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Dissertation Topic or Grade?

I’m in a right conundrum and would be really grateful for some advice from anyone with any experience. I’m studying history and religion as a joint course and plan to go on and do an MPhil/PHD in history.

As a joint course student, I have the option to submit a diss in either history or religion. I’m getting good results in both subjects, but slightly higher marks on the religion modules. A good compromise would be do to religion but from a historical perspective, however the religious course centres very heavily on the lived experience of practitioners and the lecturers love a bit of ethnographic research. Add to that I’m planning to apply for PG study in autumn so early conversations aren’t going be on the basis of a known mark.

How much does the topic of an under grad diss matter when applying for PG study? Should I be focusing on getting the best mark even though it has very little to do with what I hope to study PG?
Reply 1
I would say that the aim of doing an undergraduate dissertation is to (a) get experience of doing research, writing a long-form academic document and starting to dig into a specialist area of interest to you personally and (b) to demonstrate to the admissions tutors on the courses you are applying for that you have what to takes to be a good Masters student academically-speaking and that you also have a field which you might do more research in.

So in answer to your question, You would want to do well on the Diss, ovbiously, and get a good referece from your supervisor. If you pick something that interests you a lot personally, you will fiind it much easier to write and research. In terms of subject area, if you can find ways to bridge to other fields even if the subjects are quite disparate, that would help.
(edited 11 months ago)

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