MSc in Economy, Risk and Society Dissertation

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Rebecca Elliott STC S211


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


Students must have completed Regulation, Risk 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 relevant to the programme; 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 sessions during MT for ALL MSc students based in the Sociology department. These will be offered in conjunction with LSE Life and LSE Library 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.

Teaching arrangements may be adjusted if online teaching is required at any point.

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 a project outline in 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 19th of August 2021. 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

(2016/17 - 2018/19 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 16.2
Merit 43.2
Pass 33.8
Fail 6.8

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2019/20: 18

Average class size 2019/20: 10

Controlled access 2019/20: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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