Almost as soon as I started University I started downloading past student projects / dissertations in areas that interested me.
I found two projects / dissertations in particular that were relevant to my area of interest, one of which really stood out as a quality piece of work.
I was able to find out from one of the lecturers that this project had achieved a mark above 80%. I required 70% for a first class degree, and so set myself a target of 80% to give myself some leeway.
This gave me a clear guide as to the standard I needed to achieve with my own degree work.
I periodically went back to this project to benchmark my own university work against it.
When I was writing my dissertation at university I really analyzed this document to see what I could learn from this students approach, structure, presentation, language and content.
In some areas I could not compete with the quality of this work, but in others I was able to surpass it.
By the time I handed in my dissertation I knew it was close to the standard of the other report in terms of quality and fully expected it to achieve a similar mark.
The final mark for my dissertation was 84%.
Past dissertations are an essential resource in understanding standards required at university, and benchmarking your own degree work.
You may not be able to find a good dissertation relevant to your university degree, in which case look for high scoring dissertations in other subjects. Remember, you are using this document to benchmark your own work, the content / subject is of less importance than the standard.