Social care graduate demystifies dissertations for students

Date 9.09.2021

Helping new social care students feel confident about tackling their final project was the order of the day at a recent student peer support event.

The dissertation showcase was organised to educate and enlighten Health and Social Care students about preparing for and completing their dissertation and led by those in the know: final year students who had just completed theirs.

At the virtual event, final year students took it in turn explaining how they dealt with their dissertations, explained their top tips to keep on top of the project and held a general Q&A.

Lucy Richardson has just graduated from her degree. For her dissertation, she looked into how gender affects female drug users accessing service support, an area she is committed to tackling whether in our outside of the classroom.

She was more than happy to impart her words of wisdom and top tips to the ‘next generation’ as she explains: “This is already a marginalised community who face many struggles, so it’s really important to keep in mind the huge impact gender inequalities can add.

“Female drug users face a number of extra barriers to getting the right support, such as having a negative partner influence and child care responsibilities, their male counterparts generally do not face.

“I was nervous about talking at the event and found it daunting, but I also realised I was invited because I had a voice to help promote the dissertation process.

“The top things that I feel will help a student with their dissertation are, firstly, to be honest right from the start. The research will take up a lot of your time so always make sure to block out enough time to do it, but make sure not to neglect your other modules. This can be quite subjective – and this came across loud and clear at the showcase event – so you need to ‘chunk’ the time according to what will work for you.

“Also, practice research skills such as journal reading. If you get familiar with doing this, you will more quickly know where the information you need is and focus on those areas.

“Finally, and I cannot say this enough, use your supervisor! They are the most valuable resource you have so do contact them if you need to. Don’t suffer in silence!”

Find out more about Social Care courses at the University of Northampton.