module specification

MN7P97 - Dissertation (2019/20)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2019/20
Module title Dissertation
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 40
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 311
305 hours Guided independent study
6 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Dissertation 100%   International Trade and Finance Project
Running in 2019/20
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Not applicable -
Spring semester North Not applicable -
Summer studies North Not applicable -

Module summary

This is an integrative module which seeks to bring together issues/functional areas of the course.  Students will investigate International Trade & Finance issues with the aim of making recommendations for the future and / or a contribution to extant theory.

The report will be between 8-10,000 words in length.  Each student will agree a topic for the report with the module leader, who will then allocate the student a supervisor.

Module aims

This module builds on the research skills that students learnt in the Research Methodology module of the MSc International Trade & Finance course. Students are expected to utilise the rigorous investigative techniques and standards of data collection and analysis with the aim of writing a postgraduate research-based report.

The aims of the module are:

  1. To undertake, with the necessary supervision, a research report in a trade and finance area at postgraduate level;
  2. To conduct a robust piece of research using primary data generation techniques that either focuses on their own organisation or another organisation that they have access to;
  3. To foster a critical awareness and deep interest in a strategic leadership topic and to combine knowledge and analyses acquired in core MSc International Trade & Finance modules to explore that topic fully;
  4. To enable students to produce a professional report of between 8,000-10,000 words on an appropriate topic.


Students undertake a MSc International Trade & Finance Project/Dissertation

Learning and teaching

The Project encourages students to develop their research, analytical and reporting skills. The work is student’s own responsibility from design to undertaking the research, analysis and writing of their report.
Students will be supervised individually by a staff member for 6 hours during the research being conducted and the writing of the report. 
The report must include substantial evidence of theoretical underpinning and research as well as a clear application to practice and correct Harvard referencing.

Learning outcomes

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

  • Devise a carefully considered report;
  • Explain complex ideas and analyses in their area of research through written format;
  • Carry out independent and evidence informed consulting, which analyses and evaluates aspects of a strategic leadership issue.

Assessment strategy

Students are expected to produce a report of between 8,000 and 10,000 words.


This will be students specific depending on the student research area. Some useful books:

Black, T. R. (1999) Doing Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences: An Integrated Approach to Research Design, Measurement and Statistics. SAGE publications London.

Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2015) Business Research Methods, [3rd Edition], Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Creswell, J. (2014) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Sage.

Denzin, N. and Lincoln, Y. (2017) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. Sage.

Dowson, C. (2009) Introduction to Research Methods – a practical guide for anyone undertaking a research project. [4th Edition]. How to Books Ltd.

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Jackson, P. (2015) Management & Business Research. [5th Edition]. Sage.

Kumar, R. (2014) Research Methodology – a step by step guide for beginners. Sage.

Riley, M., Wood, R. C., Clark, M., Wilkie, E. and Szivas, E. (2000) Researching and Writing Dissertations in Business and Management. Cengage Learning EMEA.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2015) Research Methods for Business Students. [6th Edition], Pearson Education.

Academic Journal Articles (accessible electronically)

Kinnear, P. and Gray, C. (2000) ‘SPSS for Windows Made Simple: Release 10: Also suitable for SPSS Release 11’ Psychology Press, Taylor and Francis Group.

Marshall, G. and Brennan, P. (2008) ‘The process of undertaking a quantitative dissertation for a taught MSc: Personal insights gained from supporting and examining students in the UK and Ireland’ Radiography, Volume 14, Issue 1, February 2008, Pages 63-68.

Partridge, B. (2002) ‘Thesis and dissertation writing: an examination of published advice and actual practice ’English for Specific Purposes, Volume 21, Issue 2, 2002, Pages 125-143.

Yang, Z. (2006). ‘A review of research methodologies in international business’. International Business Review Volume 15, Issue 6, December 2006, Pages 601–617.

Other relevant resources:

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets

Electronic data sources such as Bloomberg and Bankscope

EViews 7 User’s Guide (1994–2009) Quantitative Micro Software, LLC, USA

NBS, Network for Business, available on line: and
Software such as SPSS and EViews 8.0 (February 2013)