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PEAC590 Research Dissertation

A dissertation of up to 20,000 words on an approved research topic.

PEAC 590 is a year-long paper in the Master of Peace and Conflict Studies (MPCS). The class is an ongoing academic research and writing paper designed to engage, enable and support MPCS students to complete the 18,000-20,000 word dissertation. Upon completion of this paper students will have mastered the art and science of writing for an academic audience on a topic of their choosing. Students can expect to be introduced to a number of tools necessary for long-form dissertation writing. This paper provides a variety of methodological and literary constructs in order to sustain, assist and monitor the demanding and rewarding task of writing a master's dissertation.

Paper title Research Dissertation
Paper code PEAC590
Subject Peace and Conflict Studies
EFTS 0.5000
Points 60 points 60 points
Teaching period(s) Full Year (22 February 2019 - 20 February 2020), 1st Non standard period (8 July 2019 - 17 June 2020)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,014.00
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $9,922.50

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Limited to
Suitable for postgraduate students of all disciplines
Teaching staff

Professor Richard Jackson

Paper Structure

This paper involves writing a research thesis of no more than 18,000- 20,000 words on a subject of the student's own choosing based on primary and secondary sources.The research dissertation shall be assessed by at least two examiners, at least one of whom shall be external to the University. The paper has an introductory session followed by four workshops:

  • Workshop 1 - Reviewing the Literature and Choosing a Question
  • Workshop 2 - Matching the Question to the Methods
  • Workshop 3 - Writing and Structure
  • Workshop 4 - Workshopping Preliminary Proposals


Teaching Arrangements
Each voluntary seminar is a combination of lecture, discussion and reflection and is three hours long.

This paper has several online and library eReserve readings.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Communication, Critical thinking, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will demonstrate in-depth understanding of the central concepts, theories and methods of long-form dissertation writing in peace and conflict studies.

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Full Year (22 February 2019 - 20 February 2020)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 09:00-11:50 10, 12-13, 16, 18-22

1st Non standard period (8 July 2019 - 17 June 2020)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system