Independent study in a topic agreed with supervisor

Module details

  • Offered to 4th & 5th Years in specific departments only**
  • Independent Study
  • 2 term module worth 6 ECTS
  • Degree Credit only

**See info at the top of the following webpage: 
4th & 5th Year Undergraduates (6 & 7.5 ECTS)

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 module. The module consists of independent study, supervised by a nominated member of staff who will meet with you on a regular basis to discuss progress. Where students have topics in common, you 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 are eligible for this option. Your e-mail should say which Imperial Horizons module(s) 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.

*The module specification above is subject to final committee approval and is therefore subject to change.*

Information blocks

Learning outcomes

Quill on parchment

By the end of this module you will be better able to: 

  • 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 your personal tutor. Content must be related to an established area of study within the Humanities & Social Sciences field.
  • Guidelines for the Humanities Project [pdf]


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

  • Coursework: Essay - 6,000–8,500 words (90%)
  • Practical: Student performance - engagement with project, professionalism of organisation and research (10%)


  • Coursework: Creative work submission of variable length depending on media (60%)
  • Coursework: Essay - 3,500–6,000 (30%)
  • Practical: Student performance - engagement with project, professionalism of organisation and research (10%)

Key information

  • You are expected to spend approximately 150 hours total study time for the module, to be completed through a combination of independent study and meetings with your supervisor. Independent study includes preparation for meetings and assignments, wider reading and guided research relevant to the module. You can expect 15 hours contact time, which includes meetings and studying a draft of your work.
  • This module is designed as an undergraduate Level 6 module. See Imperial Horizons level descriptors [pdf]
"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!"