Extended Project Dissertation

The process of dissertation allocation begins in the third term of your year abroad, when students submit two 100-word proposals, outlining two distinct topics on which they would like to work.In order to facilitate the allocation of supervisors, these proposals must be substantially differentiated from one another, and will need to correspond to areas of specialism of two different MLAC research staff, as set out in the list on the School website.Your research will be supported by a designated supervisor or, in some cases, a supervisory team.

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You will be responsible for keeping a written record of each supervision meeting, to be sent to your supervisor for further comment.

You will also need to highlight any potential ethical issues posed by your research.

You will submit your dissertation in the first week of the third term.

Full details of the supervision contact hours and the requirements for formative and summative assessment are given in the relevant module outline in the Faculty Handbook.

It gives you a high degree of autonomy in defining your own research question and aims, finding an appropriate method, selecting suitable resources, organising the time that you devote to the project, and seeking and responding to feedback from your supervisor.

The academic skills of managing an extended project, collecting and analysing information, critically assessing sources and arguments, communicating your findings clearly and persuasively according to professional presentational requirements, and showing intellectual creativity and problem-solving ability are all central to the graduate attributes you are expected to demonstrate at the end of a degree programme (see the Undergraduate Level Descriptors in the University's Core Regulations).The Dissertation aims to provide students with an opportunity to engage at the highest intellectual level with the ethos of research-led learning that is central to Durham’s strategy for learning and teaching.During your studies in years 1 and 2 you will have been working with diverse and novel ways of approaching a range of subjects and issues, and will have seen that your tutors are setting out advanced intellectual agendas across many periods, cultures, and disciplines.Normal procedures for the submission of summative coursework apply, including those referring to applications for extensions - which can only be approved by the Chair of the Board of Examiners.You should alert your supervisor at an early stage to any circumstances that affect your ability to meet the formative and summative assessment requirements.The relevant cultural module that you need to take alongside your Dissertation does not need to be from the same language area; its relevance may be to do with the cultural forms analysed or the kinds of issues addressed.When devising a topic, think about the areas of interest that you have encountered during the course of your studies in years 1 and 2, or about topics that could potentially interest you in the final-year modules you intend to take.It is your responsibility to agree deadlines for formative work with your supervisor, meet those deadlines and attend supervision meetings.Failure to do so will be subject to the School’s Academic Progression procedures.Their role will be to guide and nurture your research ideas by recommending areas in which you should target your reading.They will also assess the methodological, conceptual and structural validity of your approach to your topic, and encourage you to engage with broader theoretical and interdisciplinary agendas, as appropriate.


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