What EXACTLY Happens if You Fail Your Dissertation Project?

June 28, 2024

fail dissertation

Failing a dissertation is one of the most difficult and painful experiences for many students. After months of research and writing, the last thing you want is to get failing marks. So what happens if you fail a dissertation?

If you fail your dissertation project, your institution will give you another chance to redo the work and re-submit it based on an agreed date. However, you institution will cap the marks for a resubmitted dissertation at a pass level.

Notably, it’s highly unlikely for students to fail their dissertations straight outright. More often than not, the possibility of failure often arises from a student’s negligence, which it’s easy to avoid with proper planning.

Just because you’ve failed a dissertation, if you have, doesn’t mean it’s the end of life. You still get the chance to change your marks from a fail to a pass.

In this guide, you’ll learn everything about failed dissertation, including the options you have to redeem yourself from the failing marks to the bare pass level.

Let’s get started.

What Does it Mean to Fail a Dissertation?

To fail a dissertation paper means you have scored below the institution’s cut mark, which is often a 40. The majority of pupils can beat the cut-off points by as little as one point, which means it’s often unlikely that one would intentionally fail the project.

You cannot graduate if you fail a dissertation. In fact, graduating with a failed grade would be tantamount to celebrating your failure. Most colleges permit re-sits, after which students may graduate if they get the required grade.

As a result, if you want to be included on the graduation list, you should work hard enough to make sure you don’t fail your dissertation. You have to aim to get a 40, although it’s best to aim higher because the set minimum marks don’t necessarily have to be the limit.

Why Do Students Fail Their Dissertations?

Nothing is as frustrating as spending months on a dissertation only to fail the assignment in the end. The question is, “why do students get failing marks in the first place”?

1. Failure to Dedicate Time to the Project

It’s possible to get failing marks for a dissertation because of failing to dedicate enough time to do the work.

The majority of college and university students are preoccupied with other aspects of their lives, such as employment or family. These factors may reduce the amount of time available for study, resulting in failure.

2. Plagiarism: Students Copying Other Research Projects as their Own

Another possible cause of failure is plagiarism. If your institution establishes beyond a reasonable doubt that you’ve copied another person’s work and use it as your own, you stand a 100% chance to fail the dissertation project.

From what we understand, plagiarism is usually the first thing that many institutions look at when students submit their dissertation projects.

3. Lack of Assistance from Project Supervisor

It’s possible for a student fail a dissertation if they don’t get enough help from your supervisor. Because the majority of instructors are overworked, finding time for their students becomes a nightmare. As a result, the student doesn’t get the help they need to stay on the right track, particularly for a technical course.

How Bad Does a Dissertation Project has to be to Fail?

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll fail a dissertation project. A dissertation isn’t some assignment that you have to submit in two hours or within two weeks. You have more than 6 months to complete the project, which is enough to research, outline, write, proofread, and submit the assignment.

You’ll make mistakes as you work on the assignment, but the errors should be easy to fix provided you’re on schedule. Moreover, you will have your work evaluated on a chapter-by-chapter basis. So, by the time you get to the conclusion, your supervisor will have mentioned the errors you need to fix to make your dissertation stand out. 

While the chances of failing the dissertation are extremely low, some students still fail because their dissertations are extremely bad. A dissertation is bad if:

  • There are parts of the final document missing. For example, you risk failing if the work doesn’t have an abstract or study techniques.
  • The document doesn’t have a formally accepted and approved layout. Failure to adhere to the proper format may result in your work getting failing marks. For example, the conclusion cannot come before results and findings.
  • You omit technical words or adequate research procedures.

These examples demonstrate a lack of understanding, which is the dissertation’s central theme.

What to Do if You Fail a Dissertation

Is it possible to redo the dissertation project the same way you would other types of assignments in college or university?

Well, you have the option to redo your dissertation if you don’t get a 40, but keep in mind that your institution will reduce the pass mark to a minimum. You won’t get anything close to a grade B, but at least you will get passing marks.

Keep in mind that you only have one last chance to redo the dissertation project. If you fail a second time, your institution will declare that you’ve failed completely. So if you failed your dissertation the first time, take the second attempt as an opportunity to give the project the most attention possible because you cannot afford to fail twice. 

How Not to Fail a Dissertation

Here’s how not to fail a dissertation project:

  • Review your work before to submission. This will make it easy for you to identify mistakes, strange formatting, or an incorrect structure. Verify that each section is where it should be and that no component is missing.
  • Run the work through a plagiarism checker. Additionally, examine your references and sources to avoid plagiarism fines.
  • Consult your supervisor: When you’re through writing a section, double-check that what you’ve written is consistent with the paper’s overall objective. If you encounter any difficulties, address them immediately before they grow too large for you to handle.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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