School: School of Government and Society
Department: Institute of Local Government Studies
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 with a dissertation work shop held in the Autumn term for full time students and the summer term of the first year for part time students. This workshop will enable you to identify a provisional dissertation topic or assist in developing your thoughts on a topic you have already chosen. Following the submission of a dissertation proposal, you will be allocated a supervisor. Please note that the mark from your dissertation proposal constitutes 10% of your overall dissertation mark.
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'.
The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.