Choosing a topic

How do I choose a topic?


  • Consider the units you've studied. Which have you enjoyed the most?
  • Which topics (related to your course) interest you most?
  • Use newspapers and other media to identify topical issues related to your course.
  • Draw upon your own experiences

How do I develop a research question?

  • Research your topic thoroughly. What is already known about your topic?
  • How have other researchers looked at your topic?
  • Start to make a list of potential questions which will enable your topic area to be addressed (you may wish to discuss these early question ideas with your supervisor).
  • DO NOT commit yourself to one specific question at this early stage - remain open-minded until you've done some research.
  • Is your topic under-researched?
  • Could an existing theory / model be tested?
  • Could an alternative methodology be used?

Is my question suitable?


  • Your word count
  • Time available
  • The dissertation guidelines in your unit handbook. Are you only required to undertake library based research (secondary research) or do you need to collect your own data (primary research)?
  • Other assignment commitments
  • Your knowledge, skills and experience

Remember: It's important that you agree your final question with your dissertation supervisor.

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