Share via Email Writing a dissertation can be one of the hardest tasks a university student has to accomplish — but it will come to an end. Luckily for me, my D-Day dissertation hand-in day has already been and gone.
This article will provide an overview of the Dissertation undergraduate degree dissertation and its standard requirements at UK universities.
An undergraduate dissertation or Bachelors dissertation is essentially an extended piece of research and writing on a single subject. It allows the student to explore a narrow topic in greater depth than a traditional module.
The student works with a single supervisor chosen from their departmental faculty, and this individual provides guidance and support throughout the course of the research. First, it is considerably shorter in length, averaging only 10, — 15, words.
While this is much shorter than a Masters or PhD dissertation, it is much longer than any other piece of writing required in undergraduate programmes.
Secondly, the undergraduate dissertation is not required to contain the same level of originality as postgraduate work. Students are still expected to complete the work independently and cite all sources, but they do not need to present any new ideas.
It is sufficient to conduct thorough, sustained research and present a critical discussion of a relatively narrow research topic. It is not necessary to discuss the philosophical context of the research, or to design a distinct methodology.
Finally, the undergraduate dissertation also varies in the type of research conducted, which will be more focused on texts and documents rather than active field research. For the most part students will examine secondary sources or easily accessible primary sources, and they will not be required to pursue obscure or costly data sources.
In some disciplines a practical element may be incorporated into the dissertation, but this is usually performed with less independence than would be expected at the postgraduate level.
At the end of the penultimate year of study students will be asked to select an area of research for the dissertation. You should be sure to choose a topic that is likely to hold your interest over a long period of time, as it is difficult and dangerous to change your topic once your research period has begun.
Depending on the university, there may be a formal process in place for allocating supervisors or students may simply approach a member of faculty that they are interested in working with. It can be helpful to meet with potential supervisors before registering an intended research area, as they can help you to refine your proposed topic and give you suggestions for specific research questions.
Once the formal dissertation period begins you will meet with your supervisor regularly to discuss your progress and refine your study.
Most students begin general reading around their chosen subject area in the summer before the final year. This period is truly key in developing a broad awareness of the subject, and it prepares you for more targeted research once your final year commences.
Once the undergraduate dissertation module begins usually at the start of year 3 you will be asked to draft a brief dissertation outline of about pages in length.
By now you should have decided upon a narrower aspect of your topic, and this should be formulated into a research title with the help of your supervisor. Refined research and writing: At this stage your research will be much more targeted, in order to pursue your proposed dissertation agenda.
You should also begin writing as soon as possible. Most departments require students to submit a substantial piece of writing 3, words by the end of the first term. Remember that you should submit at least one draft to your supervisor before this deadline, in order to give you time to make necessary revisions.
It must all be formatted according to university guidelines, and you must be certain to properly cite all if your sources. Unlike undergraduate essays, the undergraduate dissertation must be professionally bound before being submitted.
This is usually done on campus but you need to allow enough time for the process before your submission deadline. Grades The marking system for undergraduate dissertations is the same that is used for all other aspects of the undergraduate degree. Students must generally achieve a minimum mark of 40 to pass, but most will aspire to higher marks than this.
Marks of earn a classification of 2. The dissertation is marked as a stand-alone module and it is combined with other module marks to determine the overall degree classification. For many students, the undergraduate dissertation provides their first taste of prolonged independent research.
This can be a daunting experience but it is helpful to remember that your departmental supervisor can be called upon frequently for advice and support. If you work at a consistent and dedicated pace you will have no problem completing the dissertation on time.
You will also develop important research skills that can prepare you for postgraduate study. References Bryan Greetham, Manchester Metropolitan University, Guidance on the Writing of Undergraduate Dissertations.Are you ready to join the Cardinal Family? The UofL application process makes it easy for you to take flight.
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The Ford Foundation Senior Fellowship award was established to further engage Ford Fellows in . What are the main differences between undergraduate, master's, and doctoral theses? the PhD dissertation was a different story. What are the principal differences between these three pieces of research?
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