SHE Level 4
SCQF Credit Points 40.00
ECTS Credit Points 20.00
Module Code MHN321920
Module Leader Siobhan White
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Finance and Accounting
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Successful completion of modules at Level 3.

Summary of Content

This double module incorporates a short Research Methods course. Completion of a 12,000 words (+or - 10%) dissertation (excluding appendices) and Viva will offer students a sustained opportunity to work at, or close to, the cutting edge of knowledge in a chosen and specialized area relevant to their programme. Rationale: This module is designed as a challenging module that will facilitate synthesis and evaluation in the students' critical learning. Individually supervised and tailored research work at the honours level will demonstrate advanced, independent, academic, intellectual, analytical, and employability skills.


The discipline content of the dissertation reflects the named degree path undertaken and thus there is no prescribed content. However, a comprehensive review of the prior research literature including alternative theories of the relevant fields are required. The aims and objectives of the work must also allow evidence of high-level outcomes of cognitive skills in critical thinking and analysis within a suitable analytic framework.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:Research independently a substantial topic by reference to existing scholarship and analysis of primary sources.Develop a set of aims relevant to execution of the dissertation.Demonstrate a critical understanding of established theories, principles and concepts relevant to the topic.Choose and develop an appropriate research methodology and/or research approach to meet the specified aims.Demonstrate skills in identifying information needs and in the systematic gathering, analysis and interpretation of ideas, concepts, and data.Synthesize theoretical and empirical elements in the work and derive valid conclusions.Demonstrate a critical understanding of the limits of knowledge; some may contribute original insights to the chosen topic.Identify new areas for future research.Sustain appropriate standards of written and oral presentation.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The predominant framework is independent (and guided) learning: Overarching guidelines for the implementation of the arrangements for dissertations are contained in the University's "Guidelines on Project and Dissertation Supervision". AFR will ensure that there are customized Dissertation Guidelines contained within the Module Handbook. These will include substantive information on assessment and marking guidelines, ethical consideration and procedures, the role of students and supervisors, issues relative to access/availability of resources, grievance procedures, penalties for late submission and cheating/plagiarism. Subject specialists/supervisors will see the student as required throughout the two semesters. 12 hours have been allocated as a minimum guideline for supervision contact time over the two semesters. Appointment of supervisors is made as far as feasible on the basis of fit of expertise to the areas of the topic researched. Completion of the 8 weeks of research methods course which includes the submission of a research proposal is compulsory requirement to complete the Dissertation. Student Performance Feedback Aims: Students will be provided with feedback on their research proposal within two weeks of submission and presentation. They will also receive direct supervisory feedback on their individual progress. The feedback that they receive is designed to: A: Facilitate the development of self-assessment B: Encourage dialogue C: Clarify good performance D: Support student's best standard of performance E: Deliver high quality information about students' learning F: Encourage positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem Strategies: In order to achieve these aims, the following strategies will be adopted by this module: A: Facilitating the development of self-assessment (e.g. Students will be asked to identify the strengths and weaknesses in their own work in relation to marking criteria before handing it in for assessment.) B: Encouraging dialogue (e.g. Regular opportunity will be provided in one-to-one meetings with students to review their feedback and to discuss these with their supervisor.) C: Clarifying good performance (e.g. Students will be provided with information about marking criteria and performance level definitions.) D: Support student's best standard of performance (e.g. Students will be asked to identify action points based on the feedback they have received.) E: Delivering high quality information about students' learning (e.g. Feedback will be provided by supervisors within two weeks of submission and will provide information on strengths, weaknesses and corrective advice.) F: Encouraging positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem (e.g. Opportunities will be provided for students to receive individual feedback designed to encourage positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem.)

Indicative Reading

Highly-ranked Academic research journals Professional Journals and professional research publications in relevant fields Advanced level texts in relevant fields Recent conference papers (where available) Websites, electronic search engines, databases and archives etc. as appropriate to the specialist topic and area of the dissertation. The main recommended text books for the short research methods course will be: Saunders M, Lewis P and Thornhill A, (2006 ), Research Methods for Business students, Prentice Hall.

Transferrable Skills

Critical and analytical intellectual skills: reflected in independent learning and the evaluation of complex and often conflicting argumentation. Information skills, reporting writing and professional management and presentation skills: reflected in preparation and presentation of proposal as well as the preparation of individual dissertation. Normally will include aspects of: assimilation and synthesis of technical material in depth; CIT and data analysis packages; numeracy; effective communication; (personal development planning skills) time management and self-management; reflective learning and be self-critical of own work. Competencies with certain research methods such as: in-depth case studies; archival research; interpersonal data collection skills (such as interviewing) Use of various on-line information and employability skills packages/e-tivities will also be embedded into the module

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Tutorials (FT) 1.00
Independent Learning (FT) 335.00
Assessment (FT) 48.00
Lectures (FT) 8.00
Seminars (FT) 8.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 0.00 25.00 n/a Written Research Proposal
Coursework 0.00 75.00 n/a Written project (12,000 words + or - 10%) and Viva