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Module Code: MANM061
Module Title: Dissertation
FHEQ Level: FHEQ Level 7
Module Co-ordinator: Dr Christine Rivers
Other contributors:
Number of credits: 60
Number of ECTS credits: 30
Module Availability: Semester 2
Overall student workload: 600 hours made up of:
30 hours of contact time with the suggested
combination of: 3 hours of support sessions
(lecture), 7 hours face to face supervision, 20
hours online supervision and feedback (email,
skype etc.)
570 hours of independent learning (writing of
chapters etc.)
Module Code: MANM061
Module Title: Dissertation
FHEQ Level: FHEQ Level 7
Module Co-ordinator: Dr Christine Rivers
Other contributors:
Number of credits: 60
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Number of ECTS credits: 30
Module Availability: Semester 2
Overall student workload: 600 hours made up of:
30 hours of contact time with the suggested
combination of: 3 hours of support sessions
(lecture), 7 hours face to face supervision and
clincs f2f, email and skype.
570 hours of independent learning (writing of
chapters etc.)
Units of Assessment Weighting towards Module Mark Project report (15,000 words) – 14000 words dissertation, 1000 words Executive Summary 100%
Project Proposal (formative assessment required to be assigned a supervisor) 0%
Alternative Assessment: None
Qualifying Condition(s)
A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
To have achieved 120 taught credits
Module Overview
The dissertation is compulsory to all MSc programmes and is the final element of the programme,
providing an opportunity for a sustained period of independent study and research. It allows students to
concentrate on topics that are of particular interest to them and it draws upon a range of different aspects
of the taught programme particularly the Research Methods module. It also gives an opportunity for
students to work independently with individual supervision.
The Dissertation can take a range of forms. These include:
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a) An academically based dissertation. This form of dissertation follows the standard academic
pattern of identifying a topic arising from a gap in the literature and developing a methodology to explore
this area in depth.
b) A business or applied dissertation. This form of dissertation starts with an emerging business
problem, either provided from an industrial partner or with their co-operation in the process, and seeks to
provide a research based solution to or exploration of the problem.
All forms of the dissertation seek to develop the same learning outcomes and follow the same assessment
criteria. In some cases, taught modules, in addition to Research Methods, may be pre-requisites of taking a
particular form of dissertation so that students are adequately prepared.
Module Aims
The module is designed to allow students to: undertake an original piece of research; demonstrate an
ability to select and define and focus upon an issue at an appropriate level; develop and apply relevant and
sound methodologies; analyse the issue; develop recommendations and logical conclusions; be aware of
the limitations of research work. The students will also be expected to demonstrate an awareness of any
ethical dilemmas that arise in their research
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the students will be able to:
• write cogently to show an in depth understanding and insight of a relevant topic of specific interest
• demonstrate critical engagement with existing literature relevant to their topic
• use appropriate methodologies and to justify their use
• analyse and present their findings, and to critically compare these with existing knowledge
• critically evaluate findings to produce sound conclusions
• evaluate modifications to existing knowledge structures and theoretical frameworks (where
• be aware of the limitations of their study, and be able to identify new areas for investigation/new
problems/new or alternative applications or methodological approaches
• communicate their findings in a concise manner, suitable for presentation to industry (the executive
• synthesise many of the elements covered in the taught part of the programme
• present a major piece of coherent work based on self-directed research
Module Content
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Students will identify a topic area of interest that they wish to develop further through their dissertation.
This must be relevant to their programme of study. On the basis of this topic, students will be assigned a
supervisor who will guide their work. The module is, however, largely based on self-directed study and
research, which takes place during the Spring semester and the summer.
Methods of Teaching/Learning
The module commences in the Spring Semester, and is completed by early September of the same year.
The teaching and learning strategy is designed to develop the students’ ability to conduct and report
independent research. It builds on the Research Methods module, allowing students to gain experience of
applying some of the principles and methods learned. Included in the strategy is the development of a
research proposal to help students crystallise their ideas.
The teaching and learning methods include regular supervision and dissertation clinice support by
experienced tutors in more generic aspects of the process. Students will discuss initial ideas with the
teaching team for their programme, and then will write a short research proposal outlining the problem,
research objectives and their proposed research strategy – including approaches, and, as relevant,
arrangements for fieldwork, development of instruments and sample. This is a formative assessment. All
students need to submit a proposal in order to be assigned a supervisor.
Assessment Strategy
The student is assessed on the basis of a 14000 word project report and a 1000 word executive summary.
The assessment criteria are available online under assessment and differ between regular dissertation and
busienss plan.
All Dissertations are also checked for plagiarism using an electronic plagiarism detection system.
Reading List
Required Purchase
Essential Reading
The majority of the reading required for the dissertation will be specific to the topic being investigated.
Students are expected to use a variety of sources, as relevant to their topic. Supervisors will guide such
Also, refer to text book and readings supplied for Research Methods.
Recommended Reading
Dependent on topic and methods selected. Consult your supervisor
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Background Reading
A number of books have been written as guides to researching and writing dissertations, which students
may find useful. Examples include:
Horn R., (2009), Researching and writing dissertations: a complete guide for business and management
students, CIPD
White B., (2000), Dissertation skills for business and management students, Cassell.

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