Supervising and Writing a Good Undergraduate Dissertation

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The considerable increase in numbers of students required to complete undergraduate dissertations as part of their curricula demonstrates a clear need for supporting academic staff from a wide ...
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Arts & Humanities’ Undergraduate Dissertations: Regenerating Early Researcher Socialization for Diverse Futures (UK Perspectives)

Pp. 149-186 (38)

Vicky Gunn

Abstract

In this discursive chapter, an argument is established for revisiting how the undergraduate dissertation in the Arts & Humanities is placed within the whole of a program in the light of changes to the nature of being an early career researcher. Directed at academics, graduate teaching assistants and students, it provides the starting point for a discussion about how to redesign dissertation processes in such a way that students are enabled to play to their strongest researcher orientations. It does this by reviewing the situation of the dissertation in the light of the research-teaching nexus, changes to early career researcher discourses and experiences, and employability. It establishes as a key concept the importance of researcher orientations (towards: the theoretical, civic engagement, problem-solving policy, or anticipatory action and innovation) in student learning within a research intensive environment, and reviews the efficacy of the dissertation as an assessment type that materializes research-teaching linkages. The chapter suggests ways for reconsidering the dissertation within a set of pathways through the degree which plays to the researcher strengths of undergraduate students.

Keywords:

Arts & Humanities, assessment, civic engagement, discourse, employability, orientations, research-teaching linkages, researcher orientations, pathways, student as producer.

Affiliation:

Learning and Teaching Centre, 64 Southpark Avenue, University of Glasgow, UK.