Introduction to Honours Projects and Dissertations including submission
Dissertations and Honours Projects
Major assessment tasks include Dissertations, Honours Projects, Independent Study Modules and other modules of 30 credits or more with a single assessment point. A link to the Institutional guidance can be found here. They typically involve researching a topic which has been agreed and approved by a programme tutor. Information on these will be found in your Programme and Module Handbooks. Further information and guidance is available on the Academic Skills Learning Zone website.
Dissertations and honours projects involve students working independently but with supervision provided by an appropriate tutor, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Detailed guidance on what is required will be provided in the Programme and / or Module Handbook, and follows the general rules as set out below.
- Undergraduate student dissertations, where required, are taken in the final stage of study (Honours Level, Level 6) and usually consist of two single modules taken consecutively (or concurrently if the programme regulations permit). The same mark is awarded to each of the single modules. Thus, the dissertation is regarded as a 40 credit entity and cannot be considered for condonement (see Section 6 of the Student Handbook).
- Honours projects are taken in the final stage of study (Honours Level, Level 6) and usually consist of a double module, worth 40 credits and therefore cannot be considered for condonement (See Section 6 of the Student Handbook).
- The undergraduate dissertation/honours project must be an original piece of work and should not exceed 10,000 words (excluding the abstract; any illustrations, figures or tables; reference list; bibliography; and appendices) or the equivalent student effort (e.g. where graphical, video, audio or other non-written material is involved) and normally a 10% margin to the word count will be applied by programme teams.
- The nature and timing of the dissertation/honours project (for full-time and, where relevant, part-time students) and the topic will be subject to approval at Programme Level.
- The postgraduate dissertation must be an original piece of work and is typically either 15,000 or 20,000 words (excluding the abstract, illustrations, reference lists, bibliographies and appendices) or the equivalent student effort (e.g. where graphical, video, audio or other non-written material is involved) and normally a 10% margin to the word count will be applied by programme teams.
- The nature, length and timing of the postgraduate dissertation (for full-time and, where relevant, part-time students) and the topic will be subject to approval at Programme Level.
The Purpose of the Dissertation/Honours Project
The dissertation/honours project enables students to initiate and conduct an investigation on their own, applying methods and techniques relevant to their discipline, using knowledge and skills acquired, and reporting on findings. Dissertations/honours projects demand commitment from the student and provide a showpiece for their depth of understanding on a particular topic.
Dissertation/Honours Project Requirements
Students must follow the guidelines provided by their programme team and respect the word limit set. All sources consulted must be fully acknowledged throughout. (See the Student Guidance on Referencing section of the Handbook for details of the Marjon version of Harvard.) All students must have proof-read the work before submitting it, ensuring that all spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors are corrected.
Presentation Dissertation/ Honours Project
Full guidance and support as to the presentation and formatting of the Dissertation can be found in the Section of this Handbook entitled Formatting a Major Document
Submission of Dissertations/Honours Projects
Students are required to submit two hard copies of their dissertation/honours project, and in addition may be required to submit an electronic copy (please refer to the Programme and/or Module Handbook for details of submission). One hard copy will be retained by the University, the other returned to the student. The programme team will provide additional guidance, in the Programme and/or Module Handbook, on the submission of dissertations/honours projects which include non-written elements.
Submission via Turnitin
When submitting your Honours Project, you are required to produce 2 printed copies and one ‘text only’ version for online submission.
The ‘hard copies’ or printed versions should be submitted by hand to your faculty office before your deadline. These should be formatted and bound as per instructed in the documents found in the Student Handbook in the Presentation of an Honours Project section.
The ‘text only’ version of your Honours Project should be submitted via Turnitin on your Learning Space module page. This version should be stripped of all images and appendices. It is strongly advised that you ‘SAVE AS’ a different version once your Honours Project is finished and then remove the unwanted elements. The ‘text only’ version should be saved in a format compatible with Turnitin - Help for file types in Turnitin.
Honours Projects submitted to Turnitin with images and appendices included are likely to fail to upload due to file size.
It is important to note that all elements of the Honours Project (printed and electronic) must be submitted before the deadline for the submission to be complete.
Components of honours projects which cannot be printed must be submitted to the Faculty Office by the deadline.