Teaching & Learning


Signpost dissertation support for your Masters' students

28 May 2019

Share UCL resources and support for postgraduate taught students writing their dissertations

UCL Science Library

A dissertation is a great opportunity to for students to bring together all the knowledge and skills of analysis and critical thinking they’ve been developing over their time at UCL.

A strong dissertation could be the springboard for a doctoral study, and it will be an important indicator of your students' aptitude for research. If they're not thinking of further postgraduate study, this in-depth exploration of their chosen subject could be a great topic of conversation at job interviews and help them to follow a specialist pathway in their career.

Here are seven ways students can kick start their dissertations:   

  • speak to their teaching team to find out what resources and activities their department offers to support them through their dissertation.
  • check out the study skills pages on the Current Students website – Research and writing for dissertations and projects is a series of online modules, from project and time management to structuring the argument.
  • contact subject Liaison and Site librarians in UCL Library Services offer face-to-face training and can point students to a very rich range of resources. In some departments, training sessions are organised for students as part of teaching: where this is not the case, students are welcome to contact their subject liaison or site librarian (see the full list) to arrange a session (either individual or group sessions for students on the same programme). They also give support and training on using reference management softwares – Endnote and Mendeley.
  • access UCL Library Services range of guides for independent learning (see Reference Management). From here they can also access self-guided training materials on other areas such as searching for resources.
  • access academic writing support: UCL Centre for Languages and International Education (CLIE) is offering 30 minute one-to-one academic writing tutorials; there's UCL Writing Lab or the Students' Union Writing and Language Support programme for non-native English speaking students. The Academic Phrasebank is a general online resource for academic writers and The Internet Grammar of English is a free online course in English grammar written primarily for university undergraduates.
  • get one-to-one help from UCL Digital Skills Development team or take one of their IT-related courses.
  • log into LinkedIn Learning (formerly lynda.com) with their UCL ID and access free online video tutorials, ranging from research design,to digital tools that support long-form writing projects, to statistical software for running quantitative tests.