Anonymous #1
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Hi,
I am going to be in final year this September and I would like to know what to expect. When can you start choosing your dissertation topic?

Thanks.
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Peony123
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I picked mine early over summer and just emailed a lecturer in that area to get her thoughts on my ideas
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mike23mike
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In your final year, you will still be covering 120 credits but at least 40 credits will be weighted on your dissertation (some unis weight it as a 60-credit module). Thus your dissertation will have a huge impact on your final year grade.

It's good to think over the summer about what you would like to specialise in for your dissertation and perhaps even reach out to some potential supervisors rather than leaving it to 'pot luck' as to who you get paired with.

If you are doing a science subject then you will have to undertake some primary research. A teacher will chat with you at the end of the second year on what your research interest is and then work to pair you with a supervisor before the summer hols. So you will be paired with your supervisor from Sept and he/she will work with you on your research. The supervisor in science subjects just sees you as a resource to be used to help the supervisor get some research (and perhaps a paper) done. Thus, you will be pretty much directed as to what you will be researching and how and then used as a lab technician to carry out the experiment(s).

In the social sciences, it will be very different. You will be given a free hand to come up with a research idea yourself. if you plan to undertake primary research (interviews, questionnaires) think carefully about how you will gain access to the primary data. Your supervisor will not find people for you to interview or send surveys out to.

A lot of the social sciences - history, law, modern languages - will be able to use secondary data sources; historic books, publically accessible blogs etc. Look at this paper on analysing eulogies.

For your subject (law, psychology, business studies etc) there will be research methods textbooks. I recommend you read one during the summer break.
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Anonymous #1
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Thank you ❤❤
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University of Portsmouth Student Rep
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Hi,
I am going to be in final year this September and I would like to know what to expect. When can you start choosing your dissertation topic?

Thanks.
Hi!

It's great that you're already thinking about your dissertation and a possible topic


I recommend looking through any core textbooks you can find on Google Scholar or from what you have used in your last two years that interest you You can also email your personal tutor who can help fine tune the ideas you already have. You will be given a supervisor for your dissertation in September time who will guide you through the whole process too

You can do some reading about topics of mental health you're interested in and look at articles/ study's (look on your uni library resource, google scholar etc) to increase your understanding about the topics.

I've chosen to use a table to list all the research papers in my dissertation. This means i can easily view their title, their methodology, their findings, their limitations etc. so could be a good method for you to! Once you get a better idea of the existing literature it will help you fine tune your title and the research gap. It's best to be prepared and to start having a think.

Sam- Official Student Rep
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