Research Project: Politics

The details
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 06 October 2022
Friday 30 June 2023
22 May 2022


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 R110 International Relations and Language Studies,
BA R111 International Relations and Language Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L620 Politics with Criminology,
BA L621 BA Politics with Criminology (Including Placement Year),
BA L622 BA Politics with Criminology (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

Students in the Government Department will be expected to participate in the Capstone Project, an opportunity to conduct their own independent research and to write their own undergraduate research dissertation. 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

A Qualtrics Survey link will be sent to students during Week 1 in which they will indicate the topic they wish to pursue and the topic area of their dissertation. Final assignment of supervisor will be done centrally to avoid imbalances of supervision or mismatch of topical fit. If a member of staff has agreed to act as a supervisor for a student, the student must email govquery@essex.ac.uk with the name of the supervisor by the end of Week 1. We will try to accommodate this in the assignment of supervisors but the final decision of supervisor assignment lies with the Department of Government. Students will be notified of their supervisor assignment by Week 2 of autumn term.

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. 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 any essential texts. To see non - essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Poster  17/03/2023  5% 
Coursework   Dissertation   05/05/2023  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.
Ximena Velasco Guachalla
Module Supervisor: Dr Ximena Velasco Guachalla vv20291@essex.ac.uk Module Administrator: 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 3 hours, 3 (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

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