills and knowledge acquired throughout the degree and, in particular, during the Dissertation Preparation Course in Year 2. The findings of this research must be word-processed, and presented in an extended form with full argumentation and scholarly apparatus, so that (a) the identity and value of the sources, and (b) the quality and structure of the argument can be clearly understood by both a reader who is a specialist in that particular subject and a well-informed reader who is not a specialist in that particular field.

Students negotiate a placement involving a minimum of 120 hrs in a setting of their own choice. The placement is usually undertaken in the period following the second year examinations. However, it may be undertaken in term time (though must not interfere with timetabled sessions) or during the vacation as a block or in serial sessions. Students may apply for accreditation of previous and/or present experiential learning in lieu of the placement.

The module offers students the opportunity to apply one aspect of their theological studies to a practical setting and opportunities to develop their Key Skills, particularly in the areas of communication and working with others. Many students will use this opportunity to explore potential employment contexts.

Teaching and learning methods

The course will be delivered through supervised private research. WebCT will be used to support these teaching and learning activities where appropriate.