Dissertation Project - SACO8130

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Year 7 60 (30) Chris Deter checkmark-circle


The dissertation project is a piece of independent research carried out by the student. Before undertaking the research, students are trained in research design and planning, statistical analysis and writing skills. A project supervisor is allocated to each student and students are expected to produce a research plan and budget for their proposed programme of research in conjunction with the supervisor. Students will intensively discuss methods of data collection, theoretical models for the analysis of this material, and the use and integration of research methods into both its preparation and its final presentation with his or her supervisor. The programme of research may consist of a literature review, analysis of existing data sets, analysis of newly-collected field or laboratory data. The student will work independently on the dissertation over the summer term and summer vacation until early September when it will be submitted. The topic of the dissertation must be directly relevant to the programme of study.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 8
Private study hours: 592
Total study hours: 600


MSc Forensic Osteology and Field Recovery Methods

Method of assessment

Dissertation (12000 – 15000 words) (90%)*
Dissertation Notebook (10%)
*This element is pass compulsory and must be passed to achieve the learning outcomes of the module.

Reassessment methods: Like for Like.

Indicative reading

Reading list (Indicative list, current at time of publication. Reading lists will be published annually)

Day , R.A. ad Gastel, B. (2011) How to write and publish a scientific paper. (7th edition) Greenwood press.

Lasker, G.L. and Gastel, B. (2005) Research strategies in human biology. Cambridge University Press.

In addition students will be required to complete their own project -specific literature searches and read relevant literature for their research project. They will provide an account of this in the literature review section of the dissertation

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 develop a research project to test a specific research question and formulating a

cohesive discussion based on the results of data.

8.2 demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the appropriate analytical tools for collecting and analysing research data.

8.3 demonstrate a systematic knowledge and critical understanding of the ethical standards required in research of forensic osteology and anthropology.

8.4 demonstrate a systematic knowledge and advanced understanding of the protocols and styles required for citing articles in peer-reviewed journals and other sources of published/unpublished work in the specific field of research.

8.5 demonstrate an advanced application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline;

8.6 demonstrate a conceptual understanding that enables the student:
• to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline; and
• to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.

The intended generic learning outcomes. On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1. critically evaluate published research and problem solve.

9.2. organise and present information in a clear and concise manner.

9.3. demonstrate advanced development of laboratory and practical skills.

9.5. demonstrate further development of communication both orally in writing.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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