Module code: MANM531

Module Overview

The module 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 module can take one of two different formats:
a) Dissertation - An academic piece of work. 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) Project - A business or applied piece of work. This form of project 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. Any engagement with external party needs approval.

Both formats of the written piece of work seeks 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

Topics may be selected from a list provided by academic staff or suggested by the students themselves. This could include academic research or business consultancy project working in collaboration with industries. All topics must be quantitatively based and must be business related. Technique(s) related to business analytics must be used to demonstrate successful applications of studied programme.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Project/Dissertation for Business Analytics - Written Report 70
Oral exam or presentation Project/Dissertation for Business Analytics - Viva 30

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate: through the presentation of a written dissertation/project report in addition to proposal, that they have performed independent research and scholarship in an area of business analytics. The student will carry out independent research that demonstrates an advanced level of knowledge and understanding in the general area of business analytics. The content of the dissertation/project will demonstrate that the student has contributed to the design and management of a defined programme of research, embedded within the business analytics areas. The written part of the work should demonstrate well-developed written, numerical, and analytical skills typical of a post-graduate level understanding of business analytics. Additionally, the oral part should showcase the student's ability to articulate independent and critical thinking, reflecting on originality while answering queries. All submitted 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 their supervisor and/or industry mentor.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of: - Project/Written Report (70%) and Viva (30%). As the work has to be evaluated as a unified assessment of student's performance, both parts of the summative assessment have to be looked at holistically.

Formative assessment - Project Proposal Feedback Students are entitled to 8 hours of contact time with their supervisor and/or industry mentor scheduled as required to suit both all parties. Contact time includes face-to-face meetings, telephone conversations, e-mails and reading drafts with respect to the project. Students are entitled to have feedback on their draft from their supervisor and/or industry partner before the final submission provided they organise a suitable time for this in advance. Supervisors are permitted to comment on one draft only. Any additional supervision must be strictly negotiated by supervisor and student, but if there is no justifiable reason for this, heavy dependency could undermine the achievement of independent working and therefore also the final mark will reflect this. The supervisor can be expected to offer advice and guidance at all stages of completing the dissertation and it is normally expected that supervisors will read through a single complete draft of the dissertation before submission only if not submitted at last minute. The supervisor and/or industry mentor is not, however, responsible for the content of the dissertation/project nor can they be expected to correct typographical and grammatical errors. If English presents a challenge for writing up the work, it is important discussions are held early with the supervisor early in the year so that appropriate help can be found.

Module aims

  • Develop an original piece of research/project; 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/business decisions.
  • Provide opportunities for students to specialise their learning in a business-related area that is relevant and interesting to them while focusing on ethics, environmental, social and governance factors

Learning outcomes

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

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to enable students to demonstrate their own understanding and critical analyses of their work and the practical, theoretical and methodological implications of this work and their findings. This module focuses on independent research with the guide and supervision of the allocated academic(s) and/or industry partners. 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 and Summer Semester to the Sep and Feb cohorts respectively to support students deciding the topic/project and for them to complete the proposal prior to commencing the Module.

The teaching and learning methods include regular supervision and support by an experienced tutor and/or industry mentor 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 and/or industry mentor before proceeding with the dissertation. Only one revision of proposal can be checked by the supervisor and/or industry mentor.

Students must obtain ethical approval prior to starting their research process. Subsequent meetings may include discussing details of methodological approaches, fieldwork organisation, if required, and structuring and writing the dissertation. Dissertation workshops covering - Literature Review - Methodology - Data Analysis are 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.

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: MANM531

Other information

Employability: students develop highly-sought business analytics skills which they apply in their chosen business context.

Global and Cultural Capabilities: This module offers a high level of international content drawn from various business analytics challenges and trends.

Digital Capabilities: Throughout the module, students learn to navigate and use the various business analytics tools such as R and/or Python Programming, Excel, SPSS, STATA, SAP, SaaS and so on. Students will need to be able to obtain quantitative data digitally and then go through the CRISP-DM cycle (or equivalent) to prepare, model, evaluate and deploy the data digitally.

Resourcefulness & Resilience: students work independently to prepare a substantial piece of project which will involve initiative, challenges and opportunities to demonstrate their creativity and an ability to adapt analytical problems based on the business context.

Sustainability: The module aims at developing students' understanding, awareness, and capability to develop innovative solutions to deal with key agendas related to sustainable business factors, especially on ethics, environmental, social and governance.

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 2024/5 academic year.