Module code: MANM061

Module Overview

The dissertation 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. It also gives an opportunity for students to work independently with individual supervision.

The Dissertation can take one of two formats:

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.
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.

Both formats of the dissertation seek to develop the same learning outcomes and follow the same assessment criteria. In some cases, there may be pre-requisites to taking a particular form of dissertation so that students are adequately prepared.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: N200

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

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.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) PROJECT REPORT 15,000 WORDS 100

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable

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 in the Dissertation Handbook provided to all students. All Dissertations are also checked for plagiarism using an electronic plagiarism detection system.

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

Attributes Developed
1 Write cogently to show an in depth understanding and insight of a relevant topic of specific interest
2 Demonstrate critical engagement with existing literature relevant to their topic
3 Use appropriate methodologies and to justify their use
4 Analyse and present their findings, and to critically compare these with existing knowledge
5 Critically evaluate findings to produce sound conclusions
6 Evaluate modifications to existing knowledge structures and theoretical frameworks (where appropriate)
7 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
8 Communicate their findings in a concise manner, suitable for presentation to industry (the executive summary)
9 Synthesise many of the elements covered in the taught part of the programme
10 Present a major piece of coherent work based on self-directed research

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Personal Tutorial Hours: 7

Independent Study Hours: 593

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 support by an experienced tutor 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, and allows a fruitful discussion between student and supervisor about the proposed study. The proposal should be agreed with the supervisor before proceeding with the dissertation. Subsequent meetings may include discussing details of methodological approaches, how to organise fieldwork and structuring and writing the dissertation. Where necessary, students must obtain ethical approval prior to data collection. The supervisor will also comment and provide feedback on one complete draft of the student’s work.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for DISSERTATION : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/manm061

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Corporate Finance MSc 2 Core Each unit of assessment must be passed at 50% to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.