LIB3000 - Liberal Arts Dissertation

2016/7 Module description

StaffProfessor Francesca Stavrakopoulou - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level6
Pre-requisitesTwo from LIB1101, LIB1102, LIB1103
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module description

This module provides an opportunity to carry out independent research in a sustained way on a chosen topic. The dissertation is written in your final year of undergraduate study, and will allow you to put to use the intellectual, critical and academic skills you have acquired throughout the Liberal Arts programme, by thinking at length about a question that is of particular interest to you.

Module aims

This core module provides an opportunity for students to carry out independent research in a sustained way on a topic chosen by the student (with guidance), and to present the findings of research in an extended piece of academic written prose.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Research and write at length, in an independent and self-critical way, about a self-selected topic in Liberal Arts;
  • 2. synthesize and make critical use of interdisciplinary approaches;
  • 3. demonstrate intellectual flexibility through the practice of a variety of complementary methods of study.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate a sophisticated ability to analyse texts, images or other data, to think critically, and to present ideas persuasively and cogently;
  • 5. demonstrate a critical ability to interrelate texts, images (or other data) and discourses specific to your own chosen major discipline with issues in the wider context of cultural and intellectual history and debate;
  • 6. demonstrate the ability to create a persuasive argument in a sustained and critical essay.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 7. Undertake independent research within broad guidelines;
  • 8. shape information independently into a coherent and creative account;
  • 9. make critical and independent use of written sources;
  • 10. communicate clearly in a sustained written form.

Syllabus plan


  1. Proposal

    A provisional broad topic for your dissertation must be decided at the end of Stage 2 in consultation with your academic advisor, who will appoint a supervisor to work with you. Staff will help define the topic in detail and give assistance with bibliography.


  2. Supervision

    You will receive feedback on your proposal from your assigned supervisor. Throughout the year you should keep in contact with your supervisor in order to maintain a realistic work schedule, but the maximum time allowed for consulting your supervisor is three hours. These hours will include initial discussion of an appropriate topic, title, contents and research material. Your supervisor will comment on one draft of each chapter in turn, or one draft of the whole dissertation.


  3. PowerPoint presentation

    In January you will be expected to deliver a PowerPoint (or other audio/visual) presentation on the topic of your dissertation to a small group of staff and students, which will constitute 15% of your mark for this module. This process is designed to ensure that you have a clear central argument or thesis to your dissertation, and that you have been exposed to a wide range of possible questions or challenges to that argument or thesis.


  4. Writing and presenting your dissertation

Further details will be available in the Liberal Arts handbook.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities3Supervisions
Scheduled learning and teaching activities1Presentations
Scheduled learning and teaching activities1Dissertation information session
Guided independent study295Research, planning, preparation and management of the dissertation project

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft chaptersUp to 12,000 words in totao1-10Written comments on draft

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation1515 minutes2-9Written and verbal feedback
Dissertation8510,000-12,000 words1-10Written and verbal feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PresentationPresentation2-9To be arranged individually with module team
DissertationDissertation1-10Refer/defer period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading


As determined by the research subject.


ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages


Web based and electronic resources: as directed by module convenor.

Module has an active ELE page?


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Key words search

Dissertation, Research, Liberal Arts, Interdisciplinary

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