What Is A Dissertation?

When I started my Psychology degree I was not quite sure what a dissertation was. At first I thought it was another term for a third year project as some people use the terms ‘project’ and ‘dissertation’ interchangeably. If you are also not sure what a dissertation is, here is the answer…

According to Google a dissertation is ‘an extended piece of work, usually divided into chapters, and containing a significantly more detailed examination of your subject matter and evidence than is the case for most essays’. In simpler terms, it is a long essay (6,000 words in the University of Liverpool) where you explore a specific question or idea using and evaluating a lot of evidence.

6,000 words seems like a lot, however, a dissertation is worth a whole module in third year (30 credits). Also, it is not a traditional taught module, meaning you will need a supervisor. So, if you prefer coursework to an exam you might consider this as a module choice; just make sure, like with your project, you approach potential supervisors early with a topic you would like to explore.

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