SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MMK221254
Module Leader Kenneth Lawani
School School of Computing, Engineering and Built Environment
Subject Construction and Surveying
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

This module operates an overall 50% pass rate. The module requires the student to produce a conference style paper (Element 1) and a Dissertation (Element 2) relevant to their chosen specialism. The students should also make themselves adept in research methods through an independent learning regime, utilising the materials provided on GCU Learn as well as attending any events or planned seminars throughout the academic sessions. Dissertations must demonstrate clearly the widest possible use of academic literature relevant to the chosen topic and the ability to independently apply academic and, where appropriate, comparative insights to the analysis of issues. Dissertations must also show an understanding of rigorous research methodology, information gathering and analysis.


Dissertation, by its nature, is an individual piece of research work. The nature of the activities which make up a dissertation will involve some of the following: 1. Selection of topic 2. Formulating research plan 3. Collecting information: Literature review and data collection 4. Evaluating data 5. Interpreting results and presentation of findings 6. Demonstrate an understanding of different research methods, approaches and philosophies. The dissertation will be supervised by a tutor who will provide guidance, and ensures parity of standard and of assessment.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:1. Synthesise theoretical and, where appropriate, empirical material in the analysis of the subject.2. Use appropriate research methodology and sources of information- demonstrate ability to analyse and select data.3. Present a clearly structured and topical dissertation with appropriate referencing using established conventions.4. Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative.A1, A2, A6, B1, C1, C3, C4, C5, C6, D1, D2, D3, D4, D6, E1, E2, E3, E5, E6

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The module may be supported by additional seminars/workshops and online learning resource. At the initial stage of the dissertation students are encouraged to liaise with staff on potential subject areas. The GCU Learn will also contain areas of potential interest. At the initial stage of dissertation the aim is to aid the production of an initial proposal, to include title, aim and objectives, rationale and an outline methodology. Progressing through the process, students will independently work on their agreed research topic and may be supported by their allocated supervisor when required. Although the dissertation will be student-led, they may wish to consult with their assigned supervisors throughout the dissertation journey, who may provide academic guidance. The student is responsible for developing requisite skills relevant for data collection, data analysis, discussion of research results and culminating in the production of the final dissertation report.

Indicative Reading

BSU Postgraduate Handbook on Dissertation * Saspford R and Jupp V. (Edt), (1996), Data Collection and Analysis, Sage Publications, London, in association with The Open University. Bailey, V., Bemrose, G., Goddard, S., Impey, R., Joslyn, E., and Mackness, J.,(1995), Essential Research Skills, Collins Education (An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers), London. Kervin, J.B.,(1992), Methods for Business Research, HarperCollins Publishers, New York,. Gills John and Johnston Phil,(1991), Research Methods for Managers, Paul Chapman Publishing Ltd, London. Turabian K L , (1982), A Manual for writers of research papers and dissertations, Heinemann. Willis R , (1983), Dissertation Handbook: A Guide to research and writing, RIBA. Macum,S G (1998) Dissertation Research and Writing for Construction Students, Butterworth Heinemann Holt G D (1997) A guide to successful dissertation study for students of the Built Environment: Built Environment Research Unit, University of Wolverhampton, UK * Relevant reference materials as appropriate to the topic investigated. * Essential Reading

Transferrable Skills

D1 Presentation skills D2 ICT D3 Communication skills, written, oral and listening D4 Time management (organising and planning work) D6 Cognitive/intellectual skills E1 Independent working E2 Information retrieval skills E3 Key life skills E5 Critical thinking and problem solving E6 Learning style and orientation to learning

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 580.00
Seminars (FT) 20.00
Independent Learning (FDL) 600.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
CW1 n/a 20.00 45% Interim submission (4,000 words)
CW2 n/a 80.00 45% Final submission (15,000 words)