1. General Tips
    1. The topic
    2. The supervisor
  2. Writing tips
  3. Useful tools
  4. A suggested document structure

Based on my past MSc supervisions at FEUP—Information Science and Informatics Engineering—and on the materials made available at the Dissertation Planning curricular unit of FEUP, I have compiled a few quick guidelines for new MSc students who want to write a good dissertation.

These are NOT official recommendations from the course. Take them as extra tips, but always follow all recommendations from the course professors.

General Tips

For some tips about how to carry out a successful MSc dissertation, I have compiled a list of opinionated articles (read at your own peril!).

The topic

My advice is to look at the Curricular Units that you have enjoyed the most, and get in touch with the professors that lectured you in those units. If you can find common ground for collaboration in a research context, go for it!

The final dissertation is a great opportunity for you to have a taste of a research environment and practices. It is a great way for you to do something you really like before you leave the academic environment and start your professional career. Industry is really cool too, don’t get me wrong—but it can be harder to do exploratory research work like you can in an academic environment. Also, since money is in many times a factor, you can often get a research scholarship with your Masters dissertation if it can contribute to a research project; talk with your potential supervisor to see what are the chances of that.

The supervisor

This is closely linked to the topic that you wish to follow. My only advice is to get in touch with your potential supervisors beforehand and try to get a feel for their research interests and taught subjects: do they align with what you want to learn before the end of your course? Does this person have a good track record of supervisions? What is the opinion of the older students that were supervised by your potential supervisors? Be proactive and get in touch with everyone, do not wait until the last moment.

Writing tips

Useful tools

A suggested document structure