Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module SPRT3172: Dissertation

Department: Sport and Exercise Sciences

SPRT3172: Dissertation

Type Open Level 3 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Contemporary Research in Sport and Exercise Sciences (SPRT2432)


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To give students the opportunity to undertake an extended piece of research in a specialist area of exercise sciences.


  • A dissertation on a topic within a specialist area of sport and exercise sciences, identified by the student and approved on behalf of the Chairman/Chairwoman of the Board of Studies and the Board of Examiners.
  • A log book to document and reflect on research conduct.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Having completed the dissertation, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an ability to formulate informed questions relating to their chosen area of research;
  • Display a critical understanding of appropriate methodological and theoretical concepts relevant to their chosen area of research;
  • Demonstrate an ability to communicate research in written form, in a style appropriate to their chosen method and specialist area.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Having completed the dissertation students will be able to demonstrate a capacity to:
  • Plan and devise a research project to investigating defined question(s);
  • Survey and appraise literature relevant to the aims and objectives of the research project;
  • Demonstrate theoretical and methodological expertise in response to addressing the aims and objectives of the research project;
Key Skills:
  • Having completed the dissertation, students will be able to demonstrate a capacity to:
  • Conduct a piece of independent research in a scholarly manner.
  • Evaluate arguments and evidence;
  • Analyse data;
  • Communicate research findings and their implications effectively and commensurate with the style of their chosen specialist area;
  • Demonstrate high standards in research conduct.

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

  • The module encourages independent planning and management of learning, culminating in production of a dissertation within a selected specialist area of sport or exercise sciences;
  • Students are offered four hours of general dissertation workshops to recap key themes;
  • Individual and / or small group (where appropriate) supervision, for up to a total of 4 hours, occurs with an allocated supervisor;
  • Assessment is based upon a 6000 to 8000 word dissertation; This word-count band reflects variations in research reporting styles across different disciplines and methods represented within the field of sport and exercises sciences.
  • Research conduct will be assessed with reference to a student-submitted log book documenting and reflecting on their research conduct.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops 3 2 in Term 1; 1 in Term 2 2 x 1 hr and 1 x 2 hr 4
Tutorial sessions with allocated dissertation supervisor To be determined By arrangement with supervisor To be determined 4
Preparation and Reading 392
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation 6,000 - 8,000 words 90%
Research conduct Log book (word count N/A), 750 word critical reflection piece as Appendix 10%

Formative Assessment:

Optional submission of one chapter.

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