Dissert​ations


The Dissertation Handbook includes the procedures to be followed by course participants relevant to the completion of the dissertation module. Failure to comply with the rules and submission deadlines will be considered as withdrawal by course participants from the dissertation module.

 

Please refer to the Dissertation Handbook.

 

1. Preliminary Research Proposal


By 1st Friday of March in the year prior to the submission of their dissertation course participants must submit a Preliminary Research Proposal.

 

The Preliminary Research Proposal must contain information on:

 

-      The Proposed Title of your research project

-  An Abstract of approximately 250 words highlighting the proposed research topic, aims and methodology

-      The Research Question/s

-      The desired Dissertation Supervisor (optional)

 

Course participants may wish to refer to the Institute for Education’s list of potential areas of research to identify a topic they wish to conduct their research on.

Course participants may also wish to consult the list of Dissertation Supervisors found on the IfE platform under the module Dissertation to identify a potential supervisor for their research project. Each supervisor has a wealth of experience and knowledge in their field to guide course participants towards a research area. Course participants may contact a potential supervisor in an area that interests them to discuss their research title. However, course participants are reminded that the Dissertation Supervisor and Co-Supervisor (if applicable) are subject to approval by the Dissertation Board.

 

Course participants encountering difficulties in choosing a research area in education that interests them, are advised to get in touch with ife.dissertations@ilearn.edu.mt.​


The Preliminary Research Proposal must be submitted through the Preliminary Research Proposal online form by the 1st Friday of March in the year prior to the submission of their dissertation.

 

The Preliminary Research Proposal will be approved by the IfE by the 1st Friday of April in the year prior to the submission of the dissertation. Along with the approval of the Preliminary Research Proposal course participants will be assigned a Dissertation Supervisor and Co-Supervisor (if applicable).


2. Research Proposal


Following the approval of the Preliminary Research Proposal and the Assignment of a Dissertation Supervisor and Co-Supervisor (if applicable) course participants must finalize their Research Proposal in consultation with their Dissertation Supervisor and Co-Supervisor (if applicable).

 

The Final Research Proposal must be submitted by the last Friday of May in the year prior to the submission of the dissertation.

 

The Final Research Proposal must contain information on:

 

-      The Proposed Title of your research project;

-  An Abstract of approximately 250 words highlighting the proposed research topic, aims and methodology;

-      The Research Question/s;

-      The Literature Review;

-      The Proposed Methodology;

-      Ethical Considerations:

-      Limitations:

-      The Project Timeline; and

-      The suggested Bibliography

 

The Final Research Proposal must be submitted in soft copy via email to ife.dissertations@ilearn.edu.mt using the Research Proposal form in the Dissertation Handbook. The Final Research Proposal must be signed by the course participant, the Dissertation Supervisor and the Co-Supervisor (if applicable).

 

3. Review of Dissertation Proposals


The Dissertation Board will review the Final Research Proposal until the 2nd Friday of June in the year prior to the submission of the dissertation granting approval or requesting amendments.

 

Requested amendments must be submitted to the Dissertation Board within the stipulated timeframe.

 

4. Research Ethics and Writing your Dissertation


Following approval of the Final Research Proposal and before conducting their research and analysis, course participants must compile their Research Ethics Approval Request in consultation with their Dissertation Supervisor and Co-Supervisor (if applicable). Course participants will only be able to commence fieldwork once they have received approval from the Research Ethics Board.

 

The Research Ethics Approval Request must be submitted by the 3rd Friday of July in the year prior to the submission of the dissertation.

 

The Research Ethics Approval Request must be submitted in soft copy via email to the course coordinator using the Research Ethics Approval form in the Dissertation Handbook. The Research Ethics Approval Request must be signed by the course participant, the Dissertation Supervisor and the Co-Supervisor (if applicable).

 

The Research Ethics Approval Request must be submitted with all relevant supporting documents. This includes, but is not limited to:

 

-      Information sheets

-      Consent forms

-  Research tools (e.g. interview / focus group questions, observation protocol, questionnaire)

-      External ethics approval from other institutes / schools / organisations / industries

 

Approval from third parties where research is planned to be carried out shall be submitted along with the Research Ethics Approval Request. Should this not be possible due to the policy of the third party, evidence of that must be submitted with the Research Ethics Approval Request.


 

5. Feedback from Supervisor


Course participants are entitled to at least six but not exceeding ten meetings with their Dissertation Supervisor. They are also entitled to at least 3 but not exceeding 4 meetings with their Co-Supervisor (if applicable). They are advised to ensure that these meetings are productive by providing their Dissertation Supervisor and the Co-Supervisor (if applicable) with updated work in a timely manner to receive constructive feedback.

 

Course participants may submit each chapter for review and feedback twice and a final time when the full dissertation draft is ready prior to final submission.

 

It is the course participant’s responsibility to ensure that their writing satisfies academic quality and rigour. For further information, you may refer to the Institute for Education’s Dissertation Handbook


6. Submission of Dissertation


Course participants will have the opportunity to submit drafts of their dissertation on Turnitin from 8 weeks prior to submission date, that means from 3rd Friday of March in the year of submission of their dissertation. Course participants may submit an unlimited number of drafts.

 

Course participants will have the opportunity to submit their final dissertation on Turnitin from 6 weeks prior to the deadline of submission, that means from 1st Friday of April in the year of submission of their dissertation. Only one submission can be made of the final dissertation and this submission will be considered the final submission.

 

This submission of the final dissertation through Turnitin will constitute the submission of the dissertation to the Dissertation Committee.

 

The Final Dissertation must be submitted by 2nd Friday of May in the year of submission of their dissertation.

 

7. Viva Voce Examinations


All course participants may be subject to present their dissertation in a Viva Voce forming part of the Dissertation assessment.

 

A sample of dissertations may be subject to a Viva Voce for quality assurance purposes. Within this sample Viva Voce shall be carried out in the following cases:

 

-      The dissertation has been marked borderline between grades;

-      The dissertation has been marked exceptionally high;

-      The dissertation has been marked exceptionally low / failing.

 

Viva voce will include the members of the Assessment board and an external peer reviewer, who may participate in the Viva Voce online.

 

The chairperson of the Dissertations Board will inform the course coordinator who will be asked to attend a viva and the reason for the viva. It is then the responsibility of the course coordinator to arrange the date and time of the viva and to inform the course participant of the arrangements which have been made. The Assessment board will decide upon the criteria within the dissertation rubric that need further probing during the viva.

 

The viva will be between 20 and 30 minutes. It will be held preferably in person but not excluding online. The first few questions of the viva shall be intended to make the course participant feel at ease. This will be followed by questions according to the criteria within the dissertation rubric identified as needing further probing. The Assessment board members will take notes during the viva, which will be available in case of an appeal.

 

Failure to attend the viva without prior notification to the dissertation supervisor and course coordinator without good reason or justification for non-attendance, may result in the course participant failing the dissertation module and ultimately failing their degree.

 

No one should attend the viva except the course participant and the members of the Assessment board.

 

A report will be submitted by the Assessment board to the dissertation board. The viva will be conducted by end of July in the year of submission of the dissertation.

 

8. Minor amendments


Being asked to complete minor amendments is the most common outcome of a viva voce. The amendments that will need to be completed will be largely typographical or grammatical and may include corrections to references and/or diagrams and the re-writing of small sections of text.

 

If the Assessment board decides that minor amendments are needed, they will explain what these are at the end of the examination. Minor amendments need to be completed within 2 weeks and submitted to the Assessment board for review and approval.

 

9. Dissertations requiring substantial revisions


The Assessment board may conclude that the dissertation requires substantial revisions, such as further research, repeat completed research and/or re-write or restructure large parts of the dissertation. While this outcome can be disappointing, it is important to remember that undertaking substantial revisions can lead to a successful completion of the dissertation.

 

The Assessment board will send a report to the course participant outlining the reasons for requiring substantial revisions. Course participants will be given a period of one academic year to resubmit the dissertation for assessment. The final mark for a dissertation requiring substantial revisions is capped at 45%.

 

Course participants will be automatically moved to the next academic year. This will include the requirement of paying the fees for the next academic year.

Course participants are reminded that they must complete their programme within a 5-year (Master degree) or 6-year period (Bachelor degree). Kindly refer to the Extension to Duration of Studies Policy.

 

10 Final Version of the Dissertation

 

Following the publication of results and any amendments arising from the assessment, the dissertation is to be submitted in the format as specified in the Dissertation Handbook.

 

After the Dissertation Board has verified that the hardcopy of the dissertation has been submitted to the course coordinator, the dissertation board will inform the Admissions Board that the course participant has completed the dissertation module. The Admissions Board will then take the necessary action and issue certification of the degree.