Research Project: Politics

The details
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
25 April 2024


Requisites for this module
EC831, GV830, GV832, GV836, GV837, GV840, HR831, SC340



Key module for

BA LR59 International Relations and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA LRF9 International Relations and Modern Languages,
BA VL12 Modern History and International Relations,
BA VL14 Modern History and International Relations (Including Placement Year),
BA VL18 Modern History and International Relations (Including Foundation Year),
BA VL1F Modern History and International Relations (Including Year Abroad),
BA R110 International Relations and Language Studies,
BA R111 International Relations and Language Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L620 Politics with Criminology,
BA L621 Politics with Criminology (Including Placement Year),
BA L622 Politics with Criminology (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

This module gives third year students an opportunity to conduct their own independent research and to write their own undergraduate research dissertation under the supervision of an academic staff in the department of government. This is a supervised, but independent research in which communication on the part of the student is crucial for successful completion. Therefore, there is an application process to be enrolled in the module.

The word count for the project should be 8,000 words inclusive of notes and bibliography. Students can work in pairs for the final project to promote team building and mutual learning, but the project must in that case be 10,000 words.

Module aims

The aims of the module are to endow students with the skills necessary for putting together a well-written, well-researched dissertation and to provide them with in-depth knowledge in a specific area of research of their choosing.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will have:
Understood how to take initiative in developing a research project;
Know how to design, run, and execute their own research project;
Gained self-discipline in setting deadlines and adhering to them;
Acquired in-depth knowledge in a subject matter that they are interested in.

Module information

There is an application process for this module – please do not request this module on eNROL until you have been accepted. If you are not accepted onto this module, you will need to take the compulsory GV840, or another module to ensure you have the full 120 credits required for the academic year.

Students considering applying for this module need to have a research topic, research question, and potential supervisor in mind. The application requires students to provide a 500-word description of their proposed project including a specific research question. Students also need to meet with the potential supervisor to discuss the feasibility of the project and the availability of the supervisor. Once a meeting has taken place, and the supervisor agreed to supervise the project, the student needs to provide the application form, signed by the supervisor, prior to enrolling in the module. Application forms must be emailed to vv20291@essex.ac.uk and  govquery@essex.ac.uk  by the end of Week 1.

For the application form, please email vv20291@essex.ac.uk

This module is part of the Q-Step pathway. Q-Step is an award which you can gain simply by enrolling on specific modules and will signal to employers your capability in quantitative research. https://www.essex.ac.uk/about/faculty-of-social-sciences/q-step. Learn more about the Q-Step pathway and enhance your degree now.

Learning and teaching methods

The Capstone Project is taught through supervisions with a supervisor that are arranged between the department, student and the supervisor.


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   Poster    5% 
Coursework   Dissertation     95% 

Additional coursework information

There are two pieces of assessment: 1. Poster: Capstone students are required to prepare, present and upload a poster of their research project. The poster counts for 5% of the module credit. Students receive the full 5% so long as they present and upload a poster to Faser. Presentations will take place during the Student Conference – more details will follow from the module leader. 2. Final dissertation: This is an 8000-word dissertation inclusive of notes and bibliography. The Final Dissertation counts for 95% of the module credit.

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 Ximena Velasco Guachalla, email: vv20291@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Ximena Velasco Guachalla
Please contact govquery@essex.ac.uk


There is no financial assistance from the University for travel costs associated with work placements or live projects as part of this module.

External examiner

Dr Stefano Pagliari
City, University of London
Senior Lecturer in International Politics
Available via Moodle
Of 5 hours, 5 (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), module, or event type.


Further information

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

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