MAS6041 Dissertation

Both semesters, 2021/22 60 Credits
Lecturer: Prof Caitlin Buck
Aims Outcomes Assessment

The dissertation is an extensive study giving the student the opportunity to synthesise theoretical knowledge with practical skills and giving experience of the phases of a relatively large piece of work: planning to a deadline; researching background information; acquisition and validation of data; problem specification; the carrying through of relevant analyses; and reporting, both at length through the dissertation and in summary, through, for example, a poster display. Most dissertations involve the investigation of a data set, entailing both a description of the relevant background and a report on the data analysis.

There are no prerequisites for this module.
No other modules have this module as a prerequisite.

Outline syllabus

Students will each have a different dissertation topic. This is usually an analysis of some practical statistical project. Usually, the data sets considered will be new, or, at most, superficially statistically analysed. For Residential Students, this starts during the second semester, but the bulk of the work is done after the June examinations. Distance Learning students will usually begin in their penultimate year, and submit their dissertation the following year. Students present an account of their findings in early September and the dissertation must be submitted by the middle of that month.


  • To allow students to show the ability to complete an extended individual study of a statistical problem and to present the results in a dissertation.

Learning outcomes

  • that ideas introduced in other units can be used effectively in an open-ended study;
  • that unfamiliar material can be understood;
  • that a large project can be taken through to completion against a deadline;
  • that the stages of, ideas associated with and outcomes from a large project can be described satisfactorily;
  • that they have developed independence in their work and learning.

No lectures, no tutorials


Assessment will be based principally on the dissertation submitted. Other required tasks (progress reports, summary presentations) must also be completed. The performance in these other tasks and the supervisor's report on the circumstances surrounding and the progress during the project will also be considered in the assessment.