University Dissertation Advice - what's it like? Watch

springchance
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Hello. I am currently a second year college student and i cannot stop thinking about University Dissertation, it seems stupid because first i haven't even chosen a university course and second i am still in college. My question is "what is it like doing a university dissertation? and how hard will it be compared to other university studies e.g. coursework and tests?
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04MR17
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(Original post by springchance)
Hello. I am currently a second year college student and i cannot stop thinking about University Dissertation, it seems stupid because first i haven't even chosen a university course and second i am still in college. My question is "what is it like doing a university dissertation? and how hard will it be compared to other university studies e.g. coursework and tests?
Hiya, I've moved your thread to University life.

Have a look through last year's dissertation thread to get a feel for what it's like
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4891264

What subject would you be looking to study at university?
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04MR17
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The Empire Odyssey may have some general comments too. Though it often depends on your subject really.
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DrSocSciences
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The undergrad dissertation is often billed as a big scary challenge. It's fine, when broken down into smaller, structured tasks, with a clear focus, a balanced word count per section, and a realistic writing schedule.
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springchance
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(Original post by 04MR17)
Hiya, I've moved your thread to University life.

Have a look through last year's dissertation thread to get a feel for what it's like
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4891264

What subject would you be looking to study at university?
I am looking to study sports and exercise science. looking at some dissertations it will be hard to be original as there has been lots of research on the topic as a whole.
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shaquille_otmeal
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It's like chewing glass whilst staring into an abyss.

jk, it's a lovely experience. Think of it as studying (or doing research) on something you are super passionate about. can't go wrong
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Justmac
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I studied Physical and Sport Education, although my diss wasn't on sport but that's neither here nor there. Fundamentally it is a research project so you are going to want to look at current research to identify gaps and your research should attempt to plug that gap. However, do not choose a topic based on that idea alone as it has to be something you are interested in or you'll get tired of it very quickly. Equally you don't want to repeat what has already been said before unless you adding to it and bringing something new to the table. How it is broken down and structured will depend on your word count and department requirements. I really enjoyed the freedom I had with my diss although it can be hard to stay motivated over extended periods on the same topic so setting smaller deadlines is important. I'm currently in the process of publishing my undergrad diss, which shows it isn't a completely worthless task. For me it was definitely one of the most enjoyable parts of my degree and I loved the process.
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by springchance)
Hello. I am currently a second year college student and i cannot stop thinking about University Dissertation, it seems stupid because first i haven't even chosen a university course and second i am still in college. My question is "what is it like doing a university dissertation? and how hard will it be compared to other university studies e.g. coursework and tests?
Well first of all, I don't think it's really necessary for you to think about dissertation at all. You have 3 more years before you need to think about it. But I was the same like you.

I think dissertations are hard because we all view it as the biggest piece of work most students will ever write. So that thought is psychologically intimidating. It also depends on how much it's worth. Mine was only worth 20% - it was the same as any other double modules at uni. My uni was great like that cus in 3rd year it was all double modules so we already had experience of how to write lengthy essays. Usually it was 4-6000 words.

I think how hard it is depends on many variables. I did a literature dissertation so it was just constant reading (and reading about reading)! It's not much different to other modules, you just get a longer time to complete this one project. Although it can be overwhelming if you don't organise yourself because you constantly think "where do I start?"

Generally, it will most likely be the toughest piece of work you'll do because to make 10,000 words read smoothly is very challenging. You don't really have to know about the topic beforehand. I didn't. I just came up with a topic and then read about it in my first semester, then put it all together in my second semester.

It's an undergrad dissertation - so many universities are not expecting you to come up with original ideas - that's what PhDs are for. UG diss are there to show the university how you can develop an existing concept and use it to inform and show your understanding of your degree subject in an in-depth and sophisticated way.

You'll learn all this when you get round to it. I wouldn't think too much about it atm.
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springchance
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Thank you all for the invaluable information, it really lightened up my day and got things off my chest.
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