MSc in Human Rights Dissertation

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Monika Krause STC S207

The Programme Convenor is responsible for overseeing the Dissertation.


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Human Rights. This course is not available as an outside option.

This course is only available to MSc Human Rights students, and is a compulsory course for students on the programme.

Course content

The dissertation is an extended piece of written work that that is your own independent research investigation of a human rights issue or problem, undertaken with the guidance of your dissertation supervisor. In the dissertation, you will critically appraise evidence, arguments and debates to reach a conclusion your research question.  The key requirement is that the dissertation should demonstrate a high level of independent critical ability. You must show your ability to organise your material clearly and logically and to sustain a reasoned and cogent argument from beginning to end. Where appropriate you should explain clearly the research method(s) that you have applied and the reasons for your choice of approach. You should show awareness of any shortcomings of your study in relation to methods employed and where relevant, quality or quantity of the data, and disciplinary approach.


2 hours of lectures in the MT. 3 hours of seminars in the LT. 2 hour of seminars in the ST

There will be one Introductory lecture in MT for all MSc Human Rights students, on the challenges and requirements of doing independent research for dissertation purposes, and different methodologies available for an inter-disciplinary programme. The Introductory session will also cover fieldwork and research ethics. This will be followed by 5 seminars/workshops in smaller groups, in which students present and discuss possible research questions and strategies, along with preparing dissertation proposal and timeline.

There will be two 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 provide basic guidance about planning your dissertation, such as selecting a suitable topic, designing the research and reviewing the existing literature.

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 an annotated bibliography 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 18th of August 2022. 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.

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

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 18.4
Merit 60
Pass 19.5
Fail 2.2

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.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2020/21: 39

Average class size 2020/21: 13

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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