Final Year Dissertation

The details
Philosophical, Historical, and Interdisciplinary Studies (School of)
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
21 September 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA R000 European Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA R001 European Studies,
BA R002 European Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA R008 European Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA R9T8 European Studies and Modern Languages (Including Foundation Year),
BA R9T9 European Studies and Modern Languages,
BA R9R1 European Studies with French,
BA R9R8 European Studies with French (Including Foundation Year),
BA R9R2 European Studies with German,
BA R9R6 European Studies with German (Including Foundation Year),
BA R9R3 European Studies with Italian,
BA R9R7 European Studies with Italian (Including Foundation Year),
BA R9R4 European Studies with Spanish,
BA R9R9 European Studies with Spanish (Including Foundation Year),
BA LQV0 Liberal Arts (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q900 Liberal Arts (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA QV00 Liberal Arts (Including Year Abroad),
BA V900 Liberal Arts,
BA V901 Liberal Arts (Including Placement Year),
BA R108 European Studies and Language Studies,
BA R109 European Studies and Language Studies (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This Dissertation Seminar module is compulsory for PHAIS (ISC) students who have chosen to do a final year BA dissertation. This seminar provides a forum for students to discuss their research, present their main findings, and give and receive feedback on their work.

The module is mainly organised on a workshop basis, but the module tutor will also give short informal lectures on a range of issues related to data collection and analysis, writing and composition, and structuring an argument.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To enable students who are doing a term abroad in their final year, to do a final year dissertation module as a spring term only module.

  • To support students in processing data and writing their dissertations following the completion of the main data collection phase.

  • To provide a forum for students to discuss their research projects, and to present their main findings and draft chapters.

  • To enable students to enhance their presentation and writing skills.

  • To identify and address any weaknesses in students’ research and enable students to capitalise on strengths when writing their dissertation.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Develop an understanding of how to collect and process their data in a systematic way.

  2. Understand the difference between the logic of investigation and the logic of presentation.

  3. Develop improved writing and composition skills and the confidence to write their dissertations in a creative and coherent way.

  4. Reflect critically on their own research and writing and to give constructive feedback on the work of their peers

Module information

  1. All students who wish to do CS831 The BA Dissertation must do CS241 in their second year.

  2. Students must have completed a satisfactory CS241 research proposal.

  3. Students who have submitted a satisfactory CS241 research proposal and who wish to change topic, must submit a new 500-word proposal to the module director by the Friday of Welcome Week.

  4. Any student who has not submitted a satisfactory proposal by the Friday of Welcome week will be required to change to one of the other ISC capstone options: CS301 The Essay and Manifesto as Social Criticism, CS300 Community Engagement, or CS315 Global Challenges in Interdisciplinary Perspective: Water Conflicts, Water Cultures.

Learning and teaching methods

This module is organised on a workshop basis. The two-hour sessions will combine short presentations by the Course Tutor on key issues relating to data processing and writing, but most sessions are dedicated to student research presentations and discussions of draft chapters. The exact number of Spring term sessions will depend on the number of students who enrol.

The final schedule for presentations and draft chapters will be announced in the first session of the Spring term. Students are required to attend all sessions. Students will find that they learn a lot from discussions of other students' projects, so attendance and active participation is very important.

The seminar runs over the autumn and spring terms. The three autumn term sessions are designed to ensure that everyone is well prepared to complete data collection by the start of the spring term. The spring term sessions are dedicated to students' work in progress.

Before reading week, everyone will give an oral presentation of their main research findings; after reading week, everyone prepares a draft chapter for discussion by the group. We will agree the schedule in the first session. You will learn a lot from issues arising in other students' projects, so attendance and active participation at all sessions are very important.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Dissertation Outline and Draft Chapter    5% 
Coursework   Final Dissertation (11000 words)     80% 
Practical   Oral Presentation of Main Findings     15% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Jane Hindley, email: janeh@essex.ac.uk.
PHAIS General Office - 6.130; isugadmin@essex.ac.uk.



External examiner

Dr Kevin Corstorphine
University of Hull
Prof Raphael Hallett
Higher Education Consultant - Senior Advisor
Available via Moodle
Of 28 hours, 28 (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).


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

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