By Jenna Condie
I’m often asked how to structure a qualitative dissertation and I find that seeing other dissertations can help to 1) recognise the structural similarities and writing conventions, and 2) recognise that all dissertations are slightly different and it’s perfectly ok to do your own thing too. So I recently went on the hunt for some examples of qualitative psychology Masters theses to help MSc Media Psychology students in writing up their qualitative research.
I found a few qualitative psychology Masters theses online (see below) but PhD theses and undergraduate dissertations seem more available electronically (I’ve also included some examples of each below). Perhaps there is gap for an online hub of Masters projects? If you know of one, I’d love to hear about it.
- Conroy, M. (2010) A Qualitative Study of the Psychological Impact of Unemployment on Individuals, Dublin Institute of Technology. Submitted for the award of Masters in Child, Family and Community Studies
- Heinze, I. (2011) Making Sense of the Social Aspects of Business Failure, The University of Edinburgh*, Submitted for the award of Master of Science in Psychological Research Methods
- Lyon, T. (2011) Beyond the future: Fortune telling as constituted in the media, The University of Edinburgh*, Submitted for the award of MSc in the History and Theory of Psychology
*Found via the University of Edinburgh’s search option for Psychology Masters thesis collection here.
- Brown, P. (2005) Life in dispersal: narratives of asylum, identity and community, Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield (Phil just happens to be my PhD supervisor!)
- Chernicoff, E. (2002) Becoming Visible : A Qualitative Analysis of Female to Male Transsexuals’ Coming Out Experiences, PhD thesis, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Clements, A. (2012) Commitment in students training for caring professions: a focus on student nurses’ experience of support, PhD thesis, University of Bedfordshire (a mixed methods example)
- Howarth, C. (2000) “So, you’re from Brixton?”: Towards a social psychology of community. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
- Foskett, E. (2012) A discourse analysis using feminist strands of thought to analyse advertisements, Download from the MMU Psychology Dissertations Journal here.
- Walker, S. (2012) “Follow, follow?”: A thematic analysis of how geographical location, social intensity & masculinity are predictors for ‘casting’ nationality with football, Download from the MMU Psychology Dissertations Journal here
Whilst searching, I also found a Masters dissertation on social media’s role in branding which applies cultivation theory…might be of interest to our MSc Media Psych students.
- North, N. (2011) Social Media’s role in branding: A study of social media use and the cultivation of brand effect, trust and loyalty, The University of Texas at Austin, Submitted for the award of Master of Arts
Quite a few of the dissertations uploaded to the MMU Psychology Dissertations Journal are also media related. You can search the Journal here.
It’s great to see how others have conquered the challenges of writing up but there does come a point where you need to stop looking at other people’s work and focus on writing your own work in your own way. Good luck!
P.S. Don’t forget to adhere to your University’s specific guidance on writing up dissertations and theses too!
Thanks to @DrAClements, @ClareUytman, @ej_odwyer, @spatialsyndave, @drshroyer, @cyberandrew, @marcdonncadh, @paulbyrneuk, @DrSharronH, @GalvinMary, @VickiMcDermott for their retweets and suggestions which informed this post.