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Dissertation layout

Here is a suggested layout for your dissertation.


(a) Preface section

(i) Abstract

(ii) Title page

(iii) Acknowledgements

(iv) Table of contents

List of tables

(b) Text section

Chapter I: Introduction and critical review of the literature leading to the research question(s)

Chapter II: Research methods (strategy, data collection methods and framework for data analysis/interpretation)

Chapter III: Findings and analysis: research question one

Chapter IV: Findings and analysis: research question two

Numbering of later chapters dependent on number of research questions

Chapter V: Critical reflections on literature review, research questions and research methods. Summary of findings. Recommendations (if appropriate).

(c) Reference section


Bibliography (if appropriate)



Further points

  • With the supervisor's guidance, students may decide on an alternative format to the one above.
  • The course Harvard style is recommended for the completion of the dissertation. Detailed guidance is provided within the student handbook.
  • It is preferable if you can word process the dissertation from the beginning so that first drafts are word processed for your supervisor to read.
  • Ensure that all drafts and the final copy are double or one-and-a-half line-spaced
  • Ensure that pages are numbered and that you have used generous margins throughout.
  • You are required to write an abstract of about 250 words which appears in the dissertation at the beginning. It bears no page number and does not appear in the list of contents.
  • Following the introduction of electronic submission, only one electronic copy should be submitted using the normal assignment submission process. This will be printed by the course team.

The dissertation will be assessed against the learning outcomes described in the University of Warwick module specification and postgraduate assessment criteria.

After marking
Candidates should not have dissertations hard bound until they have been received marks. A hard bound copy is requested and valued by the University. This enables other students to view your work.