Module title: Dissertation (Online)

SCQF level: 10:
SCQF credit value: 40.00
ECTS credit value: 20

Module code: SOE10433
Module leader: Patrick Harte
School The Business School
Subject area group: Management


2018/9, Trimester 2, Online,
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: Online
Location of delivery: WORLDWIDE
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Patrick Harte
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
You will be provided with responsive, engaging and interactive online learning materials which will include a general introduction to the dissertation and how to study the module online, together with core academic theory relating to the module. You will also be directed to a variety of electronic sources including e-books, e-journals and other web-based resources, to support your learning. A mix of reflective exercises, case studies and self-assessment questions (with diagnostic feedback) for each unit will help to engage you in the learning process, and the online materials will encourage you to reflect on your own experiences and learning. You will be encouraged to form your own independent groups and to interact via the VLE through discussion forums.

To support your learning, you will have access to:
• A weekly ‘virtual office hour’ – module leaders will be available for synchronous contact.
• Module specific materials which will comprise of the undernoted:
o A module introduction/overview, including learning outcomes, and summary of key points
o Eleven units of learning - an introductory unit, followed by ten subject specific units.
o Narrated PPTs, covering key learning points for each unit
o Podcasts/vodcasts further explaining key concepts (where appropriate)
o Recorded keynote lectures/guest speakers (as appropriate)
o Exemplars of proposals and dissertations
o Self-Assessment Questions
o Reflective Exercises
o End of Unit Progress tests
o Links to core module academic materials; book chapters / journal articles / case materials etc.
o Guidance on assessments - & outline solutions
o A database of Frequently Asked Questions

You are encouraged to identify key skills areas and relate these to your own personal and professional development throughout the module.

Learning & Teaching methods including their alignment to LOs
The general appro

Formative Assessment:
Formative feedback will be provided throughout the module via feedback on the self-assessment questions and activites - outline solutions will be developed by the module leader, and appropriate online feedback will be available automatically and as soon as the assessment is completed. This will enable you to self-assess your progress and understanding.

Reflective Exercises within each unit will require you to apply theory to your own experience – your reflections will be captured in an online reflective portfolio which you will be able to review and print off.

An dissertation outline is submitted early in the first semester. The dissertation outline, which is not formally assessed, is the starting point for a proposed area of research, related to the student’s programme of study. The outline is also used to allocate supervisors to students. Supervisors can advise on the initial feasibility of the proposed topic in terms of its breadth and depth. Students will then make a detailed appraisal of their proposed research by reading key references (including books, journals and electronic sources) to determine the current state of knowledge, considering ideas as to how their research should be undertaken and assessing its practicality.

Summative Assessment:
Students will then submit a 2000 word full dissertation proposal (25%) in week 11 of the first semester and this assessment will address learning outcomes 1 - 5. The full proposal is a critical component since it provides a detailed “road-map” for the rest of this module. It will conform to the assessment guidelines to ensure all key areas are considered and included. The proposal will include an introduction section detailing the background and development of the chosen topic, a clear statement of the research aim and objectives, an initial scoping literature review, details and justification of the proposed research methods, a realistic time plan of the work required to complete the dissertation, and a reference list supporting work to date.

The final dissertation (75%) is submitted in week 12 of the second semester. It will address learning outcomes 2, 3, 4 and 6. Students will be expected to analyse, assess, develop, synthesise, integrate and reflect on the findings of the research study. Online discussion with the supervisor will encourage steady progress; setting goals and targets, planning and researching tasks etc., and students should submit draft work to the supervisor for feedback at key stages.
Sample proposals, sample dissertations and marking schemes will be available to facilitate self-assessment of your knowledge and understanding, and identification of areas of weakness will aid your learning and development.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Online Groupwork (Independent Study) 4
Independent Learning Guided independent study 396
Total Study Hours400
Expected Total Study Hours for Module400

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Report 25 1 - 5 11 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 2000
Dissertation 75 2, 3, 4, 6 27 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 10000
Component 1 subtotal: 25
Component 2 subtotal: 75
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

The module will cover:
1. The research cycle; Choosing a research topic; How to develop research aims and objectives;
2. Library searching; The literature review process; Critique of the literature;
3. The differences between Primary research and Secondary research; Methods of data collection for both qualitative and quantitative research;
4. Analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data; Research integrity and ethics; The dissertation structure; Research in practice.

Students will plan their dissertations, read the literature, conduct the research, source and/or collect data, analyse data and write up their findings.

There will also be e-learning and interactive activities to help with:
1. Preparing the dissertation outline
2. Developing the outline into a full research proposal
3. A variety of research methods e.g. surveys, interviews, case studies, quantitative data analysis and qualitative data analysis.

Learning Outcomes for module:

On completion of this module, you will be able to:

LO1: Identify a topic for systematic investigation, analysis and evaluation
LO2: Establish a research aim and research objectives
LO3: Select and justify appropriate research methods
LO4: Critically assess literature relevant to the research to be undertaken
LO5: Prepare a research proposal
LO6: Collect, analyse and evaluate primary and/or secondary data and produce conclusions and recommendations

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:

Click here to view the LibrarySearch.