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Subject guides

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.

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.

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.

If you want to access statistical software such as SPSS, Nvivo or Minitab to analyse your results, you can use these on University computers or download to use at home. If you need help, email, or visit the Help Desk on Floor 4 of the Library during opening hours

You can use LinkedIn Learning for online courses on using SPSS and other statistical software, or get support from our IT Training team.


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 there isn’t anything that is 100% accurate.

1.  Word on the Web

Available as part of your Office 365 package, transcribe converts speech (recorded directly in Word or from an uploaded audio file) to a text transcript with each speaker individually separated.  After your conversation, interview, or meeting, you can revisit parts of the recording by playing back the timestamped audio and edit the transcription to make corrections.  You can save the full transcript as a Word document or insert snippets of it into existing documents.  

2. Otter Voice Notes

This tool can be accessed online with your University email account, there is also an app available for apple and android devices.  Transcripts can be downloaded as a text file and opened in Word. 

The standard ‘free’ account allows for up to 600 minutes a month of transcription for free and if more is required, you can subscribe to a premium account and get 6000 minutes.  Otter is ideal for producing transcripts of audio recordings and will handle many at once.  

3.  MS Stream

This is also available as part of your Office 365 package.  You can upload as many videos as you like, captions can be automatically created, edited within Streams and then downloaded as a transcript and opened in Word. Stream is idea for producing transcripts of video recordings.


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