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Dissertation- Year 2

The purpose of the dissertation is is to ensure that you have a good understanding of research practice and study design. The dissertation content is designed to assess you on your academic ability, critical thinking, originality and your understanding of the pragmatics of research.

You are required to complete the dissertation of up to 10,000 words. This is a substantial piece of work and accounts for 40% of the total marks awarded for the MSc degree.

A list of dissertation projects and potential supervisors will be provided in Michaelmas term (October),  year two, of the course. Dissertations may be based on data analysis, literature review, a small primary research project or pilot for a larger piece of research, or an extended essay (for example, on ethics, or clinical trial design in precision medicine).

Dissertation timeline: 

October to December Prepare and submit dissertation proposal
March to August Undertake research and write up findings
August Submit dissertation

Oxford based laboratory projects: A limited number of laboratory projects based in Oxford will be available. It is expected that these projects will require a full-time block of study (12 weeks) to accommodate the requirements of laboratory based research.  A small number of bursaries will be available to assist with the cost of travel to Oxford and accommodation costs.

EXAMPLE DISSERTATION TITLES:

Lab-based:

  • Development of a next generation sequencing methodology to identity poor risk copy number abnormalities in multiple myeloma.
  • Development of a highly sensitive method for detection of resistance mutations from cell-free circulating tumour DNA.

Desk-based:

  • Development of a bio-informatic pipeline and comparison of results from short and long-read sequencing of clinically relevant immunoglobulin rearrangements in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
  • Critical Review (literature and through interviews of relevant stakeholders) of the national and international Big Data Initiatives in Cancer and Haematological Malignancies.
  • Systematic literature review of patient and public preferences for outcomes associated with genomic sequencing.