last updated:13/01/2023 @ 1:41 pm
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Dissertation timetable

Indicative timetable for MFOM dissertations written “for purpose” (Regulation M12a)

This dissertation timetable has been developed by the Chief Examiner (Research Methods) to guide trainees with their planning when preparing and writing their dissertations.

FOM guidelines on writing a dissertation for purpose stress the importance of early planning by trainees, but a 2012 audit by FOM showed that the recommended timelines are seldom being followed.  The late submission of dissertations is the principal reason that trainees’ CCT completion dates become delayed and the most common reason for issuing an unsatisfactory ARCP outcome.

Clearly, the responsibility to lay timely plans lies with each trainee. However, other stakeholders need to be more proactive at an earlier stage, including educational supervisors and ARCP panels. It is recommended that ARCP panels award trainees an outcome 2 or 3 if at ARCP review they fail to demonstrate that they have met the stages indicated in the timetable below.

Before starting the process, trainees should ensure that they have read the dissertation guide and the following:

Indicative stage of  training Stage of dissertation Activities
During ST-3 Prior to submission of outline protocol
  • Choose general topic
  • Begin literature review and list references in correct format; consider using reference management software
  • Agree academic supervision:  by educational supervisor, MSc supervisor, other academic supervisor
  • What additional advice or collaboration is needed? (eg statistical advice, occupational hygiene)
  • Consider attending relevant course(s) (eg on research design, statistics, or technical procedures)
  • Refine topic and specific objectives of research during discussions with supervisor
  • Submit for ethics approval, if required
  • Obtain other permission(s) required (eg to use data or facilities belonging to employer)
  • Agree outline timetable with educational supervisor
  • Apply for any funding or resources needed
End of ST-3 or beginning of ST-4 Outline protocol
  • Submit Form M2 and outline to FOM for protocol review(s)
  • Discuss suggestions from reviewers with supervisor
  • Make any revisions you consider necessary
  • If necessary, agree revisions with other stakeholders (eg ethics committee or employer)
ST-4 and ST-5 Data collection and analysis
  • Continue literature review (draft References section while so doing)
  • Draft Methods section and collect data
  • Draw up blank Tables and Figures and analyse data
  • Discuss findings and their implications with supervisor
At the latest, by mid-way through ST5 Drafting
  • Write first draft
  • Discuss first draft with supervisor
  • Consider presenting work to local peer-groups for feedback and comment (eg SOM group, industry-specific group)
ST-5 or ST-6 Final drafting
  • Make revisions
  • Check all tables and figures; check citations, index, and glossary; proofread for clarity, spelling and grammar
  • Discuss final draft with supervisor
  • Draft statement of contributions
Recommended to be before ST-6 Assessment
  • Submit Form M3 and 2 copies of unbound dissertation to FOM for assessment
ST-5 and ST-6 Revision, resubmission
  • Discuss assessors’ feedback with supervisor
  • Make any revisions required by assessor(s) and resubmit, if necessary
Before CCT awarded
  • Once approved, submit bound copy to FOM