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The dissertation defence

Many students dread the day when they have to defend their dissertation. My advice to them is don’t stress about the Dissertation defence. Those nice lecturers are actually looking for reasons to make you pass, not the way round. Yours is an easy task, just help them to see why you should pass.

1. Do not try to memorise anything, just understanding is enough-Biggest problem with memorising is that you cant speak off the cuff unless they ask the same exact question you prepared for.

2. What is your dissertation about? -Be able to confidently speak to someone in a simple conversational manner and explain to them what is in your dissertation. Practice with peers to gain confidence

3. You should be able to explain your methodology. What did you do and why did you decide to do it the way you did? This is the part that demonstrates that you actually did a real study. if you cant explain what you claim to have done there might be question marks.

4. On methodology you might be asked why you did not do things differently. DO NOT TRY TO DEFEND YOUR GLARING SHORTCOMINGS. It is better to simply accept that “sure my research would have been better if I had taken that into account.” You are not expected to be perfect but you will definitely be marked down for trying to defend wrong things. DO NOT BE TOO PROTECTIVE ABOUT YOUR WORK.

5. You should be able to explain the link between parts of your dissertation. There must be a logical flow from the topic to he conclusions and you must be able to explain for instance how your conclusions relate to the objectives.

6. You should be able to explain your findings and how you manipulated the data to come up with the findings.

7. Mind your attitude. If a question comes up for the second time just answer it again not to say “But I have already answered that” or “its there on page blah blah”.

8.Expect some negative feedback and requests for you to make changes here and there. Its a normal part of the process.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, YOU NEED TO HAVE A DISSERTATION THAT IS WORTH DEFENDING.  No dissertation means no dissertation defence to plan for. If you are struggling to come up with an acceptable dissertation you can consult professionals.


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