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Dissertation AED MSc

Half (50%) of the final grade for the MSc course is allotted to a 15,000 word dissertation conducted under the supervision of a member of the academic staff on an agreed topic. In most cases the dissertation will report on original data collected by the student. Projects can and have been conducted all around the world, and also here in London. There is no obligation to go abroad. For examples of past projects visit the Past Dissertations page.

Guidelines on preparation and submission of the dissertation are provided in a separate section in the UCL Postgraduate Taught Student Handbook.

Timetable

September - December

With the help of the Masters tutor, determine possible topics & identify supervisor; Discuss approaches, the existence of relevant data sets & further data requirements; Discuss appropriate literature searches and formulation of research proposals in order to secure funding & research permission (where appropriate).

January - March

By mid-term: provide a provisional title for the dissertation and a brief synopsis; Present planned dissertation research to the peer group during sessions of the core course; Receive and address verbal feedback; By end-term: have a detailed plan for fieldwork (if appropriate) & research permission obtained.

April- September

Fieldwork or other Research (usually 8 weeks); Analysis and write up.

Supervision

Students will have one supervisor but may consult any other staff who teach on the MSc programme. Supervisors will be available for regular email, Skype and/or face to face consultation over term-time and the summer vacation, although in the latter they may be away for considerable periods and in this case programme tutors will provide back-up supervision where necessary.

Fundraising/ costs of fieldwork

Whilst students will need to secure funding for their fieldwork projects themselves - (an extremely valuable skill to acquire for further professional work) - they are assisted in this task by the staff teaching on the Masters who are able to suggest possible avenues for funding and help students write research funding proposals. This is an area where the staff have considerable experience and HERG also provides a forum for discussion of funding opportunities as they arise and lists available funding opportunities on the intranet.

Students from this Masters course have been extremely successful in securing funding for their fieldwork, with recent funds coming from, amongst others: The departmental Bursaries Fund; Tropical Agriculture Award Fund; Chadwick Trust: Travelling Scholarships and Fellowships; The Parkes Foundation; and the Society for Latin American Studies (SLAS) Postgraduate grants.