The sole mechanism for extending the Postgraduate Diploma into a Masters degree is the submission of a research-based dissertation. Differences in the subject matter of the underpinning diploma will be reflected in the subject matter of the master's research project, but the form of management, support and assessment of the research study will be common. This section acknowledges this commonality by presenting a single description of the 'masters’ element'. The dissertation provides an opportunity for students with wide ranging experience and interests to apply existing skills and knowledge, including that which is gained through the taught modules of the programme, within the context of their named award.
To a great extent the dissertation frees students from constraints imposed by taught courses of study and affords an opportunity for both the expression of original thought and creativity and the application of analytical skills and critical reasoning.Thus, the dissertation provides the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to reflect critically on the aspects relating to their Masters programme. The vehicle will be the researching and writing of a dissertation, based on the research proposal formulated during the pre- requisite module- Research Methods and Design.
The dissertation is the capstone of the Masters learning process, and allows the student to demonstrate mastery in scholarship of a programme related topic that they have selected in amalgamation with supervisory tutors. As a key part of their study towards the Dissertation, students complete the research design element at diploma stage. This component of the programme seeks to develop students’ competency in research methodology to Masters Level.