University for the creative arts dissertation

University for the creative arts dissertation

Dissertation Proposal

Tackling a dissertation

Identify your general area of interest

  • You will need to sustain this interest for the length of the unit, so choose a topic that really interests you. It might be something you have already come across in your studies and want to investigate further, or it might be something that could impact on your future plans and career path.

    It should:

    • Enable you to demonstrate an in-depth and substantial piece of research.
    • Be something that you can locate adequate resources for.
    • Be relevant and of interest to other practitioners in your field – it could be the subject of active debate.

    Getting from a general idea to a focused plan for a dissertation will take research and planning. You might start by brainstorming ideas, or using mind-maps or other means to generate related ideas:

    • Use this time to identify your objects of enquiry (for example, a specific artist or work).
    • Use the objects of enquiry in combination with your area of interest to generate key words (for example, feminism, guerrilla girls, performance).
    • Use these key words to do a literature search.

    University for the creative arts dissertation

  • Read around your subject to stimulate further ideas

    You will need to thoroughly investigate your area of research. Make notes of themes and key concepts in your own words – do not copy chunks or phrases, just changing the odd word. Use the UCA Harvard referencing system to keep records of your sources – failing to do this may lead to plagiarism. If you record a direct quotation, use quotation marks and note down the author’s surname, year of publication and page number next to it. You should:

    • Organise your notes in a way that is easily accessible.
    • Critically analyse as you go along making links and noting down new ideas or questions that arise.
    • Update your mind-map/plan with information from your research.
    • Ask yourself whether you need to modify your original ideas in the light of your research.

    See the Reading and Note Taking study guide for further advice.