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Unit information: Dissertation in 2021/22

Unit name Dissertation
Unit code HARTM0014
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Mike O'Mahony
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of History of Art (Historical Studies)
Faculty Faculty of Arts


All MA students are expected to undertake a dissertation as the culmination of the programme of study. The dissertation provides a structured and supervised opportunity for MA students to pursue independently an agreed topic of interest with reference to and emerging from their previous studies and to produce an appropriately advanced piece of research. The dissertation involves devising a realisable topic, which has the potential to contribute to knowledge of the subject. After a conducting a survey of literature and other relevant materials, appropriate methodologies will be devised in order to explore a research problem. It would normally be expected that this topic would arise from work already undertaken on the programme, creating an opportunity to explore a specialist area in more detail.


  1. To provide for in-depth independent research
  2. To establish a potential path for further advanced research (if appropriate)
  3. To explore and develop appropriate methodological approaches
  4. To gain in-depth knowledge of a specialist area
  5. To present the findings in a written dissertation.

Intended learning outcomes

  1. To be able to distinguish between a range of different research methods
  2. To become familiar with existing work on a particular subject
  3. To use that work in order to provide a focus for independent inquiry
  4. To design a project that is realistic in scope
  5. To gain substantial knowledge of a specific subject area
  6. To make a sustained argument or intervention, in academic debate and/or in relation to the particular research problem, appropriate to the determined mode of assessment.
  7. To be able to communicate that knowledge with clarity appropriate to the determined mode of assessment.

Teaching details

Tutorials - supervision sessions.

Assessment Details

15,000-word dissertation


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. HARTM0014).