CIPD Level 7 dissertation – done! #ICSrealstories

“Learning experiences are like journeys. The journey starts where the learning is now, and ends when the learner is successful. The end of the journey isn’t knowing more, it’s doing more”. 

Julie Dirksen

I know I don’t normally publish a blog post every time I complete a piece of work on my CIPD Level 7 journey but today will be an exception as I finally pushed the submit button on my dissertation! It is admittedly the biggest and most time consuming challenge for Level 7 students, so I hope by writing this, it can provide some much needed reassurance around tackling the Investigating a Business Issue module.

A lot of people I speak to are really intimidated by this particular module, I am not sure if it is due the the 7000 word count and reflective report or if it is simply the volume of work involved, but if you are umming and ahhing like I was over this, then I promise it really isn’t as scary as you think!

Firstly, remember that this module is meant to be a challenge, after all, nothing worth working for comes easily, so do keep this in mind when approaching this module. I’ve pulled together some learning points that may help you when it comes to approaching this piece of work so I hope you find it useful.

Identify a subject that you are passionate about

You will be spending a lot go time researching and reading on this subject, so make sure you picked something that you want to spend a lot of time on. Within my current role, it is very reactive as I respond to the requirements of the client as and when they need me, so with my report, I decided to take the opportunity to highlight a key area which impacts on most organisations; multi generational workforces. The reason I chose this is to see how all generations can work together, shifting the focus from traditional millennial focused reasearch which is commonly published. I believe that there is an opportunity for employers to become more inclusive of all generations and this is a subject area that really interests me, so I wasn’t bored or lost sight of my project and I feel that is really important when studying.

Identify your primary and secondary research methods

Don’t just rely upon information you find on the internet, identify what you want to achieve from this module and research the heck out of it! For my report I conducted a Survey Monkey survey and sent it out to my network who gave me lots of information but also feedback on my approaches, this really helps when creating your refective report so you have constructuve learning points as you go.

Your secondary research allows you to evidence and benchmark your key points, we hear the term evidence based HR a lot, this is exactly that in practice, so if you haven’t had any exposure to this within your daily role, this is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

Keep positive and keep going!

Once you have all your research pulled together, the analysis part can begin and where you can start to write your research report. I did this as I went along so that I didn’t miss any of the key information and admittedly, there were times that I got writers block and I found that incredibly frustrating. But it’s important to stay positive, remember what you are working for and to keep going, if you stop, that short break can turn from weeks to months and you can lose sight of where you left off easily so keep going!

Review your work

When you have completed your report, make sure that you review it all in full to make sure all of your points are covered, it sounds like a simple step but it is worthwhile and you may wish to make those final adjustments at this point.

Submit your dissertation!

This is the best part of completing a piece of work, on the ICS learning portal, it marks your progress as you submit your work so you always know where you are and what is coming next so you can keep on track of your studies. Then it’s time to sit back and wait for your work to be graded – fingers crossed!

Studying your CIPD via distance learning

As I work full time, studying my CIPD at university isn’t really an option for me as I have to travel with my work, I need flexibility to study when I choose, ICS offer an affordable and easy way to study which suits me perfectly and is giving me the opportunity to finally achieve my CIPD Level 7 Diploma. I also studied my Level 3 and 5 with ICS and have returned every time. If you want o find out more about the courses and how you can achieve your CIPD qualification, check out their website here.

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