Dissertation (Management)

Module description



The dissertation module allows you to pursue a programme of independent research on a business management topic that is of interest to you. Every student will be allocated a dissertation supervisor, and under whose guidance you will do the research and complete the dissertation write-up (8,000-10,000 words long). A dissertation demands self-motivation and good organisational skills. You are expected to show initiative in choosing your topic of study and in executing the research. The module will further develop your skills in formulating appropriate research questions, developing a research agenda, planning and conducting a research programme, analysing and evaluating materials and data generated, and communicating the findings by a fixed deadline.

Additional Information:

This module descriptor also applies for  students on MSc International Management ‘With European Study’ (WES) who are registered under a separate module code BEMM251A.


By working on a dissertation students develop valuable transferable skills in research, analysis, independent working, academic writing and time management.

Full module specification

Module title:Dissertation (Management)
Module code:BEMM251
Module level:M
Academic year:2017/8
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Nav Mustafee - Convenor
Module credit:30
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 2:

6 lectures (weeks 1, 3, 4, 7, 9 and 10)

Duration (weeks) - term 3:

Independent research until the date of submission (September)

Module aims

The dissertation invites the student to pursue a programme of independent research under the guidance of a dissertation supervisor.

The aims of the dissertation are:

  • To allow the student to pursue a programme of independent research on a topic of his/her choosing and which is approved by the module convenor.
  • To nurture further students’ skills in formulating appropriate research questions, developing a research agenda, planning and conducting a research programme, analysing and evaluating materials and data generated, and communicating the findings by a fixed deadline.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate a good comprehension of the complexity, gaps and contradictions associated with a specialised study of management;
  • 2. confidently apply in writings the understanding of concepts and theories from the taught part of the programme to a particular research problem;
  • 3. draw valid conclusions based on an ability to synthesise and prioritise relevant data from methods and techniques appropriate to the research problem;
  • 4. independently conduct an entire programme of research from defining the research question through scholarly investigation to final dissertation write-up

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 5. present a clearly structured and well-written piece of research within the discipline of Management

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. work as an independent researcher to collect, analyse and prioritise data and evidence to answer clearly-defined research questions
  • 7. develop problem-solving skills in a specialised manner based on the ability to adapt to the often complex, unpredictable and particular demands of the research process
  • 8. form constructive dialogues with research partners (peers, mentors and skilled professionals) and the dissertation supervisor
  • 9. reflect on the research process and evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with the approach adopted

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 hours12Lectures (2 hours per lecture)
5Supervision meeting to be arranged by the student in consultation with the allocated supervisor.

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Initial research proposal800-1000 words1-2, 5Verbal (feedback provided by the allocated dissertation supervisor)

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
Final research proposal101000-1200 words1-2, 5Written and Verbal (feedback provided by the dissertation supervisor)
Dissertation908000-10000 words1-9Written feedback (feedback provided by the dissertation supervisor and second marker).

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Proposal and Dissertation Dissertation (100%) (8000- 10000 words)1-9Re-submit in March

Syllabus plan

Term 2: Six lectures

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Compulsory reading:

Dissertation Series (chapters 1-12), University of Exeter Business School Resource

 Download link (login using UOE credentials): http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/pluginfile.php/390509/mod_resource/content/9/Dissertation%20Series%2003.06.2014.pdf

 Thematic reading will vary according to the individual research topic.

 Recommended reading Research Methods and Dissertation Skills:

1. Alan Bryman and Emma Bell (2015). Business Research Methods, 4th edition. Oxford University Press. ISBN-10: 0199668647; ISBN-13: 978-0199668649.

Link to catalogue: http://lib.exeter.ac.uk/record=b3252924~S6

2. Boris Blumberg, Donald Cooper and Pamela Schindler (2014). Business Research Methods, 4th edition. McGraw-Hill. ISBN- 10: 0077157486; ISBN-13: 978-0077157487.

Link to catalogue:  http://lib.exeter.ac.uk/record=b2637809~S6

3. Brian White and Stephen Rayner (2015). Dissertation Skills: For Business and Management Students, 2nd edition. ISBN-10: 1408081776; ISBN-13: 978-1408081778.

Link toOnline resource: http://lib.exeter.ac.uk/record=b3130073~S6 (login using UOE credentials)

4. Berman Reva Brown (2006). Doing Your Dissertation in Business and Management: The Reality of Researching and Writing. SAGE. ISBN: 9781412903516; Online ISBN: 9781849209069. **SAGE Study Skills - Available Online **

Link toOnline resource: http://lib.exeter.ac.uk/record=b2536620~S6 (login using UOE credentials)

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