Dissertation Project

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As a general guide, use the marking scheme to show you the approximate split for the word count.

For example, if the introduction is worth 20%, and each of the other two submissions 40%, for a total word count of 10,000 words, the introduction should be at most 2,000 words, and each of the other two around 4,000 words.

Usually a dissertation is the most substantial piece of independent work in the undergraduate programme, while a thesis is usually associated with master's degrees, although these terms can be interchangeable and may vary between countries and universities.

A dissertation or thesis is likely to be the longest and most difficult piece of work a student has ever completed.

As you read each reference, summarise it and group it by themes. You should be used to referencing by the time you write your dissertation but if you need a refresher then see our page: Academic Referencing.

Dissertations and academic articles used always to be written in the third person, and in the passive voice; as an example, you might write ‘An experiment was carried out to test…’ However, many journals have now moved away from that convention and request first person and active voice, which would require you to write ‘I carried out an experiment to test…’ Check with your university about their requirements before you start to write.If you cannot find any guidelines, then ask your supervisor and/or the person who will be marking your thesis about their preferences.Make sure that the voice and person are consistent throughout.The dissertation topic and question should be sufficiently focused that you can collect all the necessary data within a relatively short time-frame, usually about six weeks for undergraduate programmes.You should also choose a topic that you already know something about so that you already have a frame of reference for your literature search and some understanding and interest in the theory behind your topic.Reassessment method: Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run.The project and academic report will test independence of mind, motivation and ability to articulate, organise and synthesise a range of primary and/or secondary materials and arguments.Learning outcomes At the end of this module, students will be able to: Assessment Assessment pattern: 1 x Project (60%) and 1 x 4,000 to 6,000-word report (40%).If you’re submitting your dissertation as a single piece of work, and not in separate submissions, you may find it easier not to write it in order.It is often easier to start with the literature review and then write the methodology.

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