Prerequisite: Topics will normally build upon a module that the student has undertaken at Stage 2. Therefore, the student must have gained a minimum of 65% on that module.
OverviewThis module enables students to research in depth a linguistic topic. The dissertation topic may be chosen from a list provided by the supervisor, or selected by the student under guidance from the supervisor in an area reflecting the student's interests and the supervisor's research programme, interests and expertise. The topic will normally build upon a module that the student has undertaken in their second year. In the rare case that the chosen topic builds upon an Autumn-term module in the student’s third year, acceptance is at the supervisor’s discretion; it is expected that the supervisor will be the convenor of that module and can reach a decision on the basis of their assessment of the student’s potential and the viability of the project.
Topics available for study are subject to the availability of an appropriate supervisor. In order to ensure adequate supervision, supervisors may not accept to supervise more than three dissertations in a given year.
With guidance from their supervisors, students will identify a research question and apply appropriate methodologies to data collection and their analysis. While the supervisor will be there to guide students, students will take responsibility for setting their own deadlines, working at a pace that suits them.
The module will aim to equip students with the necessary training in a broad range of research skills typically required for dissertations in linguistics.
This module appears in:
Total Contact Hours: 20
Method of assessment
Main assessment methods
• Dissertation (10,000 words) – 100%
Indicative Reading List
Harris, P. (2008) (3rd) Designing and Reporting Experiments. London: Open University Press.
Litosseliti, L. (2009) Research Methods in Linguistics. London: Continuum.
Mackey, A and Gass, S. (2011) Research Methods in Second Language Acquisition: A Practical Guide. London: Wiley-Blackwell.
McMillan, K. & J. Weyers. (2007) How to Write Dissertations and Project Reports. London: Prentice Hall.
Oliver, P. (2010) The Student's Guide to Research Ethics. London: Open University Press.
Podesva, R. and Sharma, D. (eds.) (2014) Research Methods in Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sealey, A. (2010) Researching English Language: A Resource Book for Students. London: Routledge.
Wray, A. & A. Bloomer (2012) (3rd edn.) Projects in Linguistics and Language Studies: A Practical Guide to Researching Language. London: Hodder Arnold.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
Demonstrate a coherent and detailed knowledge of the existing research on a particular linguistic topic;
Carry out original research on a particular linguistic topic;
Demonstrate practical experience of appropriate linguistic research methods and techniques;
Collect and critically evaluate linguistic data;
Present linguistic data in an appropriate manner (tables, graphs, diagrams etc.).