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Dissertation in semester 1 or 2?

Hello,
So I just finished second year of my law degree and I need to pick my optional modules for next year.
I plan on doing the 20 credit dissertation and I have the choice whether I want to complete it during semester 1 (October- jan) or to complete it during semester 2( feb-may).
I’m thinking of doing it during first semester so that way its over and done with however I’m still conflicted because I’m thinking , ill be overwhelmed with third year as it is and maybe doing the dissertation straight away might not be the best idea?
Any suggestions and pros and cons as to which is a better time frame to complete the dissertation?
Thank you.
A lot of other degree programmes have students do the dissertation over the course of the whole year. Doing it in term 1 won't be "overwhelming" as such.

Probably sensible to get it out of the way, and then you don't have to deal with submitting that in the run up to summer exams.
Reply 2
Where I am, the Diss is always in Semester 2. Sem 1 is used to get things up and running (though no work is actually done). Do you have a subject area selected? What is your main research question? Are these things you could try and nail before you finish for the summer?
Original post by immar.k123
Hello,
So I just finished second year of my law degree and I need to pick my optional modules for next year.
I plan on doing the 20 credit dissertation and I have the choice whether I want to complete it during semester 1 (October- jan) or to complete it during semester 2( feb-may).
I’m thinking of doing it during first semester so that way its over and done with however I’m still conflicted because I’m thinking , ill be overwhelmed with third year as it is and maybe doing the dissertation straight away might not be the best idea?
Any suggestions and pros and cons as to which is a better time frame to complete the dissertation?
Thank you.

Hi there

Congratulations on finishing second year. 🙂 Picking your module options are important and I understand it can be quite difficult. I believe there are multiple considerations you may like to think about:

Do you know what you want to do in the future? If it is a law related career, are there any sectors that particularly interest you? If so, picking a relevant module may be a good idea.🙂

How are your other assignments distributed? (Do your other optional modules span over one or two terms?) Knowing this may help you predict when your assignments will be. For my final year, I found it useful having a good distribution of coursework deadlines across the year. This really helped me with time management and gave me a better opportunity at improving my grades.

Do you know how each module will be assessed? You may like to achieve a good balance/ choose between coursework and essay based gradings. (This just depends on how you work, and what you would prefer).


Fitting in the dissertation option would depend on how busy you will be for each term. (I think this varies for each University and each student), so maybe attempting to map out any exams and coursework deadlines may be a good idea. 🙂 (You may be able to ask about coursework deadlines by asking in your University's law group chat).

Good luck with choosing your options. 🙂
Chloe
University of Kent Student Rep
Original post by immar.k123
Hello,
So I just finished second year of my law degree and I need to pick my optional modules for next year.
I plan on doing the 20 credit dissertation and I have the choice whether I want to complete it during semester 1 (October- jan) or to complete it during semester 2( feb-may).
I’m thinking of doing it during first semester so that way its over and done with however I’m still conflicted because I’m thinking , ill be overwhelmed with third year as it is and maybe doing the dissertation straight away might not be the best idea?
Any suggestions and pros and cons as to which is a better time frame to complete the dissertation?
Thank you.

Hi there,

Congratulations on finishing your second year!

At York St John our dissertations usually run over the course of your final year but different courses have different deadline dates. For example mine was due in March but some my friends are due at the end of May.

I would say personally get you dissertation over and done with and do it in the first semester. This will allow you to focus on it in the first semester and not be as stressed at the end of the second semester to try and get it finished along with the other assignments or end of year exams or whilst applying for job. By doing your dissertation in the first semester it means that you are able to think about what you would like to focus it on and get ahead over the summer with some research and narrowing down ideas whilst you don't have any other uni work to do. It will also mean that you won't have this stress at the end of the first semester.

At the end of the day you know how you work best and the how the other assessments are being marked. I would choose whichever option you think will work the best for you and the way in which it will fit around your studies the best.

I hope this helps and good luck with your final year, I hope it goes well 😊
Katie - Student Ambassador

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