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module specification

FE7P64 - Dissertation (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Dissertation
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 600
12 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
576 hours Guided independent study
12 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Dissertation 100%   DIS: Research based dissertation - 10,000 words
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Summer studies North Wednesday Evening
Spring semester North Wednesday Evening
Autumn semester North Friday Evening

Module summary

This module provides students with the opportunity to undertake research projects on specific research questions related to their course.

Students will critically investigate issues cognate to their programme of study. The aim will be to make proposals or recommendations for the future and / or a contribution to extant theory.

Students are expected to utilise appropriate investigative techniques and standards of data collection and analysis as they write their postgraduate research-based dissertation.

The dissertation will be 10,000 words in length. 

The dissertation module has the following aims:

1. To facilitate a detailed investigation of one area or topic within the subject field;

2. To develop a thorough analysis and synthesis of theory, policy and practice in relation to the chosen topic;

3. To provide an opportunity for critical reflection on the research topic.

The expectation is that students will undertake research in areas of interest to them that is in context to their chosen course; the research supervisor will be allocated by the subject area within which the course is located.


Consider the elements of qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods and the structure of a dissertation (LO1)


Undertake, with the necessary supervision, a research project in the area of the course studied at postgraduate level (LO1)


Conduct a robust piece of research ideally using primary data generation techniques (LO2)


Develop a critical awareness and deep interest in a topic of strategic significance and to combine knowledge and analyses acquired in course modules to explore that topic fully (LO3)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will commence with intensive taught sessions over 12 hours to provide an overview of research methods and dissertation structure that students can adopt for their dissertation.


The module encourages students to develop their research, analytical and academic writing skills. The work is student’s own responsibility from design to undertaking the research, analysis and writing of their dissertation.


Students will be supervised/guided individually, by a staff member allocated by the subject area within which the course is located, for up to 12 hours during the period of the research and the writing of the dissertation. 


The dissertation 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 research project;


2. Critically evaluate complex ideas and analyses in their area of research;


3. Demonstrate self-direction and originality in carrying out independent and evidence informed study, which analyses and evaluates aspects of the course studied.

Assessment strategy

Students are expected to produce a research based dissertation of 10,000 words.


Students will be given feedback on regular basis during the writing of the Dissertation by their research supervisor who may use a Supervision Log which will record various research milestones.



Reading List Talis Link:

The reading list will be student-specific depending on the student’s research area.

Some useful core reading:

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2018) Research Methods for Business Students. [8th Edition], Pearson Education.

Bell, E. Bryman, A. and Harley B. (2018) Business Research Methods, [5th Edition], Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Furseth, I. and Everett, E. L. (2013) Doing Your Master's Dissertation, Sage Publishing

Some useful additional reading:

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

Blumberg, B., Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2014) Business research methods. Maidenhead, McGraw-Hill Education.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2013) Successful qualitative research: A practical guide for beginners. Sage.

Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2011) Business research methods. Oxford, Oxford Univ. Press.

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

Creswell, J. W., & Clark, V. L. P. (2017) Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Sage publications.

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.) (2011) The Sage handbook of qualitative research. Sage.

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

Krippendorff, K. (2018) Content analysis: An introduction to its methodology. Sage publications.

Kumar, R. (2018) Research methodology: A step-by-step guide for beginners. Sage.

Pallant, J. (2020) SPSS Survival Manual: A Step by Step Guide to Data Analysis Using IBM SPSS [7th edition] Open University Press

Quinlan, C. (2011) Business Research Methods. Andover, England, Cengage.

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

Zikmund, W.G., Babin, B.J., Carr, J.C. & Griffin, M. (2013) Business Research Methods. 9th ed. South Western: Cengage Learning.


Academic Journal Articles (accessible electronically)


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.


Paltridge, B. and Starfield, S. (2020) Change and continuity in thesis and dissertation writing: The evolution of an academic genre, Journal of English for Academic Purposes,16 August 2020.


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:


Electronic data sources


Software such as SPSS, NVivo, EViews