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Department of Development Studies

Dissertation in Labour, Social Movements and Development

Unit value:
1

A 10,000 word dissertation must be submitted by 15 September in the final year of study. 

Students should link their dissertation to the themes and concerns of the core course, Labour, Social Movements and Development. The topic is chosen by the student with the aid of tutors during the second term of the academic year, and researched and written mainly in the period after examinations (in effect, during the three summer months).  

By linking their dissertation topic with their optional courses, students can focus half of their work on the MSc to their own particular interests, whether disciplinary, geographic or thematic in focus. There is also ample scope for developing such special interests by taking advantage of the rich calendar of regular seminars and special lectures at SOAS, organised by all the School’s departments and centres.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

On successful completion of the course, students will posses:

  • Interdisciplinary understanding of the labour, social movement and development issue or theme chosen for dissertation research;
  • Understanding of the appropriate research methods for the issue or theme chosen for dissertation research;
  • The ability to critically appraise labour, social movement and development paradigms and policies regarding the issue or theme chosen for dissertation research;
  • The ability to approach the labour, social movement and development issue or theme chosen for dissertation research from an interdisciplinary perspective;
  • Ability to apply one or more research methods systematically to a chosen research issue or theme;
  • Specialised knowledge of issue/theme specific research methods;
  • Ability to appraise and implement these issue/theme specific research methods;
  • Ability to evaluate and synthesise different theoretical and conceptual arguments;
  • Critical appraisal and critical thinking and writing skills;

Workload

Learning will be largely autonomous and independent.

Scope and syllabus

The students enrolled in this course will have completed core and option courses within the MSc Labour, Social Movements and Development by the time they complete their dissertation. By conducting a project on a topic of their choice (approved by the convener and supervisor) and writing a dissertation on it, the students will demonstrate their knowledge and intellectual capacity that they have acquired in the programme.

Objectives:

  • To provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of topics and themes in labour, social movements and development.
  • To allow students to critical appraise theoretical and empirical literature in this area.
  • To allow students to demonstrate their ability to apply a variety of research methods appropriate for use in the analysis of labour, social movements and development issues.

Method of assessment

100% coursework. Each student will be expected to submit one essay of no more than 10,000 words. Resubmission of coursework regulations apply.