Dissertation Structure
It is suggested that you adopt the following format in presenting your dissertation:

– Title Page
– Abstract
– Acknowledgements: Acknowledgements of outside help (not tutorial support).
– Table of Contents: It should list the sequence with page numbers of all relevant subdivisions of the dissertation; i.e. chapter headings section and sub-section (if appropriate).
– List of Tables
– List of Figures/Illustrations.
– Introduction, Aims and Objectives
– Literature Review
– Methodology
– Data Presentation or Findings
– Data Analysis or Analysis
– Conclusion (and recommendations)
– Reference List: The dissertation should include a list of all relevant texts/journals used.
– Bibliography: The bibliography should include a list of references cited in the main text and any other background reading.
– Appendices: The appendices should only include material that is not central to the arguments in the main text.

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Assessment Criteria
Your written dissertation will be marked by two internal examiners, one of whom will be your supervisor. The internal examiners’ marks are moderated by an external examiner.


Your Independent Study will be graded according to the following:

Specification and Definition of the Project (10%) In general, your markers will assess the clarity stated aims and objectives, relevance to sector related issues, feasibility of aims of dissertation study and the rationale of your dissertation study.

Title: It should contain details of the title, student name, programme and year of submission. Please ensure is the title focused, summative, and reflects the proposal/dissertation content.
Abstract: It should provide a brief summary of the dissertation. It should state the nature and purpose of the dissertation and outline the approach adopted. This should be short (300-500 words), self-contained, summative, objective, precise and easy to read.
Introduction: is background information included? Is an introduction to current research included and developed? An introduction to the organisation (if applicable)?
Have you demonstrated the relevance of your dissertation to the field and is it theoretically grounded? Links to relevant literature and academic debates, the evidence of extensive reading will be valued.

Aim(s): is the aim feasible and manageable (have resource and data accessibility
been taken into account)? Is the aim original and does it have the potential to add
insights to the field of study? Does it conform to the right aim format?

Objectives: are they focused and do they reflect or are they linked to the aims? Are
the objectives specific and observable? Do they conform to the right format (action verbs)?

Literature Review (20%) In general: Search for relevant literature. Critical assessment of literature. Awareness of contribution of other researchers. Awareness of relevant concepts. Direct linkage to dissertation aims and objectives identified.
• Provide a critical review of relevant academic literature
• Critique existing research and link it to aims/objectives
• Review key academic theories
• Demonstrate relevance to contemporary/current debates
• Be current (not outdated sources)
• Be related to previous published and “recognised” work
• Be critical (sources that both support and oppose aims and objectives)
• Be able to differentiate fact and opinion
• Assess strengths and weaknesses of previous work.
• Be objective, unbiased, coherent and cohesive.
• Adhere to the Harvard Referencing System

Methodology (15%) In general: Choice and use of research methods are appropriate to the aims and objectives. Sound justification provided, including evidence of secondary data supporting choice of methods.
• The research approach
• The research methods
• The research design
• The data collection (i.e. sampling)
• Ethical issues
• Reliability and validity of the study
• Limitations
• Appropriateness of the research design

Analysis and Discussion (20%) In general: Presentation of data, quality of interpretation and analysis. Clear relationship made between aims and objectives, literature and findings.

• Is the data appropriately presented (graphically or verbatim)?
• Is the data presentation factual or interpretative?
• Does the analysis answer the research questions?
• Does the analysis relate or is linked to previous knowledge in the field?
• Is the analysis built from the findings?
• Is the analysis linked to the literature review?
• Is the analysis analytical or merely descriptive?

Conclusions (15%) In general: Aims and objectives are satisfied. Effective drawing out of key issues.
• Are the conclusions drawn from the findings?
• Are the conclusions linked to the literature?
• Are the conclusions linked to aims and objectives?

Presentation (10%) In general: Organisation and layout of material. Style including spelling and grammar. Use of material. Bibliography and citations. Appropriate use of appendices. Evidence of the understanding of process in terms of linkage between chapters, the flow of the work. Reflection on the process and possible improvements.
. Is cohesive, well-structured and inter-linked
. Sections complement each other
. Complies with traditional research format
. Follows Harvard Referencing style
. Follows Academic writing

Process (10%) Pro-active approach to dissertation. Evidence of Learning and Development. Achievement of agreed milestones.

To summarise, the final submission will be marked using a marking rubric (see page 17). The rubric considers the following areas.
Specification of the independent study 10% weighting
Literature review 20% weighting
Methodology 15% weighting
Analysis and discussion 20% weighting
Conclusions 15% weighting
Presentation 10% weighting
Process 10% weighting

                                                                                                                        ACME Writers