The dissertation must be linked EITHER to a Philosophy module taken and passed during the second/penultimate year (either 15 or 30 credits) OR to a Philosophy module taken during the autumn term of the third/final year. In the latter case the dissertation can be linked either to a stand-alone third year 15 credit module OR to the first half of a third year 30 credit module. Note that if the dissertation is linked to a module taken in the autumn, the assessment for that module will occur as normal (in other words, the dissertation does NOT replace the standard assessment for the linked module).
If the dissertation is linked to a Philosophy module taken during a period of study abroad, all coursework submitted for the relevant module taken abroad must be submitted to the Undergraduate Office (6.130) prior to the start of the term in which the dissertation module is to be taken.
Your envisaged topic must be discussed and agreed with the prospective supervisor (who must be a member of academic staff in Philosophy), and the 'Supervisor's Consent Form' submitted, signed by both you and the supervisor, at the latest by:
* Monday of the final week of the term prior to the term in which PY426 is taken.
You must approach your prospective supervisor AT LEAST TWO WEEKS BEFORE THIS DEADLINE. When you approach a prospective supervisor you must bring with you:
* a 500 word summary describing the philosophical issue you wish to address and – in broad terms – the kind of research you intend to carry out to address it;
* a brief bibliography of 6 relevant books and/or articles;
* the fall-back module which you wish to take, should your request for supervision of a dissertation prove unsuccessful.
You must also:
* email firstname.lastname@example.org with your fall-back module choice, on which you will be enrolled instead of PY426 should your dissertation proposal not be successful.
Once you have found a supervisor and the topic has been discussed and agreed, the appropriate Supervisor's Consent Form must be signed by both parties and emailed to email@example.com . Your supervisor can be either the person who taught on the module to which your dissertation is connected, or another member of staff who has expertise in the relevant area.
Students are entitled to two one-to-one hour-long supervisions (in addition to the initial meeting(s) where the topic is discussed and agreed). These must take place during term time (i.e. there will be no entitlement to supervision during the vacation preceding the submission date of the dissertation).
Please note that A DISSERTATION IS NOT SIMPLY A SOMEWHAT LONGER COURSEWORK ESSAY. You will be expected to carry out a modest amount of independent research into the topic which you have chosen, and this must be evidenced in your concluding bibliography, which should be substantial. If carrying out such independent research does not appeal to you, then you should choose a taught module instead.
Aims and Objectives:
To allow third/final year students to write their first piece of independent research on a topic which they have chosen themselves.
By the end of the module students will have acquired and/or developed the relevant research skills, such as: independence of thought, the capacity to organise and structure a longer piece of written work, the ability to explore the secondary literature on a particular topic in an autonomous way and to develop their own ideas more in depth than in a standard-length essay.
Students will also have:
* deepened their knowledge of the area of philosophy relevant to the topic they have selected;
* developed transferable skills such as the ability to think independently, to consider and act on advice, and to work creatively with others (the supervisor), time management, and clear communication, both oral and written.
- Module Supervisor: Steven Gormley