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Why a Dissertation? Importance of Research and Ways to Conduct It

Question

Why a dissertation?

• Undertaking this kind of project sharpens your information gathering, critical and analytical skills.

• It also enhances your subject-specific knowledge, and this is not just for academic reasons.

• Dissertation research also requires you to relate academic theories and concepts to real-world data and real-world problems.

What is Research?

• Methodical investigations into a subject or problem.

• To ‘research’ is to seek answers that involve understanding and explanation.

• The term “research” actually implies uncertainty – re-search – look again

• Doesn’t just seek to provide an accurate portrayal of what is  going on.

• Instead it tends to be explanatory and exploratory.

• Masters research must go beyond fact gathering. It involves analysis. This analysis may produce explanations, relationships, comparisons, predictions or theories.

Ways of doing the research

• Select a dissertation topic

• Assess the feasibility of the selected topic

• Formulate the research question

• Define the objectives

• Detailed Literature Survey

• Methodology

• Data Collection

• Data Analysis (Qualitative or Quantitative)

• Summarize the findings

Present your proposed research to the academic supervisor allocated and receive valuable feedback on your ideas.

• 10 minute presentation outlining proposed research followed by discussion.

• Feasibility report must contain

– Aim and Objectives

– Outline of Stages of work

– Project time plan (Gant chart)

– Risk assessment (Appendix E)

• Need to complete the Project Agreement Form (Appendix A) and submit to the supervisor when submitting the feasibility report.

• Students wishing to undertake industry based project will need to complete relevant form and submit to their supervisor.

Role of my supervisor?

• Your supervisor will guide, assist and monitor your dissertation project.

• The supervisor is responsible for supervising the process of the dissertation and not necessarily the content.

• The role of the supervisor is largely to advise and not to instruct the student what to do at the different stages of the process.

• Supervisor will guide you to publish your work in a credible journal. How do I get access to my supervisor?

• Unless the supervisor stipulates otherwise please use e-mail to make appointments. Will my supervisor be available throughout the summer?

• Supervisors will inform you when they are going to be away from the University for a long period.

• These dates need to be worked into your research plan.

Who will mark my dissertation?

• Your supervisor and a second marker.

Will I get my dissertation back?

• No, if you want your own copy make sure you keep a spare copy of your work.

What happens if I fail the dissertation?

Do I need to reference the work of others in my dissertation?

• Dependent upon the circumstances you may be given an opportunity to resubmit an improved version of the dissertation.

• Of course. You always need to reference work accurately and consistently. Failure to reference the work of others may result in an accusation of plagiarism.

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