How Is Dissertation Writing UK Different from Others?

UK offers top quality education, which is why students all over the world opt for UK when it comes to pursuing higher education. Students going to the UK for their higher education often run into trouble because the education standards are different and often difficult. Hence students should be prepared to handle the most difficult academic task – their dissertation.

International students usually have this question in mind – how is Dissertation different from other countries. Students who choose to write their dissertation on their own must be aware of dissertation standards followed in the UK. You can surely Buy Dissertation if you want but even if you decide to outsource your dissertation, knowing the UK dissertation standards will help you out tremendously.

UK dissertation standards:

Structure and formatting are the two major components that students need to understand if they want to get familiar with dissertation standards.

The structure:

Here is the dissertation structure that is commonly followed in the UK.

Title page

The first page of the document will be your title page, and it contains the following:

  • Title of the dissertation.
  • Student’s name (and sometimes student’s number).
  • Name of your research supervisor.
  • Your university’s logo.

Acknowledgements (optional)

This section allows you to thank all those who helped you or supported you throughout the course of your dissertation project.


Abstract is a summary of your entire dissertation. An abstract must include:

  • The research problem and objectives
  • The methods you used to investigate the research question(s)
  • A summary of the results
  • And the conclusion of your dissertation.

Table of contents:

This portion contains all the contents of your dissertation along with their page numbers. Table of contents contains all the sections, subsections and headings in your dissertation.

List of figures and tables:

If your dissertation has a lot of tables and figures, you should add a list of figures and tables.

List of abbreviations (optional)

This section is optional and you will only include it in your dissertation if there are a lot of abbreviations and acronyms in your dissertation. The list of abbreviations will be arranged in alphabetical order.

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Glossary (optional)

Glossary is another optional section that you can include in your UK-style dissertation. Glossary contains the definitions of all the specialized terms that your reader might not be familiar with.


The introduction chapter is the first one in your dissertation, and it must have the following:

  • Background on your research topic
  • Scope of your research
  • The research problem
  • Objectives and research questions

Literature review

Before investigating your research problem you should review the research that has already been done related to your topic.


This chapter includes all the information regarding your research methods.

  • Your research approach
  • Your data collection method
  • Your data analysis methods
  • And justification of your methods


As the name suggests, this chapter of your dissertation presents the results of your research obtained by analyzing the data. Your results section must:

  • State each result concisely and clearly.
  • Relate the results to the research questions
  • Include figures, tables or graphs etc.


This section is dedicated for reflection. You discuss whether you were able to achieve your aims and objectives of your research and how these results match with your expectations.

The discussion chapter must answer the following questions:

  • What do the results of your study mean and how they compare to the previous studies?
  • Why do the results of your study matter?
  • What are the limitations of your research methods?


Conclusion is the final chapter of dissertation and it refers back to the research question and gives your reader the answer to that question. It is also important to include recommendations for future research in the conclusion chapter.


The details of all the sources you cite throughout your dissertation are mentioned in this section. The references are generated following strict guidelines.

What guidelines you follow for referencing depends on the formatting style (details are mentioned in the next section)

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This section includes the documents that do not fit into the main body of your dissertation, like interview transcripts, questionnaire forms, and or full tables and figures.

The formatting:

Most UK universities use Harvard referencing style as a standard.

Font size, style, spacing, etc.

  • Harvard style uses Times New Roman or Arial at 12 font size
  • Left aligned text
  • Double spacing
  • 1 inch margin on all sides.

In-text citation

When you cite a source in your UK-style dissertation, you follow Harvard referencing style. Harvard style citations include author’s last name, year of publication and page number of the passage (if applicable).

Here is an example of how to cite a source in Harvard style reference. “et al.” indicates there are more than 4 authors.


The method of entering sources in the reference list varies from source to source. Here is an example of how a reference is created for a journal article.

Dissertation standards in various countries:

Now that you have an idea of dissertation standards in the UK, you may be wondering what the dissertation standards are, in various countries. Well, there aren’t any major differences when it comes to dissertation structure – almost anywhere you go, a dissertation will have 5-7 chapters and they will be arranged in the same order as in the UK.

However, the formatting styles will vary:

  • The most common referencing style used in USA is APA.
  • Preferred style for citation in Canadian education system is McGill citation style.

Similarly, other countries have their preferred citation and referencing styles. Citation styles also depend on the field of study.

Final thoughts:

If you are planning to study in UK and you are confused about dissertation standards there, this post explains the commonly followed dissertation standards in Britain. Though some detailsmay vary from university to university, the structure and formatting standards mentioned in this post are generally followed by most UK universities.