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Dissertation help

How to choose a topic

Typically, you’ll be given a list of topics or projects to choose from. It means slightly less freedom to study a topic of your choice, but there’s usually a wide selection on offer with the scope for personalisation.

Things to consider

Writing a dissertation or a project report is one of the most important academic exercises you’ll ever do. Choose a topic that genuinely interests you. It will help you to stay committed – and your passion will come through in your writing.

Pick something that hasn’t been done before – but make sure you can find research to support it. Check your university library or book transfer service. You can also use the IMechE virtual library. Just submit your query to our support team and we’ll get back to you with a list of suggested papers, journals and reviews that will help you start your work.

When you’re deliberating a topic, take every opportunity to seek your dissertation or project advisor’s guidance.

Write it down

Even if you only have a vague idea of topics, write down these initial themes as early as possible. Your ideas will crystallise as you talk to others, and you can then look into research possibilities. And use friends on other degree courses as a sounding board – it’s surprising what other disciplines can bring to the table.

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