module specification

MN7P97 - Dissertation (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Dissertation
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 40
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 600
6 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
2 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
592 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Dissertation 100%   Research report - between 12,000 and 14,000 words
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This is an integrative module which seeks to bring together issues/functional areas of the Finance, Banking and Economics PG course/s.  Students will critically investigate international trade, banking and finance related issues. The aim should be to make proposals or recommendations for the future and / or a contribution to extant theory.

This module’s work is built on the research skills that students acquired in the Research Methodology module. Students are expected to utilise rigorous investigative techniques and standards of data collection and analysis as they write their postgraduate research-based report.

The report will be between 12-14,000 words in length.  Each student will agree a topic for the report with the module leader, who will then allocate the student a supervisor.


Undertake, with the necessary supervision, a research report in a trade, and finance area at postgraduate level; LO 1

Conduct a robust piece of research ideally using primary data generation techniques that either focuses on the student’s own organisation or another organisation (s)  that they have access to; LO 2

Foster a critical awareness and deep interest in a topic of strategic significance and to combine knowledge and analyses acquired in core international trade, economics and finance modules to explore that topic fully LO 3

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The Dissertation 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 up to 8 hours during the period of the research and the writing of the report. 
The report must include a substantial theoretical underpinning to the research as well as a clear application to practice, and shall use correct Harvard referencing.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Critically devise a carefully considered report;
2. Critically evaluate complex ideas and analyses in their area of research through written format;
3. Demonstrate self-direction and originality in carrying out independent and evidence informed consulting, which analyses and evaluates aspects of a strategic leadership issue in the international trade, banking and finance area.

Assessment strategy

Students are expected to produce a report of between 12,000 and 14,000 words.

Students will be given feedback on regular basis during the writing of the Report using a Supervision Log which will record various milestones. Final feedback will consist of a written feedback sheet.


This will be student-specific depending on the student’s research area.

Some useful research methods books:

Barth, J. R., Lin, C. and Wihlborg, C. (2013) ‘Research Handbook on International Banking and Governance’ Edward Elgar Publishing.

Black, T. R. (2005) Doing Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences: An Integrated Approach to Research Design, Measurement and Statistics. SAGE publications London.

Boumans M , Davis J.B. (2016) Economic Methodology: Understanding Economics as a Science  Palgrave 2/E

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.
Available updated on line as:

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 online

Software such as SPSS and EViews