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Dissertation Survival Guide: Step Three: Carry out your Research

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

You should have thought about the methodology beforehand, but this is the stage when it needs to be made clear! We have lots of books (print and online) on research methods, so don’t just stick to the items on your reading lists… there is plenty of choice! You might want to talk to your tutors or academic skills about a methodology in your subject area. 

Design your research tools

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

If you’re using tools like surveys and don’t know where to start, or want to access software like SPSS to analyse your results, IT support on Floor 4 of the Library are the ones to ask. 

You can also book on the SPSS workshops run by the IT Training team.  A number of dates have been scheduled starting in November.  You must book on the workshops in advance.  


Specialist software for transcribing interviews is available.  It can do this in several ways:

  • You can listen to a short part of an audio or video files and then pause the replay, and type the words you have heard. 
  • You can use a feature called 'autoloop' which gives you a few seconds to type, and then starts playing again when you have typed the words that were spoken. With this feature, there is no need to keep pressing pause and play. It is continuous. 
  • You can try using 'dictate' for which you will need a headset with a microphone. You listen to a short phrase, pause and then speak it back. It will add the words for you. You will need to add punctuation and layout appropriately. The success of this depends on how well the computer understands your voice and accent and the results can be variable- but it's worth a try and it saves you time. If you want to use the software just as a basic dictation tool, don't load in an audio file. Just click 'dictate' and start talking. 

We have a limited number of licences to 'loan', when you are ready to start your transcription work. Priority is given to students with disabilities. We will ask for your licence back when you have finished your work. Licences are available to buy from Wreally for $20, and the software is free to trial for 7 days. 

For help and advice, please ask