Module code: MANM389

Module Overview

The dissertation is compulsory for all MSc students and 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 particularly the Quantitative Methods Induction at the beginning of the module. It also gives an opportunity for students to work independently with individual supervision.

The Dissertation can take one of two different formats:

a)         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.

b)         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. 

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Personal Tutorial Hours: 7

Workshop Hours: 30

Lecture Hours: 3

Tutorial Hours: 20

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


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.

Formative assessment and feedback
•Students will receive individual feedback during the module from the tutor.

Module aims

  • Develop an original piece of research; select, define and focus upon an issue at an appropriate level
  • Develop and apply relevant and sound methodologies, analyse the issue and develop recommendations and logical conclusions
  • Explore ethical dilemmas that arise in research

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Write cogently to show an in-depth understanding and insight of a relevant topic of specific interest KCPT
002 Use appropriate methodologies and to justify their use KCPT
003 Analyse and present their findings, and to critically compare these with existing knowledge KCPT
004 Critically evaluate findings to produce sound conclusions KCPT
005 Synthesise many of the elements covered in the taught part of the programme KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The module commences in Semester 1, with the Quantitative Methods Induction workshop. The individual supervised part of the module starts in Semester 2 and is completed by early September of the same year.

The teaching and learning strategy is designed to develop the students&rsquo ability to conduct and report independent research. It builds on the Quantitative Methods Induction  workshop, 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 &ndash 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&rsquos 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

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MANM389

Other information

For students in the Business Analytics MSc programme, a dissertation in the form of a business plan dissertation is not available as an alternative, and they have to have completed the Quantitative Methods Induction course;

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Business Analytics MSc 2 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 2020/1 academic year.