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My dissertation was not properly supervised. I have now not got the degree I wanted. Is there anything I can do?

My dissertation was not properly supervised. I have now not got the degree I wanted. Is there anything I can do?

Writing a dissertation can be one of the hardest and most stressful things you are ever called upon to do as a student. Even if you're the perfect scholar and you happen to do all of your research and note-taking well in advance, there will still be times when you find yourself feeling anxious, harassed and irritable. So what you absolutely need to help see you through the stressful times is a supervisor who is supportive and on your side. Sadly, such a supervisor is not always available.

If you are one of the unlucky students whose dissertation supervisor is unhelpful and unfriendly, maybe even to the point where you know they haven't read your work, then this could impact on your degree and ultimately have a detrimental effect upon your life.

What to do if your supervisor is not on your side…

If you're at the point where things are starting to go wrong, there are a few things you can do to try and rectify the situation before it's too late:

  • Examine your own part in the evolution of your relationship with your supervisor. Make sure, before you go any further, that the problem is not at least partially your fault.
  • If you're certain your dissertation supervisor is not giving you the support to which you're entitled, make an appointment to see him or her to discuss the situation. Be sure to prepare for the meeting with notes concerning your grievance.
  • Remember to be clear, calm, unemotional and as objective as possible.
  • If the relationship has already broken down, however, it may be time to speak to a third party within your department.
  • If things have gone even further and you're sure you can no longer work with your supervisor, check to see if your university or college has procedures in place for you to change supervisor. This will often depend on how far you are through your course.

What to do when the damage is done…

If the worst has come to the worst and you feel that your poor relationship with your dissertation supervisor has actually resulted in you receiving a poor grade for your dissertation, and that has impacted on your overall degree, you have a number of options open to you.

The first is to consider whether you can make an academic appeal and/or a formal complaint. Your college or university will have an appeals and a complaint procedure for you to follow. The second is that you seek the advice of dedicated education law specialists such as those at Match Solicitors.

At Match Solicitors, we have helped a great many students who have been treated unfairly in school, college or university, and if you feel that your academic career has suffered because of poor supervision, then call us today and speak openly to one of our experts.


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