- What is a Dissertation?
- How to start your dissertation
- Help with finding literature and research
- Formulating the research question
- Responsibility in the research process
- Research Ethics
- Supervision of the Dissertation
- Writing the Dissertation
- Developing Your Academic Style of Writing
- Explore what the demands of a dissertation are.
- Raise questions that you can ask your supervisor about.
- Help you think through what theme you could pursue in your dissertation.
- Help you prepare a research question.
- Clarify issues about specific chapters of the dissertation.
- Focus on specific aspects of the study, e.g., ethical issues.
- Organise the different stages of the dissertation.
About this site
This resource provides support and guidance for personal study and to help you through the dissertation process. It deals with some of the common questions, concerns and practical issues that undergraduate students come across when completing their social science-based dissertation or final year project.1
The content for the site was written by academic and support staff who have a particular interest in this area and have a great deal of experience in supervising undergraduate dissertations in the fields of sociology, anthropology, politics, criminology, social policy and social work. The site has not been produced with the aim of providing a set of definitive answers. Instead, we recognise there are many ways in which the journey through the process can be completed. The notes included here draw on the experiences of dissertation supervisors, academic research into the student and staff experiences of study and supervision, and examples of good practice.
You can make use of this site in various ways and at various stages of the dissertation process. For example, before you start the dissertation, you can use it to:
If you have already started the dissertation, you can use it to:
The site is structured around 11 core sections and includes a number of case studies and video interviews with academics who talk about the dissertation process
The website contains further reading and research papers
This website is a resource for the social science academic community. The commissioned sections can be used within the UK for teaching purposes, without the need to seek copyright permission. The intellectual property rights will remain with the authors of such documents.
Academic users are welcome to download any parts of the site for teaching use, although HEA cannot accept any responsibility for losses result of downloading material. Commercial use of the material contained within this site is not permitted.
We hope that you find this site of some value. Good luck with your dissertation!
Note: This web resource is not intended to replace any official guidance your department/faculty provides you with, which should contain the full set of course regulations for your particular dissertation module.
1. The term 'dissertation' is largely used in the UK to refer to a final year undergraduate project. Other terminology is used outside the UK. This site will therefore use the following terms interchangeably - 'dissertation', final year project, extended essay, senior essay.