I got some answers on the questions I asked earlier.
Picking an applied topic for the dissertation is not ill-advised given that I find a DA who’s interested.
Using my employer as a sponsor is a really bad idea, unless they’re a sponsor in name only.
Liverpool owns my work in its entirety up until it’s been reviewed and rubber-stamped on completion. If I want to do the work in the open – that’s possible but I have to make sure my DA is ok with it.