A unique online course on how to plan for and undertake a dissertation. Learn how to develop a research proposal, literature review and dissertation.

Course CodeBHT330
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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The purpose of the dissertation is to show that you are able to write (AND PRESENT) in an academic way, carry out research into the relevant academic literature and write about the research in a logical and clear way.

To complete your dissertation, you have to show your marker that you can –

  • Set a relevant title for your research.
  • Decide on aims for your research.
  • Carry out a background research relevant to your dissertation.
  • Summarise and clearly explain the research.
  • Discuss relevant points.
  • Argue relevant points related to your dissertation title.
  • Follow the correct format for the dissertation.
  • Write within the appropriate word limits.
  • Use academic language.
  • Write references.
  • Remember that this is an academic piece of writing. You may choose to study something practical eg. The Development of a Cottage Garden. That is a suitable title, but you must write academically about what is a cottage garden, the plants that are suitable, soil composition, garden designs and so on.
  • Present your Dissertation to an audience

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Developing a Research Proposal
  2. Background Research
  3. Literature Review
  4. Research Methodology
  5. Data Analysis
  6. Preparation of First Draft
  7. Preparation of Second Draft
  8. Submission of Final Documentation
  9. Presentation

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Due to the wide variety of terminology surrounding dissertations and thesis from country to country we will define the term dissertation as not a singular research project that satisfies requirements for a higher degree, but to a very substantial project that is submitted in part to satisfy a coursework higher degree. The aim of a dissertation for a post graduate level qualification is to provide evidence of an understanding of the field, and which may also contribute to the knowledge in that field.


As such this module allows the student to engage in research on a topic that is of particular interest to them as well as demonstrating not only their research, analytical and investigative skills, but also their ability to work independently with self determination.


This module will require a substantial commitment from the student. Not only will the student be engaged in independent research and will be required to submit substantial assignments they will also have to verbally defend their research once it is completed.


This module is not a workshop or a research project, it represents a very large commitment of time and effort and will result in a piece of original work by the student.
What Are You Considering as a Topic?

Prior to commencing your dissertation you will need to submit a dissertation proposal for approval before you may commence study in this module.  This will allow us to assign an appropriate tutor.   If you already have a preferred tutor please put include this in the proposal.

It is most likely that the most suitable topic for you will be one that lies within the field of your personal or professional interests.  There are several reasons for this;

  • Due to the high relevance of the topic to your own interests it is most likely that you yourself will be highly motivated and will pursue your research with vigour and interest.
  • By keeping the topic within your personal or professional interests it is likely that you will already have a high level of prior knowledge pertaining to the topic. This can easily guide you to given problems or gaps in the research on which to base your research question.
  • By selecting a topic related to personal or professional interests it may assist you with access to data collection, thus providing you with easy logistical support.

It is also possible to select a topic that they have already spent sometime in previous study or it may be closely related to a module already completed thus providing you with a relationship with the previous tutor who may also be able to guide you in your topic selections.  It is well worth considering the following points:

  • It should be a subject that you will be able to complete within the given time frame
  • There need to be adequate resources and materials available to ensure completion

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