IR6003 - Dissertation

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will have the opportunity to pursue independently a self-selected research project on a topic related to the field of International Relations and Politics. Through your research, you will analyze about a specific topic in the subject of International Relations and Politics, gaining in-depth understanding. You will learn to put into effect the skills that you have learned on other modules, in particular those relating to research methods and the management of research projects.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn by attending a number of dedicated workshops related to the researching/writing of a dissertation (i.e. how to set a research question etc.). Although much of the learning on the module will come through your own research, you will discuss the progress that you making on this module with your own dedicated dissertation supervisor.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Your academic development will be facilitated through workshops where you will consider questions relating to the nature of research, research ethics, research methods and the management of an independent research project . Through a process of meetings with your supervisor you will enhance your academic development by engaging with critical comments of your written work, i.e. through feedback given on written chapters that you will submit to your supervisor.

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:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
At the end of this module I will have learned about:
1. How to undertake a piece of complex research on my own

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
At the end of this module I will be able to:
2. Discuss and defend my thesis where appropriate

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
At the end of this module I will have enhanced the following skills:

3. The ability to synthesise complex information and to construct an argument based upon evidence
4. The ability to undertake research on my own including writing an extended piece of work and to engage with critical feedback

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment: submission of research question(s) and methodology section (approx. 1,000 words) for review and feedback from supervisor. Submission of two draft chapters, usually one is the literature review (approx. 2-2,500 words) and one other draft chapter (approx. 2,500 words) to supervisor for review and feedback. Presentation of final draft of the dissertation (10 minutes) to peers and supervisors for feedback (verbal and written). The presentation should provide an overview of the research question, methodology with a focus on explaining the argument developed and the contribution to the academic debate. MLO 1-4

Via a 11,000 word final dissertation MLO 1-4





Module abstract

The dissertation is the culmination of your studies in International Relations and Politics, enabling you to pursue a topic of your own choice in-depth. You will work closely with your supervisor in developing this significant piece of work. The dissertation will bring together the skills you have acquired during your studies, especially your research skills, your ability to critically analyse and evaluate, and to convey complex information in an easily accessible and appropriately formatted way. Completing an independent piece of research, such as the dissertation, will prepare you for graduate level employment in this and related fields.

Course info

UCAS Code L2L2

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy