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PPR.394  Dissertation with External Collaboration

Tutor:                   Dr Astrid Nordin
Terms:                  Summer 2014 to end of Lent 2015

Course Description:

The aim of this module is to allow students to pursue independent in-depth studies of a topic of their choice, within the scope of their scheme of study.  The topic will be formulated in dialogue with one or more external collaborator(s) and may be related to work that is being done on a formally taught course, or it may be less directly linked to course work.  Students will develop their employability and research skills, and their ability to work independently at length under their own direction with input from external collaborators and an academic supervisor.  The external collaboration will enhance students’ ability to reflect on the impact of academic work.  One option is to incorporate work done through the Richardson Institute Internship Programme, but students may also discuss other forms of collaboration with their supervisor.

Students are expected to start thinking seriously about the dissertation towards the end of the Lent term of the second year, and to submit a provisional topic by the end of that term.  Work should begin during the Summer term of the second year and a draft plan must be approved by the end of the Summer term.  Work should be well advanced by Christmas in the third year.  The completed dissertation must be submitted by the end of the Lent term in the third year.  To help students prepare for work on the dissertation, there will be an introductory talk on topics relating to doing one’s own research and planning and writing a dissertation.   A course handout will be available setting out in more detail the requirements for the dissertation and giving full details of lectures, supervision arrangements and assessment.

It adds to this existing module by explicitly incorporating an element of collaboration with external actors and stake holders in order to enhance the employability and impact thinking of participating students.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Independently formulate a research question in dialogue with external collaborators and under academic supervision.
  • Independently plan and execute an independent research project with a view to produce knowledge that is useful to stakeholders.
  • Reflect on the impact of academic research on stakeholders and in the wider community.
  • Interact with external collaborators in a productive manner.


100% coursework:  9-10,000 word dissertation.

Teaching Method:

Supervisory meetings will take place at regular intervals throughout the research project.

Students will also develop mechanisms for feedback from external collaborators in a form that is suitable to the  individual project.


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