Rethinking final-year projects and dissertations: creative Honours and capstone projects

  • Start date: 2010-08-01
  • End date: 2012-07-31
  • Amount: £200,000
  • Status: complete
  • Funding Initiative: NTFS - Projects

The Honours Dissertation is the traditional undergraduate capstone and is often seen as the gold-standard of British HE.  It provides an excellent apprenticeship for students wishing to undertake research degrees, but with increasing student diversity and growth of professional disciplines, it does not necessarily provide for all students and employers’ needs. 

This project aimed to transform institutional practices and assessment strategies through creative solutions for developing accessible alternative honours projects to meet the needs of students from different backgrounds, different subjects and different kinds of institution.  Emphasis was placed on employer- and community-based projects, as these align with HE policy and provide challenging settings for students, staff and stakeholders, particularly around appropriate assessment and rigorous comparability of standards.  Such creative honours projects should extend independent learning and critical thinking, whilst enhancing students’ employability and capability as lifelong-learners. 

Creative-Hops worked with five Subject Centres, students, professional bodies, and employer and community groups to provide guidance on the development, assessment and assurance of honours projects.  It assembled an international good practice resource-bank, captured the student experience, and developed and evaluated creative honours projects within University of Gloucestershire, culminating in a National Showcase and Grand Findings dissemination events.

The findings are displayed on the project web site.  Case studies have continued to be collected since the project ended and a full set is available at A book has now been produced based on the findings of the project:

Developing and enhancing undergraduate final-year projects and dissertations

This book draws on the findings of the project but goes much wider to include a discussion based on over 70 case studies of interesting practices around the development of final-year projects and dissertations, half of which are from countries outside the UK. 

  • University of Gloucestershire

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