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University of Exeter Business School


Module titleDissertation
Module codeBEEM124
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Pradeep Kumar (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Independent Research

Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module pertains to the individual project module for students taking the MSc Money and Banking and MSc Financial Economics programme. The aim of the module is to provide students with the opportunity to independently produce a carefully designed, original and scientifically rigorous literature review and/or empirical study of a topic drawn from the field of Economics, Money and Banking and/or Finance. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of writing a literature review is to understand and critically analyse and summarize the findings of previous research of a topic drawn from a field of choice. The review should describe, summarise, evaluate and clarify the existing literature on a given topic. A good literature review should (i) compare and contrast different author’s views on an issue, (ii) group authors who draw similar conclusions, (iii) criticise aspects of methodology, (iv) note areas in which authors are in disagreement, (v) highlight exemplary studies, (vi) highlight gaps in research and (vii) conclude by summarising what the literature says. The aim of an empirical study is to apply empirical skills to draw new conclusions by carrying out an original analysis of data. The study should review the existing literature, describe the data and methodology, carry out the analysis and report the findings.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Plan and execute an original literature survey or empirical research extensively and critically on a chosen academic topic
  • 2. Demonstrate application of the underlying discipline concepts and/or research processes

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Use appropriate information, research and data resources (via library or Business School data sources)
  • 4. Assemble and synthesise a complex body of relevant, existing research

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: Literature survey proposals as agreed with module convenor
  • Stage 2: Proposal submission and assessment
  • Stage 3: Writing and submission of literature survey 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
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2Initial preparatory sessions
Scheduled learning and teaching activities6Individual supervision

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft proposal1000 words (max)1-7Written or oral
Draft extractVaries1-7Written or oral

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 word1-7Written or oral
Dissertation90Approx 14,000 words1-7Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Proposal & dissertationRevision of the literature review based in the given feedback (100%) 1-7November

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Students will read recent research articles relevant to their specific project following introductory textbooks as in the list below:

  • Caulley, D. (1992). Writing a Critical Review of the Literature. Bundoora: La Trobe University
  • Cooper, H. (1998). Synthesizing research a guide for literature reviews (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications
  • Galvan, J. (2009). Writing literature reviews: A guide for students of the social and behavioural sciences (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Pyrczak
  • Greenlaw, S. (2006). Doing economics: A guide to understanding and carrying out economic research. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
  • Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2009). Research methods for business students (5th ed.). Harlow, England: Prentice Hall

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Google Scholar ( )

Econlit (

Ideas ( )

Key words search

 Economics, Research 

Credit value45
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date