Dissertation - RSST5150

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 6 30 (15) Gordon Lynch checkmark-circle


Students are required to identify a viable research focus or question for their project which they will then pursue, with supervisory support, in order to submit their final dissertation. In the summer before joining the module, students will be given advice on how to identify their research focus, and by the start of the autumn term in which the module begins they will be expected to have produced a single side of A4 summarising key literature or other sources relevant to their specific project. Individual supervision will begin from the autumn term onwards. Initially this is likely to focus on clarifying the research focus or question, and situating it more deeply in existing literature and debates. Following this a clearer outline plan for conducting the research will be developed, with students then undertaking work necessary to meet each phase of this plan. If the project involves original fieldwork, the student will be expected to submit a research ethics application form for Faculty approval. As the project develops, chapter drafts will be submitted for review and discussion with the supervisor. Supervision contact time is likely to vary according to the project and student need, but will not exceed a total of 6 hours per student (including face to face supervision or time spent writing written feedback to electronically-submitted drafts). Supervisors will provide feedback on chapter drafts, which will need to be submitted to supervisors in good time before supervision meetings, but will not provide feedback on whole draft manuscripts once chapters are completed.

Supervisors will only provide supervisory support during term-time. Once the project has been agreed and a supervisor allocated in the autumn term, students will not normally be allowed to change their fundamental focus of their project (although their specific questions are likely to change as the project develops) or change their supervisor unless in highly exceptional circumstances.change their fundamental focus of their project (although their specific questions are likely to change as the project develops) or change their supervisor unless in highly exceptional circumstances.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 12
Private Study Hours: 288
Total Study Hours: 300

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Dissertation (12,000 words) – 100%

Reassessment methods
Reassessment Instrument: 100% Project

Indicative reading

The reading for dissertation topics will be determined by the focus of each individual project

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

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

1 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the nature, role and significance of religion in relation to a defined context or issue;
2 Make appropriate use of theoretical and substantive insights from humanities or social science disciplines appropriate to their research project to inform the project's research focus or question and to situate its argument or findings in the context of wider knowledge or debates;
3 Design a coherent research project, including a clearly defined question or focus, a structured argument or methodology appropriate to the project, and a core argument or findings which clearly address the research focus or question;
4 Engage with primary and secondary source material in a scholarly way, demonstrating the ability to understand religious concepts, debates and life-worlds in ways that represent them fairly, whilst also maintaining a critical understanding of their assumptions, implications, limitations or contradictions.

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

1 Understand and evaluate their source material, whether textual, visual, auditory or data gathered through original fieldwork;
2 Demonstrate awareness of alternative theories and interpretations relevant to their topic, and defend their argument or position in relation to these as appropriate;
3 Construct a coherent argument based on the critical discussion of relevant concepts or source material;
4 Identify and select sources that are most appropriate to their topic, make effective notes in relation to these, produce a clearly-written text, and make appropriate use of referencing styles and bibliographic formatting;
5 Make appropriate use of IT and other electronic resources (including online databases and search engines) to produce their dissertation;
6 Manage their time effectively in order to complete each phase of the research process in good time before submitting their dissertation to the agreed deadline;
7 Make effective use of supervision sessions by producing written material as agreed, identifying key issues for discussion/clarification and responding constructively to feedback from their supervisor.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  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.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.