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Module description


The dissertation module provides you with the opportunity to independently produce a carefully designed, original and scientifically rigorous piece of research examining a topic drawn from the field of finance. In the course of the dissertation, you will: develop a research proposal; critically review the relevant literature; collect the appropriate data; develop testable hypotheses; undertake empirical research to test the hypotheses; write up the results of your research. While the dissertation is largely an independent piece of work, you will have periodic meetings with your supervisor to discuss your progress.


Additional Information:



The module is relevant to the subject of finance in an international setting. All of the dissertation topics are concerned with theory and empirical evidence that is applicable to global financial markets. Some of the topics explicitly deal with international aspects of finance



Students will develop a range of analytical skills in the course of their research, which are of direct practical relevance in the finance industry. These skills include the ability to assimilate relevant research in the area of finance, the ability to manage financial data, and the ability to analyse financial data using quantitative techniques. Students will also develop the ability to work independently, to manage their own time, and to present the results of their research in a professional manner.



The sustainable operation of financial markets relies on the fact that the prices of individual securities reflect the fair value of the future cash flows that they are expected to deliver, given the risk of those cash flows. Many of the dissertation topics are concerned with tests of whether securities are priced in this way, and the consequences of deviations from prices that are considered fair.

Full module specification

Module title:Dissertation
Module code:BEFM027
Module level:M
Academic year:2021/2
Module lecturers:
  • Mrs Jiaoshan Li - Convenor
Module credit:30
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 3:


Module aims

The aim of the dissertation module is for students to develop and demonstrate their ability to independently formulate and undertake original and rigorous research in the field of finance. In particular, students are expected to form an original research proposal that extends the existing academic literature, develop a number of testable hypotheses, obtain the appropriate data to test those hypotheses, undertake an empirical analysis of the data using appropriate quantitative techniques, and to present the results of their research in an appropriate scientific format.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. form an original and viable research proposal in the context of the existing academic finance literature;
  • 2. assimilate and critically review the academic literature that is relevant to the dissertation topic;
  • 3. obtain and manage the appropriate financial data and analyse financial data using appropriate quantitative techniques;
  • 4. undertake quantitative analysis of the data using appropriate statistical and econometric techniques;
  • 5. interpret and critically evaluate the results of your research and relate your findings to the existing academic literature.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. develop theoretical arguments based on analytical reasoning;
  • 7. interpret financial data and problems in the light of established theories;
  • 8. access a wide body of empirical research literature and critically appraise it.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. work independently, with limited supervision;
  • 10. write up research findings to an appropriate professional standard;
  • 11. complete assigned work in a timely fashion
  • 12. clearly communicate and discuss complex ideas verbally and in writing.

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 Activity2Introductory Lecture
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity5Sueprvision
Guided Independent Study443Reading, research, reflection; Preparation of dissertation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Dissertation proposal800-1,000 words1, 6, 9-12Verbal or written feedback
Dissertation draft8,000 - 10,000 words1-12Verbal or written feedback

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
Dissertation1008,000-10,000 words1-12Written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Dissertation (100%)Dissertation (100%)Re-submission of Dissertation (8,000-10,000 words, 100%)1-126 weeks

Syllabus plan

The dissertation process will involve the following stages:

Introduction Lecture:

  • Choice of dissertation topic
  •  Development of proposal

Guided by Supervision:

  • Literature search and review
  • Data collection
  • Empirical analysis
  • Writing up
  • Submission of draft dissertation
  • Feedback and correction
  • Submission of final dissertation

Most of the dissertation process will involve independent self-study, but you will have periodic meetings with your supervisor to discuss the progress of your research.

The purpose of the feedback on the draft dissertation is to provide a final opportunity to identify and correct any major problems, either with the research itself or with the way in which it is presented. In particular, the feedback will address the way in which the research is motivated, the adequacy of the literature review and the appropriateness of the data and methods used. The feedback that you will receive is not intended to be detailed or exhaustive, but rather to give you a broad indication of how you might improve your dissertation

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

As part of the dissertation, students will develop their own bibliography that is relevant to their particular research topic, under the guidance of their supervisor

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Students will be introduced to the financial databases available in the business school via either in-house or online training sessions

Origin date


Last revision date