Dissertations can be the most rewarding, and for some the most stressful, part of any undergraduate degree course, providing the opportunity for students to pursue a chosen subject in some depth, developing their expertise. The dissertation offers many challenges to those seeking to do it well and this guide is the perfect book for those seeking to succeed with their dissertation.

Judith Burnett helps students to rise to this challenge, making the most of the opportunities which a dissertation offers and overcoming the obstacles to successful completion. This book takes students through the process of doing a dissertation from turning the raw ideas into a research question, designing the research project, choosing appropriate methods, developing a research proposal, planning and executing the project, working with data, writing up, and preparing the work for presentation.

Doing A Dissertation in the Social Sciences is an invaluable guide to avoiding the pitfalls and making the most of the opportunities offered by the dissertation. It ought to be compulsory reading for undergraduate students in any social science discipline.

Ready to Research?

Ready to research?


Know what you are aiming for: track down previous students’ dissertations and have a good look at them

Getting organised:

  • Filing
  • A place to work
  • Making a project plan
  • Managing by objectives: smarter planning
  • Bibliography: start early

Working practices discussion

Study skills


Skill sets and skill set boosters:

  • Academic writing skills
  • Methods and methodology
  • ICTs and typing
  • Numeracy and statistics

The dissertation team and working as part of a group

Ready to Research?

This chapter takes you through a process of reflection upon your preparedness to research, helping you to think through your attitudes to study at this stage in your degree programme, and getting organised. The main purpose of the chapter is to provide you with lots of ideas and checklists which you can use or ignore at your discretion. The aim is to ...

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