Information Studies


MA/MSc in Digital Humanities Dissertation

The dissertation is a major piece of work (usually between 10,000 and 12,000 words in length) undertaken by the individual student under the guidance of a supervisor. Full details for current students are in the Dissertation Moodle page (login needed). The dissertation must be submitted on or before 1st September.

The importance of the dissertation.

The dissertation is a student's opportunity to do original research with the support of a supervisor. It is the single most important piece of work that students on a Master's programme complete and it is the one that employers will be most interested in.

From my dissertation feedback, I understand where I did well and where I can do better. This makes the project indeed become a meaningful experience for me, as this is a process of learning from which I will gain more insights into the academic research in the UK. Now, I do appreciate this! And I sincerely want to tell my programme mates in future that please do take your dissertation very seriously, I mean, try to make it as perfect as you can. Then you will understand the value inside. (Fan An, international student 2016)

The Stephen Robertson Prize

UCLDH are pleased to award the Stephen Robertson prize for the best dissertation in the UCL MA/MSc in Digital Humanities, sponsored by Microsoft.

The first recipient of the £500 prize was named from the finishing cohort of UCL Digital Humanities MA/MSc students in November 2014, and the prize will continue for 5 years in the first instance. We thank Microsoft, and Stephen Robertson, for their generosity. More details are on the UCLDH blog.

Prizes awarded to:

  • Jin Gao, (2014) 'What might we learn about attitudes to Open Access from a linguistic examination of a major relevant discussion forum?'
  • Rachel Yales, (2015) 'Hoisting Anchor: exploring the interaction between time, place, space and text in Early Modern American travel narratives using digital technologies.'
  • Shiye Sa, (2016) 'A comparison of semantic web ontologies for conservation modelling in cultural heritage.'
  • Bingjun Liu, (2017) 'Museum website transformation from desktop to mobile: how has mobile computing changed user expectations.'
  • Marco Humbel, (2018) 'The application of HTR on Sir Hans Sloane's Catalogues: A case-study on the Miscellanies catalogue.'

UCLDH Dissertation Prize

Following the 5 years of the Stephen Robertson Prize, UCLDH has continued this with awarding its own £100 prize for the best dissertation from the MA/MSc Digital Humanities programme each year.

Prizes awarded to:

  • Marta Baldracchi, (2019) 'The diaries of Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath:
    a corpus-based stylistic and semantic comparison'.


Dissertation topics

The topic needs to be one that can be covered adequately within the time and space allowed, and for which the Department can provide adequate supervision. The following list gives some ideas of areas where we would welcome students getting involved in existing research; note that these are just examples of topic areas and the student would be expected to specify the research question(s) and develop the broader research framework. Suggested research areas. (login required)

Dissertation proposal

Full-time students should submit a proposal by email to their Programme Director on or before the end of Reading Week in Term 2. Part-time students should this by the end of Term 1 in the academic year in which they plan to complete. The proposal (of about 500-750 words in length) should include:

  • a provisional title for the dissertation
  • a statement of aims (the questions or areas of practical implementation you will address)
  • a central research question (what problems will this helps us with? what will this help us to understand better?)
  • 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.