I wrote a blog a few months ago about being made redundant and how that had led to me going back to being a full time student. Well, this is a follow up to that blog, it’s about the final stages of that MSc process – the dissertation! I have now successfully managed to negotiate my way through that first 2 terms of lectures and seminars, as well as the 6 assessed essays, achieving marks well beyond what I thought was possible at my age and after so long away from the academic world. Now to the really difficult bit, choosing a subject, researching it and writing it all up as a dissertation.
Embarking on an MSc dissertation is like taking a journey of discovery, not just about your topic but also about your own thinking and that of others. It’s about rediscovering the challenges and opportunities presented by an issue, finding out what others have written about it, how they researched it and what conclusions they draw from that process. The journey of discovery starts with an idea, an often ill-informed notion that is of interest but perhaps little more than that. This idea is then reworked, explored, reframed and revised before a plan can be put together, a plan that takes you on the next stage of the journey where discovery becomes central to the process.