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SP50317: Humanitarianism conflict & development dissertation

[Page last updated: 01 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Credits: 30 [equivalent to 60 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 600
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Academic Year
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • b SYNOPSIS B - Synopsis (CW 15%)
  • Dissertation (CW 85%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: Students will have:
* comprehensive and in-depth understanding of theories of conflict, humanitarianism and peace-building in development contexts and their strengths and weaknesses. (F/A)
* critical understanding of the relevance and applicability of such theories to specific conflict and development settings. (T/F/A)
* robust understanding of the implications of this case for our wider understanding of conflict and humanitarian action. (F/A).

Aims: This research phase of the Masters in Humanitarianism, Conflict & Development provides:
* the opportunity to identify a feasible research question and relate it to relevant conceptual approaches, existing research and empirical material.
* enable students to develop their theoretical knowledge and analytical understanding through application of concepts and frameworks to a specific research problem.
* opportunity to develop a cogent, credible and sustained argument that addresses the research question through independent work.

Skills: Students will be able to:
* systematically review, interpret and use existing research to identify a problem or research question in humanitarianism, conflict and development , EITHER in relation to a relevant theoretical approach OR in relation to a specific empirical issue or area of practice. (T/F/A)
* design a research project to investigate this problem, including specifying strengths and weaknesses of data sources, and selection and application of appropriate methods. (T/F/A)
* systematically analyse and evaluate a wide-range of secondary literature, and if relevant, new empirical research, to contextualise and address the conceptual problem. (F/A)
* synthesise diverse and wide-ranging evidence to construct a robust and systematic argument to resolve the conceptual problem identified. (F/A)
* work independently without close supervision, including producing extended piece of work to agreed deadlines. (F).

Content: The dissertation should make explicit reference to at least one important concept, issue or problem covered as part of stages one and two of the MSc in Humanitarianism, Conflict and Development.
Dissertations may be based on any combination of:
* review of published literature

Programme availability:

SP50317 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • THSP-ADM31 : MSc Humanitarianism, Conflict and Development


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
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