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BUS7075Dissertation (Including Research Methods)




MODULE TITLE:         Dissertation (Including Research Methods)

MODULE CODE:         BUS7075

LECTURER:                Dr Susan Sisay

ISSUE DATES:            September 2021

HAND IN DATES:        6th December 2021@12noon

Online submission

HAND BACK DATES: 20 working days after hand-in

Learning outcomes: On successful completion of this assessment you will be able to:
1. Formulate a research question(s)/ hypotheses relevant to Business/Management with clearly defined objectives, identify an appropriate methodology and prepare a proposal for a dissertation.



The dissertation is the culmination of the MBA and provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate what you have learned on the course and that you have acquired the necessary skills to independently undertake a substantial piece of work under the guidance of a supervisor. The dissertation aims to enable you to demonstrate your ability to design, conduct, evaluate and write up a project on a topic that is relevant to your interests. In so doing, you will be able to demonstrate self-direction, enquiry, originality and an ability to act autonomously in the planning and implementation of project skills at an advanced and professional level. It is a significant piece of evidence-based work, which demonstrates your ability to qualify for the award of international MBA. The research study has a business focus that

is appropriate to your career aspirations and is of greater depth and conceptual complexity than a normal assignment.


Dr Susan Sisay (Module leader) Room: C243

E-mail: susan.sisay@bcu.ac.uk

Summative Assessment Summary

This assessment consists of a 1500-word proposal for a dissertation, which constitutes 20% of the total module marks. The proposal will be submitted online via Moodle. The details of the assignment brief are given below. You are strongly argued to read the briefs carefully and in conjunction with the marking grid at the end of this document.

Management project proposal (Constitutes 20% of module mark)

You are required to write a 1500-word proposal for a dissertation based on a business and/management topic relevant to MBA. To start with, you will formulate a topic for the dissertation, give background information and problem statement, research question(s), aim and objectives, rationale and significance/importance of the topic and/or hypotheses where applicable. You should also provide an outline and rationale of the methodology you will use on the project and background literature/theory underpinning your research topic/question/hypotheses together with limitations. You should also provide a GANTT or that flowchart showing how you propose to proceed with the project. NB: The proposal may subject to changes, eventually form the 1st chapter of the dissertation.

Formative Assessment and feedback

Learning outcome 1 formative assessment will be obtained via the comments of supervisors on draft material in one to one tutorials and via Moodle forums.

Dissertation guidance handbook

The Dissertation handbook is a separate document that you can access via Moodle on the module site. You are required to read this carefully as that is what your supervisor will follow. The handbook also includes the supervision record forms that you will be required to complete after each supervision meeting. It also contains the ethical approval form that you should complete and have it signed off by your supervisor before you start collecting your primary data.

Referencing requirements

All work should be referenced using the Harvard format – there are handouts available online at the library website and are available as hard copy in the library if you are unsure of this.

  • Exercise caution when using Wikipedia, Google or Yahoo – the former is not peer assessed and the work is not always reliable and the later are search engines. Do not rely too heavily or exclusively on such sources.
  • Use textbooks and journal articles (newspaper articles may at times be acceptable). You should however, make more reliance on journal articles as these are peer reviewed and are often more recent than text books. If you are to use textbooks, these should be the latest so it is important to check whether you have the latest edition. Citations should be used very minimally and in limited circumstances, you may reference lecture material such as handouts and presentation slides.

Submission requirements

Please read the Internship project handbook for the submission requirements.

University Regulations

If you produce less than or exceed the word limit by up to 10%, no action will be taken, though you may receive adverse feedback. If you produce less than or exceed the stipulated word count by more than 10%, a deduction of the mark awarded will be made to reflect that you have not met the assessment requirements. This is usually 1% for every additional 100 words outside the word limit.

  Library & Learning Resources
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2009) Research Methods for Business Studies (5th Ed), Harlow: Prentice-Hall FT (Also available as an e-book at; http://lib.myilibrary.com/Open.aspx?id=288757 )
Essential (Books/Journals/Specific chapters/Journal Articles)
C Neville (2010) The Complete Guide to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism, 2nd Ed, Open University Press Maidenhead Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods (Available at; http://ezproxy.bcu.ac.uk:2073/publication/406305 ) Global Journal of International Business Research (Available at; http://ezproxy.bcu.ac.uk:2073/publication/1576354 )
Curwin, J., Slater, R. & Eadson, D. (2013) Quantitative Methods for Business Decisions (7th Ed.) Andover: Cengage David, M. & Sutton, C. (2010) Social Research: An Introduction (2nd Ed.) London: Sage Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Jackson, P. (2012) Management Research (4th Ed.) London: Sage Fisher, C. (2010) Researching and Writing a Internship project: An Essential Guide for Business Students (3rd Ed.) Harlow: Prentice-Hall (Also available as an e-book at; http://lib.myilibrary.com/Open.aspx?id=266403&src=2 ) Glatthorne, A. (1998) Writing the Winning Internship project: A Step-by-Step Guide London: Sage Gummesson, E. (1999) Qualitative Methods in Management Research (2nd Ed.) London: Sage Hart, C. (2009) Doing a Literature Review London: Sage Hills, D. (2011) Student Essentials: Critical Thinking Richmond: Trotman (Also available as an ebook at; http://lib.myilibrary.com/Open.aspx?id=389023 ) Lomas, R. (2011) Mastering Your Business Internship project: How to Conceive, Research and Write a Good Business Internship project. London: Routledge (Also available as an e-book at; http://lib.myilibrary.com/Open.aspx?id=343509 ) Oliver, P. (2012) Succeeding With Your Literature Review: A Handbook for Students Maidenhead: OU Press (Also available as an e-book at; http://lib.myilibrary.com/Open.aspx?id=352490 )
Sekaran, U. & Bougie, R. (2013) Research Methods for Business: A Skill-Building Approach (6th Ed.) Chichester: Wiley Teddlie, C. & Tashakkori, A. (2009) Foundations of Mixed Methods Research London: Sage White, B. & Rayner, S. (2008) Internship project Skills for Business and Management Students (2nd Ed.) Andover: Cengage
Journals: European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies (Available at; http://ezproxy.bcu.ac.uk:2073/publication/1796413 ) International Journal of Management Sciences and Business Research (Available at: http://ezproxy.bcu.ac.uk:2073/publication/2027549 ) Journal of Applied Business Research (Available at; http://ezproxy.bcu.ac.uk:2073/publication/30135 ) Journal of Business Administration Research (Available at; http://ezproxy.bcu.ac.uk:2073/publication/1976336 )   Websites: BCU Centre for Academic Success (Available at; http://library.bcu.ac.uk/learner/ )

Marking Criteria

 0 – 39% Fail40 – 49% Fail50 – 59% Pass60 – 69% Strong Pass (merit)70 – 79% Very Strong Pass (distinction)80 – 100% Exceptionally Strong Pass (distinction)
Criterion 1 Mark:Formulate a research question(s)/ hypotheses relevant to Business/Management with clearly defined objectives, identify an appropriate methodology and prepare a proposal for a dissertation.
Background of the chosen topic may be given but the aim, objectives, research questions/hypotheses and rationale will be unclear or not stated. The author appears to know little about the subject area relating to the project. There is little or no understanding of methodological issues.and underpinning philosophies. Timelines for the project may not be present or not feasible.Interesting topic that gives some background about the chosen topic but the research question(s) are too broad and the aim and objectives are unclear or too broad. Hypothesis if required has not been stated. There is inadequate awareness and understanding of the key literature and theoretical issues relevant to the project topic. There is limited understanding of and application of methodological issues and underpinning philosophies and timelines may be unrealistic.Clear research issue & appropriate background about the topic. Aim and objectives clear but some issues about scope, fit with the rationale, feasibility are unclear. The hypotheses where appropriate may not be clear. There will be fair description of appropriate field(s) of literature and theories relevant to the project. There will be some understanding of methodological issues and the philosophies that underpinning them and timelines for delivering identified tasks.Clear research issue; good background about the chosen topic. Aim and objectives are clear, feasible and appropriate with good rationale and where appropriate, the hypotheses have been clearly stated. There will be some detailed understanding of methodological issues and there application, and philosophies underpinning them and linked to the topic. There will be evidence of understanding of key deliverables of identified tasks with timelines using Gantt chart of other graphical representation.Clear and specific about research question, aim and objectives. They are feasible and appropriate, very well justified by very good & relevant background information with hypotheses stated where appropriate. The literature is cogently described and evaluated with good critique and conclusions identifying gaps. There is very detailed understanding of methodological issues and philosophies underpinning them clearly aligned to the topic. Identification of specific tasks, timelines, and deliverables from each of the tasks (using Gantt chart).Excellent background about the chosen topic and research questions, with issues defined, aim, objectives and rationale and hypotheses where appropriate is given. Critical engagement and evidence of initial reading and the use of relevant literature to conceptualise the specific problem in the wider literature. The methodological approach is carefully and critically thought, argued and presented all underpinned by research philosophies and aligned to the topic. . Identification of specific tasks, timelines, and deliverables from each of the tasks (using Gantt chart).

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