Dissertation: REPR URBAN5054P

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 60
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Full Year
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

Master's degrees in Real Estate, Planning and Regeneration require students to either complete a traditional dissertation (13,750 words) or a design dissertation (8,000 words in combination with a more practical component) as the culmination of their degree. Dissertation preparation is supported by a course in 'Research Methods' with a supervisor allocated to each student at the start of Semester 2.


A supervisor will be appointed as the main point of contact for each student during the dissertation period, and students should expect to meet with their dissertations for a minimum of five meetings, scheduled at the time agreed by the student and supervisor. Most of the work for the dissertation will be carried out by the student in their own time.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements:


Excluded Courses






Assessment is based solely on a research project in the form of:

■ A tradition dissertation of 13,750 words (maximum) OR

■ A design-led dissertation of 8,000 words in combination with a more practical component (comparable with the effort required for a 15,000 words dissertation). This might include drawing, illustrations, computations or other problem-solving techniques that directly address the project's aims and objectives. The scope and proposed content of a design-led dissertation must also be agreed with the student's supervisor. Although shorter in length, the initial written component must still include a review of the literature and justification of the research method employed while the practical component must be situated within a theoretical framework developed through the literature review and demonstrate the student's analytical and investigative skills.

Course Aims

The aim of this course is help students develop effective research and appraisal skills (evident, for example, in data sourcing, collection, investigation, quantitative and qualitative analysis, weighing evidence and reaching sound conclusions) through understanding appropriate research methods, undertaking a substantial research exercise on an approved topic with a literature and original empirical content, and presenting their research results in a well-argued and coherent written form.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

■ evaluate the nature and purpose of research in real estate and planning;

■ interpret, analyse and evaluate theories, concepts and principles in a specialist area of study;

■ debate the significance of different traditions of thought in philosophy, science and social science;

■ define research problems and issues and refine them into research aims, objectives, questions and/or hypotheses;

■ critically evaluate different traditions of thought in philosophy, science and social science, selecting a suitable approach in the design and implementation of a research project;

■ search for and review critically research literature and other secondary data sources;

■ understand the ethical issues involved in the collection, handling and storage of primary and secondary research data;

■ search for and review critically research literature and other secondary data sources;

■ plan and manage a research project by collecting information from a variety of sources, synthesising it effectively and presenting it succinctly;

■ select and apply appropriate methodological approaches and methods for particular research topics;

■ appropriately weigh evidence, present it meaningfully and reach sound conclusions that contribute to the achievement of the aims and objectives of the research; and

■ sustain a clear and succinct argument in presenting research findings in a substantive written form.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment. 


Minimum requirement for award of credit for students on MSc City Planning, MSc City Planning & Real Estate Development, MSc International Real Estate & Management and MSc Real Estate is D3 or above.


University standard regulations apply to students on other qualifications.