Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)

Module FINN41060: Dissertation (MSc Finance)

Department: Finance

FINN41060: Dissertation (MSc Finance)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap None.
Tied to N3K109
Tied to N3K209
Tied to N3K309
Tied to N3K409
Tied to N3K509
Tied to N3K609
Tied to N3K709
Tied to N3K809


  • None


  • Advanced Financial Theory (FINN40515) or Financial Technologies I (FINN41315) AND EITHER Econometric Analysis (ECON41515) OR Econometric Methods (FINN41715)

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 dissertation should be theoretically underpinned and should normally involve undertaking empirical research, but may be a critical essay that draws upon academic literature.


  • The dissertation and the research process:
  • Planning a research project and ethical issues;
  • Students review the literature and choose a dissertation topic, which is formally approved by the Board of Examiners. It should be one that is suitable for in-depth investigation, and relevant to their degree route.
  • In producing the dissertation, students will make use of and manage library facilities, databases and other learning resources.
  • The dissertation topic, which should be one that is suitable for in-depth investigation, is chosen by the student and formally approved by the Board of Examiners

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have:
  • a critical understanding of a relevant topic through utilisation of appropriate techniques of research and analysis.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • To be able to effectively organise, structure and manage a research project at an advanced level, including undertaking critical appraisal of relevant literature, and apply critical judgement and discrimination;
  • To have developed the ability to operate independently on a research topic and exercise appropriate judgement in the selection of material;
  • To have further developed the skills of inquiry, quantitative and qualitative research design, bibliographic search, experimental research, data collection, measurement and analysis, interpretation and presentation of results;
  • To have developed advanced skills of research, analysis and scholarly expression in a chosen topic.
Key Skills:
  • Written Communication;
  • Planning and Organising;
  • Problem Solving and Analysis;
  • Showing Initiative;
  • Numeracy;
  • Computer Literacy;
  • Self-discipline, time management and the ability to work autonomously.

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

  • Lectures will be used to cover general aspects of the dissertation process, including ethics. Students work independently on their research, analysis and writing up, under the guidance of a supervisor. Normally the student will meet their supervisor on no more than three occasions

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 3 1 per fornight 2 hours 6
Individual Supervision 3 1 hour 3
Research, Preparation, Analysis and Writing 591
Total 600

Summative Assessment

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

Formative Assessment:

There is no formal formative feedback on the dissertation, although students can discuss their research proposal in the supervisory meetings, and receive detailed feedback on one draft chapter/section of their dissertation.

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