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Applied Project

Module description

The dissertation module provides you with the opportunity to independently produce original and academically rigorous research examining a topic or task set by a company in the finance industry. In the course of the dissertation, you will: develop a project proposal; critically review the relevant literature; collect any appropriate data; undertake applied research; and write up the results of your research in the form of a dissertation, together with an executive summary for the company. While the development and writing of the project and dissertation are largely independent pieces of work, you will have periodic meetings with your academic supervisor and with the company to discuss your progress. You will also have an opportunity to present your findings to the company.

Full module specification

Module title:Applied Project
Module code:BEFM025
Module level:M
Academic year:2021/2
Module lecturers:
  • Dr Jane Shen - Convenor
Module credit:30
ECTS value:



Passing CFA Level 1 or Term 1 average grade at a 2.1.



Duration of module:

Module aims

The dissertation module will give you the opportunity to work with, though not necessarily in, a company on a clearly defined project addressing a real issue set by the organisation. It will give you the experience of working with a company or a client. It is a practical experience designed to develop analytical, communication, consultancy and other transferable skills. The module is organised around an individual applied project with a firm in the finance industry. The module’s primary objective is to provide students with ‘real world’ work experience and to enhance their employability.

Additional Information:




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




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 and also collaboratively with professionals, to manage their own time, and to present the results of their research in a professional manner.



By working on a real-world project that is set by an investment firm, students will develop an awareness and understanding of corporate social responsibility issues in the core finance disciplines

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. design and form a viable industry-based 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 appropriate financial data and analyse the data using appropriate techniques;
  • 4. undertake quantitative or qualitative analysis of the data using appropriate statistical and econometric techniques;
  • 5. interpret and critically evaluate the results of your research and relate your findings both to the existing literature and to the requirements of the company.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 6. develop theoretical arguments based on analytical reasoning;
  • 7. be able to conduct research to address an industry-related problem;
  • 8. be able to access a wide body of empirical research literature and critically appraise it;
  • 9. be able to interpret the findings in the light of established theories and generate insights to inform recommendations

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 10. work independently, with appropriate supervision;
  • 11. write up research findings to an appropriate professional standard;
  • 12. complete assigned work in a timely fashion;
  • 13. clearly communicate and discuss complex ideas verbally and in writing;
  • 14. manage the relationship with the company effectively.

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 class
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity5Academic Supervision
Guided Independent Study293Academic supervision Reading, research, reflection; Preparation for learning and teaching activities; Preparation of dissertation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Dissertation proposal and time plan800 - 1,000 words1, 2, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13Verbal or written feedback
Dissertation draft7,000 - 9,000 words1-14Verbal 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
Dissertation907,000 – 9,000 words1-14Written feedback
Executive Summary report or Presentation10To be decided by the company3-5, 7, 9, 10 -14Verbal or Written feedback

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Dissertation (90%)Resubmission of dissertation (90%)1-146 weeks
Executive summary report or presentation Executive summary report or presentation (10%)3-5,7,9,10-14Standard re-assessment period

Syllabus plan

The dissertation process will involve the following stages:

Introduction lecture:

  • Choice of dissertation topic
  • Development of proposal and time plan

Guided Supervision:

  • Arrange the first meeting with the academic supervisor and company
  • Submit a proposal and time plan to the supervisor and company for feedback
  • Literature search and review
  • Depending upon the nature of the project, data collection and empirical analysis
  • Submission of draft dissertation
  • Feedback and correction
  • Writing up of the dissertation
  • Submission of final dissertation
  • Presentation of findings to the company

Most of the dissertation process will involve independent self-study, but you will have periodic meetings with your supervisor and the company 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 understanding of the scope of the project, 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

The following list is offered as an indication of the type & level of information that you are expected to consult. Further guidance will be provided by the Module Convener.


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.


ELE – College to provide hyperlink to appropriate pages

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Other 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