Choosing the Subject of Your Dissertation

If you’re going into your final year of university this Autumn, you’re probably having to decide around now, what you would like your research project to be on. This process will be different for all universities, but I’d like to share some things to consider. I found it quite difficult to choose, but found the following questions helpful.

  1. How much would you like working with the academic running the project? I really liked all of the academics offering the projects I was interested in, but I was definitely keen to work with some more than others.
  2. How interested are you in the topic? You’re going to have to work on this nearly every day for the next year-it’s best to pick something you actually care about.
  3. How well does the project fit in to your future plans, if you have any. It sounds obvious, but if you want to work for a pharmaceutical company, writing a dissertation on something related will give you a lot to talk about in interviews further down the line.
  4. Although you may find the title exciting, can you see the topic holding your interest for the duration of the year? Think about whether the project may develop into something overly complex, or conversely, it may turn out to be monotonous and dull. 

With these thing in mind, I made a table with the project titled on the left hand side. I then ranked each one from 1 (bad), to 10 (good), for each of the categories. No need to be neat, as you can see!

This matrix will reveal your true thoughts on each project. It worked for me, hope it does for you too!


3 thoughts on “Choosing the Subject of Your Dissertation

    1. That’s such a good point. What did you study?
      When I was choosing mine, I didn’t really understand the scope of the projects and was expecting my supervisor to tell me everything. I don’t think I really grasped the concept of a research project! So yes, I agree with your point on feasibility…

      Liked by 1 person

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