Taxation Dissertation

Module description

Towards the end of your studies you will embark on researching and writing a substantial dissertation of 15,000 – 20,000 words. This is an excellent opportunity for you to develop an area of expertise within the tax field by carrying out and writing up your own research project.

Full module specification

Module title:Taxation Dissertation
Module code:BEAM062
Module level:M
Academic year:2018/9
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Lynne Oats - Convenor
Module credit:60
ECTS value:






Introduction to UK Taxation, Principles of International Taxation, Comparative Tax Policy. Advanced UK Taxation, Advanced International Taxation,





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


Duration (weeks) - term 2:


Module aims

Our aim in this module is to support you as you carry out your own research project and subsequently write it up. Throughout the process you will be advised by a supervisor who has some specialist knowledge of your chosen field of study. You will need to meet with your supervisor regularly as you first develop your research proposal and subsequently embark on your research. Your supervisor will read drafts of your chapters, making recommendations for improvement and will also advise you about how to structure your final submitted work.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Collect, analyse and interpret qualitative or quantitative data, using relevant software and statistical techniques.
  • 2. Link theory to research findings, draw relevant conclusions and discuss the implications and limitations of the research which you have undertaken.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Apply independent research skills including use of the library and relevant information databases.
  • 4. Construct coherent, well-argued and convincing arguments, using evidence as appropriate to defend positions taken.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Take responsibility for the direction and management of an independent and original research project through to completion and submission on time
  • 6. Demonstrate a high standard of written presentation, adhering to conventions for academic writing and referencing

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 activities 8Research methods training and meetings with supervisor
Guided independent study592Researching and writing up your dissertation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Meetings with supervisorsMinimum 3 hours1-6Verbal & 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
Proposal101,000 words1-6Written
Dissertation9015,000 – 20,000 words1-6Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Dissertation15,000-20,000 words1-66 weeks from receiving original mark

Syllabus plan

Term 1: provisional outline

Lecture 1: What is a dissertation? Identifying a research topic.

Lecture 2: Doing a literature review and thinking critically.


Term 2:

Lecture 3: Methodology Part 1

Lecture 4: Methodology Part 2

Lecture 5: Methodology Part 3


You will need to meet your supervisor regularly and maintain contact by e-mail throughout the time that you are working on your dissertation. You will need to respond to feedback and submit your dissertation on or before the deadline date.


While dissertations vary in terms of their structure and content, essential features include the following:


  1. An introduction which sets out and justifies the research questions / hypotheses.
  2. A literature review which is critical and analytical, and not simply descriptive in nature
  3. A methodology section in which you set out and justify your choice of research methods
  4. Sections which both set out and analyse your findings
  5. Conclusions and recommendations which are clearly justified.
  6. A section reflecting on and critically reviewing your learning while completing your dissertation  

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Anderson, V. (2009) Research Methods in Human Resource Management, Second Edition, London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
  • Bell, J. (2005) Doing Your Research Project, Maidenhead: Open University Press.
  • Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2011), Business Research Methods. Third Edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Cresswell, J.W. (2009) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage.
  • Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Jackson, P. (2012) Management Research, Fourth Edition, London: Sage.
  • Gill, J. & Johnson, P. (2012) Research Methods for Managers, Fourth Edition, London: Sage.
  • Gray, D. (2009) Doing Research in the Real World, Second Edition, Los Angeles: Sage.
  • Hart, C. (1998) Doing a Literature Review, London: Sage.
  • Horn, R. (2009) Researching and Writing Dissertations: A Complete Guide for Business and Management Students, London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
  • Jankowicz, A. (2005) Business Research Projects, Fourth Edition, London: Thomson Learning.
  • McMillan, K. & Wevers, J. (2009) How to Write Dissertations and Project Reports, Harlow: Prentice Hall.
  • Myers, M.D. (2008) Qualitative Research in Business and Management, London: Sage.
  • Oats, L. (Ed.) (2012) Taxation: A Fieldwork Research Handbook, London: Routledge.
  • Yin, D. (2009) Case Study Research: Design and Methods, Fourth Edition, Los Angeles: Sage.



Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

You will have access to an online searchable and resources database, with links to several eBooks available on through the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE). Within this environment, you will also be supported through online discussion forums and activities.

Origin date


Last revision date