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ET924-60 Dissertation

Applied Linguistics
Taught Postgraduate Level
Module leader
Sophie Reissner-Roubicek
Credit value
Module duration
12 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

During the third term of the programme (April to September), you can choose between either completing a dissertation or going on an experiential placement combined with a major project. The dissertation and the major project usually involve the application of some of the ideas and skills gained in the first two terms to the circumstances or issues in a professional context. Through the whole experience of preparing for the dissertation or the major project, conducting the research and writing it up, you will gain a sound understanding of the nature and range of research in intercultural communication and Applied Linguistics.

Module aims

The research for and the writing of the dissertation are intended to enable you to develop expert understanding of one or more specialisms within the academic field of intercultural professional communication, to develop basic skills of research and, for many, to put to use some of the knowledge they have gained during the course in applying it creatively to problems and issues in a professional situation familiar to them.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Students will work independently on their chosen topic, which can be any topic that falls within the remit of the programme. Dissertation work will normally comprise the following aspects:

  • Initial planning: topic selection
  • Literature review
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Writing up
Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • By the end of the module the student should be able to demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of a selected topic within intercultural or professional communication, and to explain the main elements of analytic frameworks that are important and useful for understanding the selected topic.
Indicative reading list
  • Bell, M. (2005) Doing your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education, Health and Social Science (4th Edition). Milton Keynes: Open University Press.
  • Creswell, J.W. (2008) Research Design. Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches. (3rd edition). London: Sage.
  • Robson, C. (2002) Real World Research: A Resource for Social Scientists and Practitioner-researchers. (2nd edition). London: John Wiley.
  • Spencer-Oatey, H. and Franklin, P. (2009) Intercultural Interaction. A Multidisciplinary Approach to Intercultural Communication. Basingstoke: Palgrave. Chapter 10: Research Topics in Intercultural Interaction; Chapter 11: Culture and the Research Process.
  • Thomas, G. (2009) How to do your Research Project: A Guide for Students in Education and Applied Social Sciences. London: Sage.
Research element

The aims of this module are to:
(a) Stimulate students to reflect on issues critically and identify aspects that need further research;
(b) Provide students with the opportunity to explore a topic in considerable depth including carrying out a major literature review;
(c) Enhance skills in time-management, research management, project organisation and decision-making.


This module strongly focuses on students development as competent and rigorous researchers. The module allows students to not only apply their knowledge from the MSc programme, but also explore a topic systematically and comprehensively. Students will hone their research skills by going through the entire process of empirical research, including a critical review of relevant literature and research methods, as well as analysis, and reporting of empirical insights. Students will also improve and expand their practical skills of collecting data quantitatively and/or qualitatively.

Subject specific skills
  • Explain the professional relevance of their research.
  • Draw credible links between theory and professional practice.
Transferable skills
  • Identify knowledge gaps and develop research questions.
  • Search the literature effectively.
  • Devise and carry out an appropriate research plan.
  • Communicate ideas effectively in writing, using appropriate wording and structure.
  • Work independently.
  • Plan and manage time and workload to meet deadlines.

Study time

Type Required
Tutorials 2 sessions of 1 hour (0%)
Project supervision 5 sessions of 1 hour (1%)
Private study 593 hours (99%)
Total 600 hours
Private study description

Normally students can expect to have about five contact hours of supervision, i.e. face-to-face meetings where they can discuss their progress, ask for advice and also reflect on their approach to carry out this empirical study. Outside of this, students take responsibility for their reading and research and to produce written work as scheduled.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A1
Weighting Study time
Dissertation 100%
Feedback on assessment

A written report regarding the dissertation which contains a final grade.


This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of TETS-X9PJ Postgraduate Taught Intercultural Communication for Business and the Professions

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 1 of TIMA-L981 Postgraduate Social Science Research
  • Year 1 of TETS-X9PJ Postgraduate Taught Intercultural Communication for Business and the Professions
  • Year 1 of TETS-X9PT Postgraduate Taught Intercultural Communication for Business and the Professions (Part-time - 2 years)

This module is Core option list A for:

  • Year 1 of TETS-X9PJ Postgraduate Taught Intercultural Communication for Business and the Professions