Dissertation – An Important part of your Masters’ Programme

A dissertation is a critical part of the masters programme, required for you to graduate. By definition dissertation means: “a substantial paper that is typically based on original research and that gives evidence of the candidate’s mastery both of their own subject and of scholarly method.”

There is a wealth of material on aspects of doing dissertation research, from working in a conducive physical environment, through planning and time management, to academic writing style. You may be well adept with researching and have a flair for writing; or could be like many other students, especially those who have little or no experience of producing an academic dissertation.

Outlined here are some of the key points that would help you write a dissertation worthy of ‘full marks’ leading you to your prized Master’s degree.

  1. Choosing a topic

A good start can give you a good finish. This is perhaps the first and most crucial step that you would be taking in the process of producing a good dissertation. There is a considerable literature on ways to decide on a topic, plan and write up a dissertation.

If you do not have any good ideas about a topic, contact your supervisor outlining some general areas, and ask for advice. Look at what other people have done, or in text books or articles, and/or talk to people in your organisation, and see if anything sparks off an idea, as can often happen. If you do already have concrete ideas, write them all down (do not discard any at this point – even ones which may seem not so good) and discuss them with your supervisor and professors.

  1. Constructing the plan

This is a very important exercise. Without a clear plan at the outset, you may find you have collected a large quantity of data with too vague an idea of what to do with it. Some students prefer to read around a subject-area while making extensive notes before constructing a plan. There are various ways of making a plan. Many people like to start with what is known as the Star system: a central idea with subsidiary ideas attached to it, as illustrated here. You begin with a central idea, then attach related ideas to it using lines, out to two or three levels (normally three levels at most, otherwise the diagram becomes unwieldy and even incomprehensible).

3.  Managing time

Time management is something you must have been dealing with right from the onset of the Masters programme. As you inch towards the final stages the course, you must be well aware of all the time management advises you have been given by friends, colleagues, professors, and even internet,  such as not working on your dissertation if you are exhausted, or ignoring something which seems to be distracting you while you work, or working with either background music or in silence depending on what you prefer to do (by the time you get to Masters-level research, it can surely be assumed that you know which you prefer).

 

  1. Data security

Apart from obvious good advice about keeping data well organised, as outlined above, keeping your data secure as well, isn’t really counted as a priority for many. But you will understand how it is of upmost importance to safeguard your hard work.  Do not trust your memory, however good you think it is. Keep complete records of everything you read. Keep a backup copy of all drafts and all notes in a separate location. Do not rely on a single computer. Back up to a removable hard disk or memory stick, or regularly write backups to a CD, or email them to yourself. There is almost nothing worse than the disaster of having lost weeks of work. Data recovery services are expensive and not always successful.

 

  1. Stick to the Basic structure

It is imperative the you follow a structure to pen down an effective dissertation write-up.

  1. Acknowledgements if appropriate/
  2. List of abbreviations.
  3. List of figures and/or tables
  4. Abstract or Executive Summary – normally no more than one page
  5. Introduction – not a description of a company, market etc., but an exposition of the hypothesis or hypotheses, and/or an explanation of the problem(s) or question(s) which will be treated.
  6. A critical review of the relevant literature, partly in order to show the examiner that you are familiar with other people’s work in the field
  7. The method(s) used for gathering the information, and a justification for your decision(s)
  8. The method(s) used for analysing that information and a justification for your decision(s)
  9. The analysis itself, which is often a statistical analysis (and if not, why not?
  10. Presentation of the results.
  11. The conclusions, judgements and/or recommendations (if appropriate) based on the evidence, plus (again if appropriate) suggestions for future research or business activities
  12. Appendix or appendices, if relevant.

 

These steps would assist you getting yourself started on the process. However at any stage, our esteemed professors are always there to guide you through.

 

Get registered for Online Masters today. Download the catalogue for more information.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 5 FAQs that you might ask us

 

You have been contemplating about enrolling in an Online Programme. You know it’s a best fit for your busy professional life and agree with the convenience of not leaving your home and family to get that Masters. But there are some things, you are still not sure of. As a former education advisor, I have come across several questions that prospective students ask, before they get started on the educational adventure. As you search for the right programme for your career advancement, you may also have similar questions about the course and the University. Here are the top 5 for you:

  1. Is the University Recognised and Accredited? Yes. Our courses are held in partnership with the University of     Cumbria, University of Salford and York St John University and are recognised worldwide. The degrees awarded by our Partner Universities are fully recognised by the British Government. The Universities are duly listed on the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills list of recognised UK awarding institutions. Graduates receive the same recognised degree from the University as a full time student receives.

 

2.   Can I complete the programme in One Year?  Yes. the minimum duration to complete the programme is one year.    Depending upon your chosen course, maximum duration is 3 years to 5 years.

 

3. Do I have to be Online at Specific times? and are there any group activities/discussions?

No. Our programmes are specially designed for busy professionals.  

All the lectures are available on your Online Campus portal that can be accessed anytime, from anywhere in the world.                                                                              The students are assessed based on assignments submitted during / at the end of each module, which must be submitted before their respective deadlines.

 

 

4. Fees/ Scholarship/ Finance

Can the fees be paid in instalments and what are the payment plans? Is there a provision for paying per module or per semester?

The fees can be paid in interest free instalments. Once you receive the admission offer, you are required to pay 25% of the course fees. The remaining amount can be paid in 12 monthly instalments. The fees for the residential module if any, need to be paid only when you register for this module. At present, we do not have a provision to pay per module or per semester.

Does RKC provide Scholarships?

Regretfully, we do not offer scholarships. However, we provide an interest free instalment payment plan. Please contact your Education Advisor for more information.

Is the programme eligible for UK student Finance loans or loans from the Canadian government?

No, the online programmes are not eligible for UK Student Finance Loans / Loans from the Canadian government.

Last but not the least..

5. Residency  

What happens in Residency?

One week Residency is a unique networking opportunity where you meet your peers and colleagues from all around the world from different professional backgrounds. Many life-long business partnerships and friendships have started during the residency!

The lectures during the residency will cover various topics like Research Methods in preparation for your
Business Innovation Project, Leadership and other interactive lectures that will include various
contemporary management case studies. The lectures would be conducted by the faculty inside the
university/college campus.

Is it mandatory to attend the residential module?

It is compulsory to attend the residential module to complete the programme successfully and to be awarded a Master degree. The exception is our LL.M in Advanced IT Law programme, which is 100% online.

 

Still have a question? Contact our Education Advisor today. They will be happy to help you!

Advantages of pursuing Master’s from RKC

You may be at that realm of your career, where you want to take the next big leap. Whilst you prepare yourself for that next step, there will be few aspects of going back to studies for higher education that might worry you. You have a full time job that you cannot interrupt; cannot put your life on hold; or be away from your family and finances are limited. Thankfully in the 21st century, we have solution to all your concerns – Online education! Distance education is the solution to the exacting need for education of those who cannot commit to classical student life.

 

 

British education is known around the world for its high quality and many people dream about graduating from a UK university. Nowadays, this dream is much easier to fulfil than you may think. But it is crucial that you attach yourself with a University not only with good repute but the one that also meets all your parameters. While there are numerous universities offering Online programmes, RKC is unique in providing Swiss quality education at the comfort of your homes. Let me enumerate the advantages of doing Master’s with Robert Kennedy College here to aide your decision making:

  1. Worldwide RecognitionThe College pioneered Swiss quality online learning with the programs offered being recognised globally. The Master’s courses are held in partnership with the University of Cumbria, University of Salford and York St John University and are recognised worldwide, accredited and respected.

         

2. State of The Art Technology                                                                                                                                                            

In our commitment to providing state of the art services to students, we use cutting-edge software that is tailor made for online course delivery. OnlineCampus is an all-encompassing interactive and easy-to-use software which makes studying online a truly enjoyable experience.

3. Flexible, from Anywhere                     

Monday morning hellos

A week of exchanges and meeting new people

You are not required to be online at a specific time. The                introductory module familiarises you with the programme design, requirements and resources, as well as with the way online interaction, learning and grading will take place.You take up the course at your own pace from comfort of your home or while travelling for work.

4. One Week Residency 

The one-week residency represents a unique opportunity for students to combine their online learning experience with a traditional classroom environment. You have the unique opportunity to build a global network of business professionals.

5. Master’s without Bachelor’s

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully. Contact our advisor today for your eligibility evaluation.

 

6. Multiple Intake dates

With offering of several intake dates in the year, you have the          freedom to decide when you would like to start your Master’s.

 

 

 

Let us know if you have any questions, we are here to help!

 

 

Congratulations to New UoC Graduates!

It has been an exciting week in Cumbria! Last week, the 3-day Graduation ceremony at Cumbria saw over 2000 students graduating from a wide variety of courses. It’s been an incredible week for all at the University of Cumbria. Each and every graduate would go on to achieve amazing things in their lives and careers.

 

 

Proud Moment!

The long awaited Walk..

 

 

Cheers!

 

Proud family and friends gathered around to cheer the recent graduates, brimming with joy and pride! Their long and enduring hours of tirelessly studying towards their goals, ultimately manifesting into the reality of the degrees and diplomas in their hand! There were bouquets of flowers that some carried into the arena. But mostly, there was an arena full of pride that emulated from grandparents, parents, siblings and cousins as diplomas were handed out.

              

Truly Diverse and an amazing Social Network of Graduates from all over the World

                  

 

We’ve been so happy to see our students graduate. However, they all started with the same step – applying to university.

Are you willing to take the ‘Risk’?

Every business faces risk. These risks present potential threat to the success of the business. Risk is defined as a probability or threat of damage, injury, liability, loss, or any other negative occurrence that is caused by external or internal vulnerabilities, and that may be avoided through preemptive action. 

What I found interesting, is the next part of the definition of Risk here: Risk is not an uncertainty (where neither the probability nor the mode of occurrence is known), a peril (cause of loss), or a hazard (something that makes the occurrence of a peril more likely or more severe).

So Risk is not an uncertainty and it can be avoided with preemptive action. This is where Risk Management in business comes into play!

What is Risk Management?
risk man·age·ment
noun
(in business) the forecasting and evaluation of financial risks together with the identification of procedures to avoid or minimize their impact.

 

Risk management is a proactive process for resolving problems before they occur. It focuses on identifying what could go wrong, evaluating which risks should be dealt with and implementing strategies to deal with those risks. Businesses that have identified the risks will be better prepared and have a more cost-effective way of dealing with them. Risk management is the practice of using processes, methods and tools for managing these risks.

 

A risk management process is pretty simple and involves following steps:

  • Identification of the risks (there are several kinds of risks: strategic, compliance, financial and operational) surrounding the business  activities
  • assessing the likelihood of an event occurring
  • planning the framework to respond to these events
  • implementation of the plan of action as necessary
  • monitoring the effectiveness of your risk management approaches and controls

 

There is another interesting aspect of Risk Management : Apart from assessing the effect of the negative; It’s also about managing the positive outcome of risk: opportunity. More and more businesses are now focusing on harnessing the ‘opportunity’ for their strategic success.

Our Online MBA Risk Management caters to the demand of specialised risk managers in the global business arena. It explores the range of concepts and functions of risk management and associated practices within the business sector. Download the catalogue to learn more about the programme and the enrolment process

 

Changing Careers – Points to Consider

People consider a change in career for a number of reasons – hopes and aspirations at the start of your career might have changed, you may have developed new passions and interests, desire for better salary, better work hours, etc. These are just some of the reasons, amongst the multitude of reasons, that might be influencing your decision in changing your career.

However, before you reach decision, it is vital that you evaluate your present situation and the opportunities that might still be available in your current career. Explore the other career options available and evaluate how this new career aligns with your objectives.

The following are a few points to consider when evaluating your career change.

  • Evaluate Current Job Satisfaction:The fact that you are contemplating a change in career is ample evidence of the level of your job satisfaction. But have you sat down and analysed why you need this career change, is it job satisfaction (related to the actual work that you do) or is it because of some external factors, like – work environment, colleagues, the company culture and not the actual work that you do, then may be all you have to do is change this external factor that seems to be having such a profound impact on you. If the dissatisfaction arises from the job that you are doing, look at opportunities within your organisation in the field that you are interested in, as you already have knowledge of the industry and the organisation, this is probably the easiest move to make.
  • Skill and Interest Assessment:Analyse all of your previous roles, regardless of how significant or insignificant they might seem. Identify your stronger skills sets, your strength and weakness, the jobs you enjoyed doing, the roles you enjoyed handling. This will help in assessing possible career alternatives.
  • Career Alternatives: Consider alternative careers based on your skill set, educational qualifications, work experience and other qualifications. Discuss with your family and friends the possible career options. Get in touch with the business network you have developed over the years and discuss possibilities with them. Also, it’s never too late to meet a career counsellor for professional advice.

  • Job Opportunities: Once you have determined on the kind of job vertices that interest you, do a comparative evaluation of the various verticals and identify a few with potential for an in-depth analysis. You will find a wealth of information online, but try to also get personal, set up meeting with people in your network (friends, family, school alumni, professional contacts, etc.) and discuss the opportunity and possible career change with them. There is no more valuable information than first-hand information.
  • Get a feel of it: If you are going to be changing careers then you should be certain that the move you make is the right one for you. It is very rare that you will get a third opportunity at building the career you want. Try to secure an internship or even take on a part-time job in the field of your primary interest, it need only be for a short time, however the more time you can commit to the study the clearer picture you will get.
  • Upgrade your Skill: The best way to change your career is to get qualified for it. Do a short-term course or better still, do a master’s degree programme related to the field that you are interested in, it is the quickest way to get ahead or catch up on lost ground.

Robert Kennedy College with almost 14,000 students from almost every county in the world offers one of the most diverseaccredited and globally recognised online master’s degree programmes in both Business Law, Leadership and Management through exclusive partnerships with British universities. For more information download programme catalogue.

3 British Universities, 31 Online Programmes to choose from

Robert Kennedy College is a private educational institution in Zürich, Switzerland that was founded in 1998. RKC is a pioneer in online education and provides Swiss Quality Education from Universities based in the United Kingdom. Thus our slogan “Swiss quality, British tradition”. At Robert Kennedy College, we offer Online Masters programmes in exclusive partnership with three British Universities.

 

 

Our Education Partners:

  1. University of Cumbria

The University of Cumbria is ranked on the Guardian University Guide. A number of courses come out “Top in the North              West” and the university is Ranked in the Top Three in the North West for Business and Management studies. The University offers a high-quality learning experience in a supportive environment which enables students to achieve their personal and professional potential wherever they study. RKC in collaboration with University of Cumbria offers Online MBA and LLM Programmes. You can choose from the wide array of specialisation that suits your career requirements; from MBA in Leadership and Sustainability, MBA International Healthcare Management, MBA Media Leadership to MBA Energy and Sustainability and MBA Finance and Sustainability are the most popular courses amongst the students worldwide. Online Master of Laws LL.M is offered in International Business Law. The University of Cumbria is ranked 15th in the United Kingdom in the Guardian University Guide for Law (2014).

2.  University of Salford

Thanks to an exclusive partnership with the Robert Kennedy College in Zürich, Switzerland, the University of Salford Business School MSc Programmes in Global Management, Project Management, Financial Services Management, Marketing, and Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Human Resource Management and Development, Information Systems Management, International Banking and Finance and LLM International Commercial Law are now available on a global basis via online learning. In this video, Prof. Dr. iur. David Costa, Dean Robert Kennedy College, explains why you should consider RKC to pursue your Master of Science, MSc Programme:

 

3. York St John University

Today the University is based on an award-winning campus in the centre of the ancient city of York where its students study a broad range of subjects. It has a highly recognised reputation for its teaching and learning, and a wide network of regional, national, and international partnerships which now includes Robert Kennedy College. Programmes offered include MBA Leading Innovation and Change and MBA Management Consulting amongst four other specialisations. Verify our exclusive partnership with York St John University here.

Talk to our education advisor today, to know more about the Online Masters programmes offered.

 

 

Fear of Failure

In life, on several occasions, the real-world situation unfolds in an entirely different manner than what we are advised or we envision it would. We are taught to be leaders, be confident and be certain of every action we take. Of the several traits and qualities of being a competent leader, we are taught to be fearless. However, the fear of failure is an all-pervasive part of the human psyche. Failure is defined as the ‘lack of success’. Lack of which induces a feeling of paucity, in turn further inducing the ‘fear of failure’ in the future endeavours.

“Failure is so important. We speak about success all the time. It is the ability to resist failure or use failure that often leads to greater success. I’ve met people who don’t want to try for fear of failing.” – J.K. Rowling

Fear can adversely affect one’s ability to do things, confidence  and willingness to face any challenges that arise. We are afraid of deploying any ingenious methods, stemming out of the reluctance of taking even minor risks. We fear not only of the outcomes, but also of the deemed image; especially when one is at a leadership position.

“Failure isn’t fatal, but failure to change might be” – John Wooden

Fear cripples the progress and creativity. Change is inevitable and one must embrace the change and advance with valour. First, we must create an environment in which failure is not ridiculed or shamed but encouraged. Teams should strive for a culture rooted in trust because it grants the members a greater capacity for innovation

 “It’s failure that gives you the proper perspective on success.” – Ellen DeGeneres

 

Second, we must not be risk-aversive. Once we are surrounded by those who are more accepting of failure, we can encourage and pursue taking risks early. Fail hard, and fail fast.

 “When you take risks you learn that there will be times when you succeed and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important.” – Ellen DeGeneres

By taking risks early on, we contrive plans to embrace larger repercussions, and the confidence bolstered in those unconventional decisions, results in greater achievement.

Reflection session

Reflection session

Now taking risk not always commensurates to the need of the hour. Planning the ‘next step’ and thinking ahead is vital. Risks come with only a chance of success, and sometimes the odds are not in our favor.

 “You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash

We can instead redirect our efforts on what to do next. We encourage this outlook to prevent plateauing personal growth with negative emotion, which also has a high chance of affecting the team’s performance and our future level of contribution.

Finally,

“Failure should be our teacher, not our undertaker. Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end. Failure is something we can avoid only by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” – Denis Waitley

 

Do not let fear come in your way to advance your studies. Talk to our advisor today about the courses offered online and get your customised study-plan.

 

How to choose a career for yourself

When It Comes to Careers, Change Is a Constant

Apparently, it is one of the toughest and most crucial decisions (apart from choosing a life partner) that each one of us take in our lives. You can be at any stage of your life – a professional working in the field for several years – trying to do something new or just venturing into the practical world after finishing your education; determining your career path can prove to be an extremely overwhelming process.

There are hundreds and thousands of career options. And with the advancements in technology, social media and online interfaces, newer careers have boomed in last few years. The more choices we have, the more anxiety it causes us and the more we fear the consequences of making the wrong decision. We have a natural tendency to not want to close doors, so instead we will scramble back and forth to keep each option open “just in case.” Instead of helping us, this leads to a debilitating sense of indecision.

 

For most of us, our career paths are predetermined. Predetermined by parents, friends, peers, society and circumstances. As a child, we swim (or just try to) in the river, which our parents and society trust is the best path to our successes. We are told how to keep afloat and follow the pack and what our goals should be. Our job isn’t to think about our path—it’s to succeed on the path we’ve been placed on, based on the way success has been defined for us. Now, some of us develop passions and interest on the path they are put onto and make successful careers; whilst others are left pondering on their career decisions. But everyone, (including the successful ones) should pause and introspect if it was really them who chalked out their career paths? The map of your career path should be self designed.

With a little self-exploration and some research, you can easily choose a career that will leave you feeling fulfilled.

Ideally, everyone would know their true calling early in life and find happiness in their work, but it often doesn’t work that way. One survey (of New York professionals) found that they expected to change careers three times in their lifetimes; lifelong careers may not be the norm any more.

Here is what you can do:

Identify your skill set : Evaluate yourself on the various aspects where you are good at. Ask friends, family, colleague for their inputs and narrowing down your strengths.

Jot down your interests and passions: Enlist the things you love to do. It could be sculpting, nature walks, travelling, volunteering, building things, woodcraft etc.

Determining the Option Pool: Bringing together your wants and the reality (skill set), you get a pool of practical options for your career choice.

Be lead by your own aspirations and not societal expectations: Your career choice should be an informed personal decision based on a thorough knowledge of your own strengths, skills, interests, style and values; and not what society expects to become or do in life.

and most importantly,

Believe in yourself!

 

For more information about our Online programmes that can help shape your career; download the catalogue.

 

 

Master’s…Now or Later?

A majority of the people struggle with this question, whilst contemplating to pursue a Master’s: should they start their Master’s now or later? Being at different stages of their lives, prospective students find the reasons to postpone the Masters primarily are lack of time (they have full time and demanding jobs), their jobs require them to travel a lot, lack of money and family responsibilities. So when is the right time to pursue your Master’s? Right after you finish your undergraduate degree? Or rather wait for couple of years and then become a student again?

There are on set ways and either approach works for different people.

Advantages of starting your Master’s right after finishing your undergraduate degree:

  1. Still in a habit of studying : People start working right after undergraduate degree to earn a salary, support life-style, family, buy house etc. and the delay becomes indefinite. When you start your Master’s early, you are still habitual to studying, attending classes, submitting assignments, without having to worry much about other chores of your life.
  2. Peer Support: Everything gets harder as the time flies. Generation gaps are huge these days, even between first and second year students. So when you start early, you will find peers of your age and generation and the support and understanding is better.
  3. Be able to plan ahead and define better goals: After completing your undergraduate degree you have a fair idea of what you want to do and where you want your career to head. A Master’s degree will help plan your future better and give it a definitive direction in the field you want to be in eg. Finance, Healthcare, Media, Human Resources, project or Information systems management.
  4. Give you an edge in job market: Appearing for a job interview and having a Master’s degree already on your resume, will give you an edge and put you way ahead of others.

Advantages of starting your Master’s later in your professional lives:

  1. Switch careers: This is one of the most popular and easiest way to switch your careers to different fields, no matter what stage of your career you are in. You can start alternate careers or even enrich your existing jobs with new knowledge of the Master’s degree.
  2. Fund your Masters: When you have worked for a couple of years, it becomes easier for you to fund your Masters’ yourself or even secure an education loan. You find yourself in a better position financially.
  3. Build a valuable experience: Most of the students studying online bring with them vast seas of practical knowledge and add to the quality of the course in group assignments, interactions, and discussions. You are able to apply the theoretical knowledge of the course to the practical business world in real time with the online programmes.
  4. Clarity of life and career: you would have a better vision and aim for your life and know exactly where you want your career to head.

 

Download our course catalogue, and speak to our advisors today about the next intake.