How you work with the lecturer assigned as your supervisor will be different to how you are used to working with tutors in taught classes.
Your Honours project is primarily your piece of work and there is no one right way to do it. Your supervisor is not there as a teacher to present you with new knowledge.
The supervisor's role is more one of facilitating you to address your research or design question effectively. It is understandable you might feel anxious at first, but through supportive feedback you will become more confident and independent in your research.
To ensure fairness, there is a minimum and maximum allocation of time for personal supervision - check the exact allocation with your School.
What can you expect from your supervisor?
What will your supervisor expect from you?
The interaction between you and your supervisor, and therefore the depth of understanding which you achieve, depends to some extent on your orientation to the project.
You and your supervisor will probably negotiate the time and duration of meetings. If there is an important reason that you are unable to keep to one of these dates, it is only courtesy to inform your supervisor well ahead of time. Drawing up a mutual agreement on needs and offerings, which form a baseline for a rolling contact, can be a useful check against the tendency for expectations of both student and tutor to change during the project.
While you can expect constructive feedback from your supervisor, you should not expect an estimation of the project grade. Remember the project is only one part of an Honours degree.
Honours project supervisors are not meant to do any of the work for you. Their role is to guide you to do all the work yourself, from getting your ideas together right at the start, through the practical stages, to finishing writing up.
Even though they are meant to take a hands-off role, they can still be a great source of help. The key to getting useful help from your supervisor is showing them that you are trying to be organised and trying to work independently. Reviewing progress with your supervisor is invaluable to getting the best possible grade.
Remember also that part of the Honours project module is about learning basic research techniques so you must regard this supervision as a required part of the module. A record of meetings is usually kept by the School.
Prepare for each meeting. This outline Record of Progress might useful. Fill in the first few sections before the meeting so you have a list of things you want to talk about. Then complete the final sections as a way of keeping track of progress and the help your supervisor offered.
|Record of progress||Notes|
|Date of supervision|
|Duration of session|
|1. What has been achieved
since last supervision?
|2. Summary of contents on
work done since last supervision
|3. Student's goals/tasks
before next supervision
|4. Supervisor's undertakings
before next supervision (if any)
|5. Date and time of next supervision|