Dissertations

  • If you are writing a dissertation, you will have a tutor or supervisor to advise you, and there will be written guidelines in the Handbook and updates online to help you. You need to find out precisely what your supervisor expects of YOU right from the beginning, and keep referring back to it and seeking clarification as you go. The links here are designed to guide you through the process.

    Getting started

    • Your research proposal

      (Nottingham University, UK) A short guide to proposals for undergraduate dissertations, setting out what to include in your proposal, how much to write and how it can help you.

    • What exactly do you have to do?

      Knowing exactly what is expected of you will help you get started.

    • Checklist for choosing a topic

      (Nottingham University) A nice quick check.

    • Finding your research question

      The feeling of 'lift-off' with any research first happens when you can see exactly what it is you are trying to achieve or find out.

    • Using the PICO framework

      (Oxford Brookes, UK) designed for the healthcare context, this structured approach to developing a researchable question can be useful for any field.

    • Writing a dissertation

      This presentation (Leicester University, UK) shows you what is involved in writing a dissertation from start to finish. Well worth watching through (22 minutes).

    • Brookes Library Dissertation Library Guide 

      This resource from our colleagues in the library will point you towards general and subject-specific guidance on how to go about your dissertation.

    Getting going

    Research and reading will be your main focus when you get going on your literature review. Follow up some of the suggestions here.

    Writing up

    Structures for your dissertation

    It can help you get started if you have an idea of what it might look like when it is finished.

    • The 'science' model

    • The 'social science' model

    • Methodology

      (RMIT, Aus) One short page of advice on what a methodology does and writing style to use.

    • The methods chapter as a party

      (for postgraduates): a blog of one person's way of seeing the methods section of a postgraduate dissertation or thesis – with related posts on other aspects of postgraduate writing (Wordpress).

    • Results / Discussion

      (RMIT, Aus) This page gives clear advice about these two sections, shows how and when to display results in tables and charts, and gives examples of language to use. Take a look at the other sections along the tab of this excellent resource.

    • Abstracts and appendices

      Short, clear outlines (Nottingham University, UK) - a great place to start.