Module description


Students across business school can undertake their own in-depth research study into a topic related to their degree subject which interests them. They will benefit from having the opportunity to plan and manage their individual piece of research on a topic which was not covered in their regular taught modules, and to gain research skills from the guidance provided by their module convenor and dissertation supervisor. They will be able to successfully conclude an extended written dissertation. The topic of their dissertation is of their choosing. The module includes taught elements covering research methods and research skills, these will be delivered in term one.

Additional Information: Employability

Dissertations can be linked to internships and business projects, so they provide a strong talking point for future interviews. Students also develop their research and comprehension skills.

Full module specification

Module title:Dissertation
Module code:BUS3001
Module level:3
Academic year:2019/0
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Nazrul Islam - Convenor
Module credit:30
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Duration (weeks) - term 3:


Module aims

The aim of writing a dissertation is to give students the opportunity to research a topic related to their programme of study, which is not covered in depth by any taught module being offered that year. It is also designed to give students the opportunity to plan and manage their own research and to produce an extended written dissertation.

The exact nature of knowledge development in this module will be dependent upon the nature of the research project undertaken, which may be from any area of the Business School (Accounting, Finance, Economics or Management).

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. plan and execute an original research project
  • 2. research extensively and critically on a chosen academic or practical topic and demonstrate application of the underlying discipline concepts and/or research processes

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. use appropriate information, research and data resources (via library or Business School data sources)
  • 4. present and assess findings in a manner consistent with the norms of the subject area

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. work independently, and seek and apply advice from the supervisor
  • 6. take responsibility for the direction and management of a research project through to completion and submission
  • 7. present research in a clear and academic format

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 & teaching activities5Supervision
Scheduled learning & teaching activities10Lectures
Scheduled learning & teaching activities10Workshops
Guided independent study150Reading and research
Guided Independent Study125Writing up a dissertation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Project plans and draft chaptersAs appropriate to the project and position in the research and writing process1-7Verbal and/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
Dissertation10010,000 words excluding tables, charts and appendices. 1-7Verbal and Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
DissertationRevision of the dissertation based on the given feedback1-7August assessment period

Syllabus plan

This is an independent research module. However, it does include a series of taught sessions on research methods

Taught sessions:

  • Introduction to the module and paradigms of research
  • Literature review and synthesis – How to develop research questions/hypothesis
  • Designing appropriate research approach
  • Research methods (Quantitative and Qualitative) and data collection process
  • Data processing, analysis and interpretation

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

Bryman, A & Bell, E. (2018). Business research methods. (5th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Saunders M., Lewis P. & Thornhill A. (2015). Research methods for business students. (7th ed.). Harlow: Pearson.

Supplementary reading:

Atkinson, P. & Delamont, S. (Eds.). (2011) SAGE qualitative research methods. London: SAGE [This is only available online, and can be accessed via http://lib.exeter.ac.uk/record=b2536116~S6]

 Vogt, W. P. (Ed.). (2011). SAGE quantitative research methods. London: SAGE [This is only available online, and can be accessed via http://lib.exeter.ac.uk/record=b2536117~S6]

ELE – http://vle.exeter.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=2305

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Various journal articles – contemporary business issues from a variety of relevant publications 

Origin date


Last revision date