Independent study in a topic agreed with supervisor

Module details

Offered to 3rd & 4th Years
Independent Study
2 term module
7.5 ECTS
Extra Credit or Degree Credit where your department allows

Degree credit module options by departmentHow to enrol

The Humanities Project is intended for those students who have a particular interest associated with one of the areas covered by the Humanities and Social Sciences modules and have successfully completed a Level 5 course. The module consists of independent study, supervised by a nominated member of staff who will meet with the student on a regular basis to discuss progress. Where students have topics in common, students might meet in small group tutorials.

The topic of the Humanities Project must be agreed with the supervisor and should be of sufficient scope and allow for appropriate depth of analysis for the student to meet the learning objectives. Prospective candidates must supply a proposal that details the scope, the research questions and the timetable that sets clear goals for monitoring progress. For creative subjects like music technology and creative writing, the essay may include an element of practice (e.g. a composition or a chapter) in which case there should be an adjustment in the word count expected for the analytical component of the module.

You may not enrol for this option without prior approval. Please e-mail Dr Michael Weatherburn in the first instance to check that you will be eligible for this option. Your e-mail should say which Imperial Horizons courses you have completed and outline your initial idea for a topic. Proposals need to be finalised before the end of September for online enrolments to be confirmed. No new enrolments will be accepted after this date.

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

Quill on parchment

  • Demonstrate ability to formulate an initial research proposal, with input from nominated supervisor and field leader
  • Examine key intellectual concepts across relevant disciplines by production of a list of relevant literature
  • Organise a research plan for discussion with supervisor
  • Integrate concepts using self-directed primary and secondary research
  • Complete a writing plan for agreement with supervisor
  • Apply key concepts, research, and feedback to write an analytical humanities project

Indicative core content

  • Topics are to be negotiated with individual supervisors and receive the approval of the head of field and the student’s personal tutor. Content must be related to an established area of study within the Science, Culture & Society field.
  • Guidelines for the Humanities Project [pdf]


To be tailored to the subject but as a general guideline:

  • Analytical essay: 5,000–7,000 words (90%) OR composition / piece of creative writing (60%) with 3,000–5,000 words of analysis (30%) to be handed in before the end of the first week of the summer term
  • Performance: The mark for performance is awarded by the supervisor and counts 10%. It is awarded on the student’s interest and engagement with the project, the student’s understanding of the research area at the end of the project, the student’s ability to work with the supervisor in a professional and appropriate manner, the level of independent working the student achieved, and the overall effort of the student on the project. (10%)

Key information

"I have really been enjoying my project and have learnt a huge amount too. My supervisor has been able to provide a lot of time and support and is genuinely interested in the project, for which I am really grateful!"
" [My supervisor] has been really supportive and maintained a lot of interest in the project, helping with research and lending equipment, as well as giving a lot of valuable feedback in person during one-to-one meetings. He has also been really friendly, which has helped us develop a good and open working relationship that has really benefitted the project. Thank you!"