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

The details
Interdisciplinary Studies Centre (ISC)
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
05 April 2019


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:

To prepare ISC students for carrying out research for their final year BA dissertations.
To introduce students to the principles of research design, and a range of methods and sources appropriate for interdisciplinary research.
To provide students with a general orientation to the practical problems they are likely to encounter during their dissertation research.
To provide students with transferable research skills relevant to future careers.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module the student should have:

A grasp of the principles of research design and proposal writing
Understanding of how to use qualitative research methods in a systematic way
An understanding of what constitutes a feasible, ethical, BA research project
A knowledge of relevant concepts and terms

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

This module comprises 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 will then help you to refine your ideas before submitting the final written research proposal.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Assignment 6: Oral Presentation of Draft Research Proposal 15%
Coursework Assignment 1: Preliminary Research of Topic Ideas 0%
Coursework Assignment 2: Review of Past ISC Dissertation (700-800 Words) 28/01/2020 15%
Coursework Assignment 3: Selection of Key Texts 25/02/2020 10%
Coursework Assignment 4: Review of Artwork, Film or Video (700-1000 words) 03/03/2020 10%
Coursework Assignment 5: Expert Interview or Survey Report 20/03/2020 10%
Practical Assignment 7: Written Research Proposal (2500 words) 01/05/2020 40%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


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



External examiner

Dr James Scorer
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

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