Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)

Module MELA53560: Dissertation

Department: Modern Language and Cultures

MELA53560: Dissertation

Type Open Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap


  • MELA53730 , MELA53630


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To allow students to explore in considerable detail an aspect of photographic theory, history, and/or practice.
  • To enable students to conduct extensive individual research.
  • To produce a piece of well-presented scholarly writing that demonstrates familiarity with a substantial body of historical knowledge, theoretical thought.


  • The precise content of the dissertation will depend on the students' particular preferences, and will be agreed in conjunction with the supervisor.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
    Subject-specific Skills:
      Key Skills:

        Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

        • The project will be discussed with the relevant supervisor well before research before the dissertation commences, to ensure that the project is of sufficient scope and realistic within the time-frame of a master's programme. The Research Methods and Resources module willl provide extensive guidance, and will partially be assessed on the basis of the students' dissertation project proposal.
        • Regular supervision by a scholar actively engaged in research in visual culture will ensure that the plan of study is adhered to, whilst allowing scope for independent research. Students will be required to submit draft chapters as the dissertation progresses, and oral feedback will be given on these, Each supervision will conclude with agreed action points, to be carried out by the student in advance of the next supervision.
        • The Research Methods and Resources module will provide guidance on the bibliographical skills necessary for the research and presentation of academic research papers.

        Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

        Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
        Supervision sessions Variable Variable Variable
        Preparation & Reading
        Total 600

        Summative Assessment

        Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
        Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
        Dissertation 15000 words 100%

        Formative Assessment:


        Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University