Perhaps choose a topic in these areas. Are there aspects of your placement year that are amenable to research, perhaps areas you might have studied while working that you can study independently in more depth, or aspects of the organisation in which you worked? These may provide avenues of inquiry for a dissertation topic. The television and way news media often spark interests in topics, though if you choose one through this route, be sure that you find an aspect to it which relates to the academic themes and approaches of your course. Find out what other researchers have written about this topic. Go to the library and find some books and journal articles which are broadly relevant to your topic. You may also be influenced by the type of methods you wish to use or learn more about,. Whether you wish to interview people, analyse video data or newspaper reports, or conduct a secondary analysis of existing large scale survey data.
The dissertation report is worth 80 of the marks for the module. Choosing a topic This is often the hardest part of the dissertation. You must choose your own topic, although your supervisor and the dissertation workshops will help you refine your ideas into a manageable project. There are no hard and fast rules about the topic for your dissertation, but the following guidelines may help. Think about the areas of your course that you are most interested in or a topic that you yourself are particularly interested in to which a sociological, criminological or media studies angle can be discerned. Also consider which theories and concepts have interested you the most. Along these lines, consider the courses you've taken so far. Which lectures or courses most captured your imagination? You can go essay back and look at your notes and textbooks to jog your memory.
You may not reproduce work that you undertook during your employment in your placement year. (An example of an acceptable project might be undertaking a new analysis on a specific topic using data from a more general survey that you were involved in collecting or analysing as part of your placement). There may be ethical considerations which will need to be dealt with by the faculty Ethics Committee before you can collect data ( see section 10 ). FinalYear During the final year the dissertation process is supported by a series of workshops and two practical assignments. The workshops will integrate elements of lecture style content with practical, student-centred exercises designed to assist in: developing a research question: reviewing literature ; designing a research project; ethical issues; data analysis and drawing conclusions. You will need to devote enough time in the final year to refine your thoughts on your topic, collect and analyse the data, and write it all up in your dissertation report. You should have regular meetings with your supervisor in your final year ( see section 7 ). The deadline for submission of the dissertation is the first week of the easter vacation (3rd April). Details of the format for the dissertation report are in section 12 and the grade descriptors used in marking are in Appendix.
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Spend some time reading around topics that interest you, with an eye toward choosing a dissertation question. You may speak to your placement tutor about dissertation ideas or concerns. The dissertation co-coordinator will give a talk on the dissertation during the placement return day in March and you will have an opportunity on that day to talk to her and to possible supervisors. By april of the placement year you should have a fairly clear idea of your topic, as you must declare a topic by may in order to be business assigned a supervisor ( see section 6 ). During the spring and summer, you should continue to think about your dissertation and begin a preliminary review of relevant literature. Some students might have collected data before starting back for their final year, but this is not normally expected.
If you wish to collect data while on a placement, discuss this with the dissertation co-ordinator or supervisor. Some students do a dissertation which is based upon or relates to the work that they did during their placement year. This can make sense because you will already be well grounded in the relevant material and will often be able to gain access to data that would not be easy to obtain otherwise. Bear in mind three points, however: your placement employer must know about and approve the work that you propose. The work must be an original piece of research undertaken by you alone for the sole purpose of the dissertation.
In your final year, you should normally direct queries about your dissertation to your supervisor, but you can talk to the dissertation coordinator if you have general questions or concerns about the process. If you are in your second year or placement year, you should contact the dissertation coordinator in the first instance to discuss any matters relating to the dissertation. What is the final year Dissertation? The dissertation module comprises a series of workshops, two interim assignments (each worth 10 of the module mark) and the dissertation itself. The dissertation provides you with the opportunity to put together the various skills that you have learned in the course of your degree, and to demonstrate your competence as a researcher. It allows you to demonstrate your acquired skills in studying a substantive topic, using appropriate concepts and theories, producing original research through the application of an appropriate research method, undertaking data analysis, and presenting your results in writing.
The dissertation is a major piece of work which all final year students on the sociology, aps, crimSoc, scm and Media studies degrees undertake (nb, aps students who registered from 2003 onwards will be required to submit a psychology dissertation if they wish for bps. To reflect its importance, the dissertation is worth 45 credits. Therefore, you should devote a commensurate amount of time. There are four main differences between the dissertation and the essays that you are accustomed to writing for your other courses: It is focused upon a topic that you have chosen It is based upon your own original research It reflects your own academic thinking. Stages to completing the dissertation The notes below set out the kinds of things that you might expect to be doing in relation to your dissertation at different points during the degree course: Second year The dissertation coordinator will give a lecture in the Spring. This is a good spur to start thinking seriously about what you might want to do and how you will. If you do not plan to take a placement year, it is important that you start thinking about your dissertation project in the second year. You must declare your topic by week 10 of the second semester of the second year ( see section 6 ). During the summer before you go into the final year you should continue to think about your dissertation and begin a preliminary review of relevant literature Placement year It is often during the placement year that your ideas for a topic really crystallise.
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How often should I see my supervisor? Dissertation supervisors are available for a maximum of 7 hours of contact time across the year and students should normally aim to see them approximately every 3 weeks. The total number of meetings will not normally exceed. Are there any simple shortcuts to getting a good mark for the dissertation? Planning ahead, completing your data collection and analysis as early as possible, keeping in touch with your supervisor, participating in dissertation workshops and hard work are the keys to success. Introduction These notes have been prepared to give you strange the information that you will need in order to complete your final year dissertation successfully. They set out the basic rules and the "dos and don'ts" of the process, as well as giving some more general advice on how to undertake your dissertation. The dissertation coordinator The dissertation coordinator is Kate burningham 06ad and she has overall administrative responsibility for the dissertation process.
What are the deadlines in thesis the dissertation process? There are four key deadlines: Yr 2 week 10 semester 2: one page topic statement due yr 3 week 3 semester one: word proposal due yr 3 week 7 semester one: Literature review assignment due yr 3 Easter 1 (3rd April dissertation due. Does the report have to be presented in a particular format? Yes - see section. How much does the dissertation mark count for? Overall the dissertation module is worth 45 credits, one-third of the overall mark for the final year. The final dissertation report accounts for 80 of the marks for the module, the proposal for 10 and the initial literature review for.
questions about the dissertation. How long does the final dissertation report have to be? 8,000 - 12,000 words. You are required to note the word count in your submitted copy - see section. Does it matter if my dissertation report is longer than the word limit? You may not exceed the word limit. If you do, the dissertation will be returned unmarked to you. A word count must be included. See section.
Choosing a topic. Allocation of supervisors. Interim module assignments. Doing the research. Ethical and safety considerations. Writing oliver up the dissertation. Submitting the dissertation.
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Department, of Sociology, final year Dissertation guidelines, sociology; Sociology, culture and Media; Media studies; Criminology and Sociology; Applied Psychology and Sociology. Email, dissertation coordinator: Kate burningham 06 ad 03 6688. Undergraduate secretaries: liz chang, sue add jones 26 ad, course director CrimSoc: Karen Bullock 10 ad 03 6979, course director scm media studies: Cornel Sandvoss 09AD03 9672, course director Sociology: Daniel McCarthy 37 ad 03 6972, course director aps: Katharine tyler 30 ad 03 6964. Table of Contents: overview: the eight most commonly asked questions about the dissertation. The dissertation coordinator. What is the final year dissertation? Stages to completing the dissertation.