Sociological Project

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Juan Pardo Guerra S265 and Prof Bridget Hutter S217


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Sociology. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.

Course content

The project is to be in the form of an essay on a sociological topic to be approved by the Department of Sociology. The purpose is to allow the student to study in depth an interest of his or her own choosing. Many approaches are possible in the work for the essay, but there are three main variants: original fieldwork, secondary analysis, and literature review.

Selection of topic

The topic must be within the general field of sociology and should fall within the range of competence of a member of the staff, normally a member of the Sociology Department. However, it need not be chosen from those areas of sociology which are at present taught within the Department. The topic should not overlap too closely with the content of other units that the student is taking. Students may follow up a theme suggested to them by their coursework, but the topic must allow the material and arguments to be developed in greater depth than is possible in the lectures and seminars for the course.

Arrangements for supervision

The Project Workshop, which meets formally during the first and second terms, is convened by Dr Pardo-Guerra and Prof Hutter, who will also make themselves available for individual consultations with students during office hours. Students should consult their academic advisors throughout the year in order to self-assess their progress and resolve general issues related to their projects. The role of the academic advisor is not to give detailed instruction, but to suggest ways of tackling or limiting a topic, lines of enquiry and preliminary reading; their suggestions are not intended to be seen as exhaustive or definitive. How far the student can use and develop the help that he or she is given is, to a large extent, what the examination of the essay is concerned with. The third year academic advisor should not help with planning or writing the essay in detail, but may read and comment critically on an outline or a draft section if the student submits one


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 15 hours of seminars in the LT.

Formative coursework

See 'Assessment Particulars' below.


Research project (80%) in the ST.
Presentation (10%) in the MT.
Class participation (10%).

Assessment Particulars:

The course involves three modes of summative assessment: a presentation, a 10,000 word dissertation, and class participation. The course also involves two formative assessments aimed at guiding students' research projects. The first formative assessment consists of a 2,000 word research project due by 4:30 on the fifth Friday of MT. The project should specify 1) a research question, 2) a brief theoretical literature review, 3) a brief introduction to the empirical case, 4) a research design, 5) a project schedule. The research project is linked to an assessed 15 minute presentation that will take place in weeks 6-10 of MT. The presentation is 10% of the final mark. Students are also required to submit a formative progress report of no more than 1,500 words on the second week of LT. The progress report must include a summary of fieldwork conducted to date, a revised work schedule, and a discussion on possible challenges that the student may face in the future in relation to the dissertation. Students are also required to submit a sociological project of not more than 10,000 words in length; it may include tables and diagrams as appropriate. Two hard copies, typescript, must be submitted to the Sociology Administration Office, Room S219a, by 4.30pm on the second Friday of ST, with a third copy posted to Moodle. Accidental loss of data or text on a computer will not be accepted as a reason for non-submission. The sociological project represents 80% of the final mark. In addition to the presentation and the written project, the course also assesses class participation. Students will be asked to comment and/or summarise readings, or discuss issues related to their individual projects. Each student must present on no less than three occasions throughout the year. These presentations will represent 10% of the final mark.

Student performance results

(2010/11 - 2012/13 combined)

Classification % of students
First 23.8
2:1 51.2
2:2 21.2
Third 2.5
Fail 1.2

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2012/13: 25

Average class size 2012/13: 26

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills