In an MSc dissertation, the literature review typically does not belong to either the introduction or the methodology sections. Instead, it is usually presented as a separate chapter or section of its own. The literature review provides a comprehensive overview of the existing research and knowledge relevant to your research topic. It lays the foundation for your research by showing what has already been studied, what gaps or unresolved issues exist, and how your work will contribute to the field.
Here’s a breakdown of where the literature review fits within the structure of an MSc dissertation:
Introduction: The introduction of your dissertation sets the stage for your research. It includes background information about the topic, the research problem or question, and the objectives or aims of your study. However, it doesn’t typically include an in-depth literature review. Instead, you might briefly mention key concepts and existing studies to provide context for your research problem.
Literature Review: The literature review is its own separate section or chapter. It comes after the introduction and before the methodology. This is where you thoroughly review and synthesize the existing literature, discussing the theories, models, studies, and methodologies relevant to your research topic. You highlight the gaps or limitations in current research that your study intends to address. Your literature review should help the reader understand your field’s current state of knowledge and the rationale behind your research.
Methodology: The methodology section follows the literature review. Here, you detail the research design, methods, data collection procedures, and data analysis techniques you will use to answer your research question or address your research problem. This section explains how you plan to conduct your research and collect the necessary data.
In summary, the literature review is a distinct section of your MSc dissertation, separate from both the introduction and the methodology. It’s where you demonstrate your understanding of the existing literature and set the stage for the unique contribution your research will make.