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Unit information: Dissertation in 2017/18

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Unit name Dissertation
Unit code THRS30100
Credit points 40
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. D'Costa
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of Religion and Theology
Faculty Faculty of Arts


The Dissertation is an exercise in extended independent research. Students are required to identify their own research topic, formulate the particular research questions to be addressed, identify the main primary sources to be used, set the research questions in the context of the issues arising from the secondary literature, and execute a scholarly and analytical text to high scholarly standards consistent with this level of study.

Students are also introduced to higher level research and scholarly cutting edge material by fortnightly attendance at the department's research seminars and through attendance at the international post-graduate yearly conference with an opportunity to present a paper on their dissertation work to postgraduates and established scholars.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit students should have:

  • a deep understanding of a chosen subject
  • enhanced their research skills through the production an extended piece of independent research in accordance with high scholarly standards
  • developed proficiency in forming their own research questions
  • further developed their skills of argumentation and communication
  • have demonstrated that they can compile their own bibliography
  • demonstrated the ability to work with both secondary and primary resources and to draw reasoned and considered conclusions from them

Teaching details

1 x 1.5 hour seminar followed by a 1 hour discussion every other week
6 x 1 hour lectures/workshops across the year
5 x 1 hour meetings with supervisor across the year
1 x 3 hour conference

Assessment Details

12,000 word project (including footnotes)

Reading and References

Bibliographical references will depend on the topic chosen and the student will be responsible (in consultation with an appointed supervisor) for assembling a bibliography which will include relevant primary and secondary sources.