Module code: MANM406

Module Overview

The dissertation is a compulsory part of all MSc programmes, and represents the final aspect of the programme. The students develop an independent piece of work in a topic area that is of particular interest to them drawn from the different aspects of the taught programme and the workshops provided to enhance the application of theory into practice, this is supervised by a member of faculty.

The Dissertation can take one of two different 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 consulting project or applied dissertation. This form of dissertation can start with any of the following below, and seeks to provide a research based solution to or exploration of the problem directly related to the programme.

An emerging business problem, either provided from an industrial partner or with their co-operation in the process
An evidence-based initiative, proposed by either the supervising department or the individual student

Both formats of the dissertation seek to develop the same learning outcomes and follow the same assessment criteria.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: N100

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

Module Availability

Year long

Module content

The dissertation is based on self-directed study and research, and completed through semesters one and two, and the summer period. The bulk of the work on the dissertation is completed after the exams in semester 2. 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.

There will then be a period in which students will meet with supervisors to discuss their proposals. Supervisors will provide formative feedback on the proposal, and determine if a full ethical review is required.

During the first part of semester 2, students must meet with their assigned supervisors and agree the dissertation proposal - which presents chosen business problem/evidence based initiative to be examined in the research, and a description of methodology, including description of empirical work to be carried out and associated ethical issues. An ethics form must be submitted at the same time.

From the end of Semester 2 onwards, students will work to execute the project proposal, meeting regularly with their supervisor.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Written report of 10,000-15,000 words (part of which is a 1000 words executive summary). 100

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable

Assessment Strategy

The student is assessed on the basis of a 10,000-15,000 words project report (part of which is a 1000 words 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 during the research process.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand in depth and provide insight into a relevant applied topic of academic interest KC
002 Write with clarity and precision about the research project CPT
003 Critically evaluate frameworks/models, theories and research in the chosen topic area. KC
004 Use theory to develop and support propositions to be tested or examined C
005 Design and carry out appropriate methodology to examine the gap in the literature, justifying and evaluating chosen methods practically, technically, and ethically KCP
006 Collect and analyse quantitative and/or qualitative data PT
007 Critically evaluate findings to draw sound conclusions and make recommendations CT
008 Evaluate limitations in methodology and the dissertation, and their impact on conclusions and recommendations CT
009 Communicate the content of the project in a manner that conforms (in all parts/sections) to academic and/or professional report standards PT
010 Successfully manage a major piece of project work independently PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 573

Tutorial Hours: 27

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy enables the student to develop as independent and competent evidence-based work or applied research. The teaching and learning strategy is designed to develop the student's ability to conduct and report independent research. The dissertation allows 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 in semester 1 for their programme, and then will write a short dissertation proposal outlining the problem, aim & objectives and their approach. This allows a formative assessment, and a discussion between student and supervisor about the proposed study. The proposal should be agreed with the supervisor before proceeding with the dissertation in semester 2. 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/BUSINESS CONSULTANCY PROJECT : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/manm406

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Operations and Supply Chain in the Digital Era MSc(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required 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.