Skip to main content

Unit information: Dissertation in 2016/17

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Dissertation
Unit code EFIMM0014
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Humphrey Bourne
Open unit status Not open

The taught element of relevant programmes



School/department School of Economics, Finance and Management
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


The dissertation is an extended report of an independent study that identifies and investigates a particular question and explores it systematically over a sustained period of time. The dissertation provides students with the opportunity to read extensively and apply research skills to a chosen area of study selected from a range of projects. Projects may be either empirical or library-based, and may include scope for adaptation in method or field of inquiry, depending upon the requirements of the particular programme being followed within the School. Student learning is supported by regular individual and/or small group supervision sessions, although the expectation is that the dissertation is primarily an individual piece of work.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the dissertation, students will demonstrate ability to:  frame a clear, central research question within the project topic chosen;  identify and critically review literature relevant to the topic and central research question;  understand and apply an appropriate research methodology to investigate the chosen topic;  analyse data and/or evidence, where appropriate, and draw apposite conclusions that answer the central research question;  integrate conclusions into wider academic debates;  produce a dissertation in a clear, well-written and grammatically-correct style, that conforms to the conventions of academic presentation;  use skills of project management including working independently, managing time, working to deadlines.

Teaching details

All students on all programmes receive dissertation preparation, which includes research methods.

The principal method of teaching is through supervision. This is carried out on an individual basis supported by small group supervision where appropriate. For some dissertation topics, additional seminars are provided, and for highly technical dissertation topics, a technical ‘help desk’ is provided during the main study period.

Assessment Details

A dissertation of 10,000 to 15,000 words. The dissertation will assess students’ ability to: frame a research question in the context of a relevant literature, apply a suitable research strategy for either an empirical or a library-based research study, analyse resulting data and draw relevant conclusions, and integrate these into wider academic debates. The dissertation will also assess students’ ability to produce a substantial piece of work independently and by a deadline, and which conforms to the conventions of academic presentation.

Reading and References

Reading will vary according to the degree programme, but may include:

Angrist, J. and Pischke, S. (2009) Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion, Princeton: Princeton University Press Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2011) Business research methods, 3rd Ed., Oxford: Oxford University Press Hart, C. (2001) Doing a literature review, London: Sage Publications Ryan, R., Scapens, R. & Beattie, V. (2002) Research methods and methodology in finance and accounting, 2nd Ed. Andover: Cengage Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill,(2012), Research methods for business students, 6th Ed., Hemel Hempstead: Prentice Hall

A range of journals and monographs relevant to particular research topics.