Within the student’s chosen option (Teaching Chinese as an International Language; Contemporary China Studies) and stream of specialization (Business Studies, Communications, Government and International Relations, Social Change) to provide students with the opportunity to produce an independent piece of research under supervision that examines a specific and substantial intellectual problem in depth, making use of approaches, techniques and methodologies acquired elsewhere in the course. To provide experience of being engaged in fieldwork or a professional placement that leads to an individually produced dissertation.
A Identify a particular intellectual problem and produce a plan to address that problem;manage time effectively to complete their plan;
B Locate and make use of information relevant to their project;
C Understand the value of fieldwork and/or practical experience in the solution of intellectual problems;
D Design a solution to an intellectual problem;
E Critically evaluate their own work and place it in the context of the secondary literature;
F Prepare and deliver a formal presentation;
G Structure and write a dissertation.
A dissertation is a self-contained piece of original work, written and submitted in place of two taught Level three 5 credit modules, normally based on a short period of fieldwork or a placement. Students choose to study a topic of their interest within one of the program’s four areas of specialization guided by a member of the academic staff who will act as a supervisor for their research. Students should maintain close contact with their supervisor throughout the year. The dissertation is expected to investigate their chosen topic in some depth, drawing as appropriate on fieldwork/placement experience, and relevant published research and criticism, and constructing an original argument to arrive at explicitly justified interpretations and conclusions. In terms of presentation, dissertations must be no longer than 10,000 words in length including references and bibliography, and be presented in an electronic readable form, preferably MS Word.
In order to prepare students for dissertation research and writing process, the module will offer seminars on social science research methods (to be delivered by a China Studies instructor) and academic writing skills (to be delivered by a Language Center instructor).