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Unit information: Dissertation (with Quantitative Research Methods) (Social Policy) in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Dissertation (with Quantitative Research Methods) (Social Policy)
Unit code SPOL30032
Credit points 40
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Mr. Francisco Palma Carvajal
Open unit status Not open

POLI20001 Conducting a Research Project using secondary data

SOCI20069 Principles of Quantitative Social Science



School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


The dissertation is a piece of independent study enabling the student to select a field of inquiry from within Social Policy and carry out research in depth over a sustained period of time. Student learning is supported by regular meetings with their advisor, social research methods workshops, and symposiums, though the expectation is that the dissertation is primarily an individual piece of work. The unit aims to:

  1. provide the student with the chance to investigate a topic of their own choice (within the broad framework of their discipline)
  2. enable the student to develop and apply knowledge and understanding gained elsewhere in the programme through independent study and learning
  3. enable the student to enhance the practical and transferable skills of locating and using knowledge and information, conveying ideas in written format, planning and managing their time
  4. Enhance students’ knowledge and understanding of social research methods through application in a project of their devising.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the unit, the student will demonstrate

  1. A critical understanding of theory/concepts and/or research relevant to their chosen topic, demonstrating proficiency in the use of quantitative research methods.
  2. The ability to plan and undertake an extended piece of independent work within social policy.
  3. An understanding of, and the ability to select appropriately from, social research approaches;
  4. Understanding and application of principles of ethical practice

Teaching details

Introductory lecture, tutorials, dissertation advisory sessions

Ability to present their project at different stages to peers and staff at symposiums and other related events

One formal dissertation proposal and draft literature review of 2000 words

Assessment Details

Summative assessment:

One 10,000 word dissertation

Reading and References

Thomas G, 2013, How to Do Your Research Project: A Guide for Students in Education and Applied Social Sciences. London: Sage.

White P, 2008, Developing Research Questions: A Guide for Social Scientists. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan