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 analytical and quantitative methods they learn throughout the course. 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

FU Colin (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: 7

Independent Learning Hours: 560

Lecture Hours: 1

Guided Learning: 30

Captured Content: 2

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Students will identify a topic area of business/management-related interest that they wish to further develop quantitatively through their dissertation. This must be relevant to their programme of study, i.e. MSc Business Analytics. 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 Semester 2 and the Summer Semester for the Sep cohort, and Summer Semester and Semester 2 for the Feb cohort.

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

This module focuses on independent research with the guide and supervision of the allocated academic(s). The supervision starts in Semester 2 and is completed by early September of the same year for the September cohort; and for the Feb cohort, the supervision starts in the summer Semester and is completed by early January of the following year. An introduction workshop is given just before Semester 2 to support students choosing the topic and for them to complete the proposal prior to commencing the Module.

The teaching and learning strategy is designed to develop the students' ability to conduct and report independent research. It builds on various modules taught during the year, allowing students to gain experience of applying some of the analytical principles and quantitative 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 the relevant approaches, and, as appropriate, arrangements for fieldwork, development of instruments and sample. This is a formative assessment, and it allows an initial discussion between the individual student and their 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, fieldwork organisation, if required, and structuring and writing the dissertation. Students must obtain ethical approval prior to starting their research process. The supervisor will also comment and provide feedback on one complete draft of the students' 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 the submitted dissertation must fulfill two conditions:

  • quantitatively based
  • explicitly business applicable

in order to fulfill the requirements of the MSc Business Analytics 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 2022/3 academic year.