KC7026 - Masters Dissertation

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What will I learn on this module?

The dissertation will develop themes relevant to your studies during the taught element of the masters degree programme and/or related to your employment. The selection of your topic rests with you and discussions with staff can help to facilitate your choice of topic. The dissertation process will enable you to use and extend the knowledge and skills acquired during the taught element of your programme, by carrying out a small-scale research project that must be relevant to the particular programme and may be:
• Empirical research;
• A problem-based project, set in a real setting;
• A theoretical based project involving a critical and systematic review and synthesis of the literature.

All approaches should be based on an appropriate research methodology.

The dissertation will normally include the following:

1. A justification of the choice of the topic;
2. Exhibition of knowledge and critical analysis of existing literature, evidenced by a comprehensive list of references/bibliography;
3. Some evidence of original work in the form of data collection, field research, observation and/or analysis - supported by a description and justification of the method(s) used;
4. Conclusions, with an assessment of their general applicability, supported by relevant analytical procedures.

Dissertation briefings will also be held in the second semester of the year in which you complete the taught element of the Masters programme, prior to you commencing work on your dissertation.

How will I learn on this module?

The Module tutor is responsible for the documentation and organisation of the dissertation and associated briefing sessions to support you through this module.

You will have submitted an Initial Proposal for your Research Methods and Professional Practice module in which you will be asked to indicate the topic area of your proposed dissertation, establish aim/s and objectives; prepare an initial review of the literature; draw out a proposed methodology and project plan. This will be used by the Module Tutor to allocate an appropriate supervisor from within the Information Sciences subject team. You will then be required to prepare a full research proposal for your dissertation, to be submitted to your supervisor for formative assessment. Subsequently, you will receive one to one support via tutorial supervision. You will be responsible for maintaining contact with your supervisor who will provide you with a Dissertation Logbook in which to record the outcomes of your meetings. Your learning will be self-managed as you progress through the research process with your supervisor to support you with choices focus.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Throughout the duration of your research, additional self-help and online support will be provided via the Electronic Learning Portal.

The assessment is based on the dissertation report which is expected to be an academic document providing relevant background information about the topic, supported by a substantial and critical review of the literature; a discussion of research methodology, with appropriate justification and elaboration of the chosen method(s); presentation, analysis and synthesis of the research findings; and drawing of conclusions. The University Library also offers a series of Research Skills events to all PG students and you will be encouraged to attend these.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Critically analyse the literature associated with the dissertation theme and proper use of citation within arguments.
2. Evaluate, select, justify and execute appropriate research methods.
3. Synthesise research findings relative to the originally selected theme and draw appropriate inferences and conclusions.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. You will design and execute an appropriate research strategy.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. You will critically appraise the ethical considerations in conducting applied research.

How will I be assessed?

The assessment is based on the dissertation report which is expected to be an academic document providing relevant background information about the topic, supported by a substantial and critical review of the literature; a discussion of research methodology, with appropriate justification and elaboration of the chosen method(s); presentation, analysis and synthesis of the research findings; and drawing of conclusions.

The summative assessment will one 15,000 word dissertation together with a research file, which shall provide evidence of the actual research undertaken, going through stages/phases of the research process.

Formative feedback will be provided at weekly supervision meetings

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment. The dissertation will be marked by the supervisor and another member of staff of the Division.

Pre-requisite(s)

None

Co-requisite(s)

None

Module abstract

The module is designed to enable you to examine a topic of direct relevance to the particular Master's programme being studied and to produce a dissertation which covers the rationale behind the choice of topic; a critical review of the literature; justification of the research method(s) adopted; presentation and discussion of the findings, and appropriate conclusions. The dissertation will normally develop themes relevant to your studies during the taught element of your Masters Degree programme and/or related to your previous studies, current or past work experience, or future career/employment. Selection of the dissertation topic rests with you, although academic staff may suggest suitable topics for selection by students. You will be expected to have successfully completed an appropriate research methods module prior to commencing work on the dissertation. Individual tutorial support will also be given and additional self-help and online support will be provided via the eLearning Platform.

Course info

Credits 60

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years distance learning

Department Computer and Information Sciences

Location Pandon Building, Newcastle City Campus

City Newcastle

Start September 2018

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