Dissertation in Global Studies

Key information

Start date
End date
Module code
FHEQ Level

Module overview

An initial dissertation research proposal is submitted in Term 1 allowing for the allocation of academic supervisors, followed by the dissertation the following September.

Dissertation topics can be wide-ranging reflecting the breadth of issues International Studies and Diplomacy.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

Completing an MA dissertation is a crucial component of postgraduate study. At the end of the module, students will have:

  • A solid foundational knowledge of their chosen research topic and its application across a particular area of International law, politics, economics, public policy and contemporary diplomatic practice, particularly¬†relating to Africa, Asia and the Middle East
  • Developed the skills to pursue independent research from secondary and in some cases primary sources in this field.
  • Learned how to organise their data and articulate their arguments coherently and clearly.

Scope and syllabus

The dissertation is a core module of the MA International Studies and Diplomacy and will be taught through a variety of approaches.
The submission of the research proposal allows for allocation of supervisors by the module convening team and the supervision to begin. On the basis of supervised research the student is expected to write a 15,000 word dissertation which:

  • meets acceptable standards of academic writing and presentation;
  • shows a critical understanding of the relevant literature;
  • illustrates develops a focussed and clear argument, supported by the relevant use of theoretical material and evidence;
  • makes an original contribution to the area of research;

The original component of the dissertation can be satisfied in a number of ways, among them, the presentation of new data/evidence, (re)analysis or further development of existing analyses, and the critical re-evaluation or re-interpretation of existing theoretical material with reference to the topic of focus.


There will be an initial introductory lecture at the beginning of Term 1.

Through Term 1 students will be supported by dedicated Tutors through the VLE, and peer support throughout. Students will develop key research skills, and an awareness of research methods through these supported activities.

Each student will have the opportunity for three 1hr supervision sessions with their supervisors.

Method of assessment

Assignment 1: Research proposal 15%
Dissertation: 85%


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules