MSc. Conflict Resolution and Mediation Studies (CRMS) Dissertation Module
Birkbeck, University of London and The Institute of Family Therapy
Welcome The Dissertation Presentation guidelines Contents of dissertation Assessment criteria
3 4 5 6 7 9 12 13 15 17 22
Timetable of dissertation support sessions Meeting your dissertation supervisor Blackboard Guidelines for references Common Award Scheme Regulations Submission Deadline dates
Welcome back. We hope you have had an enjoyable summer and are ready to face the (exciting) challenge of completing and submitting your dissertation for the MSc. Please use the information in this handbook in conjunction with the ones you were given last year. In this handbook you will find information that will be useful to you whilst you move through the research process. Please familiarize yourself with the contents and if you have any queries, please contact your dissertation supervisor.
We wish you lots of luck for the forthcoming year.
Dr. Margarita Palacios firstname.lastname@example.org
Girish Jivaji email@example.com
The assessment of your research is done by a dissertation of 12,000-15,000 words, which is undertaken as a substantial piece of supervised work. The word count for the dissertation does not include references, figures, tables or appendices. 3 copies of your dissertation should be submitted to the School of Psychosocial Studies main office (Room 404 Malet Street building) by the deadline for submission which is 5.00pm on Friday 24th April 2009. The dissertation is a written report of either an empirical or theoretical study. You should write the dissertation as if you were going to submit it for publication to an academic or clinical journal. It is very important for you to familiarize yourself with published articles, whether they are empirical, theoretical or narrative reviews. Equally important is to be prepared to plan, draft and revise the dissertation before handing it in. You will have access to three sources of support. You have been assigned a dissertation supervisor from Birkbeck who will meet with you 3 times from October 2008 - April 2009. You will receive additional guidance in the form of group support sessions and furthermore, the relevant IFT course tutor will help you with the content of your research, ensuring that it is relevant to your particular course.
Module Aims and objectives:
To build on the Research Methods Module in year 1 in order to provide students with practical experience of all aspects of conducting a research study: To enable students to identify and apply a conceptual and/or methodological framework appropriate to the research question, and formulate and implement a programme of independent research. To help students acquire and deploy skills in the planning, management and execution of a research study.
Specifically this will include: Conducting a literature review Developing a research question and designing a study Collecting and analysing data (empirical) Developing a theoretical argument (theoretical) Writing up in a format suitable for publication
Identify, in conjunction with course staff, a feasible and manageable topic for their dissertation; Conduct a literature review; Develop an ethical research proposal; Plan, manage and execute a substantive research and/or writing project; Identify and apply a conceptual and/or methodological framework appropriate to the research question, and formulate and implement a programme of independent research. Present a well argued written dissertation supported by reasoned analysis, interpretation, explanation and evaluation of relevant material and demonstrate a thorough and critical understanding of the chosen subject.
Three hard copies of the dissertation must be submitted to the School of Psychosocial Studies office by the deadline. Dissertations must be word-processed using double line spacing throughout on A4 sized paper. There should be a left hand margin of 1.5 inches and pages should be numbered consecutively. The title page should state the following information: Title Name [in middle of page]
Dissertation submitted as partial fulfilment for the Degree of MSc in Conflict Resolution and Mediation Studies Birkbeck College, University of London, in collaboration with the Institute of Family Therapy. Research Dissertation Word count:
An abstract providing a summary of the dissertation (max: 300 words) should begin on page two. Minimum binding standards: plastic multi-ring spine with a cover of thin card. A machine for binding to this standard is normally available during office hours in the University of London Student Union, on Malet Street, in the Print Shop, or in the Birkbeck Student‟s Union shop in the basement of the main building. All publications referred to in the dissertation should give the surname(s) of the author(s) followed by the date of publication in brackets. All references should then be listed in alphabetical order in the bibliography at the end, giving full publication details. A consistent style of referencing should be adopted. Please use the guidelines in this handbook.
Contents of dissertation
Title: this should be full and informative, punchy and not long winded. Abstract: this should be 250-300 words in length. It should clearly state aims of the study, research question(s), what you did and how you did it, and a summary of findings. Look at published abstracts for guidance. Introduction: This should be concise and should set the scene for what is to follow. It might include how the study came about (what led you to choose this topic), and a clear statement of the aims of the study and the research questions you have investigated. It could also include a brief description of the chapters that follow. Review of the literature: This should be comprehensive but not exhaustive. It should set the scene for the study to follow (think upside down triangle). For an empirical study the literature review is usually no more than a third of the overall word count. For theoretical dissertations, the literature review and argument are more closely integrated. Method: There should be a careful and thorough description of the approach taken in the study, and for empirical studies, full information on how the study was carried out. This should include recruitment and participants, procedure, details of analysis. Theoretical dissertations should provide a brief description of how you went about planning and executing your study: This may include the range of material you looked at beyond the literature directly relevant to your study, and the collection and use of other illustrative material. Findings/analysis: This should be a narrative of the analysis. It is usual to start with a brief overview so that the reader has an idea of the structure of what is to follow. There should be a mix of analytic commentary and verbatim extracts. With an empirical study, you should present enough extracts so that the reader can evaluate your claims. However, do not assume that the data extracts speak for themselves. It is important to provide commentary that is grounded in the data.
Discussion: You should examine the findings/analysis in light of relevant extant literature. In the discussion you should critically reflect on the research process – the strengths and limitations of what you did, future research, ethical issues, and what you might do differently.
There are four grades for the award of MSc: Distinction (69-100), Merit (6069), Pass (50-59) and Fail (0-49). Below is a description of each grade: Distinction 70 – 100 An excellent dissertation that excels on most if not all of the specified criteria. Specific criteria includes comprehensive and accurate coverage, evidence of comprehensive reading and the use of a wide range of resources, theoretical insight, clarity of argument and expression, critical evaluation of evidence, sophisticated analysis and interpretation, evidence of independent thinking both in terms of the research question and the research process. A mark of 86 + is an exceptional dissertation that meets all criteria and has further qualities that set it apart form the norm. These are in addition to the qualities expected in a merit. Merit 60 - 69 A very good dissertation that fulfils most if not all of the specified criteria. Specific criteria includes reasonably comprehensive and accurate coverage, some evidence of comprehensive reading and the use of a range of resources, good understanding of material and theory, development of a coherent argument, consistent and appropriate use of evidence to support/challenge arguments and theory, critical awareness of the implications of the research; sensible analysis, some evaluation of evidence. Pass 50 - 59 An adequate dissertation with an acceptable level of competence that fulfils most if not all the specified criteria. Specific criteria includes basic coverage that is generally accurate, adequate understanding of material, some use of evidence to support/challenge arguments and theory, clear presentation, sensibly organized with some potential for the development of an argument, appropriate analysis, some awareness of the implications of the research, some evaluation of the material, an attempt to evaluate the evidence. Fail 40 - 49 A weak dissertation that shows some understanding and knowledge but is characterized by the following: sparse coverage of material which misses important information and contains inaccuracies, assertions not supported by evidence, poor understanding of the material and no evidence of wider reading, inappropriate or incomplete analysis, poor structure and little development of argument.
Theoretical and Empirical dissertations are marked according to the criteria specified below: Theoretical dissertation: Introduction and literature review: A clear and coherent set of aims associated with a specific thesis or argument. Appropriate and comprehensive (not exhaustive) coverage of relevant literature or theoretical material, and a rationale given for its selection. Theoretical argument and Discussion: Accuracy with which theoretical material is described. Demonstration that the material examined has been critically understood Extent to which a clear and logical argument is presented, supported or backed up the source material or other additional material. Quality of the arguments presented. Literary quality and overall impression: Literary quality of the dissertation including the use of footnotes, appendices and references. Overall scholarly quality of the dissertation, including critical reflections on the research process.
Empirical dissertation: Introduction and literature review: A clear and coherent research question(s) and set of aims Appropriately comprehensive review of the relevant extant literature Methodology: Discussion of the methodological options considered and the appropriateness of the chosen method with regard to your research question Method: Clearly presented design and procedures section Results and Discussion: Quality of data analysis Quality of the interpretation of the findings in light of the extant literature Critical reflection on the issues raised by the study (e.g. ethical) and on the research process itself. Literary quality and overall impression: Literary quality of the dissertation including the use of footnotes, figures and tables, appendices and references Overall scholarly quality of the dissertation, including reflections on the research process
Timetable of dissertation support sessions
Dissertation Support Sessions The „dissertation support sessions‟ are workshops focusing on the various stages of the research process. The sessions are organised around the student research experience, the data collected and analysis conducted. All sessions are from 11am-1pm and take place at Birkbeck. These sessions are not teaching sessions. Rather, they are opportunities to discuss progress, ask advice, get/give support, exchange ideas etc. These sorts of sessions are invaluable and students are encouraged to make full use of them. Although there will be a focus on the topics outlined below, there will be some flexibility to meet both individual and group needs. Please note these sessions are not optional. Attendance is a formal requirement for the Masters degree. All sessions are in the main Birkbeck building on Malet Street. The room numbers are given below. All sessions run from 11:00am until 1:00pm. Below is an indication of the types of things that will be covered in each session. However, there is room for flexibility to meet both individual and group needs. Monday 13th October 2008 Monday 10th November 2008 Monday 8th December 2008 Monday 19th January 2009 Monday 16th February 2009 Monday 16th March 2009
Room B30 Room 354 Room B30 Room B30 Room B30 Rooms B30, 253 and 254
Dissertation Support Seminar: Getting started and moving forward Monday 13th October 2008 Aim: To regroup after the summer break, to get students thinking about their dissertation (deadlines, time management, tasks to be done, etc), to develop competence in talking about the research being undertaking, in particular the „researcher voice‟. Learning outcomes By the end of the session students will: have refined their research question have an outline of the structure/contents of their dissertation have a timetable underway for writing their dissertations Dissertation Support Seminar: Data collection / Literature collection. Monday 10th November 2008 Aim: To look at the data collection process as a form of social interaction and data, exchange experiences of data collection, and develop ideas around reflexivity, and in addition to look at and share strategies for collecting and reviewing relevant literature. Learning outcomes By the end of the session students will: have given and received feedback on improving data collection strategies and practice have developed their reflexive awareness of their research practice have an understanding of data collection as a form of social interaction have an understanding of strategies for literature collection Dissertation Support Seminar: Data analysis / Theoretical analysis Monday 8th December 2008 Aim: To introduce and practice inter-coder reliability for qualitative data analysis, and to think about how to construct an extended argument using existing literature given a particular research question. Learning outcomes By the end of the session students will: have understood and practiced „inter-coder reliability‟ be familiar with how different perspectives can result in different interpretations of a text have thought through how to plan an argument based on their research question
Dissertation Support Seminar: Data analysis / Theoretical analysis Monday 19th January 2009 Aim: To reflect on the macro-organisation of the dissertation analysis and the research „story‟ being put forward Learning outcomes By the end of the session students will have: understood the processes by which a piece of research is synthesised (e.g.: iterative process between theory, data and analysis, meaning and implications of research) drafted ideas for the overall organization, implications, sign-posting and framing of their analysis both for an extended theoretical argument and for a presentation of empirical material Dissertation Support Seminar: Writing up Monday 16th February 2009 Aim: to reflect on the strengths, limitations and implications of the MSc project carried out and to address some basic issues behind the writing process and the use of English for academic purposes. Learning outcomes By the end of the session students will be able to critically reflect: on the value and implications, as well as limitations, of their individual MSc projects on appropriate writing styles for academic English Dissertation Support Seminar: Student presentations Monday 16th March 2009 Aim: An opportunity for students to present their research projects to their colleagues and members of the teaching staff and receive feedback. Each student will give a brief 10 minute presentation of their dissertation towards the end of the research process. This is NOT assessed although it is a formal requirement of the Masters. It is an opportunity for you to say something about your dissertation (perhaps an interesting finding or part of your theoretical argument) as well as reflect on the process of doing a piece of research. These are informal sessions and are a chance to remind you that you are in the final stage! In order to allow time for questions, comments and feedback there will be 3 parallel sessions with 6 students in each session. Nearer the time you will be asked what visual aids, if any, you require e.g. PowerPoint, OHPs.
Meetings with your dissertation supervisor
Support from your dissertation supervisor consists of 3 face-to-face meetings, up to 3 hours of email contact and one reading of a draft of the dissertation. It is likely that these meetings will be a mix of one-to-one and small group meetings, though you should contact your supervisor in September 2008 in order to establish more specifically your working relationship. Your dissertation supervisor will read and provide feedback on ONE full draft of your dissertation. The deadline for submission of the draft is Monday 2nd March 2009, this should be submitted directly to your dissertation supervisor by email please and you should receive feedback within two weeks of submission.
Blackboard: A Virtual Learning Environment.
What is Blackboard? “Blackboard” is the name of the software Birkbeck uses to provide what is known as a „Virtual Learning Environment‟ (VLE). It allows staff to deliver any or all of their subject resources online, and/or combine them with tools such as discussions boards to provide an online learning environment for you. Blackboard is secure, only staff and students have access to it; when you join Birkbeck, you‟ll be given a network username and password. You use this to access Blackboard. Finally there is no need to install anything on your computer; you access Blackboard using an internet connection and a browser. Logging In You can access Blackboard through the Birkbeck site at: www.bbk.ac.uk/its or www.bbk.ac.uk/sps or directly through the Blackboard portal at: www.ble.ac.uk type in your Birkbeck Username and Password into the dialog box (remember that both are case sensitive). You should now be taken to the main Blackboard page. This page contains Announcements and Resources as well as access to your Modules. Your Course Leader will tell you how often you are expected to log in to read current announcements and look for assignments that have been posted. You may do this at any time of day. The Course Leader will also give guidelines on how often he or she will answer e-mails, respond to discussions, etc. during their regular working hours. Announcements Class announcements will be posted regularly by the Course Leader. Blackboard system administrators will sometimes post announcements about the Blackboard system.
Course Materials Assignments, lecture notes and a variety of readings will be posted on Blackboard for some classes. Lecture notes will generally (though not always) be posted after the lecture is delivered. Communication Communication will take place using e-mail and the discussion boards. E-mail should be used for "private'' communication with the course leader or other students. Any questions regarding grades or communication about more personal issues should be handled via email. Discussion boards are appropriate for questions or discussions that would normally occur in the classroom. Remember that the discussion board is public and that fellow students can read what you post there! External links A variety of useful web sites are listed under "External links". If you would like to make suggestions about other sites to add to this list, please email your Course Leader with details of them If you need help with Blackboard... If you can't log in to Blackboard, go to the IT Services helpdesk. For any other queries, the Course Secretary or your Course Leader should be your first port of call, as they will know how Blackboard is being used in a particular course.
Guidelines for references
We follow the Harvard system of referencing. You will find it best to note and type out in full your referencing as you write your paper. This will save time and effort later on. Key information and examples are shown in bold type below for emphasis. In the Text: References: Identify all references to books, articles and other sources at a suitable point in the main text by the author’s last name, year of publication, and page numbers if appropriate, separated by commas within parentheses. If the author‟s name is in the text use the year only in parenthesis e.g. Smith (1998). If the author‟s name is not in the text, include both the author‟s name and year of publication thus: (Jones, 1980) or with pagination (Brown, 1978: 44-45). With dual authorship use both names: (Easton and West, 1967). For more than two authors use “et al.” (Easton et al, 1984). If there is more than one reference to the same author distinguish them with the use of letters: (West, 1983a). A series of references can be shown within parentheses separated by semi-colons: (Brown, 1986; West, 1983; MacArthur, 1979).
Quotations Quotations in the text should be within single inverted commas. A quotation within a quotation has double inverted commas. If longer than two or three sentences, a quotation should be indented without inverted commas.
Reference List: Every reference in the text should appear in a reference list (or bibliography) at the end of your paper, listed alphabetically by author and year of publication as shown in the examples below which are fictional. Book: Brown, S. 1978. Unmanageable Institutions, Manageable People. London: Macmillan. Article in a Journal: Brown, S. 1986. The Management of Mental Space. Psychoanalysis and Management Today, 13 (4), pp. 41-43. Chapter in an edited book: Easton, J. and West, M. 1967. Outer Work and Inner Life. In C.B. Peters and Esther Fitzgerald (eds). Working Patterns and Mental Sets, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 65-66 Edited book: Jones, S. (ed). 1980. Herbert Pink: A Critical Reader. Edinburgh: Livingstones. Journal article from the internet: Madden, G. 2002. Internet economics and policy: an Australian perspective. Economic Record [online]. 78 (4), [Accessed 16th October 2002], p. 343-58. Available from World Wide Web: <http://www.ABI/INFORM Global database/> More comprehensive guides: If you are unsure of how to reference a particular source then Birkbeck College Library provides a list of guides that you may use. Remember that we follow the Harvard system. http://www.bbk.ac.uk/lib/subguides/generalref/Citations
Common Awards Scheme: Regulations for MSc Students.
This MSc is part of the University of London Common Awards Scheme (CAS), as such it conforms to the regulations for postgraduate programmes as set out below. This should be your first reference point with regard to such issues as late submission of work, mitigating circumstances, taking a break in studies and so on. If you would like further information, you should consult with either Dr. Margarita Palacios or Barry Winbolt.
Birkbeck, University of London Common Awards Scheme Postgraduate Programmes Introduction 1. From 2008/9 the majority of Birkbeck‟s postgraduate programmes will be offered as part of the College‟s Common Award Scheme. Programmes will therefore have common regulations, and a common structure. This will help to ensure greater consistency of practice amongst programmes and will also make it possible for you to take modules from Schools across the College which are outside of your normal programme (subject to programme regulations and timetable constraints). This paper gives a brief introduction to the Common Awards Scheme. Further details on programme regulation and areas of interest are available on the Common Awards Scheme website: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/cas Structure of Programmes 3. All programmes offered as part of the Common Awards Scheme will consist of modules, each of which will be “credit-rated”. In order to achieve your award you will need to gain at least the following, and meet the requirements outlined in your programme specification: Qualification Credits needed Min at upper level Max at lower level Birkbeck common awards schemes 4 modules plus dissertation
150 level 7
90 level 7
Postgraduate Certificate 4.
60 level 7
30 level 6 (not included in calculation of classification) 30 level 6 (not included in calculation of classification) n/a
The Common Awards Scheme offers, for postgraduate programmes, half modules (15 credits), modules (30 credits) , double modules (60 credits), or exceptionally triple modules (90 credits) and quadruple modules (120 credits – normally for MRes dissertations)
The detailed requirements for each programme are published in the relevant programme specification. Each module on a programme is designated as one of the following: core the module must be taken and passed to allow the student to complete the degree the module must be taken, and Programme Regulations must stipulate the minimum assessment that must be attempted students may choose a stipulated number of modules from a range made available to them. Option modules are clearly identified in Programme Regulations. students may replace an option module with modules from another programme, subject to approval of Programme Directors, availability of places and timetable requirements.
Modules may also be designated as pre-requisite modules, meaning they must be taken and passed to allow for progression to a specified follow-up module. 6. Detailed regulations on the structure of programmes, maximum period of registration and other areas are available in the Regulations for Taught Programmes of Study, which can be downloaded from the College Website (http://www.bbk.ac.uk/reg/regs)
Degree Classification 7. Postgraduate awards may be made with Merit or Distinction. Distinctions are normally awarded to students who achieve an average result of 70% or more, including a mark of 70 or over in their dissertation, for all level 7 modules on their programme. A Merit is normally awarded to students who achieve an average result of 60% or more for all level 7 modules. Level 6 modules included as part of the programme are not included in the calculation for degree classification for postgraduate programmes.
Failure and Re-assessment of a Module 8. The Regulations for Taught Programmes of Study outline how an examination board should treat a failed module when considering progression and awards. However, each examination board is responsible for judging, within these regulations, whether a fail can be “compensated” (ie whether you can be awarded credit for that module even if you have not actually passed), whether you will need to re-take the module (see paragraph 9) or whether you will be able to attempt a re-assessment (see 10) For any module on a postgraduate programme, if your module result is less than 40% any subsequent attempt to pass the module will normally be a “re-take” – a re-take requires attendance at the module‟s lectures and seminars as well as another attempt at the assessment. If you obtain a module result of between 40% and 49% for any module on a postgraduate programme then the Board of Examiners may offer “re-assessment” as an alternative to a “re-take”. Re-assessment is where a student will re-attempt a failed element of a failed module; it does not require attendance at lectures and seminars. You will not normally be reassessed in elements that you have already passed. A Board of Examiners may offer an alternative form of assessment for failed elements as part of a re-assessment regime.
The timing of any re-assessment will be at the discretion of the Board of Examiners; this will normally be either at the next normal assessment opportunity or in some instances before the beginning of the next academic year. You will normally be offered two attempts at passing a module (the original attempt plus one further attempt which will either be a re-assessment or a re-take). After this, if the module has not been passed it will be classed either as a “compensated fail” (see 14) or a fail. In some cases this will mean that it will not be possible for you to gain the award that you have registered for; in such cases, your registration will normally be terminated. If your module result is between 40 and 49% your Board of Examiners may award a “compensated fail”. This will mean that you retain the module result, but are awarded credit for that module. An MA or MSc may be awarded to a student carrying no more than 30 credits as compensated fail.. A core module may not be treated as a compensated fail; core modules must be passed in order to gain the award. The awards of MRes, Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate do not normally permit the inclusion of compensated fail results in the calculation of classification
Common Award Scheme Policies 1. As part of the introduction of the Common Awards Scheme, the College has implemented a number of College-wide policies. The full policies can be seen at http://www.bbk.ac.uk/reg/regs Some brief details on key policies are included here:
Late Submission of work for assessment 2. College policy which dictates how Schools will treat work that is due for assessment but is submitted after the published deadline. From 2008/9 any work that is submitted for formal assessment after the published deadline is given two marks: a penalty mark of 50% for postgraduate students, assuming it is of a pass standard, and the „real‟ mark that would have been awarded if the work had not been late. Both marks are given to the student on a cover sheet. If the work is not of a pass standard a single mark is given. If you submit late work that is to be considered for assessment then you should provide written documentation, medical or otherwise, to explain why the work was submitted late. You will need to complete a standard pro-forma and submit it, with documentary evidence as appropriate, to your Tutor or Programme Director. The case will then be considered by the appropriate sub-board or delegated panel. If no case is made then the penalty mark will stand. If the case is made and accepted then the examination board may allow the „real” mark to stand.
Assessment Offences 5. The College Policy on Assessment Offences incorporates the College policy on plagiarism. The policy describes three stages in the process for dealing with assessment offences (which include plagiarism, collusion, examination offences and other offences). The first stage allows for a very rapid and local determination for first or minor and uncontested offences. Stage 2 allows for a formal school investigation, where a student wishes to contest the allegation or penalty, where there is an allegation of a repeat offence or for more serious cases. Stage 3 involves a centrally convened panel for third and serious offences, dealt with under the Code of Student Discipline.
The College treats all assessment offences seriously. It makes strenuous efforts to detect plagiarism, including using web-based software that can provide clear evidence. If you are in any doubt as to what constitutes acceptable conduct you should consult your personal tutor or another member of academic staff. The College has a wide range of sanctions that it may apply in cases of plagiarism, including the termination of a student‟s registration in the most serious cases.
Mitigating Circumstances 8. The College Policy on Mitigating Circumstances determines how boards of examiners will treat assessment that has been affected by adverse circumstances. Mitigating Circumstances are defined as unforeseen, unpreventable circumstances that significantly disrupt your performance in assessment. This should not be confused with long term issues such as medical conditions, for which the College can make adjustments before assessment (for guidance on how arrangements can be made in these cases please see the College‟s Procedures for Dealing with Special Examination Arrangements). A Mitigating Circumstances claim should be submitted if valid detrimental circumstances result in: a) the late or non-submission of assessment; b) non-attendance at examination(s); c) poor performance in assessment. 10. For a claim to be accepted you must produce independent documentary evidence to show that the circumstances: a) have detrimentally affected your performance or will do so, with respect to 9a, 9b and 9c above; b) were unforeseen; c) were out of your control and could not have been prevented; d) relate directly to the timing of the assessment affected. Documentation should be presented, wherever possible, on the official headed paper of the issuing body, and should normally include the dates of the period in which the circumstances applied. Copies of documentary evidence will not normally be accepted. If you need an original document for another purpose, you should bring the original into the School Office so that a copy can be made by a member of College staff. (Where a photocopy is made by a member of staff they should indicate on the copy that they have seen the original). Discussing your claim with a member of staff does not constitute a submission of a claim of mitigating circumstances. You are encouraged to submit your claim for mitigating circumstances in advance and at the earliest opportunity. The final deadline for submission of a claim is normally 1 week after the final examination unless otherwise stated by your School. Where possible, claims should be submitted using the standard College Mitigating Circumstances claim form (available from your School office) which should be submitted in accordance with the procedure for submission published by your School. Claims should always be supported by appropriate documentary evidence. You should be aware that individual marks will almost never be changed in the light of mitigating circumstances. Assessment is designed to test your achievement rather than your potential; it is not normally possible to gauge what you would have achieved had mitigating circumstances not arisen. Where mitigating circumstances are accepted, and it is judged by an examination board that these circumstances were sufficiently severe to have affected your performance in assessment the usual response will be to offer you another opportunity for assessment without penalty, at the next available opportunity.
Guidance on what may constitute acceptable mitigating circumstances is available as an appendix to the policy, available from http://www.bbk.ac.uk/reg/regs or your School office; you should note that this is not an exhaustive list, and that each case will be treated on its merits by the relevant sub-board or delegated body.
Break-in-Studies Policy 16. The Common Awards Scheme regulations allow you to suspend studies for a maximum of two years in total during your programme of study. This may be for one period of two years, or for non-consecutive shorter periods (see 17) that add up to a total of two years or less. Any break-in-studies on a postgraduate programme would normally be for a minimum of one year; breaks may also be permitted for a period of one or two terms, dependent on the structure of the programme. Any application for a break-in-studies should be made in writing to your programme director or personal tutor. If you are applying for an approved break-in-studies, you should give details of the length of the proposed break and the reasons for the application. You will not be liable for fees while on an approved break-in-studies. If you have attended for part of a term you will normally be liable for the fees due in that term, unless there are mitigating circumstances. If you are on a break-in-studies you will not have access to the Library or ITS unless you make an application and pay the appropriate fee to use these facilities. Applications must be made directly to the Library and/or ITS. If you do not re-enrol after having completed two years of break-in-studies you will be deemed to have withdrawn from your programme. If you wish to resume your programme after having been withdrawn, you will normally be required to re-apply for admission.
Other Policies 22. In addition to the policies above, other College academic-related policies include: Termination of Registration Procedures for Dealing with Special Examination Arrangements Suspension of Regulations To see these policies, please see the Common Awards Scheme website: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/reg/regs Common Award Scheme Working Group June 2008
Submission deadline dates
Submission of draft dissertation: 5:00pm Monday 2 March 2009
(email version to dissertation supervisor)
Submission of dissertation:
5:00pm Friday 24 April 2009
(3 printed and bound copies to the School of Psychosocial Studies office).