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|
Passing CFA Level 1 or Term 1 average grade at a 2.1.
|Duration of module:|
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.
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 Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity||2||Introductory class|
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity||5||Academic Supervision|
|Guided Independent Study||293||Academic supervision Reading, research, reflection; Preparation for learning and teaching activities; Preparation of dissertation|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Dissertation proposal and time plan||800 - 1,000 words||1, 2, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13||Verbal or written feedback|
|Dissertation draft||7,000 - 9,000 words||1-14||Verbal or written feedback|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Dissertation||90||7,000 9,000 words||1-14||Written feedback|
|Executive Summary report or Presentation||10||To be decided by the company||3-5, 7, 9, 10 -14||Verbal or Written feedback|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Dissertation (90%)||Resubmission of dissertation (90%)||1-14||6 weeks|
|Executive summary report or presentation||Executive summary report or presentation (10%)||3-5,7,9,10-14||Standard re-assessment period|
The dissertation process will involve the following stages:
- Choice of dissertation topic
- Development of proposal and time plan
- 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.
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.
Last revision date