Title Page (see appendix 1 for example)
- Declaration (see appendix 2 for example)
The aim of this is to give the reader an overview of the work contained in the dissertation. It should be no longer than one page of A4, single spaced and should make reference to the aims and objectives, the methods of investigation, the main findings and the conclusions reached. It is NOT a description of your contents page.
You should refer to those people who have assisted you in your research. For example, your supervisor, advisors, and those who completed questionnaires and interviews etc. Please ensure you spell names correctly and ensure that you conform with ethical issues (do not name any individuals or companies who have provided you with data or personal information)
- Contents Page
Your contents page should list the sections and subsections of your dissertation followed by references and then appendices. You should provide the title of each appendix and it is common practice to number the pages in the appendix A1, A2, A3 etc. Pages in the contents table are normally numbered in small case Roman numerals.
- List of Tables and Figures
List all, figures, tables and diagrams by number, title and page number
- List of abbreviations
Abbreviations should be listed. In the text, the abbreviation should only be used after its first mention, which should be written in full.
- Introduction (word length guide 1,500 words)
This should set the scene and give the reader a complete overview of what you intend to do. It should include a general introduction, a rationale for doing the research which is based on secondary data, an aim and three to four supporting objectives and/or hypotheses, the proposed methodology, limiting and delimiting factors and an outline of the organisation of the study.
- Literature Review (word length guide 5,000 words)
A literature review is “an interpretation and synthesis of published work” Merriam, 1986, Case Study Research in Education) and it is not simply an extended essay. The next section is a brief overview of the resources available to you via the University of Salford Library to help you search for sources.
- Methodology (word length guide 2,000 words)
You must give reasoned arguments for your choice of research methodology, including any alternate methods that have been deemed less suitable. Selections of your sample should be discussed along with details of how you implemented your methodology (how? where? when? who? why?) information on pilot studies should be included, together with details of any changes made as a result. You must discuss and justify how the field work was undertaken, what happened, and the methods used to analyse data. Reliability and validity issues should be discussed including the steps you have taken to ensure your findings may be relied on by others as accurate and trustworthy. The main emphasis of this chapter is on justifying what you have done and the process you have applied in data collection and analysis.
- Results and Discussion (word length guide 5,000 words)
The results should be presented in a logical manner using tables and figures as necessary. You should discuss the meaning of the results as you present them. Remember to relate your results back to your aim and objectives and literature review. This section should not be just a description of your results but should include a discussion and evaluation of the findings you have made.
- Conclusions and Recommendations (word length guide 1,500 words)
Your conclusions are a summary of your overall findings and should relate to your original aim, objectives and hypotheses. The conclusions should be based on your results and discussions section but should NOT be a regurgitation of this section. The key parts of the literature must be revisited in this section and where appropriate your conclusions should assess implications of your work.
Your recommendations should be based on your conclusions chapter. Where appropriate, your recommendations should include aims, implementation strategies, resource costs and resource benefits.
- Evaluation of Study and Scope for Further Research
This section gives you the opportunity to reflect on what you have done. There may be obvious opportunities for further research other than the same work carried out in a different geographical area or using a different sample.
your evaluation don’t be afraid to state what went wrong preferably with ways that this could be avoided if the research were to be carried out again. Critically evaluate your methodology again with ways that this could be improved. Discuss the limitations of your work.
- Reference List
Throughout your dissertation you will be referring to the work of others. You must provide a list of those sources which you use and refer to in the dissertation. All sources you use must be referenced and must be included in this list. Each source in the list must be in a form that is traceable by the reader—thus you need to include the authors’ names, the year, the title of the source, etc. The School insists that you use the Harvard system. Failure to acknowledge and reference correctly may lead to accusations of plagiarism and if proved, you will be subjected to the disciplinary process of the university. These may be accessed at
Appendices are not marked and hence should not be included in the word count. They should include only relevant information to aid in the understanding of the text, e.g. questionnaires, interview questions, letters and responses to and from third parties, relevant raw data, etc. There is no need to present each complete questionnaire although it is extremely important that this is saved and as it may be required for inspection. This also applies to taped transcripts of any interviews.
Robert Kennedy College will confirm your submission date and give you instructions on how to submit.
If you wish your dissertation to be kept from public view due to the nature of its content (i.e. where this is sensitive or confidential to an organisation for example), you must include the word ‘Embargoed:’ and a date when this can be lifted on your title page. Dissertations without an embargo will be placed in a public place for consultation by staff, students or other interested parties.
Where a student undertaking assessment or reassessment does not submit coursework by the submission due date and time, the following penalties for late work shall be applied to the mark or grade for that work, except as provided in Regulation 1.2.2 (h):
(a) if the work is no more than four working days late and marked then five marks shall be deducted for each working day (or part thereof), but if the work would otherwise pass then the mark for the work shall be reduced to no lower than the pass mark for the component;
(b) If the work is no more than four working days late and marked and the mark is lower than the pass mark, then no penalty shall be applied;
(c) if the work is no more than four working days late and graded either Pass or Fail then no penalty shall be applied;
(d) if the work is more than four working days late then it cannot be submitted and shall be recorded as a non-submission (NS). The penalties for the late submission of work required during the final 60 credit stage of a Master’s Degree (the project stage) shall apply from the submission due date unless an extension has been granted under Regulation 6.4, in which case the penalties shall apply from the deferred submission date determined by the expiry of the extension. See also Regulation 1.2.2 (h)
If you do have personal mitigating circumstances, do not leave it until the last minute. Make sure you complete the relevant form in good time and provide documentary evidence to support your case.
- Ownership of copyright
Any written material, computer programs, or other material produced as part of the dissertation, is produced for the purpose of assessment of the student by members of this and other universities (e.g. external examiners) and copyright is owned by the University of Salford. The supervisor, or other member of this university, is free to use the material as the basis of further dissertations or research and may publish, or otherwise disseminate, information about the dissertation if he or she so wishes. In any publication or presentation, the contribution of the student(s) would be properly identified and acknowledged. This could be by co-authorship, where your contribution is a major part of the published work, or by an acknowledgement, where the contribution is a minor part.
In the event of commercial exploitation of all or part of the dissertation work, the student(s) would be entitled to a fair share of the profits, but the supervisor and the University would also be entitled to shares. If the dissertation had been suggested, or contributed to, by a commercial company, they would also be entitled to a share of the profits. The allocation of shares of profits would be by negotiation, taking account the circumstances of each particular case. One consideration would be whether any further work had been done by the students, or by a company, to develop the dissertation work into a commercial product after completion of the dissertation.
Your dissertation will be double marked (see appendix 03), firstly by your supervisor and secondly by one of the other supervisors. If there is a significant difference in the marks they will be moderated by a third marker. Many dissertations are sent out to external examiners and, thus, some may be marked up to four times. Due to the nature of the marking, no marks will be released until they are ratified at the Examination Board.