Take responsibility

You need to recognise that your protocol and project are your responsibility. This means you must show that you are proactive, for example by:

  • working independently and reading around your topic, the methods and analyses you will use
  • attending contact sessions and handing in compulsory submissions on time as part of the formative assessment process
  • applying what you have learned in relevant modules, especially Research Methods in Epidemiology with Basic Statistics, where you covered critical appraisal
  • contacting support staff early in the course and giving yourself plenty of time to develop a thorough and well-informed protocol
  • reading successful dissertations so that you know what you are aiming for (see the section on previous dissertations)
  • organising the way in which you record activities related to the conduct of the project and your references
  • taking the initiative in negotiating the practicalities of setting up your project making appointments with staff well in advance, and allowing adequate time for staff to read drafts of your texts. This includes checking holiday plans, especially when the main staff summer vacation period starts in July.
  • making sure that you leave yourself plenty of time in which to reflect on your findings and write your discussion thoroughly – this is often a weakness in dissertations
  • seeking help when you need it and not when it is too late.