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Subject guides

Dissertation Survival Guide: Methodology & Data Analysis

Guidance on how to complete your Dissertation/Final Year Project and make the most of Library and IT Services and Resources

Decide on your methodology

Writing a dissertation usually involves doing some original research. This may use qualitative methods such as interviews, or quantitative methods such as surveys. What method is most suitable for you will depend on what you need to find out.

We have lots of books (print and online) on research methods, so don’t just stick to the items on your reading lists. See below for some selected titles that are available from the library. You could also talk to your supervisor or academic skills tutors about suitable methodology in your subject area. 

Design your research tools

Next, you need to design your research tools before collecting your data.

Try searching Summon for topics such as "qualitative research methods", "quantitative research methods", "survey design", and more for ideas of how you could collect data for your research. Or, see some recommended books below.

There are also lots of videos and courses on LinkedIn Learning to help you learn about research methods. Try this for example: Quantitative vs. qualitative research.

Recommended books on research methodology

Start analysing your results

So, you have your data, but what does it mean? This is where you put YOUR data into the context of the literature you’ve already found. There are various tools available from the University that can help you analyse what you have found.


If you've used a qualitative method such as interviewing, you will need to transcribe these to analyse them. Manually transcribing interviews can be a long and laborious process. There are three tools available to you as Huddersfield students that can help speed up the process. 

Remember, they are not perfect and the accuracy will depend on the quality of your audio recordings. Recent feedback from students suggests that they are between 85% - 95% accurate so some editing will be required. Unfortunately no automatic transcription tool is 100% accurate.

For more information, please see the Transcribe Audio and Subtitle Video pages on Brightspace.  For help and advice, please ask