Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Dissertation

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Civil and Structural Engineering

DESCRIPTION The Dissertation is a written document, not exceeding 15,000 words in length, reporting on open-ended research work carried out, over approximately a 5 month period, and which may comprise laboratory work, desk studies, or numerical work, in order to answer a set of research questions, related to an approved topic of study, in the fields of structural behaviour, design and theory, and geo-technical engineering.

Study-unit Aims:

The aim of the Dissertation is to develop the student's ability to address an open-ended research project, to review critically relevant literature related to the topic under study, to critically assess, and draw conclusions from, the results of the research work undertaken and the bibliography of the sources of information, or advice, referred to. The Dissertation document, when approved and hard-bound, will represent a contribution (albeit small and not necessarily completely original) to knowledge in the field of study. The defence of the Dissertation is an integral part of the study-unit.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Demonstrate a greater awareness of the knowledge issues in the field of study, and at the interface between the different fields related to the topic of study;
- To apply a systematic and scientific methodology to generate solutions to specific problems in the field of study;
- Take responsibility for contributing to professional knowledge and practice in the field of study.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- To apply problem-solving techniques in research, so as to systematically address problems in the field of study, and to integrate knowledge from other different fields which may be of relevance to the specific area of research;
- To source archival or other information related to the field of study, to critically assess published literature related to the field, and competently refer to such literature in a research report;
- To design a campaign of study, whether by means of laboratory experiment, or numerical analysis, or other forms of desk study, to address specific issues in a field of study;
- To prepare a well-referenced and well-structured research report, illustrating a set of research questions, the methodology adopted to address these questions, and outlining the answers to the questions by well-argued conclusions, so as to demonstrate a mastery of the issues explored as well as competence to disseminate the information gained from research work;
- To orally present a set of conclusions arising from work carried out in answer to a set of research problems, to explain the information gained from the research work.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Varies with topic.

ADDITIONAL NOTES **Resit Availability: Students who fail to obtain an overall pass mark will be re-examined in the Dissertation. However, the resit availability for the Oral Examination is at the discretion of the Board of Examiners.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Dissertation

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Dissertation and Oral Examination (See Add. Notes) SEM1 ** 100%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.