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Unit information: Dissertation (MSc AFM) in 2021/22

Unit name Dissertation (MSc AFM)
Unit code EFIMM0078
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Zheng
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Accounting and Finance
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 aims to provide 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. 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.

In common with other Russell Group universities, the School of Accounting and Finance employs a range of staff including academics external to the University for the supervision of dissertations. This enables the School to ensure individual supervision for students and allows us to utilise skills and expertise of academics from a wide range of areas.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of the dissertation, students will be able to:

1) frame a clear, central research question within the project topic chosen;

2) identify and critically review literature relevant to the topic and central research question;

3) select and apply an appropriate research methodology to investigate the chosen topic;

4) analyse data and/or evidence, where appropriate, and draw apposite conclusions that answer the central research question;

5) integrate conclusions into wider academic debates;

6) produce a dissertation in a clear, well-written and grammatically-correct style, that conforms to the conventions of academic presentation;

7) use skills of project management including working independently, managing time, working to deadlines.

Teaching details

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. Supervision and seminars will follow a blended learning format like other units.

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 (ILOs 1-2), apply a suitable research strategy for either an empirical or a library-based research study (ILO 3), analyse resulting data and draw relevant conclusions, and integrate these into wider academic debates (ILOs4-5). 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 (ILOs 6-7).


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EFIMM0078).