University of Surrey - Guildford

Registry > Module Catalogue
View Module List by A.O.U. and Level  Alphabetical Module Code List  Alphabetical Module Title List  Alphabetical Old Short Name List  View Menu 
2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MANM061 Module Title: DISSERTATION
Module Provider: School of Management Short Name: MA300
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: NURI J Dr (SoM)
Number of credits: 60 Number of ECTS credits: 30
Module Availability

After Spring Semester

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment

Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)

Background: Thoroughness of literature review; evaluation of identified sources


Methodology: Valid and reliable methods and instruments; evaluation and explanation of approach/methods used; selection of research methodology/analytical results obtained and their relevance; reflection on methods used


Structure: structure, arguments and focus; well defined objectives; continuity of themes and arguments; statements supported by evidence


Interpretation and Commentary: insight and understanding; critical evaluation rather than description; interpretation of results; sensible recommendations and conclusions; suggestions for future research


Presentation: General presentation, abstract; appendices (relevance/use/appropriateness); references; bibliography



Units of Assessment 

Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)







Alternative Assessment 


Qualifying Condition(s)  
A mark of 50% is required to pass the module. 

Module Overview

The dissertation is CORE to all programmes and is the final element of the programme, providing an opportunity for a sustained period of research. It allows students to concentrate on topics that are of particular interest to them and it draws upon a range of different aspects of the taught programme particularly the Research Methods module. It also gives an opportunity for students to work independently with individual supervision


A pass in the Research Methods module

Module Aims

The module is designed to allow students to: undertake an original piece of research; demonstrate an ability to select and define and focus upon an issue at an appropriate level; develop and apply relevant and sound methodologies; analyse the issue; develop recommendations and logical conclusions; be aware of the limitations of research work. The students will also be expected to demonstrate an awareness of any ethical dilemmas that arise in their research.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module the students will have:  


  • Developed an in depth understanding and insight of a relevant topic of specific interest  
  • Demonstrated critical engagement with existing literature relevant to their topic  
  • Demonstrated an ability to use appropriate methodologies and to justify their use
  • Demonstrated the ability to analyse and present their data, and to critically compare these with existing knowledge
  • Demonstrated an ability to critically evaluate results to produce sound conclusions  
  • Shown an ability to identify modifications to existing knowledge structures and theoretical frameworks  
  • Awareness of the limitations of their study, and be able to identify new areas for investigation/new problems/new or alternative applications or methodological approaches  
  • Synthesised many of the elements covered in the taught part of the programme
  • Demonstrated the ability to present a major piece of coherent work based on self-directed research
Module Content

Students will identify a topic area of interest that they wish to develop further through their dissertation. This must be relevant to their programme of study. On the basis of this topic, students will be assigned a supervisor who will guide their work. The module is, however, largely based on self-directed study and research, which takes place during the Spring semester and the summer.

Methods of Teaching/Learning

The module commences in the Spring Semester, and is completed by early September of the same year. 


The teaching and learning strategy is designed to develop the students’ ability to conduct and report independent research. It builds on the Research Methods module, allowing students to gain experience of applying some of the principles and methods learned. Included in the strategy is the development of a research proposal to help students crystalise their ideas. 


The teaching and learning methods include regular supervision. The exact nature and timing of this will be agreed between the student and their supervisor. Students are expected to meet their supervisor once allocated to discuss their initial ideas. Following this they will write a short research proposal outlining the problem, research objectives and their proposed research strategy – including approaches, arrangements for fieldwork, development of instruments, sample and ethical issues. This is a formative assessment, and allows a fruitful discussion between student and supervisor about the proposed research. The proposal should be agreed with the supervisor before proceeding with the dissertation. Where necessary, students must obtain ethical approval prior to data collection. Subsequent meetings may include discussing details of methodological approaches, how to organise fieldwork and structuring and writing the dissertation. The supervisor will also comment and provide feedback on one complete draft of the student’s work.
Assessment Strategy: The student is assessed entirely on the basis of their written dissertation. The assessment criteria are available in the Dissertation Handbook provided to all students. All Dissertations are also checked for plagiarism using an electronic plagiarism detection system.

Selected Texts/Journals

Essential reading







Recommended reading  


The majority of the reading required for dissertation will be specific to the topic being investigated. Students are expected to use a variety of sources, as relevant to their topic. Supervisors will guide such reading. 


Background Reading  


A number of books have been written as guides to researching and writing dissertations, which students may find useful. Examples include:  


Horn R (2009) Researching and writing dissertations: a complete guide for business and management students. CIPD 


White B (2000) Dissertation skills for business and management students. Cassell.
Last Updated