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School of Social and Political Science: Undergraduate study

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Outline of Honours years

The honours programme

At honours level you can study your chosen subject(s) in greater depth, and normally will have more choices in what courses you take. This is especially true for single honours students, joint honours students are more constrained in their choices due to requirements in both degrees (and the entire Year 3 and 4 curriculum in the Social Work BSc is prescribed).

Normally your honours level studies will include courses on theory and research methods in your subject, as well as a research project or dissertation as a major part of your degree. In addition you will have chances to take various option courses from academic staff in their areas of specialisation.

It is possible to take a year abroad, normally in your Junior (3rd) Year. Students should be aware that The University of Edinburgh will grant credit for authorised studies abroad, but that your final degree classification will be based only on courses taken at Edinburgh, usually 120 credits in your 4th year.

The honours handbook for your subject area is an essential guide to your honours studies. For further information on honours courses and activities in your subject area(s), including downloadable honours handbooks, please click on the  'Subject and Centre Specific Information' at the foot of this page.

Dissertation Research-Ethics requirement

All research carried out by members of the School, including undergraduate and postgraduate dissertation projects, are subject to ethical review procedures. The ethics review process is designed to support researchers in managing risks associated with their research, and to ensure the highest professional standards in designing, conducting and disseminating research. 

What do you need to do? 

Before you begin your undergraduate dissertation, you will need to complete the self-assessment ethics review form. This is an online form you can access at: 

https://ethics.sps.ed.ac.uk/ethics_form (EASE login required) 

On page 1 of the form, you will be asked to specify your supervisor and/or course organiser. For students completing the form for their UG dissertation, it is important that you list your supervisor here. If your supervisor does not appear in the drop-down list, please select specify someone not in the list and add in their details.  

All of the questions you are asked on the form will be directly related to the type of research you will be undertaking and so it should be a straightforward form to complete.  

You will be able to save your form at any point, so if there is a question you are unsure of, you can save your form and ask your supervisor for guidance. You can then resume completing your form by accessing it at: 

Once you have submitted your ethics form, your supervisor will be in touch via email, so please keep an eye on your student email account for any correspondence. You should check your Clutter and Junk folders in case any of the communications are sent there.  

If for any reason you need to update, revise or check the status of your form, this can be done by logging in at: 

Edinburgh Students