Newcastle University Information Technology on Crowd Control Thesis

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THESIS HANDBOOK
Module coordinator: Dr. Ziene Mottiar, ziene.mottiar@TUDublin.ie Research Methods: Dr. Theresa
Ryan, Theresa.ryan@TUDUblin.ie
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Table of Contents
1. Module Aim and Learning Outcomes……………………………………………………………………………..2
2. Choosing a Topic for your Thesis…………………………………………………………………………………..2
3. Finding a Supervisor………………………………………………………………………………………………………3
4. The Role of the Supervisor…………………………………………………………………………………………….3
5. Writing a Proposal………………………………………………………………………………………………………….3
6. Structure of the Thesis………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3
7. Writing a Literature Review…………………………………………………………………………………………… 4
8. Developing a Research Question and Objectives…………………………………………………………. 4
9. Choosing a Methodology………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5
10. Writing a Methodology Chapter…………………………………………………………………………………. 6
11. Conducting Primary Research……………………………………………………………………………………7
12. Data Analysis – Findings and Analysis Chapters………………………………………………………. 8
13. Writing an Introduction………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8
14. Conclusions and Recommendations…………………………………………………………………………. 8
15. Title of Thesis……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 8
16. Writing an Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………………………..9
17. How many words should the thesis be?………………………………………………………………………….9
18. Ethical Issues to Consider…………………………………………………………………………………………. 9
19. Thesis Schedule……………………………………………………………………………………………………….10
20. Referencing and Structure of the Thesis…………………………………………………………………..11
21. Submission of the Thesis………………………………………………………………………………………… 11
22. Supplemental Thesis………………………………………………………………………………………………..11
23. Thesis Marking Process……………………………………………………………………………………………12
24. Thesis Marking Sheet……………………………………………………………………………………………… 12
25. Thesis Marking Rubric…………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14
26. Resources and Support Materials…………………………………………………………………………….15
Figure 1: Are your Research Objectives SMART?……………………………………………………………….. 5
Figure 2: Suggested amounts of data collection……………………………………………………………………7
Table 1: Structure of the Thesis…………………………………………………………………………………………….4
Table 2: Suggested chapter word counts…………………………………….Error! Bookmark not defined. Table 3: Thesis Marking Scheme………………………………………………………………………………………. 12
Table 4: Thesis Award Classification Descriptor………………………………………………………………… 14
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1. Module Aim and Learning Outcomes
This module shall enable students to research a particular area of interest through the
preparation and completion of a thesis. Learning Outcomes:
On completion the learner will be able to:
1. Complete a thesis, having investigated an individual subject/research area or
tested a hypotheses outlined in a research proposal. 2. Conduct an analytical literature review appropriate to the research area under
investigation. 3. Utilise appropriate research methodological techniques within the context of their
research. 4. Present their findings, conduct an analysis of same, drawn conclusions and
provide recommendations within their research area. 2. Choosing a Topic for your Thesis
At the beginning of each year students will be provided with access to a list of suggested
thesis topics generated by staff in the school. These are areas in which they have a
particular interest and they see scope for thesis research. You may also pick a topic of your
choice and approach a supervisor to see if it is a feasible area to conduct thesis research
on. When choosing your topic the key factor is to find an area that you are interested in as you
will be spending a lot of time on this topic over the next year. The second factor to be sure of
is that you are choosing an area in your own discipline. One of the objectives of the thesis is
to deepen your knowledge about your sector and it is for this reason that you must make
sure that your research is focused on your particular area i.e. tourism, event or hospitality. The best way for you to decide which topic you are going to focus on is to read extensively. Reading in the area will make it clear whether you are interested and will also help you to
identify potential research questions.
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3. Finding a Supervisor
Each student has a supervisor who will guide them through the thesis process. After an
initial discussion about your areas of interest you will be told who your supervisor will be. Every effort will be made to match students and supervisors interests but this may not
always be possible. 4. The Role of the Supervisor
The role of the supervisor is to act as a support for you in this process. Their primary role is
to discuss and help you to develop your ideas, read your work and provide feedback and
help you make decisions such as which methods to employ. Most contact with a supervisor
will occur in regular meetings and or through email communication. It is the student’s
responsibility to organize these meetings in conjunction with the supervisor, and it is
important that you contact your supervisor to agree regular meetings. To receive feedback
on written work you need to have submitted it in advance of the meeting, you should ask you
supervisor how long in advance this needs to be.
It is important that as a student you take charge and responsibility for these meetings. You
should have a list of issues that you want to discuss and always be sure to take notes of
decisions that you have made so that you can get the greatest benefit from the time spent
with the supervisor. You should keep these notes in a logbook. You will find a link to the
logbook on your Thesis Brightspace module which you can print. Supervisors will not correct grammatical or English language issues, so you must be
sure to spell- check and proof read before you submit any work. You may wish to get it
proofread externally, particularly if English is not your first language. 5. Writing a Proposal
It is very important that you start writing for your thesis early on in the process and the
proposal provides you with the first opportunity to do this. It requires you to clarify your
thoughts by succinctly outlining the key area of focus of the thesis, an early attempt at
what your research aim might be and your initial thoughts about what methodology you
might employ. This should be submitted to your supervisor in the early weeks of the
process and will form the basis of your discussions at your next meeting with your
supervisor. 6. Structure of the Thesis
The thesis is usually structured in the following way (although the topic and
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methodology may necessitate small differences):
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Table 1: Structure of the Thesis
7. Writing a Literature Review
Prior to undertaking your primary research it is important to examine existing literature
on the subject area. There are a number of reasons for undertaking a literature review
including:
It gives you a good understanding of what other researchers have to say on the subject.
It helps you identify gaps or issues with existing research, this leads to your research question.
It can provide ideas on methods to use, or factors to consider in your own research.
It enables you to position your research in a larger context, so that you can show
what new conclusions might result from your research.
In general, a literature review has two key components. First, it should concisely analyse
and summarises the findings or claims that have emerged from prior research on the
subject. Second, it should reach a conclusion about how accurate and complete that
knowledge is; it should present your considered judgments about what’s right, what’s
wrong, what’s inconclusive or missing in existing literature.
It is very important when completing a literature review that you focus on the body of work
and give an in-depth insight into this as a whole, rather than simply writing a summary list of
what each individual work says. The material should be synthesised and used to develop
arguments and key points. The ultimate purpose of a literature review is to set the
foundation for your research (identify a gap in existing literature) which leads to your
research question, and to position your findings in the context of a larger body of work. 8. Developing a Research Question and Objectives
This is a vital piece of your work as it will guide your research. The research question is
formed as a result of reading the literature and at the end of the literature chapter it is
advisable to identify the gap in knowledge or understanding that your research will fill. The
research question is then the question that your research is going to address. Research
objectives break the research question into key areas which need to be addressed in order
to answer the research question. These
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objectives should be clearly stated and measureable as they will be the basis on which
you will develop your research tool and analyse your data. It is likely to take a number
of iterations to achieve a strong set of objectives. A useful way to determine whether
your objectives are appropriate is to think of the SMART principles. Figure 1: Are your Research Objectives SMART?
9. Choosing a Methodology
When discussing research methodology we are referring to the approach or steps taken to
answer the research question. The research methodology is different to the research
methods as the methodology has many component parts that explain and justify the overall
approach you took in gathering and analysing the primary data, while the methods are the
tools you used to gather the data and are just one component part of the methodology. Your choice of methodology has implications for each stage of your research including
research methods, sampling analysis etc. so it is important to give it careful thought and
consideration. The choice of research methodology is driven by a number of factors:
The nature of the research question will tend to lend itself to particular research
approaches e.g. qualitative, quantitative or mixed. For example a research question that
seeks to measure or to quantify something lends itself to a quantitative methodology (e.g.
to measure the extent to which Three Star Hotels in Dublin use social media marketing). While other research questions lend themselves to a qualitative approach. For example
if you are seeking to understand something such as motivations or perceptions etc. (e.g.
to understand why or why not three Star hotels in Dublin use social media marketing). Alternatively your study might require you to measure and to understand, and in this
case you would use a mixed methods approach which involves using both qualitative
and quantitative techniques and methods. The researcher will influence the methodology in so much as you should choose the
methodology that will enable you to carry out the research that you feel you are best
able to do. This means deciding on your philosophical stance, how you believe
knowledge is imparted and understood but also deciding on whether you are more
comfortable dealing with statistics and measurements (quantitative) or are happier
dealing with more qualitative data such as interviews etc.
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Time, costs and availability of research subjects.
10. Writing a Methodology Chapter
The methodology chapter of the thesis is an important component that essentially maps
out and justifies the approach that you will take when undertaking your primary research. The main objective here is to establish the credibility of the research and this is achieved
by providing a full description and explanation of how the research was carried out, covering all the steps taken along the way. A good way to begin a methods chapter is to write an introductory paragraph that describes
both the design of the study and the organisation of the chapter, it is important to remind the
reader of the research question and research objectives here also. The paragraphs that
follow should provide an explanation of the methods you will utilise to gather the data
necessary to address the research question. In addition to describing these methods, you
also need to provide justification for selecting this method of research (why you felt this
method or these methods in particular were most suitable). When providing justification for
the method of research you are using, you might also provide an explanation for deciding
not to utilise certain commonly accepted research methods. Or, you might provide an
explanation for purposely including or excluding certain groups from your research. It is very
important that you use relevant literature throughout the chapter to support your decisions
and justifications. You should also provide a discussion outlining the philosophical
underpinning of the research. The methodology chapter should include discussions of:
The research design, i.e. the plan for conducting and organising the research. Justification for the use of the methods selected. Who participated and how they were selected (sample and sampling method). The ethical considerations arising from the study and how these were dealt with. Details of what data were collected and how. How data were processed, analysed and managed. How the reliability and validity of the research was ensured, particularly in the
case of quantitative research. Your pilot study. Generalizability/Transferability of the findings. Limitations.
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11. Conducting Primary Research
Before you being your primary research you must receive ethical approval (see
section 18). It is very important for you to give yourself enough time to collect your data. It
can be slow collecting enough survey responses, and for example if you are doing a street
survey, a bad weather day can seriously affect the number of people who will stop for you to
survey. Similarly if you are conducting interviews many students find that it takes many e- mails and phone calls to secure ten interviews. The key is to begin early and plan ahead. When you are drafting your research tool be sure that your questions are addressing your
research objectives and the issues raised in your literature review. A good way to do this is
to write the numbers of the questions which address each aim. This way you will be sure
that when you start to analyze your data it will be relevant to the issues you want to
address. The guideline in terms of data collection is 100 surveys if you are conducting quantitative
research, 8-10 interviews if it is qualitative research and if you are using a mixed methods
approach approximately 80 questionnaires and 3-4 interviews are suggested. These are
simply guidelines and if you have any concerns about your particular research project
speak to your supervisor and they will advise you. You should include you questionnaire/interview protocol/focus group protocol in the
Appendices of the thesis. Chosen Methodology Suggested amounts of data
collection
Quantitative 120 questionnaires
Qualitative 10-12 interviews
Mixed methods 80 questionnaires and 4-5
interviews
Figure 2: Suggested amounts of data
collection Below are guidelines for field work
All data collection tools (questionnaires, protocols, observation forms etc.) to be
reviewed by supervisor prior to administration in the field. Use of Survey Monkey (or alternative) is permissible; focus being on the
transparent accounting for the distribution of the questionnaire and subsequent
appreciation of the sampling issues to which this may give rise. Recognition must
be given of the limitations of Survey Monkey vs a student produced tool. Consideration should be given to the ethical issues which may arise if students
have to pay a nominal fee to receive extended data analysis from Survey Monkey
(or alternative). Where Survey Monkey, or similar, have been used, the extracted Excel file which
includes time and date-stamps shall be retained by the student until after the
examination board. Where in-depth interviews have been conducted, the full name, professional title, and contact details of the interviewee(s), and time and place of interview shall be
provided to the supervisor before the dissertation is submitted. At interview stage all
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interviewees shall
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be notified that they may receive communication from the School as part of the
examination verification process. Completed questionnaires, both on line and on paper, to be reviewed by supervisor. A recording of an interview should be submitted to the supervisor. Detailed notes from an interview must be included as an Appendix in the Dissertation. Recordings of all interviews/interview notes and paper and e-copies of all
completed questionnaires to be retained by the student until after examination
board. Acknowledgement of the field work effort will form part of the context within which
a dissertation is marked and the quality of the data sample will be considered as
part of the marking process. 12. Data Analysis – Findings and Analysis Chapters
As you will see from the marking structure below the analysis chapter is the chapter with the
highest marks and yet many students do not leave themselves with enough time to spend on
this part of their work. Your Findings chapter presents your findings but in the analysis
chapter your thesis should link back to the literature you have discussed in chapter 2 and the
research questions that you have posed. In so doing you are engaging in a deeper level of
analysis. If when you are writing the Analysis chapter you feel that you are repeating what
you have written in the Findings chapter then it is likely that you are doing just that and are
not engaging in analysis. 13. Writing an Introduction
This Chapter (along with the abstract) is normally the last chapter you write. This chapter
should set the scene for the dissertation and provide the reader with a road-map of what is
to follow. This chapter should include the background to your research, identification of your
research aim/question and research objectives, a brief overview of the relevant literature, a
brief overview of the methodology and an outline of the thesis chapters to follow. 14. Conclusions and Recommendations
The conclusions and recommendations chapter should briefly summarise your key findings,
the conclusions that you have drawn from your research, the significance of your research
(i.e. the “so what?” factor) and recommendations arising from your research (e.g. recommendations for future research; recommendations for practitioners), if such
recommendations exist. 15. Title of Thesis
Choosing the title of your thesis is a task that you may leave to the end of the thesis process. The
title should be short (i.e. fewest words possible) and should catch the reader’s attention and
convey the topic/perspective of your research.
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16. Writing an Abstract
This is a very important part of your thesis. It will give the reader a concise overview of
your work and will quickly allow the reader to understand the purpose of your dissertation. Your abstract should be max. 300 words in length and should be single-spaced. The
abstract should include the following sections: the background/context of your research;
the aim or purpose of your research; research design; findings/results; and key
conclusions and recommendations. 17. How many words should the thesis be?
The thesis overall is 15,000 words. The word count limit will be strictly enforced. All words
from the introduction to the conclusion are included in this count. While a range of
10% above or below the word limit is acceptable, if the word count deviates from this, a
penalty of 1% per 200 words will be imposed. The number of words should be indicated on
the cover of the softbound dissertation. 18. Ethical Issues to Consider
When undertaking research, be it an undergraduate dissertation, a taught Masters
dissertation or a research project, it is important to consider, understand, and reflect upon, all appropriate ethical issues pertinent to your individual research area/topic. As a researcher, your ethical behaviour and conduct should embrace all steps of the research process –
development of research aim, literature review, data collection, data analysis, reporting/write-up of data and subsequent dissemination of information, for example, via the
Internet, a conference paper or a refereed journal article.
In the UK, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has identified six key
principles of ethical research:
1. Research should be designed, reviewed and undertaken to ensure integrity, quality
and transparency. 2. Research staff and participants must normally be informed fully about the purpose, methods and intended possible uses of the research, what their participation in the
research entails and what risks, if any, are involved. Some variation is allowed in very
specific research contexts. 3. The confidentiality of information supplied by research participants and the anonymity
of respondents must be respected. 4. Research participants must take part voluntarily, free from any coercion. 5. Harm to research participants must be avoided in all instances. 6. The independence of research must be clear, and any conflicts of interest or partiality
must be explicit
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(Source:http://www.esrc.ac.uk/ESRCInfoCentre/Images/Framework%20for%20Researc
h%20Ethi cs%202010_tcm6-35811.pdf)
All undergraduate and Masters’ students in the School of Hospitality Management and
Tourism are required to complete an Ethical Approval for Research Application Form
(available on the Research Methods and Dissertation modules on Brightspace) and submit it
to the School Ethics Committee. Students cannot undertake any primary research (e.g.
interviewee/participant recruitment or data collection) without prior ethical approval. Please refer to the undergraduate or Masters’ Dissertation Schedule for key dates/times
regarding the ethical approval process. Any undergraduate or Masters’ Dissertation that has not fully addressed all ethical
implications of that research and does not have Ethical Approval from the School Ethics
Committee may be considered as being incomplete. During the Dissertation process, you
may find that your research topic and chosen methodologies will change. This will require, in
the first instance, discussions with your Supervisor regarding the ethical implications of these
changes, and on their advice, may require a new Ethical Approval for Research application
to the School Ethics Committee.
If you are engaging in research with people under 18 years of age you must have written
consent from their parents/guardian. You also need to pay special attention to the wording
of questions in surveys or interviews and all interviews should take place with another adult
present. Any such research must be discussed in detail with your supervisor in advance of
the research taking place to ensure that all ethical issues have been considered and
managed. If students have any concerns regarding ethical issues in this regard please
speak to either Dr. Ziene Mottiar or Dr. Theresa Ryan.
If you are conducting research online, for example, conducting a web-based survey or
observing an online community, you must consider a range of ethical issues specific to your
dissertation topic/discipline. These issues may include: identifying whether your research is
being conducted in a public or private domain; data security; implementing consent and
withdrawal procedures; conducting research with children and young people (i.e. under-18
years of age), privacy, confidentiality and anonymity issues; copyright issues and ownership
of data; and social responsibility. You should always discuss any ethical issue(s) with your Dissertation Supervisor and
consult the ‘Ethics in TU Dublin’ webpage – https://www.dit.ie/dsrh/communicateresearch/ethicsresearchintegrity/
The following are further examples of useful websites regarding ethical guidelines:
Association of Internet Researchers (AoIR) http://aoir.org/
ICC/ESOMAR Code https://www.esomar.org
UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) http://www.esrc.ac.uk/
Market Research Society https://www.mrs.org.uk/
19. Thesis Schedule
The thesis schedule is available in Brightspace
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20. Referencing and Structure of the Thesis
Consult the Reference Handbook which provides detailed guidelines regarding
referencing and structure of document. This is available in the Thesis Brightspace. 21. Submission of the Thesis
a) A detailed document outlining key dates will be emailed to all students at least 2 weeks
prior to submission. b) You will be sent a link to a Google document 2-3 weeks in advance of submission. At
this link you need to complete your details and the working title of your thesis. You will
also see your identifier code and need to take this down and keep a record of it as
you will need it for the front cover of the softbound copies of your thesis. c) You must submit two soft (spiral bound) copies and one hardbound copy of your
thesis to the school office. d) As well as submitting the hard and softbound copies of the document you should
submit an electronic version. This should be the same version as the hardbound
version that you will submit. You do this on the Brightspace module. e) You must follow the Reference Handbook guidelines in terms of layout etc. f) You should have your name, the title of the thesis, your programme name and the
year on the cover of the HARDBOUND copy. g) To aid with blind marking you should NOT PUT YOUR NAME ANYWHERE ON THE
SOFTBOUND COPIES. Instead your identifier will be the letter that is in the first
column of the excel spread sheet mentioned in part b). The declaration pages and acknowledgement pages should also not be included
in the softbound copies and there should be no reference to your name or
supervisor in this version of the document. h) On the softbound copies you should also put the number of words (from the introduction
to the end of the conclusion) on the front cover bottom right corner.
i) So, on the front cover of the soft bound copy you should just have your letter
identifier and the title of the thesis and the number of words as specified above. 22. Supplemental Theses
If you do not achieve a pass grade in your thesis you will be required to resubmit it to be
considered approximately one year later, if you prefer you also have the opportunity to
submit it at the next Thesis exam board. You should contact your supervisor and meet with
them to determine the
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changes and additions that are required. You will be notified of the date of re-submission
and on that date you should submit two soft bound copies of your thesis to the school. 23. Thesis Marking Process
The marks for the thesis are divided as follows:
Element Mark
Literature Review presentation 2%
2,000 word Literature Review 8%
Research Methodology presentation 2%
2,000 word Research Methods document 8%
Final thesis 80%
Final theses submissions are anonymized for the marking process. Each thesis is marked
by the supervisor and a second marker using the marking sheet below. They then meet to
discuss the mark and agree a final mark. If there is not agreement about what the mark
should be then a third marker examines the piece of work (without knowing what marks
others have awarded). Following this mark the three markers may then agree a final mark. If
not the document is sent to the external examiner who makes a final decision. A sample of
theses is also viewed by external examiners. 24. Thesis Marking Sheet
Thesis are marked using the following marking sheet. Please note the weighting of the
marks and in particular the fact that the analysis section carries a significant weighting. Thus it is important that you do not run out of time and that you pay considerable attention
to the analysis of your data.
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School of Hospitality Management and Tourism
Master’s Thesis
Course
Student’s Name
Thesis Title
Assessor: Please tick Advisor 
2
nd Reader 
External Examiner 
Criteria Maximum
Mark
Mark
Awarded
Comment
Organisation &
Presentation
5
Abstract 3
Introduction 5
Literature
Review
25
Methodology
and Ethical
approval
17
Presentation
of Results
15
Interpretation
& Discussion
20
Conclusions &
Recommendatio
ns
10
Total Mark 100
Overall Comment:
AGREED Mark
Advisor/ 2
nd Reader / Examiner Signature Date
25. Thesis Marking Rubric
Below is the thesis marking rubric which is used by examiners in the marking process to
aid the completion of the marking sheet shown in section 24, it clearly shows the
expectations for each band of mark. This table has been produced to act as an aid to
students, supervisors and second readers of Thesis. School of Hospitality Management and
Tourism Thesis Award Classification
Descriptor
Indicativ
e
grade
Dissertations in this category will generally
1
1.1
(80+%)
An exceptional thesis
Provides insights, based on research objectives, and contributes to knowledge
Is clearly based on independent thinking
Handles methodologies with a high degree of competence or develops an innovative methodology
With some editing, is potentially publishable as an academic paper
Is superbly written, referenced and structured
Reflects depth of insight and confidence of understanding, and real critical analysis
1.1
(70%-79%)
Show evidence of original and independent thinking
Show a strong ability to critically analyze and evaluate
Indicate extensive secondary and primary research
Have excellent clarity of written expression
State research objectives which are then met
Be an excellent piece of work – present outstanding work
2.1
(60%-69%)
Have evidence of some critical analysis
Engage in analysis of data
State research objectives which are then met
Have clear written expression
Display a high level of competence
Be well organized
2.2
(50%-59%)
Be adequate but have a limited scope of analysis
Show competent work which is broadly relevant
Be somewhat lacking in organization
Perhaps lack breadth of references
Have written expression which may at times lack clarity and there may be grammar, punctuation and spelling errors
Show competence in analysis of data
State research objectives but perhaps all are not met
Pass
(40%-49%)
Be an adequate attempt to gather and analyze relevant secondary and primary material
Show some knowledge of the material
Demonstrate some understanding
Problems with focus and structure
Adequate standard of written English with numerous faults in terms of grammar and syntax
Shows that the research process has been completed
Research objectives are not clear
Fail (>40%) Have limited or inappropriate research
Show a lack of understanding
Have poor written expression and abundant language errors
Fail to articulate and address research question properly
Display poor analysis
Be very limited in scope
Unrealistic research objectives which are not met
Table 2: Thesis Award Classification Descriptor
1 Please note that this is not meant as an exhaustive list but as a general description. 14
26. Plagarism and Falsification of data
If a student is suspected of either plagiarism or falsification of data the General
Assessment Regulations will be invoked
https://www.dit.ie/qualityassuranceandacademicprogrammerecords/student- assessment- regulations/general/
27. Resources and Support Materials
You will be provided with a detailed reading list in your research methodology
module and lectures and assessments in this module provide your key support. Guidance from supervisors is provided in terms of meetings and comments on your
written work. Support is also provided via the Thesis Brightspace module where there are tips
and videos to help you through the process and to keep on track. The thesis co-ordinator can also be contacted by email: ziene.mottiar@TUDublin.ie
for any queries or concerns that you may have throughout the process.
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