The effects of the recent changes in higher education funding /

You will need to print and bind two copies. One copy will be returned to you the other will be kept by the college.

Title Page –  Show the title of the dissertation and any sub title

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         The full name of the author should be in the centre of the page.

         ‘University Centre at Blackburn College’

         ‘School of Education”

          Month and year of submission

The word count (of the text only, not appendices) should be typed at the bottom right hand side of the page.

Paper and Text

The dissertation must be printed or typed on A4 size paper, single sided.

The pages should be numbered consecutively at the bottom centre of the page.

The text should be in 1.5 or double line spaced in font size 12 inclusive either Ariel or Calibri.

Headings should be in same font no larger than size 14.

Quotations should be in single spacing.


Margins at the binding left hand side should be not less than 40mm. Top, bottom and side margins should be not less than 15mm.


A summary of not more than 300 words, which must fit on to one side of an A4 page, should be placed immediately after the title page. This can be typed in single spacing in a font size  12. Be concise and don’t reference or use quotes in this part.   

Dedication and acknowledgements

These are at the discretion of the author.

Table of contents – An index of everything in the dissertation – it should not include the title and contents page

The table of contents must list in sequence, with page numbers: all chapters, sections and subsections; the list of references; the bibliography; list of abbreviations; and any appendices. The list of tables and illustrations (if used) must follow the table of contents, and should list, with page numbers, all the tables, photographs, coloured photocopies, diagrams, etc., in the order in which they appear in the text.

Use the following to check you have included everything in your dissertation

  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 2: Literature review
  • Chapter 3: Methodology
  • Chapter 4: Results and discussion
  • Chapter 5: Conclusion

At the end of the whole work there should be a full bibliography. Any appendices should come after the full bibliography.

The longest chapters will be the Literature review and Methodology. The Introduction and Conclusion chapters will be short.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Establish the focus of your dissertation and why it is important to you.

Make sure that the readers of your work will be able to find the answers to these questions in Chapter 1:

  • What is your focus?
  • Why have you selected this focus for your dissertation?
  • What were the main aims and objectives of the research?
  • What is the significance of the focus?
  • What is the context of the research?  (If your dissertation is focussed on one particular client, industry or technology.)
  • What is your background?
  • Where is the research going to take place and why?
  • What are you hoping will be the impact?
  • What are your research aims and objectives?
  • How will your dissertation unfold/arranged?

If you wrote a good proposal you should be able to use this as a basis for Chapter 1.

Remember that this is the introduction to your dissertation, and not an introduction to the topic of your dissertation.


Chapter 2: Literature review

You will be rewarded for:

  • providing an introductory paragraph which explains what is discussed in the chapter and why it is necessary to include this as part of the dissertation.
  • demonstrating that you conducted a thorough literature search and have read widely
  • demonstrating that you have read up to date material
  • summarising what you have read thematically (and not author by author)
  • highlighting trends in the discussion of your topic, for example over time; by geography; by sector
  • commenting on the value of what you have read (without discussing the actual topic)
  • organising your findings from the literature review to fit in with the main themes of your research project
  • identifying gaps in the literature
  • demonstrating that you assimilated and understood what you have read and what you have written

Chapter 3: Methodology

The Methodology chapter is used to justify the choice of methods employed during the research project.

You need to discuss the practical issues you need to resolve to ensure you are able to gather the data you require.

There is also a discussion of the theoretical nature of research itself. In other words why you chose the methods you chose to use.

General approach to your research (your research stance/philosophy)

Selection and description of methods you chose to use and why, perhaps making links to the  questions you wish to answer. 


  • Who will I use as research participants? Why?
  • Who do I need for consent? Why?


  • What stance are you taking as a researcher? Why?
  • What data collection techniques are the most appropriate? Why?
  • What are the strengths and limitations of the various data collection techniques? Why?
  • What other data collection methods could I use? Why did I reject these?
  • What ethical issues do I need to consider? Why?


  • Where will I conduct the research? Why?


  • When will be the best time to conduct the research? Why?
  • When will I know if I have enough data?


  • How long do I have to conduct the research? Why?
  • How will I record the data? Why?
  • How did I select my research sample? Why?
  • How will I ensure that my research has reliability?
  • How will I analyse the data? Why?

Group these questions and discuss under the following headings.

  • General approach to your research
  • Selection and description of methods related to your objectives
  • Selection of samples
  • Ethical statement
  • Discussion of how your research adheres to validity and reliability
  • Methods of analysis and presentation of results

Chapter 4: Results and discussion

You will be rewarded for:

  • Introduction – providing an introductory paragraph which explains what is discussed in the chapter
  • A review of the questions in the light of your findings.
  • A review of how the objectives inform the aim.
  • Have the objectives been accomplished? If not, why not?
  • Recommendations for action
  • Impact of methodology
  • Impact on you

Chapter 5: Conclusion

This should be a conclusion to the whole project (and not just the research findings). Check that your work answers the following questions:

  • Did the research project meet its aims (check back to introduction for stated aims)?
  • What are the main findings of the research?
  • Are there any recommendations?
  • Do you have any conclusions on the research process itself?
  • Where should further research be focused?


Your bibliography should be set out following the appropriate format.  


Appendices follow after the bibliography. These should be used for genuine purposes, for example to provide a copy of the research instrument. Appendices should not be used as a dumping ground for material that you have not managed to incorporate into the main text.

Formatting your appendix/appendices

The heading should be:
• APPENDIX or Appendix, followed by a letter or number
It should be centred and in bold.
Each appendix must begin on a new page.
Appendices must be listed in the table of contents (if used).
The page number(s) of the appendix/ appendices will follow on from the body of the text.
Appendices may precede or follow the reference list.







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