Masters Dissertation Timeline Example


Planning a research project such as a dissertation is really simple if you think about it. Unlike in project management, most of the tasks come one after the other, not in the same time, making it a lot easier to see through. On the other hand, most of the tasks need to be performed by none other than yourself, so there's really no one else to control. You can make things even easier by moving the tasks about when needed or adding comments and icons to them. Feel like rewarding yourself after a completed chapter? Add a little cake icon at the end of the box for extra incentive. Yum!


Making a good impression on your tutor (so he will accept the proposal you botched together last night) and keeping him happy throughout the process is vital for your success. That's why we made sure that Tom's Planner great for sharing, online or offline. Show him the research project timeline you created in Tom's Planner (watch him get blown away), keep him informed in real time on your progress, wherever you are, or export the schedule to the desired format in case of personal consults. Schedule your dissertation project the easy way: with Tom's Planner. Be sure to check out our blog as well, where you'll find lots more useful tips and tricks about writing and scheduling dissertations.

Dissertation timetable

This timetable will help you plan your project. Aside from the rows with dates (projects database opening, deadline for supervisors, poster presentation and dissertation hand-in) the rest is for advice only. You should discuss and agree appropriate activities and milestones with your supervisor.

The timetable is based on the principle of working towards the dissertation, rather than undertaking a project that you will write up at the end. As the dissertation is the thing that's marked, anything you don't include cannot be taken into consideration. Therefore, plan and draft the dissertation at an early stage. It is better to have a draft that you can change than nothing - and don't be afraid to change your mind, especially if an unrealistic plan is preventing progress.

4 April - 8 May

Find potential supervisors and discuss topics that you want to work on. The Master's project database opens on 4 April; it contains suggestions for topics from supervisors, but student proposals are welcome too. Think carefully about a subject area for your project – it’s hard to get a good mark if you aren't interested in the topic! Approach several potential supervisors and discuss your ideas.

Don’t worry if you don’t yet have a topic: the database does not open until you have done enough of the Spring term’s modules to get an idea about them and so you can discuss your interests with lecturers. Supervisors will NOT start accepting students until 24 April.

If you do have an idea about what your project might be on then feel free to discuss it with your lecturers whenever you like.

8 MayAll students should have contacted a supervisor by this date. Pending (not declined) requests will be honoured one week after this date assuming supervisors have not reached their assigned load. ALL students should be registered with a supervisor by one week after this date.
1-2 weeks after being accepted by supervisorSubmit a project proposal (1-2 A4 pages) to your supervisor, describing your project topic and aims. You should also draw up a schedule for meetings with your supervisor. (You might want to review this schedule from time to time, as the project progresses.)
End MayProduce a draft survey of relevant work and requirements specification (or equivalent). Draw up a draft table of contents for the dissertation. Use this to plan a poster for your work.
Mid JuneExpand on your project proposal to produce a rough draft of the thesis. Produce a design and scenarios (or equivalent).
End JuneProduce a poster (hand in to:  Deadline to be confirmed, around end of June) and take part in the poster presentation (Date and time to be confirmed). The presentation should be an overview of the ideas behind your project and work in progress, and is an opportunity for you to gain feedback from faculty and peers, and practice in explaining and discussing your work.
Mid JulySubmit a draft of the dissertation to your supervisor for feedback. This will also give you a chance to reflect upon what you have achieved so far.
Early AugustFinish testing and evaluations.
Mid AugustRevise dissertation.

Before 16.00 
29 August 2017 (all MScs)

Submit two bound copies of the dissertation to the Engineering and Informatics School Office.
Please note: the two copies submitted will not be returned. Students should therefore make additional copies for themselves, sponsors, future employers, etc.

MSc Advanced Computer Science timetable variations

Autumn TermTopics in Computer Science module. The work here is not required to lead to a dissertation, but it:
 - gives a sample of likely supervisors' interests
 - gives you an opportunity to practice the skills for the literature review and planning stages
 - may lead into your dissertation.


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