The UK postgraduate Masters dissertation: an ‘elusive chameleon’?

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Dono: Marcos Pedroso

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Última Atualiz.: 08-11-2018 12:19

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Many studies into the process of producing and supervising dissertations exist,
yet little research into the ‘product’ of the Masters dissertation, or into how
Masters supervision changes over time exist. Drawing on 62 semi-structured
interviews with 31 Maths and Computer Science supervisors over a two-year
period, this paper explores the Masters dissertation ‘product’ and the temporal
nature of its supervision. The paper argues that the UK Masters dissertation is,
for supervisors, a ‘chameleon’; i.e. perfect for them to modify and adapt to any
student within a diverse body in a short completion time. This, coupled with the
evolving nature of supervision, means that although the Masters dissertation
possesses a number of ‘core’ characteristics, it is difficult to define; an ‘elusive
chameleon’. The paper argues that awareness of this will help counter
misassumptions and inform supervision, and that further research into the
Masters dissertation product will aid our understanding of supervision.

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