module specification

LT6P26 - Research Methods for Dissertations and Consultancy Projects (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Research Methods for Dissertations and Consultancy Projects
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 300
40 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
220 hours Guided independent study
40 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 10%   Literature Review Chapter or Industry Knowledge Section
Coursework 10%   Introduction Chapter or Project Background Section
Coursework 80%   Dissertation or Consultancy Project
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year City Thursday Morning
Year City Thursday Morning

Module summary

‘Research methods for dissertations and consultancy projects’ teaches social science research methods from a real-world perspective. Students can follow the dissertation or consultancy project pathway so to apply their understanding of research methods to a substantial piece of independent research.


1. Introduction to Research: Academic and Consultancy LO1
2. Theory and Industry Knowledge LO2
3. Quantitative vs. Qualitative Data LO3
4. Research Designs LO3
5. Causal Inference LO3
6. Population Inference LO3
7. Collecting Qualitative Data LO4
8. Collecting Quantitative Data LO4
9. Analysing Qualitative Data LO4
10. Analysing Quantitative Data LO4
11. Writing Up a Dissertation or Consultancy Project LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Students shall receive taught instruction for the first ten teaching weeks of the academic year. During this period students shall receive instruction in leisure and tourism research methods through a series of 1 hour lectures followed by a 1 workshop with the module leader, as well as a subject-specific 1 hour seminar with their course team, where students shall focus on critical analysis of subject-specific research articles covering a range of different research designs.

Support continues via (1) 5 weeks of 2 hour ‘check point’ workshops scheduled to reflect expectations of points in the dissertation or consultancy project process that students should be passing through (e.g., How to write the methods chapter will be scheduled for week 16 when it is expected that students will have completed the prior 2 chapters) the (2) allocation of supervisors who provide an individually based mode of support. Students are encouraged to meet with their supervisor frequently. Methodology surgeries shall be available to assist students with technical aspects of their dissertation or consultancy project (e.g., statistical or thematic analysis).

Course teams will be responsible for allocating supervisors at the start of the academic year and supervisors will be responsible for marking all assessment components of their assigned supervisees. The supervision process will commence via feedback to assessment 1.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Understand the differences between academic and consultancy research
2. Review and critique either existing academic literature or industry knowledge and define a research project in response to a gap in academic literature or industry challenge
3. Design research that appropriately responds to the research question posed
4. Undertake scientifically rigorous data collection and analysis
5. Draw valid conclusions and infer practical implications from the evidence produced

Assessment strategy

Dissertation Pathway:
1) Literature Review Chapter
2) Introduction Chapter
3) Dissertation – Updated versions of introduction and literature review chapters based upon supervisor feedback and all remaining chapter (method, results, discussion).
Consultancy Project Pathway:
1) Industry Knowledge Section
2) Project Background Section
3) Consultancy Project – Updated versions of project background and industry knowledge sections based upon supervisor feedback and all remaining sections (method, results, conclusion & recommendations).
Courses may either dictate whether they wish their students to take one pathway or the other, or they may allow students to choose the pathway they wish to take.
Assessment items are sequential and must be completed in the order / sequence specified.


Core Texts

Robson, C. (2002) Real World Research, 2nd Edition. Wiley (£5.50 2nd hand from Amazon)

Sampson, J. (2017) A Guide to Quantitative and Qualitative Dissertation Research (Second Edition)

Other Texts

Baaij, M.G. (2014) An introduction to management consultancy. London: Sage Publications Ltd.

Feighery, W. & William, G. (2011). Consulting ethics. Annals of Tourism Research, 38(3), 1031-1050. 

Nelson, B., Economy, P. & Albon, P. (2009) Consulting for dummies. Chichester: Wiley.

Newton, R. (2010). The management consultant: Mastering the art of consultancy. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall.

Wickham, L. & Wickham, J. (2016). Management consulting: Delivering an effective project. 5th edition. Harlow: Pearson.
Brandon-Jones, A., Lewis, M., Verma, R., & Walsman, M. C. (2016). Examining the characteristics and managerial challenges of professional services: An empirical study of management consultancy in the travel, tourism, and hospitality sector. Journal of Operations Management, 42, 9-24.

Key Online Resource

The Knowledge Base: