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What are they?

Dissertations, independent studies and project reports are extensive exercises in researching and writing. Dissertations can be defined as a long piece of academic writing, split by headings or chapters, which demonstrates detailed research in your subject area. Dissertations are essentially a long essay or report. 

Why do I need to learn it?

A dissertation provides you with the opportunity to study an area you are interested in in depth. They demonstrate your ability to research, your subject knowledge, organisational and project management skills, as well as independent working.

There are many transferable skills that you can take from a dissertation: planning, organising, analysing, critiquing, researching, identifying, problem solving, data gathering, data analysis, logical thinking, time management, and communication skills (White, 2000).

How do I do it?

How you approach your dissertations is dependent on the type of research you choose to complete. Use the page menu to find the type of research to suit you. Primary research and literature reviews are the most common types of dissertation.

Williams (2013) describes the journey of a dissertation:​

  1. Getting started
    • Strategic planning
    • Exploring ideas
    • Supervisor
  2. Planning your research
    • Reading
    • Research question
    • Time planning
    • Research plan
    • Supervisor
  3. Planning your literature review
    • Researching
    • Reading
    • Making sense
    • Planning
    • Aim and objectives
  4. Thinking about methodology
    • Methods to match the aims and objectives
    • Using theory
  5. Writing and argument
    • Paragraphs 
    • Language and argument
  6. Planning your end game
    • Your aim
    • Conclusion
    • Introduction
    • First impressions
    • Hand in!