Dissertation for IBSM Suite & MSc Management - MAN00083M

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  • Department: The York Management School
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Des Williamson
  • Credit value: 60 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20
  • Notes: This is an independent study module

Module summary

The dissertation is a research-based activity involving sustained private study over the summer term and the summer vacation, culminating in submission of a dissertation of not more than 8000 words. The aim of the dissertation is to develop students’ abilities to initiate, design, and implement a research project, and to write-up the results of this.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Summer Term 2019-20 to Summer Vacation 2019-20

Module aims

The dissertation is a research-based activity involving sustained private study over the summer term and the summer vacation, culminating in submission of a dissertation of not more than 8000 words. The aim of the dissertation is to develop students’ abilities to initiate, design, and implement a research project, and to write-up the results of this.

By undertaking a longer piece of sustained research and writing, students will demonstrate: critical analytical skills; ability to gather data and draw together information from a range of sources; writing and presentational skills; subject-specific knowledge. As a self-study module, they will also draw on the skills they have acquired through their whole degree, including self-management, working to deadlines, and subject knowledge.

Module learning outcomes

Academic and graduate skills
Successful completion of the dissertation will demonstrate that students are able to:

  • Undertake a research project
  • Apply knowledge of research philosophy and methods
  • Undertake empirical research involving collection of primary data (where appropriate)
  • Undertake secondary analysis of existing data and information (where appropriate)
  • Critically analyse significant bodies of literature in the chosen topic area
  • Prepare and write a well-presented and substantial piece of academic research
  • Engage with ethical issues in undertaking research
  • Undertake a presentation to communicate complex ideas with clarity
  • Critically reflect on the research skills and their relationship to future development and employability

Module content

Subject content
In preparing the dissertation proposal and the dissertation itself, students will:
Critically engage with relevant literature in relation to their named degree
Identify a meaningful research question/topic/problem
Engage with the key issues and questions arising in the topic area
Identify and deploy an appropriate research methodology
Collect and analyse data (where appropriate)
Extrapolate key findings
Consider the contribution of the dissertation to scholarship, policy, and practice as appropriate
Degree specific content will be developed in 15 hours of classroom teaching. This will be taught in Term 3 as an intensive learning experience styled as "Advanced Topics in ", with each group taught separately. For example, in the case of the IBSM suite of named degrees, it is intended that students will engage with topics that directly relate to their degree title, or a sub-field related to that primary subject area. In the case of the students undertaking the Management degree, the advanced topics would be related to areas of management studies covered in the degree, (indicative examples might include “Operations Management”, “Organisational Behaviour”, “General Management”, “Critical Management Studies”, etc.). Classes will run 9.30am-12.30pm Monday-Friday, with students undertaking individual and group activities in the afternoons to support learning and research planning. The purpose of the "Advanced Topics" sessions will be to immerse students in the key debates, problems, questions,
and latest literature in relation to their programme of study and to identify a range of topics, approaches, and methods relevant to the degree content. There will be an emphasis on problematisation, and research design and process. The students will be specifically prepared to undertake a presentation and complete the "Dissertation Proposal":


Not later than the end of Week 5, students will have their first meeting with their supervisors. Prior to that meeting they should submit the "Dissertation topic outline" that will identify and justify a topic for the dissertation, and briefly outline a potential research design, Supervisors will provide feedback on feasibility, suitability, and relevance, which will feed-forward into the completion of the full " Dissertation Proposal".


The "Dissertation Proposal" will consist of the following elements:
- Indication of relevant literature and topic context
- Identification of a specific research problem/question(s)/topic
- Identification and explanation of an appropriate research method
- Research plan including an indication of potential data sources
- Completion of Ethics Approval

Following the dissertation, students will then complete a video presentation and “Self-reflective Research Skills Audit” that will provide an opportunity for them to communicate the key findings of their research, analyse and reflect on the research skills and subject knowledge they have developed, and consider how these skills and knowledge feed into their future development and employability.


 

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
2000 Word Dissertation Proposal
N/A 20
Essay/coursework
250 Word Dissertation Topic Outline
N/A 5
Essay/coursework
8000 Word Dissertation
N/A 65
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
5 minute video Reflective Research Skills Audit
N/A 10

Special assessment rules

None

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Dissertation
N/A 100

Module feedback

Written feedback from both examiners is released to students after the final exam board. In cases of a marginal fail where minor amendments are permitted, students will be given written guidance on the required amendments.

Indicative reading

  • Bryman, A., & Bell, E. (2015). Business research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Buchanan, D. A., & Bryman, A. (Eds.) (2009) The Sage handbook of organizational research methods. London: Sage.
  • Neuman, W.L. (2011) Social research methods: qualitative and quantitative approaches. Boston and London: Pearson Education
  • Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2016) Research methods for business students (7th edn.). London: Pearson.
  • Symon, G., & Cassell, C. (2012). Qualitative organizational research: core methods and current challenges. London: Sage.
  • Yin, R. (1994). Case study research: Design and methods. Beverly Hills. CA: Sage publishing.
  • Neuman, W.L. (2011) Social research methods: qualitative and quantitative approaches. Boston and London:Pearson Education



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.