Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module BUSI40I60: Dissertation with Research Methods

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI40I60: Dissertation with Research Methods

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap
Tied to N1K607
Tied to N1K507
Tied to N1K307
Tied to N1KL07
Tied to N2P109
Tied to N2P309
Tied to N2P409
Tied to N2P509
Tied to N2P609
Tied to N2P709


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide students with the opportunity to conduct an in-depth investigation at an advanced level of an issue which is applicable and relevant to their degree subject. The positioning of the dissertation at the end of the programme is intended to promote integration of material covered in the core and optional modules.
  • To equip students with an in-depth understanding of key principles of research design and methodology in business and management, and to develop their skills in conducting and disseminating research at an advanced level.


  • Research methods:
  • introduction: approach to social research;
  • formulating a research question;
  • developing a research strategy that fits your question;
  • the nature of qualitative research;
  • the nature of quantitative research;
  • an overview of data gathering methods, including interviews, questionnaires and experiments;
  • the analysis of quantitative and qualitative data;
  • ethics of research.
  • Planning and managing a research project.
  • The dissertation topic is chosen by the student and formally approved by the Board of Examiners. It should be one that is suitable for in-depth investigation, and relevant to their degree subject.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have:
  • a critical appreciation of the range of philosophical approaches to research in business and management;
  • knowledge of the facilities available for conducting literature searches and obtaining relevant data to facilitate empirical investigation;
  • a critical understanding of a relevant topic through utilisation of appropriate techniques of research and analysis.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • be able to conduct research into business and management issues through research design, use of appropriate methods, data collection, synthesis and reporting;
  • be able to organise, structure and manage a business research project effectively at an advanced level;
  • be able to critically evaluate published research and assess its relevance to a chosen research project.
Key Skills:
  • Planning and organising;
  • using initiative;
  • computer literacy;
  • numeracy;
  • written communication of research on a chosen topic;
  • time management
  • self-discipline;
  • problem solving and analysis.
  • Written communication of research on a chosen topic to a relevant audience(s);
Key Skills:
    Planning, organising and time management; problem solving and analysis; using initiative; computer literacy.

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

  • A combination of lectures, seminars, computer labs and guided reading addressing key topics in research will cover the subject-specific knowledge and skills together with general aspects of the dissertation process.
  • The combined summative components of the dissertation require students to write a draft research proposal, including a short literature review, and a detailed initial plan for a research method, including - where relevant - detail on data collection and likely analytical methods. Students then work independently on their research, analysis and writing up, for their dissertation, under the guidance of a supervisor, modifying their research design if necessary. Within the dissertation, students produce a short Exec summary providing a business perspective on their research findings.
  • Normally the student will meet their supervisor on no more than six occasions. This is considered appropriate, given that the dissertation module is underpinned by lectures and seminars/computer labs.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 Weekly 2 hours 20
Seminars 4 Fortnightly 1 hour 4
Individual supervision 6 As necessary 0.5 hour 3
Reading, preparation, research, analysis and writing up 573
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 80%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation, including a short executive summary providing a business perspective on the research findings 10,000 words (maximum) 100%
Component: Research Proposal Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Draft research proposal, including a short literature review and a detailed initial plan for a research method including – where relevant – data collection and likely analytical methods 1500 words (maximum) 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students receive formative feedback on the research proposal.

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