Be realistic….some pointers from experience

  • You need to feel confident in the “ownership” of your protocol and project: if you don‟t really understand what you are doing then you can‟t expect others to understand either. If the protocol or project feels uncomfortably vague to you, then it probably is!
  • Some students are overambitious in what they think they can achieve and try to do far too much. Doing something highly focused in detail, and doing it really well, is far better than having a very large and vague protocol or project. Getting this balance is not always easy – keep asking!
  • Sometimes students find it difficult to disentangle a dissertation from a work-based activity, such as a health needs assessment when one part of that may be sufficient if the right question is asked.
  • The write-up of your dissertation is not as a report and so, if you are familiar with that style, you need to be aware that you will need to adopt a different approach.
  • Everything takes longer than you anticipate - especially if you need to get ethical approval.