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how to writing Dissertation:Dissertation Guidelines

Dissertation Guidelines
2009 Section Page

Introduction 4

Aims and Objectives

1. Different approaches to research 6

2. Research Strategies 6-8
2.1 Experiment
2.2 Surveys
2.3 Case study
2.4 Ethnographics

3. The Purpose of Research 8-9
3.1 Exploratory
3.2 Descriptive
3.3 Explanatory

4. Reliability and Validity 9-10
4.1 Reliability
4.2 Validity

5. The Research Process 10-12
5.1 The planning stage

6. Selecting a Topic 12-15
7. Literature Review 15-16

8. Setting Aims and Objectives 17

9. Sources and Types of Data 17-18
9.1 Primary Data
9.2 Secondary Data

10. Sampling 18-19
10.1 Probability sampling
10.2 Non-probability sampling

Section Page

11. Data Collection 20-24
11.1 Questionnaires
11.2 Interviews
11.3 Observation

12. Data Analysis 24-25
12.1 Quantitative data
12.2 Qualitative data

13. Writing Up 26-32
13.1 Practical aspects of writing
13.2 Dissertation/Final Project layout
13.3 Final document submission

List of figures and tables

Figure 5.1 The Research Process 11

Figure 6.1 The Process of Topic Selection 14

Figure 11.1 A systematic approach to data collection 20


Appendix 1 Structure of the dissertation/final project 33

Appendix 2 Dissertation brief and criteria 34


One of the requirements of your course is to carry out research and write a dissertation/final project. This process requires you to undertake a review of existing material, and contact organisations and individuals in order to collect primary data which you will then need to analyse and evaluate. The data you collect will be turned into valuable information on organisations and individuals, and the dissertation/final project you produce will play a major part in deciding your final classification of degree.

What is a dissertation/final project?

A very useful definition is that it is ‘a well-structured and convincing account of a study, the resolution of a problem, or the outcome of an experiment’.How are you going to accomplish this complex process?

First you need to study and understand the basic ideas underpinning the research process and the methods for collecting and analysing data. You also need to know how to present your data in a meaningful way. This guide is intended to supplement the formal methodology sessions which are run in the summer term of your second year.

To help you through the dissertation/final project process, which is a self-directed piece of work, you will be allocated a Supervisor with whom you should meet on a regular basis to review progress. Details of the role and responsibilities of both your and your Supervisor have been posted on Blackboard.

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