This information is for the 2021/22 session.
Dr Luca Tardelli CBG.10.05
This course is available on the BSc in International Relations, BSc in International Relations and Chinese and BSc in Politics and International Relations. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.
Candidates submit a dissertation of up to 10,000 words, excluding bibliography, but including notes and any appendices and tables, in the first week of Summer Term. The subject of the dissertation can be anything within the field of International Relations that the International Relations Faculty are able to supervise. Candidates submit the title of their dissertation for approval by the IR398 Course Co-ordinator before the end of the Michaelmas Term, and an outline of their project early in Lent Term. Students also receive written feedback from their supervisors on a 2,000-3,000 word dissertation sample as long as this is submitted by the end of the Lent Term.
Dissertations offer students the chance to enhance their knowledge through an in-depth analysis of a question in an area of particular interest to them. The dissertation assesses different skills from examinations. The aim is to develop the ability to make independent judgements and decisions about a promising and feasible research question, and on selecting and analysing the most important and relevant material. The outcome will be a coherent, sustained, systematically developed, and well supported argument on a topic, typically combining empirical material and theoretical insights, within the field of International Relations. The dissertation may draw entirely on secondary literature. There is no requirement for the use of primary sources and original material such as unpublished documents, archives, or personal interviews.
This course is delivered through a combination of classes, workshops, and lectures totalling a minimum of 10 hours and 30 minutes across Michaelmas Term and Lent Term. This year, some or all of this teaching will be delivered through a combination of online lectures and in-person classes/classes delivered online.
In addition to formal teaching, students will see their dissertation supervisors regularly during both terms (usually twice per term, for a maximum of six times in total over the course of the year) for meetings of around 30 minutes each. The IR398 Course Co-ordinator will also run small group tutorials in the Lent Term and will be available for consultation throughout the year to help students address problems as and when they arise.
IR398 contains lectures on how to formulate a research question, how to structure a dissertation, and how to find and use evidence. Classes explore how questions are formed, how literature is used, and how evidence is deployed. Workshops and tutorials are a chance for students to discuss outlines, and receive guidance on issues of structure, research design and evidence. There may also be a chance for some students to present their work.
Advice and Assistance
The IR398 Course Co-ordinator will provide guidance on the nature and process of writing an IR dissertation, through the course lectures, classes and workshops, and office hours. They will also be available for consultation throughout the year to help students address problems as and when they arise.
While students will receive ample guidance and feedback on their work, the dissertation is an independent project. As such, although students will have a supervisor, and colleagues both in IR and other departments can be approached for informal advice, no Faculty member can read a full draft of the thesis.
Dissertation (100%, 10000 words) in the ST.
Course selection videos
Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.
Student performance results
(2018/19 - 2020/21 combined)
|Classification||% of students|
Important information in response to COVID-19
Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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.
Department: International Relations
Total students 2020/21: 45
Average class size 2020/21: 18
Capped 2020/21: No
Value: One Unit