Global Security Dissertation SPS5006P

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Full Year
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course will offer students the opportunity to undertake an in-depth piece of independent research focusing on a key aspect of global security linked to the MSc in Global Security.


There will be no formal weekly teaching session; however students will be required to have regular supervision meetings over the summer period and a series of research design tutorials (totalling 4 hours) will be run during semester 1 to prepare students with dissertation topic choice and methodology.

Requirements of Entry

Generic regulations apply


Dissertations should be between 12,000 and 15,000 words in length (excluding the abstract, bibliography, and appendices). There is no special virtue in length and the 15,000 word limit should not be exceeded. Appendices should be kept to a minimum.

Course Aims

The dissertation is intended to be a focused piece of independent work that, while building upon themes and issues covered in one or several of the course options, permits students to develop their own ideas and demonstrate their capacity for original thought and independent research. The dissertation aims to enable students to identify and research particular issues or problems, linked to Global Security matters, at a deeper level than is possible within assessed essays and to develop a critical analysis of the existing body of academic work relating to their topic of choice. Finally, the dissertation aims to prepare students for further research, study or professional careers through the development of their skills in data collection and analysis, use of original sources and the conducting and writing up of a detailed research project.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the dissertation, students will be able to:

■ Devise a realistic programme of research on a topic linked to Global Security matters;

■ Collect, select and review relevant background literature;

■ Identify and gather research data (i.e. from original primary sources, memoirs, interviews, the media, archives, government reports and other official documentation);

■ Understand and select the appropriate methodology for dealing with sources and data;

■ Apply these methods (e.g. content analysis, discourse analysis, questionnaires, interviews);

■ Organise the data collected and analyse the findings in a competent manner;

■ Write up an original research paper;

■ Be self-critical about the findings and the limitations of the analysis.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Generic regulations apply