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The end product

The end product
Throughout this short course, we have looked at different parts of the whole research process.

In Step 1.5, we set out the structure of a dissertation in relation to the scientific method. It is worth revisiting that as a reminder of what a dissertation looks like. You should be able to see where some of the issues we have explored map onto this structure:

  • Introduction: explains the context for the study, your research objective and research questions, their significance and how the dissertation is structured.
  • Literature review/theoretical framework: shows your understanding of theories related to your research problem and relevant academic research in the field.
  • Methodology: sets out the philosophical approach to research and the methods of data collection and analysis deployed.
  • Findings: shows the range of findings generated and how these link to the research questions.
  • Discussion: explains the answer to the ‘so what’ question and the wider significance of the findings in terms of theory and practical relevance.
  • Conclusion and recommendations: reviews the whole dissertation and makes recommendations for resolving or addressing the research problem.

Across these six chapters, there is space to demonstrate the rigour of your research and deliver against the core expectations of a dissertation. But, to achieve this, the time spent across this course planning and thinking through the core features of a research project will be essential. In particular, establishing your research objective and questions are the golden thread holding the whole project together.

Your task

Reflect on some of the concerns that you have if you are going to undertake a research project. What are the practical issues that you think will cause challenges?

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Academic Research Methodology for Master’s Students

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