Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)

Module BUSI40160: Dissertation

Department: Business School (Business)

BUSI40160: Dissertation

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None.


  • Perspectives on the Modern Organisation Quantitative Methods for Social Science Research I Behavioural Research Methods I Qualitative Research Methods I


  • As specified in Special Regulations

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 in Business and Management, building on the research methods knowledge and skills acquired in the preceding taught modules.


  • Students select a topic for their dissertation. They are advised that the dissertation should analyse a relevant business 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: macro-organisation theory; work, management and organisation, or behavioural decision-making. All proposed topics must be formally approved by the Programme Director.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • have developed their critical understanding of a relevant topic through a review of the literature, identification of research questions and the utilisation of appropriate techniques of analysis;
Subject-specific Skills:
  • be able to conduct an independent research at an advanced level and produce a substantial piece of written work demonstrating critical analysis of a specific issue
Key Skills:
  • have the ability to critically review a specialised area of knowledge
  • have the capacity for sustained independent work and learning at an advanced level and the ability to learn through critical reflection on practice and experience
  • be able to think independently, including problem-solving ability and the ability to operate and exercise appropriate judgement in complex and specialised contexts
  • have 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

  • During the dissertation period there will be individual meetings with the appointed supervisor, normally up to 6. This is considered appropriate, as the dissertation module is underpinned by the core research methods modules. One-to-one meetings enable monitoring of progress towards achieving the learning outcomes.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Individual supervisions up to 6 as required normally 30 mins 3
Preparation and Reading 447
Total 450

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation 12000 100%

Formative Assessment:

Written feedback will be provided on one chapter only.

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