Language Studies Dissertation

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Olga Sobolev and Dr Neil Mclean


This course is available on the BSc in Language, Culture and Society. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.


The dissertation builds on first and second year linguistics or literature options offered by the Language Centre.  These options require students to complete research tasks and projects as part of their coursework. Students' dissertation topics will be expected to reflect their study of appropriate options in intercultural communication, sociolinguistics or literature in their first and second years.

Course content

The dissertation will have two elements. These are the dissertation text of 7,000 words in the target language and a viva in English.  Students' research questions will explore an area of linguistic or literary study or theory introduced during students first two years on the BSc in Papers 4 and 8.  In addition to these courses, students will have completed SO201 and research projects written in their target language as part of their LS4 coursework.  The dissertation will build on these learning experiences.

The dissertation will provide the opportunity to carry out an extended independent research project in the target language, and to present the findings of this study in two formats.  The first is the text of 7,000 words written in the target language and following academic conventions in that language.  The dissertation will contain the following core elements:

   Literature review demonstrating the student's ability to work with a variety of sources i the target language, and justifying their research interest / niche.

   Methodological framework, based on their first and second year grounding in systematic analysis within linguistic research or literary theory, and the research methods training offered in the Department of Sociology.

   Original analysis of primary or secondary data specific to the topic.

The second format is the viva, during which the student will present and discuss their work with their main language teacher and a second member of the Language Centre who teaches either linguistics or literature.


10 hours of workshops in the MT. 8 hours of workshops in the LT.

Students will attend fortnightly dissertation workshops.  In Michaelmas term, these will focus on the design of their project and data collection and analysis, in Lent term they will focus on presenting their findings. Students will also have two individual supervision meetings each term.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in the MT and 2 essays and 1 presentation in the LT.

Indicative reading

This will depend on the dissertation topic.  Students will be guided by their supervisor.


Dissertation (70%, 7000 words) and presentation (30%) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Language Centre

Total students 2021/22: 1

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: One Unit

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Personal development skills

  • Leadership
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  • Team working
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  • Application of information skills
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  • Specialist skills