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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title MScPR Dissertation
Module Code CM5017
School School of Communications
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Martin Molony
Semester 2: Martin Molony
Autumn: Martin Molony
Module TeachersMartin Molony
Madeline Boughton
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 25
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

Students will prepare and write a substantial and original piece of independent academic research in the area of Public Relations. With the benefit of research workshops in the first semester, students will develop their dissertation topic by the end of semester one. During the first half of the second semester each student will present work in progress to the class for discussion and receive feedback from students and the module co-ordinator. Each student, working in tandem with the module co-ordinator and individual project supervisors, will submit the completed dissertation at the end of June. Students may, in some instances, complete a practice-based project in lieu of an academic dissertation.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate the ability to collect, sort and analyse insights and perspectives gleaned from a literature review.
2. Identify the ways in which a suitable research methodology must be selected and applied to individual research projects.
3. Demonstrate a sound grasp of the theoretical principles underpinning a defined area of Public Relations and communications.
4. Demonstrate a capacity for original thought, logical argument and the ability to discuss objectively and rigorously.
5. Show proficiency in the planning of an extended, systematically developed research project, worked upon independently, incorporating insights gained from taught modules, with the guidance of a supervisor.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Directed learning20Regular meetings with project advisor
Independent Study150Reading and preparation of literature review.
Directed learning5Library instruction on aspects of research.
Independent Study400Independent project work undertaken by student (research, analysis and writing).
Assignment Completion50Preparation of research proposal.
Total Workload: 625

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Overview of the research process. Critically analyse and discuss existing literature relevant to the chosen topic.

Develop a Research Project
Develop research questions, aims, objectives and statements. Select appropriate methodologies and method rationale. Implement time management.

Literature Review
Conduct a review of the published material relating to the chosen topic, creating a foundation for the dissertation or project.

Data Analysis
Undertake a systematic analysis of data.

Draw appropriate conclusions. Identify areas for further research and the limitations associated with his/her dissertation or report. Develop a reflective account of the research process.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentDissertation / Project Proposal & Presentation25%Sem 1 End
ThesisSubmission of 12,000 to 15,000 word dissertation or project.75%Sem 2 End
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 2
Indicative Reading List

  • Denscombe. M.: 2014, The Good Research Guide, 5th, Open University Press,
  • Furseth, I. & Everett, E.: 2013, Doing Your Masters Dissertation, Sage,
  • Thomas, G.: 2013, How to do Your Research, Sage,
  • Kumar, R.: 2013, Research Methodology, Sage,
  • Schreier, M.: 2012, Qualitative Content Analysis, Sage,
  • Easterby-Smith, Thornhill, R. & Loww: 2001, Management Research: An Introduction (SAGE series in Management Research), Sage,
  • Walliman, N.: 2005, Your Research Project: A Step-by-Step Guide for the First-Time Researcher, 2nd, Sage,
Other Resources

27834, Web site, 2009, DCU Library guide to citation, Dublin, DCU, http://www.library.dcu.ie/citing&refquide08.pdf, 27835, Web site, 2009, Online guide to avoiding plagiarism, Cardiff University, https://ilrb.cf.ac.uk/plagiarism/tutorial/index.html,
Programme or List of Programmes
MSCPRMSc in Public Relations & Strategic Comm

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