Dissertation to Publication

Many MSc Society and Space students publish their dissertation research.

Every year a few of our MSc Society and Space students publish their research dissertations as articles in major geography journals. All MSc students need to write an original dissertation of 13,000 words. This is begun once students successfully complete their course work components of the degree. And the dissertation can focus focus on anything that the student finds of interest to them, as long as staff within the school can support it. We don’t want to encourage you to research something about which we have no ability to support academically.

Our students’ dissertations are generally of excellent quality, and a few, for those interested, go on to be re-shaped into journal articles for publication. Many supervisors often help in this re-writing and re-working of ideas and texts once the dissertations are complete and submitted. Most of the re-writing and publication happens when students go on to begin their PhDs. But, once in a while, for those who don’t go on to study PhDs, dissertations are re-worked for publication without the graduate being in an academic program.

A few recent examples of publications which began life as our students’ MSc dissertations can be found in the following links. In each of these cases, the authors were (or are presently) PhD students who worked their projects up into articles.

  1. The first is an example of a paper recently published in Progress in Human GeographyIt is first authored by Harry Bregazzi, a current PhD student and instructor within the School, whose work focuses on the geographies of peace.
  2. The second is by a recent PhD graduate, Tom Roberts, who now works as a lecturer and researcher in Melbourne, Australia. It was published in Environment and Planning a and focuses on materiality in consumptive agential landscapes, particularly IKEA.
  3. A third is by a recently submitted PhD student, Nina Williams, who also works as an instructor in our department. Her work focuses on aesthetics, materiality, mobility, and urban environments. It was also published in Environment and Planning a.
  4. A fourth example is by a recent PhD graduate, Joanna Mann, who now works in the knitting and craft industry. Her MSc dissertation, at the time, was on the phenomenon of yarn-bombing, and was published in Area. Her PhD work went on to focus on the materialities of knitting, embodiment, and the political ontology of crafting social relationships.

Beyond these four indicative recent examples, numerous other graduates have also published their ‘Society and Space’ research projects as amongst their first academic articles. Doing so provides an excellent way to learn what’s needed to transform the hard work of dissertation writing into professionally published and refereed articles. It is also a good way to learn a little about the often opaque and time-consuming processes of academic publishing.

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