Research and Dissertation Preparation

This core module is designed to prepare the student for writing their MA dissertation. The module serves to introduce the student to the nature of the research process and encourage the student to focus on developing their research question and methodology and advance their research retrieval and analysis skills. The workshops of the module covers the key stages of the research process, from formulating questions and/or puzzles and thinking about their significance, to selecting texts orcase studies relevant to the topic, identifying and critically reviewing the existing literature, developing a theoretical and/or conceptual arguments, and collecting and analyzing materials to support these arguments. The module concludes by discussing the nature of the supervision process.

Through this module, you will acquire the skills, knowledge and understanding to carry out an extended piece of independent research; to develop a research proposal, strategy and timetable; and s to complete a dissertation under the guidance of an academic supervisor.


This module is typically taught through a series of interactive workshops . The workshops are split into two thematic parts, which begin with a lecture and conclude with a group exercise.

The exercises include group research question identification based on the current news, case selection associated with this research question, critical analysis of a TED talk on a significant political issue and the underlying academic article, identification of gaps in the article, data collection to fill these gaps and understand the data generation process behind different sources and the importance of triangulation, and flip chart exercise outlining a theoretical and/or conceptual argument of the group.


You will undertake a literature search and devise a research proposal, strategy and timetable to underpin your full MA dissertation.

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