Module code: MANM388

Module Overview

The dissertation is compulsory to all MSc programmes related to Marketing (i.e. MSc Strategic Marketing, MSc International Marketing and MSc Digital Marketing and Channel Management). This module provides an opportunity for a sustained period of independent study and research. It allows students to concentrate on marketing and retail topics that are of particular interest to them and it draws upon a range of different aspects of the taught programme particularly the Applied Marketing Research (MANM019) module. It also gives an opportunity for students to work independently with individual supervision.

The 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.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader

SAJJAD Farhana (SBS)

Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 1

Independent Learning Hours: 570

Tutorial Hours: 7

Guided Learning: 22

Module Availability

Semester 2

Module content

Students will identify a marketing topic area of interest that they wish to develop further through their dissertation. This must be relevant to their programme of study (MSc Strategic Marketing, MSc International Marketing or MSc Digital Marketing and Channel Management).  On the basis of this topic, students will be assigned a supervisor who will guide their work. The module is, based on self-directed study and research and support sessions , which take place during the first and second semesters and during 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 in Marketing and Retail Management 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

  • undertake an original piece of marketing research;
  • demonstrate an ability to select and define and focus upon a marketing issue at an appropriate level;
  • develop and apply relevant and sound methodologies
  • analyse the issue
  • develop managerial recommendations and logical conclusions
  • be aware of the limitations of research work
  • demonstrate an awareness of any ethical dilemmas that arise in their research
  • The aim of the module is to make dissertations more relevant and engaging (Bryans and Mavin, 2004) for the MSc. Marketing and Retail Management students and for them to enhance their analytical skills as future marketing professionals
  • The module will be run by the Marketing and Retail Management Department, and as such the students will have the opportunity to work in a smaller group and will receive better feedback and personal attention, thus enhancing student satisfaction and increasing progress in learning and understanding.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Write cogently to show an in depth understanding and insight of a relevant topic of specific interest KCPT
002 Demonstrate critical engagement with existing marketing and retail literature relevant to their topic KCPT
003 Use appropriate methodologies and to justify their use KCPT
004 Analyse and present their findings, and to critically compare these with existing knowledge KCPT
005 Critically evaluate findings to produce sound conclusions KCPT
006 Evaluate modifications to existing knowledge structures and theoretical frameworks (where appropriate) KCPT
007 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 KCPT
008 Present a major piece of coherent work and communicate their findings in a concise manner, suitable for presentation to industry (the executive summary) KCPT
009 make a theoretical and practical contribution, in the specific area under investigation, following the ethical guidelines of conducting research P
010 Address the issue under investigation, with the effective use of available resources T
011 Develop those necessary skills, that will make them individual learners T

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The module is deigned to develop routines of critical reflection and reflexivity by creating an environment which supports such skills.

The module will run in parallel to all the three semesters, and is completed by early September of the same year. Additionally,  students from all our MScs (i.e. MSc Strategic Marketing, MSc International Marketing and MSc Digital Marketing and Channel Management)  have access to the module material through SurreyLearn. 

The teaching and learning strategy is designed to develop the students’ ability to conduct and report independent research. It builds on the Research Methods and Applied Marketing Research module, allowing students to gain experience of applying some of the principles and methods learned.

Support sessions are offered over the course of two semesters to provide support in terms of the various elements of a dissertation such as: - literature review, access and ethics, methodology, data analysis and academic writing.

At the beginning of the first semester, module fairs will be organised by the program directors to orientate students regarding the dissertation process in general. 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 their supervisor, and then 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.

Research poster sessions will be organised to fine-tune students’ research ideas at an initial proposal development stage (semester one), and conceptual development stage (semester two). In the first poster session (before Winter Break) the students will be required to develop a poster outlining their research idea. In the second advanced level poster session, which will take place in the second semester, students will be required to present their conceptual framework. This is a formative assessment strategy and will provide students with an opportunity to, firstly, engage with their research topic at an early stage, and, secondly, fine-tune their research design.

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: MANM388

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 2022/3 academic year.