How to Write a Project Terms of Reference (TOR) for your Dissertation: Template

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How to Write a Project Terms of Reference (TOR) for your Dissertation

Project Topic: Managing Transient Teams within IT Network and Infrastructure Projects

Terms of Reference (TOR) Sample

Terms of Reference (TOR) Template

Project Title.  

Student Name (Student Id) 

MSc Title   

Overview 

Guidance: provide the context to the work. Typically providing background about the sponsor and outlining reasons for undertaking the work 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Product to be delivered to client 

Guidance: this should specify both the final deliverable which is to be produced for the client and also the manner in which this delivery will take place.  

 

 

 

 

Client requirements 

Guidance: this outlines the list of the clients requirements in terms of product features required, and delivery mechanisms if appropriate (the “wish list”). Much of this initial material will exist in the previously completed project proposal. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Constraints  

Guidance: These define the boundaries of the work for this specific project and typically include: Limitations on access to specific resources, budget, the research topic and standards.  

 

 

 

 

Resources 

Guidance: These define the access and assets that will provided by the client, or available via the university, for use during the project and typically include: the number of people who will be involved in the project, their skills, possibly naming individual, Specific equipment, services. 
 

 

 

 

 

Reporting to Sponsor 

Guidance: This section identifies (i) who the student must liaise with, and report to, in the sponsoring organisation, (ii) what reporting mechanisms are to be used, and (iii) how frequently contact is to be made. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Sponsor Sign-off  

Guidance: The sponsor is asked to sign and date the first part of the ToR. This confirms acceptance of its content as a contract to be worked to by the student. The sponsor should not sign-off on this until they are satisfied with the content. The sponsor is asked to focus on the practical aspects of the project and the deliverable that is to be produced for them. 

Signature (this indicates acceptance of the scope of the practical component of the project) 

 

 

 

 

 

Date 

 

Project Objectives 

Guidance: These are the major activities a student needs to complete to bring a project to a successful conclusion. Typically a project has between five and eight objectives. The objectives should cover: practical aspects required to enable delivery of the product to the client, research aspects: including identification of the research literature that will be critically reviewed, The objectives should be stated in such a way that it is possible to see how they can be evaluated that makes it easier to prove the success of a project. Definition of SMART objectives is  sensible. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statement of Research 

Guidance: This is (i) a statement of the research are to be investigated and (ii) a set of supporting initial references from reputable journals and conferences.(Between six and ten references) 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Statement of Level of Challenge  

Guidance: This must identify how the skills and knowledge acquired during the taught part of the course are to be extended during the project in terms of the research topic investigated and the practical work undertaken.  

 

 

 

 

 

Relevance to Programme 

Guidance: This must provide a clear rationale for how the project (both the research topic and the project deliverable) you are proposing meets the main aims of your MSc programme. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reporting to Supervisor 

Guidance: This section identifies (i) who the supervisor is, (ii) what supervisory mechanisms are to be used, and (iii) how frequently contact is to be made. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

Supervisor Sign-off  

Guidance: The supervisor is expected to sign and date the ToR. This confirms acceptance of its content as a contract to be worked to by the student. The supervisor is asked to focus on the entire project to ensure it is adequate as a terms of reference for a project for the specific masters programme being studied. The supervisor should not sign-off on this until they are satisfied with the content. 

Signature (this indicates acceptance of the scope of the entire project) 

 

 

 

Date