Department: MSc Structural Engineering
Module Description: Having successfully completed the six modules in the taught stage of the programme, students who wish to proceed to the Masters degree (Dissertation route) take the dissertation stage. The dissertation is intended to give students an opportunity to focus on an aspect of the taught subject matter and investigate it in more detail. This will help them consolidate their capacity for independent study, and to learn some of the techniques needed to conduct research and develop knowledge in the subject area of the programme of study. The student is required to research an engineering related topic and include innovative approaches and solutions.
This is a research project. The only piece of work to be submitted for examination is a dissertation, and this is a written report on the research. There are thus two aspects to consider: the research and the writing. Both are governed by implicit rules common to the discipline of formal research; part of the students’ training is to become familiar with these rules. Typically the dissertation word count will range between 20K-40K words, excluding references and appendices.
There is no specific text for this module. The student is expected to read some items from the suggested reading list below as well as seek other sources that are relevant to the dissertation.
Bailey, S. (2015). Academic writing: a handbook for international students. 4th edn. Oxon: Routledge Falmer.
Booth, W., Colomb, G. and Williams, J. (2016). The craft of research. 4th edn. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
Cooley, L. and Lewkowicz, J. (2003). Dissertation writing in practice: turning ideas into text. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
Giltrow, J. (2002). Academic writing: writing and reading across the disciplines. 3rd edn. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview.
Murray, R. (2011). How to write a thesis. 3rd edn. Berkshire: Open University Press.
Murray, R. (2013). Writing for academic journals. 3rd edn. Berkshire Open University Press.
Rudestam, K. and Newton, R. (2015). Surviving your dissertation; a comprehensive guide to content and process. 4th edn. Newbury Park, California: Sage.
Sharp, J. and Howard, K. (2002). The management of a student research project. 3rd edn. Aldershot: Gower.
Turabian, K. (2018). A manual for writers of research papers, theses and dissertations. 9th edn. University of Chicago Press.