Doing Interdisciplinary Research for a BA Dissertation: Approaches, Methods, Practice

The details
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre (ISC)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Sunday 17 January 2021
Friday 26 March 2021
14 May 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

Doing research is fun, and the BA dissertation can be the most rewarding part of your degree. It's an opportunity to pursue your own interests and investigate a topic that really inspires you. CS241 is designed to help you develop your dissertation ideas and give you the methodological tools for doing research in a systematic and imaginative way.

By the end of the module you will have designed a research project, written a detailed proposal, and be ready to start collecting data. Even if you decide not to do a dissertation, your CS241 research training will stand you in good stead for doing research in the future, whether in postgraduate study or future careers.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

1. To prepare ISC students for carrying out research for their final year BA dissertations.

2. To introduce students to the principles of research design, and a range of methods and sources appropriate for interdisciplinary research.

3. To provide students with a general orientation to the practical problems they are likely to encounter during their dissertation research.

4. To provide students with transferable research skills relevant to future careers.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module the student should have:

1. A grasp of the principles of research design and proposal writing

2. Understanding of how to use qualitative research methods in a systematic way

3. An understanding of what constitutes a feasible, ethical, BA research project

4. A knowledge of relevant concepts and terms

Module information

CS241 is a pre-requisite for CS831.

Learning and teaching methods

This module consists of nine sessions, a tutorial and a final workshop. Most sessions combine short lectures, practical research exercises and discussion. Students are expected to attend all sessions, read the set readings, and participate actively in seminar discussion. You are expected to work hard during the term and give careful thought to coursework. The short assignments are devised to enable you to develop your ideas as the module proceeds, and be ready to present a draft proposal for the workshop in the summer term. The feedback on your presentation will then help you to refine your ideas before submitting the final written research proposal. All teaching events will be accessible to students on and off campus either face-to-face or remotely through online teaching. Week 21 is Reading Week.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Jane Hindley, email: janeh@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Jane Hindley janeh@essex.ac.uk
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre General Office - 6.130, email: istudies@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr James Scorer
University of Manchester
Senior Lecturer in Latin American Cultural Studies
Available via Moodle
Of 23 hours, 23 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.