My dissertation was poorly supervised and affected my degree score. What can I do?

Writing a dissertation can be one of the hardest and most stressful things you are ever called upon to do as a student.

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 relationship with your supervisor. Make sure, before you go any further, that the problem is not 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.

You still have rights even when the damage is done

If the worst has come to pass and you feel that your poor relationship with your dissertation supervisor has actually resulted in you receiving a poor grade for your dissertation, and in turn your 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, who can help support students who have been treated unfairly at university.

Ultimately there is no need to let your academic career suffer because of poor supervision.

Salima Mawji_Match SolicitorsRead the full article here.

Salima Mawji is a director at Education Law specialists Match Solicitors, recognised as one of the UK’s leading lawyers in further and higher education. Described in Chambers UK as “very effective”, she has a very high success rate in internal university appeals. Salima regularly speaks at high-profile events and is a commentator for national media, most recently appearing on ITV’s Exposure: Undercover Colleges.