As I look forward to beginning my third year as a Media and Sociology student with the university in September time, the D-word is looming over me like a dark cloud – Dissertation. Having taken a gap year before my first year of university, I have been subject to the hopeless moaning of some friends who have just recently completed their dissertations before me. However, I’m hoping that with a determined mind and a strong work ethic, I will power through this challenge that seems to produce one endless moan amongst participants.
Here’s a quick breakdown of my dissertation process thus far.
As I am taking a split-subject degree, I was provided with a choice between a Media dissertation and a Sociology dissertation. Ultimately, I made my decision to take a Sociology degree after attending a helpful lecture (I didn’t even visit the Media lecture as I had already made my mind up). However, in my opinion, the field of Sociology appeared to be much broader in terms of choice when it came to a dissertation. If you are taking the same split degree, then you will also be provided with the same option when the time comes to doing a dissertation.
Dissertation lectures are provided to answer any potential questions or queries. They are also used to guide students around potential subject areas. If I’m honest, prior to attending the lecture, I had not even thought about my dissertation. After leaving the lecture hall, I felt inspired. I had a rough subject idea along with a desired dissertation supervisor.
This may not be the case for every student, so don’t just expect the lecturer to lay out your ideas there and then – it helps if you consider some topics that you may be passionate about or interested in because you’re going to be living and breathing this topic.
After the lectures, you will be expected to submit a dissertation proposal to your department by the end of the month. This involves a potential question and a rough plan. Then, you will be allocated a dissertation supervisor who will be your main point of contact throughout this project.
Over the summer, it’s my responsibility to research my topic area in preparation for the new semester. By doing this, it can eliminate pointless hours spent worrying about my dissertation.