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MA/MSc in Digital Humanities Dissertation
The dissertation is a major piece of work undertaken by the individual student under the guidance of a supervisor. The dissertation should be between 10,000 and 12,000 words in length not including footnotes or bibliography (note that penalties apply to any dissertation above the upper limit). Full information is available in the MA/MSc DH dissertation handbook. The dissertation must be submitted on or before 2rd September 2013, and no extension is possible.
Choosing your topic
The topic needs to be one that can be covered adequately within the time and space allowed, and for which the School can provide adequate supervision. The list below gives some ideas of areas where we would welcome students getting involved in existing research. You can also search the list of past titles (login required) for details of recent work that other students have completed.
The link above will take you to a list of some areas in which you might like to do some research and a member of staff to contact about it.
Borrowing previous dissertations
If you have searched the list and there are particular titles that interest you, you may want to look at one or two of the dissertations themselves; you can ask for them in the departmental office. As they have to brought from a store, they are not available on immediate demand. Many students find it useful to look at existing dissertations to get a general idea of the scope and manner of presentation. Before doing so please look at the instructions on how to borrow dissertations.
Before proceeding with your proposal you should discuss it with an appropriate member of staff and obtain confirmation that it is a suitable topic. You will probably need to do some preliminary work before putting together the proposal.
Full-time students must submit a proposal (by email: no cover sheet required) to your Programme Director by the end of Reading Week in Term 2 at the latest. Part-time students must do this by the end of Term 1 in the academic year in which you plan to complete. The proposal should be a document, preferably a pdf, of about 500-750 words in length. It should include:
- a provisional title for the dissertation
- a statement of aims (what questions you will seek to answer; what areas of practical implementation you will address)
- an explanation of your choice of topic (why you feel it is a useful or important subject)
- an indication of the methodology that you propose to follow (how you will approach the questions you are raising; whether the report will build on existing published or unpublished work; what primary or secondary sources you will use)
- a short bibliography (this is particularly important if your topic will be researched mainly from secondary sources as you must show that there is sufficient material available).
Note that the proposal is an academic document and as such must conform to the departmental and College guidelines particularly with regard to citation and the referencing of sources consulted.