DE7028 - MRes Dissertation

What will I learn on this module?

In this module you will identify a research question and produce a 20,000 word dissertation or portfolio of practical work with an accompanying 10,000-word dissertation, which represents the culmination of your postgraduate studies on the MRes programme. It will enable you to apply the skills you have acquired in other modules and yield a discrete body of primary sources related to an identifiable area of enquiry. As an exercise in advanced research, it is intended to develop further your research skills and your ability to work independently as autonomous learner. It is the capstone project for your Masters of Research. Your Dissertation topic will be informed by your work on previous modules and your aims/objectives for this project, your future career direction and macro considerations, such as social responsible design/arts, ethical research and the benefit of research to wider communities. A series of seminar/workshops through the module will provide you with information on gathering primary/secondary data, information analysis, research thinking and writing skills and practice-led /based research, all with the aim of feeding into high quality Dissertation outputs. Your individual supervisor(s) will encourage you to engage with cultural, economic, strategic and social themes, critical discussion and high quality debate related to your area of enquiry. You will operate as part of an early career researcher community of practice, in contact with other researchers and interdisciplinary groups.

How will I learn on this module?

This is an individual project which is negotiated between you and your appointed tutor/supervisor. Throughout the module, you will meet with your supervisor(s) on a one-to-one basis for developmental supervision meetings, to help support your progression and scaffold your academic experience. The taught seminars and supervisions are paced throughout the module to offer regular opportunities for formative feedback, constructive discussions, critical progression and research-led discussions that will inform your future direction, post MRes. During the module, you will be encouraged to:
• interrogate research texts
• think critically about the specific problems raised by research and its connection to society
• apply appropriate methodological and theoretical approaches to underpin your research
• demonstrate acuity in selecting design or arts approaches, methods, concepts and theories.
• formulate a clear research design for the project
• submit an ethical approval application for your planned research project
• balance critical research thinking and writing
• create an editorial thesis structure that reflects the methodological and critical research approach
• develop a practice-led/based portfolio of work (if applicable)
• develop, design, realise and complete an extended research thesis

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Supervision will support learning and help direct your research. You will keep a written record of supervisory meetings as part of engaging in reflexive thought and documenting your progression. Informal and formal feedback is provided at stage points through the module by tutor(s)/supervisor(s), and builds upon the feedback you will receive from your MRes core modules, as you develop your research project. The 'feed forward' nature of the feedback is designed to constructively support you in refining your academic skills towards summative submission of work. Wider support is available to you as a student at Northumbria University through Library Services, Employment and Careers Service and your individual guidance tutor.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. Plan and execute a sustained piece of literary research on a chosen topic and to communicate that plan in appropriate media form.

2. Interpret and analyse texts in a sophisticated and complex way and maintain coherent arguments based on a sustained piece of original research;

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Demonstrate an ability to work independently on a sustained piece of research.

4. Demonstrate advanced self-management skills, including the ability to take responsibility for a large scale project, make editorial choices, and produce an extended piece / portfolio of research to high scholarly standards using academic conventions

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

5. Produce research which conforms to ethical standards of scholarly practice and the conventions of academic presentation.

How will I be assessed?

Summative (graded) Assessments
• an extended dissertation thesis of 20,000 words


• a portfolio of practical work (practice-led or practice-based research) supported by a 10,000 word dissertation thesis.

Formative (practice) assessment
Continuous formative assessment is part of the module through supervision discussions, recording of progress and conversations with tutor(s).





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

Credits 90

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years Part Time
1 other options available

Department Northumbria School of Design

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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