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POLS590 Research Dissertation

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

A supervised dissertation of up to 20,000 words in one of the four subdisciplines of politics: political theory, international relations, New Zealand politics or comparative politics. Students have 12 months to complete the dissertation, which will show employers that they have mastered an excellent capacity for independent research, argumentation and critical analysis. Successful completion is also essential for undertaking research at the PhD level. The MPols Convenors run a series of compulsory workshops to assist students develop the skills for their dissertation and each student is allocated a primary supervisor in their area of interest.

Paper title Research Dissertation
Paper code POLS590
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.5000
Points 60 points
Teaching period Full Year
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,293.50
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $10,500.00

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Limited to
Teaching staff
Dr James Headley and Associate Professor Vicki Spencer
Text books are not required for this paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of the paper, students will be able to: demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of politics and show knowledge of issues and themes in the study of politics; identify relevant sources - primary, secondary, oral and other - for analysing politics; undertake independent, self-directed research; apply their understanding and knowledge through written analysis; and a highly developed capacity for critical analysis.

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Friday 13:00-14:50 10-12, 15-21, 29, 31, 33-34, 36
Friday 13:00-15:50 32