Create a great dissertation

A dissertation is a big project. It’s a piece of independent research, but that doesn’t mean you’re supposed to do it alone! There is plenty of support in your department, among your classmates, and at LSE LIFE—across the entire academic year.

We're here to help you get a head start – whether it’s developing skills for writing, reading, and critical thinking; coming up with ideas for research topics; or learning about how to plan and conduct research.

Interesting ideas and well-honed research skills make for the most rewarding Master’s dissertations. These require both time and collaboration with others. LSE LIFE is here to help you start early and progress steadily, from Michaelmas Term all the way to your submission date!

(...and don’t worry if you don’t know precisely what you’d like to research right now! Think about it: you haven't even studied half your programme - maybe your inspiration hasn’t revealed itself yet. Book a one-to-one session with an LSE LIFE Study Adviser to discuss your ideas.)

Check out some of our suggestions about getting started on your dissertation, or carry on reading below for an outline of the resources we have available. 

One-to-one sessions

LSE LIFE Study Advisers

LSE LIFE study advisers are available to talk with you about key skills like reading, making notes, essay writing, research, exam revision, managing your time and other study-related matters. 

Sessions can be booked via the Student Hub, and are available Monday - Friday, 8am - 8pm (London Time, GMT). All of our sessions are currently taking place online via Microsoft Teams.

Bookings open one week in advance and we're currently offering about 30 appointments every day. If you find no appointments available to book in the coming week, or if you have difficulties making use of this resource, please contact us by email at In order to ensure that personalised advice is available to as many students as possible, we ask that you do not book more than one appointment per day with a Study Adviser. 

Research data management team

Are you collecting data as part of your dissertation or thesis? Have you ever wondered how best to organise and back up your data so you don’t have to worry about lost or corrupted files? Whatever questions you have, get in touch with experts on data management who can provide you with guidance and top tips, during the Research data support one-to-one sessions every Thursday 4-5pm.

Research ethics team

Does your research involve human participants or personal data through which individuals could be identified? If so, you’ll need to think about ethics of working with participants, informed consent, and protecting data. Visit the Research data support one-to-one sessions every Thursday 4-5pm for personalised advice on any of these aspects. 


Events and resources

The LSE LIFE Moodle page has resources to help you with many of the tasks you'll encounter in completing your dissertation project. Look for all our resources under the Create a great dissertation heading. Some highlights include:

  • Planning your dissertation research. An introduction to some key project management techniques, including anticipating problems, to help you plan your dissertation research, work out your schedule and keep your research on track.
  • Planning and conducting interviews. Practical tips on recruiting interviewees, using audio/video recording, and developing interview questions.
  • Tips for conducting thematic analysis. You've collected your qualitative data, now you want to analyse the underlying themes. Get practical advice on how to prepare your data and proceed with identifying, analysing, and reporting the patterns you find.
  • Structuring your dissertation. “How many words should the literature review have?” There is no one correct way to put together the written presentation of your research and discoveries, but you can think about what belongs in the various sections of a dissertation and build the foundation for your dissertation.

We're offering a number of events to help you with your dissertation work over thenext few weeks. Remember, you can also book a one-to-one meeting for personalised support with your dissertation. 

What we've got happening about dissertations in LSE LIFE

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