University Of Cumbria Dissertation

University of Cumbria logo

University Of Cumbria Dissertation

Dissertation structure

Dissertations offer you a great opportunity to investigate a topic of particular interest to you with a view to discovering new knowledge or new practice.

TIP – Firstly, there are different types of dissertation so ensure you read your dissertation assignment brief carefully to see what you are expected to do. laptop
We will cover the following topics in this guidance:
1. Types of dissertations
2. Finding a topic and writing proposals
3. Structure
4. Skills
5. Sections
6. Supervisors
7. Further information

1. Types of dissertations

Dissertations usually fall into one of two main types;

  1. Research based i.e. you carry out a piece of original research as part of your study.
  2. Review or audit. This could be a detailed literature review perhaps combined with reflective practice and asking for recommendations to develop a new idea, procedure or policy

2. Finding a Topic and Proposals

Ask yourself:

  • Is the topic of academic significance?
  • Is the topic manageable in the time available?
  • Is it a suitably narrow focus?
  • What is your own standpoint on the topic? How do your values and beliefs affect your research?
  • Have you created a balanced and objective approach to your research?


3. Structure

Research Dissertation
A fairly typical structure is as follows:
• title page
• contents page
• abstract
• introduction
• literature review
• methodology
• results:
• findings
• conclusion
• recommendations (where appropriate)
• appendices (if necessary)
• reference list/bibliography (using Cite them Right)

framework research dissertation

Review Dissertations

An sample structure could be:

• title
• contents page
• abstract
• introduction
• main body – search methodology, lit review, critical discussion divided into themes or issues
• conclusion
• Proposal (if required)
• appendices (if necessary)
• references / bibliography (using Cite them Right)

framework review dissertation

4. Skills

Many of the skills you use in completing your essays will be vital when writing your dissertation. Why not take a little time to refresh these skills by clicking on the following links: