Research Project: Sociology

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 15 December 2023
14 September 2023


Requisites for this module
SC203 or SC208 or SC277 or SC278
GV831, SC830, SC832



Key module for


Module description

Many undergraduates in the Department of Sociology at Essex carry out a research project in the final year of their degree. The third-year project offers you the opportunity to focus on a topic of your choice that relates broadly to your degree course. You will find that this can be an extremely worthwhile learning experience. Carrying out a project improves your employability skills, and can be a springboard to postgraduate study.
The project can take a variety of forms ranging from empirical research using methods such as surveys, questionnaires, interviews and content analysis to library based theoretical work. Unlike other assignments, it involves you conducting and writing-up a piece of individual, autonomously designed research.

The undergraduate sociology project is the equivalent of one full year module in your degree course and must be between 10,000 and 12,000 words in length. It runs in parallel with your other third year modules - although some of you may choose to begin work on your project during the summer term following your second year.

While you will receive guidance from the project director and your supervisor, ultimately the success of your research will depend on the way in which you develop your ideas and plan and execute your project.

Module aims

The project provides an opportunity for students to research and produce a substantial piece of original work. It is designed to draw together the knowledge that the student has acquired on the programme and will enable them to develop and demonstrate methodological, analytical, and writing skills.

Module learning outcomes

On successfully completing the project the student will be able to demonstrate the following skills:

Knowledge of key sociological research concepts and theories.
Knowledge of the principles of research design for your chosen empirical approach.
Knowledge of the epistemological, ethical and political dimensions of sociological research.
An ability to develop a reasoned argument.
An ability to formulate sociological questions.
An ability to summarise, report and evaluate arguments, texts and findings.
An ability to frame a research proposal and to identify and apply the appropriate research methods.
An ability to understand, summarise and critically assess sociological work
Ability to produce independent work.
An ability to conduct and present a small scale piece of sociological research.
An ability to present ideas and evidence to others in a clear and concise manner.
An ability to identify problems and propose solutions.
An ability to plan work, manage time, reflect on work, and respond constructively to the comments of others

Module information

Autumn Term
Final Year Project Introduction- week 2
Ethics Workshop - week 3
Data Collection and Access Workshop - week 8
Writing the Literature Review - week 10

Spring Term
Data Analysis Workshop - week 22
Structuring and Writing Your Project – week 23

Learning and teaching methods

Introductory lecture and a mandatory conference project day (for 2nd years) in Summer Term; 5 lectures in Autumn term (for 3rd years) + supervision sessions with project supervisor. 1 Lecture in Spring term.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting

Additional coursework information

100% coursework - Project dissertation Maximum word length: 12,000 words (inclusive of footnotes, endnotes, references/bibliography, and figures)

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 Maitrayee Deka, email:
Supervision by various members of the Department
Jane Harper, Undergraduate Administrator, Telephone 01206 873052, email jharper (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)



External examiner

Dr Aneira Edmunds
School of Law, Politics & Sociology
Senior Lecturer
Dr Paul Gilbert
University of Sussex
Senior Lecturer in International Development
Dr Emily Gray
University of Warwick
Assistant Professor of Criminology
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information

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