I'm nearing the end of my lectures on my MA full time and I am due to start my 18,000 word dissertation around the middle of June with a hand in date of 14th September. I am doing the Masters full time and was told when I applied that I could do the whole thing in a year (including the dissertation over the summer). However, now my lecturer has approached me and suggested I switch to part time to give me more time to do it as people who have done the dissertation over 3 months in the past have lost marks because it was a bit of a squeeze.
My question is, is it possible to do a Masters Dissertation over 3 months? I have a very part-time job (10 hours a week, live away from home so no family commitments and no kids etc) so I can pretty much dedicate my days to it.
Your help and wisdom would be very much appreciated as I would really like to get it done within the year and would like to know your thoughts on this.
Thanks in advance :)
I did my masters dissertation in 4 months whilst working 20 hours a week, so yes, it's doable.
I didn't work that hard on mine to be honest and I think I got 67% which wasn't great but was reflective of my efforts so it was fair!
If you think you can do it, you probably know yourself better than your supervisor does so go ahead and do it.
1500 words a week - only you will know if that is achievable. But it doesn't give you much wriggle room. I assume you have done all your research and literature reviews?
3 months is doable but it will be a huge amount of pressure and I recommend you give it your full attention and get the mark you deserve as you won't want to do another!
This is pretty standard though for a taught masters - the research project is generally only 3-4 months long. Students are expected to complete everything from literature review, to research, to analysis to writing up in that time. It's only 13,000 to 20,000 words generally as well.
In my Masters most people began their proposal and conducting research earlier on in the year. Then the last 3 months were spent frantically still collecting data, analysing, and writing up.
I just wonder why your supervisor is even suggesting that option. Do you have a particularly ambitious protocol? Or have you struggled in the past? It does seem quite normal to be doing your dissertation in that time. I think it meant to be rushed/stressed/full of coffee by nature! Most important question - can you see yourself doing it in that time?
Thanks so much for all of your replies!!!! And although there are a few differing opinions, I have taken your advice on board and I think that knowing the way i work, i think it will be achievable, however, i think i may take the option to go part-time, just in case i need an extra few weeks, as although i really want to get it done by September, i think a few extra weeks won't hurt.
In answer to a couple of questions - no i haven't collected the data yet, but i have approached people i would like to speak to (i'm doing narrative interviews).
And i'm not sure why the lecturer felt the need to suggest i go part-time as i have got good marks on my assignments so far and haven't ever needed an extension etc. There is one theory that because i'm the only one who wants to do it over the summer, it may effect the lecturers' holiday plans as one of them will be my supervisor!!!!! but that's just gossip!!! ha
Some of your stories are amazing and it just goes to show that when you put your mind to something, you can achieve anything!!!!!
Thanks again x
I think it's like anything in life - if you're engaged, interested, committed and motivated, you can achieve what might look impossible from the other side. I actually wrote most of mine - after 2 months' research - in 72 hours, but I find it easier to put words on paper and then hone it over and over again. You know how you write. I may not be a good meticulous example LOL I never told my supervisor just how quickly I wrote the first version (which he never saw!).
I was able to research (excluding some core research that I did at the beginning of the year) write, revise, and submit my MRes dissertation within about two-three weeks. I don't recall leaving my flat during that period as all I did was work, solidly. Thankfully it coincided with a few weeks off work, so I didn't have to worry about getting up at 3am for work.
So it is certainly possible.
It really depends on the nature of your research. As you have human participants, by the sounds of it, it might take you considerably longer to do the more mundane aspects such as recording it all, writing it up, annotating and categorising the results, before you even begin analysing your data.
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