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University of Exeter Business School

Research Design and Dissertation

Module titleResearch Design and Dissertation
Module codeBEEM115
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Edwin Ip (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks

2 sessions

Independent Research

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

In this module, students will have the opportunity to choose between an Academic Dissertation and a Business Project. The Academic Dissertation allows students to demonstrate their ability at identifying and analysing an economic problem using the techniques of economic and/or econometric analysis.  Topic for Academic Dissertations will depend on student preferences, topic availability and faculty expertise. The supervision arrangement for the academic dissertation will consist of one member of faculty.

Alternatively, students may choose to carry out a Business Project. The Business Project allows students to tackle a real problem in an organization using a combination of economic analysis and econometric methods. The structure is identical to that of the dissertation but the chosen topic will take into account of the host organisation’s needs. Should a student choose to carry out a Business Project, they must arrange a host organisation themselves in Term 1 and contact the module convenor before the end of Term 1.The choice of project and host organisation for the Business Project is subject to the approval of the module convenor. The supervision arrangement for the Business Project will consist of one member of faculty at the UEBS and one supervisor from the host institution.


Additional Information:


The analytical skills developed and employed in this module will be applicable across institutions and countries and are multinational in nature.


By solving statistical mathematical problems and exercises, students are equipped with practical problem-solving skills, theoretical skills, and an understanding of mathematical relationships. All of these are highly valuable to employers.


All of the resources for this module are available on the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment). 

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of the dissertation/business project or dissertation / project is to allow the student to develop skills to identify and analyse an economic problem. The student will acquire knowledge of the existing literature, identify the key economic trade-offs, acquire necessary tools to analyse these trade-offs, and analyse the economic problem using economic and/or econometric techniques.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Identify an economic problem and apply economic and/or econometric techniques in order to analyse it

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 2. Relate real-life problems to subject specific knowledge examined through previous and current modules
  • 3. Assemble and synthesise a complex body of existing relevant research
  • 4. Utilise appropriate analytical or statistical techniques to reach an answer to a previously defined research question

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. Pursue, under supervision, a sustained program of individual work outside of a classroom setting
  • 6. Evaluate critically existing ideas and to perceive areas of weakness or areas which may be usefully analysed
  • 7. Complete, as an individual, a multistage task within a defined period, as assisted by the supervision process

Syllabus plan

Stage 1: Dissertation/Project proposals as agreed with module convenor

Stage 2: Proposal submission and assessment

Stage 3: Writing and submission of dissertation/project to a deadline in September (exact date to be announced)

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Contact hours2Initial preparatory sessions

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Discussion of research/project topics, journal articles, and working papers and econometric softwareVarious1, 3-6Verbal or written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Proposal101000 words1-3, 5-6Verbal or Written feedback
Dissertation/Project90Max 20,000 words1-7Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Proposal (10%)Proposal (10%)1-7November
Dissertation/Project (90%)Revision of dissertation/project (90%) (max 20,000 words)1-7November

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:
Students will develop a bibliography/reference list relevant to their particular topic, under the guidance of their supervisor. The literature varies from topic to topic and will include textbooks and recent research articles.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages

Key words search

Dissertation, Proposal, Research Design

Credit value60
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date