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University of Exeter Business School

Masters Dissertation (Accounting and Taxation)

Module titleMasters Dissertation (Accounting and Taxation)
Module codeBEAM062
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Mr Chie Min Teng (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Towards the end of your studies you will embark on researching and writing a substantial dissertation of 15,000 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. A dissertation of this length will potentially meet the requirements of the Chartered Institute of Taxation Advanced Diploma in International Tax.


Alternatively, you may choose to write two (2) distinct and separate research essays of 7,500 in length.

Module aims - intentions of the module

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 to ensure that you are on track, to seek advice and to clarify doubts. 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.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 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

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 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

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 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.

Syllabus plan

This module is delivered through direct contact time with allocated supervisor. 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:

  • An introduction which sets out and justifies the research questions / hypotheses.
  • A literature review which is critical and analytical, and not simply descriptive in nature
  • A methodology section in which you set out and justify your choice of research methods
  • Sections which both set out and analyse your findings
  • Conclusions and recommendations which are clearly justified.

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 Activity3Meetings with supervisor
Guided Independent Study597Researching and writing your dissertation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Meetings with supervisors3 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
Dissertation10015,000 words1-6Written

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Dissertation (100%)Dissertation (100%, 15,000 words)1-66 weeks from receiving original mark

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.



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.

Key words search

Taxation, Research, Dissertation.

Credit value60
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

Introduction to UK Taxation, Principles of International Taxation, Comparative Taxation, Advanced International Taxation, or Advanced UK Taxation

Module co-requisites



NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date