Student Academic Success Support for Masters dissertation students

By Dr Sarah Watson, Student Academic Success Advisor

The Student Academic Success Advisors are delighted to be offering their support to Masters dissertation students within the Business School. While the dissertation supervisor provides expert advice for the content of the dissertation, we help students with the process of producing their dissertation.

How we can help

During a fruitful Zoom appointment with an MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation student, we discussed how to undertake a research project that was original, yet achievable.

The student’s supervisor provided relevant literature related to the topic and we spoke about how to use this literature as a springboard for developing new paths of enquiry. Keeping this in mind, we examined the student’s provisional project description and highlighted certain areas in need of development and clarity.

In these appointments we aim to provide students with clear instructions and achievable goals. More importantly, we hope to instil confidence in our cohort and encourage a passion for research. Student feedback suggests we are meeting these aims:

“Your kindness in offering to help and support my dissertation in this very challenging time has not only assuaged my anxiety and fear, but also provided me with stronger confidence that I will succeed, academically, professionally, and personally.

One of my main goals here at Sussex is to learn, develop and master knowledge, and to advance my research skills, in particular, as I am new to the research field.

I strongly hope that with your continued support I will successfully graduate from Sussex with greater pride and much stronger confidence that I will be able to achieve my future goals in the next 10 to 15 years, while contributing to making the lives of others better”

Ly Horn Moeun (MSc Entrepreneurship and Innovation)

General guidance

The dissertation is a daunting prospect for many students, particularly given the current circumstances where they are physically distanced from faculty, the library, support staff and their peers.

At a time when remote working threatens motivation and self-confidence, we are here to support students as they progress with their dissertation.

Students can book an appointment for general guidance about:

  • Refining their topic
  • Deciding their research questions
  • Researching their subject
  • Structuring their dissertation
  • Time management
  • The writing process
  • Creating a literature review
  • Constructing an argument
  • Good introductions and conclusions
  • Improving their writing
  • Referencing correctly

Signposting support

These appointments also allow us to signpost students to the wealth of guidance provided by other University services, such as the one-to-one research support from the library and the dissertation advice available on Skills Hub.

Continued contact

What students seem to value most is the continued contact that we provide.

In most cases, students come away from an appointment with an understanding of the next steps they should take on their dissertation journey and are encouraged to book a future appointment to discuss progress and to plan for future work.

Many students find that having these ‘check-in’ points really helps with their motivation and reassures them that they are keeping on track.

Reaching out

We are very keen to reach those students who are yet to engage with our service. We believe the best way to boost student engagement is through promotion from academics, specifically dissertation supervisors.

Please inform students that they can find the contact details of their Academic Success Advisor on Sussex Direct. They can also book a 30min (Zoom or telephone) appointment via Sussex Direct > Study Tab > Student Life > Academic Success Advice (Business School).

Get in touch

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you like further information on the services we provide or would like to discuss the ways we can support you and your cohort of students: business-acadsuccess@sussex.ac.uk.

Posted in Assessment, Online

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