MSc in Economy, Risk and Society Dissertation

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Nigel Dodd STC S106


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Economy, Risk and Society . This course is not available as an outside option.


Risk, Regulation and Economic Life (SO425)

Course content

The dissertation is an extended piece of written work that is your own independent research investigation of a social issue or problem, undertaken with the guidance of your dissertation supervisor. These workshops are meant to prepare you to produce an original piece of research. We will cover the expectations for the dissertation, as well as provide general guidance for deriving a research question that is appropriately situated in the themes of the programme; for developing an empirical strategy to study topics in risk, economic sociology, and/or regulation; and for writing up conclusions that can speak to enduring questions in our area. In addition to consultation with faculty, in these sessions students will work in smaller groups to peer review their work-in-progress.


2 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Note also that there will be three workshops during MT for ALL MSc students based in the Sociology department. These will be taught in conjunction with LSE Life and programme convenors and aim to provide some basic guidance about planning your dissertation, such as selecting a suitable topic, reviewing the existing literature, devising a research question and designing a research method.

Reading Weeks: Students on this course will have a reading week in MT Week 6 and LT Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students are required to submit two pieces of work; one topic proposal during MT, and a formal abstract at end of LT.

Indicative reading

• Alan Bryman, Social Research Methods (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004)

• Clive Seale, The Quality of Qualitative Research (London: Sage, 1999)

• Clive Seale (ed), Researching Society and Culture (London: Sage, 2012)

• Howard Becker, Writing for Social Scientists (Chicago:  University of Chicago, 1986)


Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in August.

Two hard copies of the dissertation, with submission sheets attached to each, to be handed in to the Sociology Hub, STC.S116, no later than 4.00pm on Thursday 20th of August 2020. An additional electronic copy to be uploaded to Moodle no later than 4.00pm on the same day.

Both hard copies and electronic copies must be submitted on time to avoid any late submission penalties.

Dissertations may be up to and no more than 10,000 words, must be word-processed and be fully referenced using a recognised citation system.

Attendance at all classes and submission of all set coursework is required.

Student performance results

(2015/16 - 2017/18 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 20.9
Merit 50.7
Pass 26.9
Fail 1.5

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2018/19: 26

Average class size 2018/19: 13

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication