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MSc Dissertation Introduction. A brief guide to the dissertation Importance of dissertation within MSc degree The project proposal Dissertation supervisor Dissertation Workbook The Dissertation Report Student's Deadline Help and Supervision. Importance dissertation in MSc degree.

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MSc Dissertation Introduction

  • A brief guide to the dissertation

  • Importance of dissertation within MSc degree

  • The project proposal

  • Dissertation supervisor

  • Dissertation Workbook

  • The Dissertation Report

  • Student's Deadline

  • Help and Supervision

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Importance dissertation in MSc degree

  • Dissertation is the most important aspect of the MSc Programme

    • MSc Degree is not awarded without a successful completion of MSc dissertation.

  • Equivalent to 4 units of study or the third of MSc Programme

  • Major project - research, development- is done by student

  • It maps the future direction that student will be taking for your career or further post graduate studies

  • It is natural path to MPh or PhD research study for some students

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MSc Dissertation Process

  • Stage 1

    • Identify subject area of interest

    • Design a suitable project specification

    • Register your project and supervisor online <>

  • Stage 2

    • Meet your supervisor regularly

    • Produce a plan of work for:

      • Research; Practical and experimental Development; Write-up

    • Keep an up to date workbook

    • Hand a draft version to you supervisor by the deadlines

  • Stage 3

    • Submit:

      • Your final project online

      • Two hard copies of final version + workbook by the deadlines

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The Dissertation Proposal

Think carefully about the project subject area and the theme

  • Identify MSc Dissertation subject Interest

    • Suggest your own project

    • Attempt company project:

      • Consult placement officer

  • Attempt university based project:

    • Consult placement officer/ Project coordinator/ Research centers, groups and individual lecturers

  • Discuss your project idea and supervision with:

    • Research Method Unit team

    • Project coordinator

  • Register your project proposal online before the deadline <14 May 2009>

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Appendix 1: MSc Dissertation Proposal Formonline submission only


    • First Name:

    • Family Name:

    • Course Title:

    • Student No:

    • Contact details:

    • • email address:

    • • Phone number:

  • Title of your dissertation:

    • Main area of the dissertation (Key words to describe your

    • projects)

  • Industry Supervisor <if any>:

  • University Supervisor

  • Second Supervisor (if any)

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Dissertation proposal

  • Research Method Unit Assignment

  • A self-contained description of the proposed project

  • - the case for support.

    • The case for support should be presented in six parts as described below:

      • Part-1: Aims and objectives. - 1 side A4

      • Part-2: Method of approach. - 1 side A4

      • Part-3: Resource required or to be used. - half side of A4

      • Part-4: Evidence of analysis from literature search and identified as appropriate approaches to the problem specified. - 2 sides A4

      • Part-5: Key references. 1 side A4

      • Part-6: Diagrammatic Plan for dissertation plan. - 1 side A4

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Research Centres/Groups

  • You may use the following and other Research Ceners to do your placement.

    • Institute for Computing Research <Mark Joseph>

    • Centre for Research in Information Engineering

    • Centre for Information and Organisation Studies

    • The Information Management and Modelling Research Group

    • Centre for Concurrent Systems and VSLI

    • Library Information Technology Centre <Dilip Patel>

    • Centre for Systems and Software Engineering

    • Centre for Applied Formal Methods

    • Visualisation and Graphics Research Unit <Ebad Banissi>

  • Placement is full time activity during project period and you are expected to do work on research and development project that is assigned and your project will be dependant on it.

  • You can find expertise at university by searching from the site:

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Dissertation supervisor

  • In choose a dissertation supervisor

    • Try to match your dissertation subject area to supervisor interest by:

      • Search expertise at university from the site:

      • Consult school/ university, Research centre and MSc dissertation web-site

      • Contact potential supervisors well in advance

      • Consult MSc project coordinator if in doubt

      • Discuss your ideas with potential supervisor and take on board their suggestions

      • Ask for ideas from potential supervisors

      • Prepare project proposal that is agreeable both to you and to your supervisor

    • Register your project proposal and select your supervisor online at:


    • You should keep a copy of all documentation in the form of log book.

  • If you cannot find supervisor consult project coordinator well before the deadlines during MSc Project Surgery Hour( at least two weeks before the deadline) and you will be assigned a supervisor)

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  • Meet your supervisor regularly - face to face consultation is the best

  • Produce a detail plan of work for:

    • Research - papers, journals, previous projects, internet and so on.

    • Practical and experimental Development - need to support theoretical understanding of your practical work.

    • Write-up - it should reflect what you have been doing - any form of copying will be considered as of not your work and could result in failing your dissertation –

    • quotation and inclusion of diagrams must be clearly referenced- if in doubt, consult your project supervisor.

  • Workbook is to record your activities during project- essential.

    • Need to be submitted for assessment

    • Its content should reflect what you have in final dissertation,

    • it is one way showing that the work submitted is of your own

    • Its contents to be reflect your activities as it happens and you write as project progresses and not it at the end of the project to satisfy requirements.

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The Dissertation

  • Main component to be assessed are:

  • Before the final version, a draft version must be given to your supervisor for comments and feed back - allow plenty of time for this

  • Instruction how to format and layout the final version is given in

  • the unit guide.

  • Submission online + 2 copies required to hand in. Make an extra copy for yourself and future reference.

  • It must be handed on or before the deadlines

  • Exceptional cases for deferral/extension may be considered well before submission deadline by your course director <you need to make application well before the submission date>

  • Examination board needs to approve all deferrals

  • you may be also asked to pay further fee for the deferral/extension.

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Appendix I:PDP – Personal Development Planning

  • Reflective statements as part of project work. Preparation of a proposal in respect of the dissertation and completion of the dissertation.

  • Provide the means by which self-reflection, evaluation and planned development is supported (e.g. paper-based or electronic learning log/diary).

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Academic Misconduct & Plagiarism

  • The dissertation that you produce is expected to be written using your own original words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters. If you do use extracts from non-original sources you should indicate exactly, by using quotation marks and indentation, which parts are non-original. The exact source of the non-original material must be clearly given, using a standard reference convention, every time it is cited.

  • The extracts from non-original material that you use should be relatively short and largely factual. They should be used to support your arguments not to replace them. If you feel that you need to include large extracts of non-original material; they should be included in an appendix (where they will be given non academic credit.)

  • Paraphrasing is where a summary of the content of non-original material is presented as original material. If this is a true summary, using your own words and phrases, this is probably acceptable. If it is a near transcription, that is phrases from the non-original source are included and/or the ideas from the non-original source are directly included and/or the citations or examples from the non-original source are included; then this is probably unacceptable.

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Dissertation Assessment

  • Three aspect of project is examined <See marking scheme at the unit guide>:

    • Project Planning and development (Marks Awarded - MAX. 25%)

    • Dissertation - Contents (Marks Awarded - MAX. 50%

    • Dissertation - Report (Marks Awarded - MAX. 25%)

  • At least two independent examiners

  • To pass:

    • Minimum pass mark of 50% is required for each component:

  • Moderation are required if:

    • there is a big disparity of marks from two examiners for the contents and presentation

    • Border line cases, where two examiners of differing opinion whether a project is a fail/pass or distinction/pass

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MSc Project Deadlines - Student-

  • Important Dates

  • Project proposal submission dates:

    You obtain your supervisor’s approval before starting your project. You need to register your project before the deadline using online Project registration at the site:

  • 14 May 2010: students submit their project proposals

  • 14 May 2010: students submit their project proposals

  • Project draft submission dates:

    You submit the draft of final version of your project to your supervisor directly by the following dates:

  • 30 Sep. 2010: Full-time students submit their draft dissertations

  • 12 Nov. 2010: Part-time students submit their draft dissertations

  • Final dissertation submission dates:

    Please follow submission instruction:

  • ensure that project submitted by the following dates:

  • 29 Oct. 2010: Full-time students submit final dissertations

  • 10 Dec. 2010: Part-time students submit final dissertations

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Help and Supervision

  • Weekly project surgery hour:

    • Mondays 12:30-1:30, Room L5

  • Regular pre-planned arrangement from your supervisor

  • Consultation with other staff

  • Project Site will have latest:

    • Blackboard