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Dissertation (Module)

Module description

  • Induction and Orientation module
  • If studying War in the Modern World you must also complete History of Contemporary Warfare 1: the early Cold War, 1945–1975 and History of Contemporary Warfare 2: from Cold War to War on Terror, 1975-2011.
  • If studying International Relations and Contemporary War, you must also complete International Relations and Contemporary War 1: Theories and Concepts and International Relations and Contemporary War 2: Problems and Issues.

Study units

  • The Dissertation
  • Planning and Designing
  • Conducting the Research
  • Organising and Writing Up


The Dissertation is a core requirement for the MA, and represents one third of the assessment overall. Researching and writing a Dissertation provides the opportunity to conduct more in-depth study on a topic that particularly interests you.  You are required to identify a viable topic; conduct the necessary research; demonstrate specialised understanding and engagement with associated scholarly debates, exercise independent critical judgment, and produce a sustained and coherent argument within a limit of 15,000 words.

The four-week taught dissertation preparation module will equip you with the knowledge and skills to undertake this work, from planning and designing a viable research project, discussing the relative strengths and weaknesses of a range of research methods, providing guidance on conducting bibliographic searches and compiling a literature review, and on accessing the wide variety of online and print resources available to you. At the end of the four-week module, you will be required to submit a research proposal, on the basis of which you will be assigned to a supervisor with relevant subject-matter expertise to advise you on your project.

Please note: You may access the course materials for the dissertation preparation module at any time during your studies and it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with its contents.  However, you will only be able to participate in discussions when formally enrolled on the dissertation, normally in the third term of your second year on the programme, concurrently with your final optional module.  You have just under 12 months to submit the dissertation from the point at which you enrol.

*Please note that module information is indicative and may change from year to year.

Staff information

Not applicable

Teaching pattern

1 x 4 weeks for Dissertation Preparation module and then write up time

Module assessment - more information

1 x 15,000-word dissertation

Key information

Module code 7SSWM181

Credit level 7

Assessment coursework

Credit value 60 credits

Semester Full-year

Study abroad module No