Geography Dissertation


The dissertation can be on any topic approved by the School, and is normally developed from the initial 2700-word research proposal written in year 2.

The dissertation comprises undertaking the research project, including:

  • Discussion of the project and its aims in the context of relevant published and unpublished research
  • The selection and justification of a suitable methodology; survey and evaluation of the sources of information used
  • The actual execution of the project by addressing the stated aims and research context, using the methodology selected and justified by the student

Students usually conduct their fieldwork during the summer vacation preceding year 3 and/or during semester 1.

The dissertation will normally consist of a reflective account of the ways in which data was collected in the field (including gathering of material from archives, interviews and by other methods as appropriate), an analysis of the materials gathered and a discussion of the overall results and findings in the light of the dissertation's aims and research context.


  • Dissertation tutorials (number determined by supervisor and students)
  • 3 x dissertation workshops
  • Dissertation office hours/additional meetings at supervisees' request 


  • 10,000-word dissertation (100%)

Key skills

Critical research skills including:

  • Synthesising and analysing information
  • Refining and critiquing own ideas
  • Identifying appropriate research techniques and conducting fieldwork
  • Meeting long deadlines for independent study
  • Balancing tasks and time frames in project work
  • Writing for different audiences