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Types of Assignment

How to start, plan and structure your work

Dissertation of final year project: Things you need to know...

Your first point of reference should always be your Assignment Guidelines provided by your Tutor.

Features of a dissertation/final year project:

  • An extended piece of detailed work - it is an investigation.
  • Demonstrates skills in: planning, organising, researching, problem solving, time management as well as oral and written communication skills. Dissertations also demonstrate in-depth subject knowledge.
  • Effective use of headings, bullet points, and a range of graphical illustrations.
  • Written in the academic style: needs to be clear, concise, professional and referenced

Dissertations have sections, which may include:

  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
    • Aims - What are you trying to achieve by doing this investigation?
    • Objectives - What steps are you going to take to achieve this?
  • Literature review - what is current thinking about this subject?
    • Search Methodology - Which database did you use to find information on this topic?
    • Findings - Looking at all the journal articles, what are the overall recommendations or ideas
    • Discussion - How does this apply to your overall Dissertation question? What gaps have you identified which you can now research for yourself in more detail?
  • Research method -  what are you going to do to research this subject? what research method have you selected?
  • Ethical issues - are there any ethical issues to be considered - eg: how is data going to be kept safe?   
  • Findings and discussion  - from your investigations what have you found out? And what does it mean? Here you present findings (what you have found out from your investigation) and compare and contrast with evidence in the literature review.
  • Recommendations (if requested) - after doing this investigation and research what do you recommend?  
  • References and/or bibliography
  • Appendices

Art Books,  have sections, which may include:

  • Introduction
  • Background 
  • Methodology 
  • Critical Anaylsis
  • Conclusion
  • Development process including reflective elements
  • References and/or bibliography

Essential Staffordshire University guidance: research ethics

undefinedStaffordshire University Ethics Guidance and Forms



Need to know more...

HIGHER EDUCATION ACADEMY AND SHEFFIELD HALLAM UNIVERSITY (2013) Guide to undergraduate dissertations (Accessed: 20th July 2020) 

A note taking strategy that can be very useful for dissertations or longer pieces of work is the Grid Method Grid notes - YouTube [Accessed 10 February 2023]

Final year project back catalogue

"We are very proud of our students and the hard work that goes into their final year projects, GradEX is our showcase exhibition of students’ final year projects to industry experts." 

Visit the GradEx Projects portal to view the online exhibition.