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Module Details

The Politics Dissertation consists of an extended piece of work (around 10,000 words) written on a specialist topic within subject areas close to the research specialisms of members of staff who provide one-to-one supervision throughout the year.

The aim of the dissertation is to give students, in the last phase of their honours degree, the opportunity to exercise and develop a range of skills they have acquired in the earlier levels of their programme in an extended piece of written work.

Dissertation topics are selected by students from a range of 'special subject' areas indicated by individual members of staff, reflecting their research interests (see below).  The undertaking is phased - from initial idea to plan to draft to final submission.

It is an essential requirement that you identify and contact a potential supervisor before you choose your Level 4 modules and include the Politics dissertation as one of your modules. Without an agreed choice of supervisor, we will not be able to confirm that you will be able to do a Politics dissertation. 

7 Politics members of staff can supervise you in 2019/20 :

  • Dr Scott Brown
    Research areas: EU foreign policy, US foreign policy, China's foreign policy, transatlantic relations, EU-China relations, US-China relations, IR theory, great power competition.
  • Dr Edzia Carvalho
    Research areas: Human rights, international organisations, foreign aid, democratic institutions and consolidation, qualitative studies of voting behaviour, Indian and South Asian politics, media and public discourse
  • Dr Martin Elvins
    Research areas: Illegal drug policy, transnational crime / drug trafficking, organised crime, policing, surveillance.
  • Professor Kurt Mills
    Research areas: Human rights, humanitarian intervention, international criminal justice, humanitarianism, African international relations, international organisations.
  • Professor Cameron Ross
    Research areas: Russian politics, Soviet politics.
  • Dr Dejan Stjepanović
    Research areas: Territorial politics, nationalism, migration, citizenship, European politics.
  • Dr Abdullah Yusuf
    Research areas: Peacekeeping, Middle-East Politics, Political Islam, Countering Islamic Extremist Terrorism, Politics of the UN's Transitional Administrations/State-building.

You can also find additional information on our research on the University's Research Portal.

Once you are accepted by a supervisor and register for the dissertation module, you will not be able to substitute PO40006 for a taught module in Semester 2 (under University Regulations you can, however, make such a module change within the first two weeks of Semester 1, 2020).

If you have any other queries related to a Politics dissertation, please get in touch with Dr Abdullah Yusuf.

It is an essential requirement that you identify and contact a potential supervisor at the earliest opportunity as soon as you have registered for this module: Failure to act may mean your chosen supervisor is unavailable. Potential supervisors will be able to discuss and develop your ideas and interests with you to establish a viable topic. Once mutually agreed a plan can be developed and you will be given direction on suitable literature by your supervisor.


Your dissertation (around 10,000 words) counts for 100% of the final mark.


Initial discussion takes place at the end of the second semester of your third year.  Once you have been accepted by a supervisor a series of meetings will be arranged for on-going evaluation of your progress during the final year of your degree.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the dissertation you will have developed abilities to:

  • Identify a 'research question' in a given area of political studies.
  • Plan in detail the pursuit of the necessary lines of investigation towards the solving of that question.
  • Determine appropriate methodologies.
  • Locate, evaluate and assimilate relevant source materials.
  • Construct a sustained piece of concise and lucid analysis in the form of an extended paper.


Access the online reading list system.


30 credits