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If you are a student on the Undergraduate Modular Programme about to embark on a project or dissertation, please read and familiarise yourself with the following guidelines.
To achieve an Honours Degree, a student must pass at least 6 acceptable Honours Level module credits. This will normally include 2 module credits of dissertations, project or synoptic study. These studies should demonstrate that an Honours student can successfully collect data and select appropriate knowledge from the range he/she has acquired, can propose solutions for appropriate problems and communicate the results, and that the student can work independently.
A dissertation is an extended study of a topic agreed as appropriate for a Subject. It should demonstrate the student’s ability to argue coherently, to marshal evidence, to synthesise and evaluate critically the disparate sources used to identify and work with appropriate theoretical methods. It does not necessarily involve original research or the study of unpublished or primary material.
A project is also an extended study of a topic, but in addition usually involves data collection through experimental work or primary investigation. As such, it should demonstrate similar abilities to those listed for a dissertation and in addition the ability to plan experiments or data collection and interpret and analyse data.
An interdisciplinary dissertation or project is a project or dissertation in which, provided the topic is relevant to each of the two Subjects, there is no need for a quantitative measure of the proportion contributed by each. As such, criteria for acceptability of a topic are different from those used for a project or dissertation set wholly within one Subject. The topic should be formulated so that the project or dissertation may demonstrate those skills, knowledge and understanding acquired in both Subjects have been appropriately used. An interdisciplinary topic is seen as a desirable option, not a requirement for single Subject students.
It is a student’s responsibility to ensure that he/she meets the Subject rules for the contact with supervisors, and the regulations on submission of the work which are described in Section 5 below, as well as those subject specific requirements set out in the relevant Subject Guide. Students are encouraged to calculate the time and effort spent on project/dissertation modules on the same basis as for all other modules: i.e. approximately 300 hours for a double module.
It is the Subject Module Leader’s responsibility to make available to students a Subject Guide, laying out Subject specific regulations on such matters as timetabling, conduct of study, presentation and style formats, and what to do if a student has problems with their supervisor. A student may expect a minimum of 4 hours supervision per credit of a project/dissertation some of which may be in small group tutorials. The word supervision is used to cover a number of learning and teaching activities including individual tutorials, small group tutorials, or commentary on drafts.
If students find that the requirements for style, format or content from the two subjects are incompatible or otherwise appear to inhibit the appropriate investigation of the approved topic, they should consult the Module Leaders immediately, who should resolve the problem as a matter of urgency. In case of difficulty, Student Central should be consulted.
Changes to module registration are only permitted during the relevant module registration window. Once the module registration window has closed it is not possible to withdraw from the dissertation once the module has been registered.
A student or supervisor may consider a dissertation/project has changed direction during work on it and may wish to transfer the Registration from one (set of) module number(s) to another, or from one Subject to another. The Module Leader must approve the change and an M99 for should be completed to adjust the module codes.
If the project or dissertation is not assessed as a pass grade (a mark lower than 40%), so long as an original attempt is submitted a student will be entitled to a resit. Students who do not attempt the first submission will not be eligible for a resit. The Module Leader will inform the student of the resit requirements following release of the results. Resubmitted projects must be submitted at the normal resit deadlines. If a resubmitted project is passed, the result will be capped at 40%, unless an uncapped resit has been awarded due to exceptional circumstances, for which full marks are awarded.
Students going on exchange are expected to make arrangements with their supervisor before they leave the UK and it is their responsibility to keep in touch with the supervisor and to keep them appraised of any developments or changes of direction whilst they are away.