Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2010-2011 (archived)

Module SGIA40260: Dissertation

Department: Government and International Affairs

SGIA40260: Dissertation

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2010/11 Module Cap None.
Tied to T6KP07
Tied to T6KQ07


  • Islamic Political Economy, Islamic Banking and Finance AND Islamic Law and Financial Transactions.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module aims to provide students with the opportunity to conduct an in-depth investigation at an advanced level of a specific issue, which is applicable and relevant to Islamic Economics, Banking, Finance and Management by demonstrating a critical understanding of the relevant theory and its application, building on the knowledge and research methods skills acquired in the preceding taught modules as part of the programme.


  • Students are expected to select a topic for their dissertation.
  • They are advised that the dissertation should analyse a relevant Islamic economics, finance, banking and management issue in some depth, demonstrating a critical understanding of the relevant theory and practice; and that the investigation must be embedded in a broader context, allowing students to utilise knowledge and skills gained in the preceding modules.
  • The topic must be relevant to one of the following areas: Islamic political economy; Islamic banking theory and practice; Islamic finance theory and practice; and/or Islamic accounting. All proposed topics must be formally approved by the Programme Director.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • To have developed their critical understanding of a relevant topic through identification of research questions, a review of the literature, and the utilisation of appropriate techniques of analysis;
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To be able to conduct an independent research at an advanced level and produce a substantial piece of written work demonstrating critical analysis and scholarly expression in a specific issue relevant to Islamic economics, banking and finance.
Key Skills:
  • To have developed the ability to critically review a specialised area of knowledge.
  • To have developed the capacity for sustained independent work and learning at an advanced level.
  • To have developed the ability to learn through critical reflection on practice and experience.
  • To be able to think independently, including problem-solving ability and the ability to operate and exercise appropriate judgment in complex and specialised contexts.
  • To have developed the ability to accept a high level of personal responsibility, including an ability to evaluate and resolve any ethical dilemmas, which may arise.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Each student is allocated a supervisor to provide support throughout the dissertation phase, during which there will be individual meetings with the appointed supervisor, up to 8 but normally up to 6. This is considered appropriate, as the dissertation module is underpinned by the core research methods modules.
  • The dissertation stands as the opportunity for students to undertake a largely independent piece of research and as such ‘teaching’, in the sense of imparting knowledge, is minimal. Instead, supervisors serve as a source of advice and guidance on issues such as: developing an appropriate overall structure for the dissertation; advising on possible sources of literature and other data; offering critical feedback on a limited amount of draft material.
  • One-to-one meetings enable monitoring of progress towards achieving the learning outcomes, which also provides opportunity to respond student’s queries and provide advice where appropriate.
  • Learning is therefore principally self-directed, with students taking the lead in devising the research project, identifying appropriate sources, developing their ideas and planning how best to conduct and present their work. This serves the learning outcomes through encouraging students to work effectively, in a self-reliant and self-critical manner to develop their knowledge and understanding and sharpen their analytical and other relevant subject skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Individual Supervision up to 8 as required 30 minutes 4
Preparation, Research and Reading 596
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation 15, 000 words (maximum) 100%

Formative Assessment:

Written feedback will be provided on chapters.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University