The aim of this dissertation module is to enable students to undertake a significant piece of independent research on a particular topic in business and management field. This module provides students with opportunities to: (i) apply their learning to analyse contemporary and ‘cutting edge’ problems and issues of relevance to scholars or practitioners (or both); (ii) deepen their knowledge and understanding of a particular topic of interest to them; (iii) produce a complete piece of scholarly work or a project of practical value from conception through to a final thesis or report; (iv) further their independent research skills (i.e. data management, project management, writing and presenting findings; (v) enhance their intellectual and employability skills and their career prospects, and (iv) make an original contribution with either theoretical or practical value.
Students should identify, define and explore one or more problems or issues at the forefront of business and management as an academic discipline. This may lead to a large piece of independent writing in one of the following styles:
• Standard academic research based dissertation
• Business plan including sections of literature review and methodology
• Business evaluation report
• Case Study including case and teaching note. This style is relatively less rigorous on empirical data size and student can add some ‘made up’ information for teaching purposes.
• Capstone Consultancy Project (In company Project)
• Company based project on a particular issue
The dissertation should demonstrate: (i) an analytical and critical approach to problem definition; (ii) the derivation of appropriate research questions and/or hypotheses; (iii) skills in designing and implementing a suitable methodology for gathering, analysing and interpreting data and information that address the research problem, questions and/or hypotheses; (iv) knowledge and understanding of literature and theory relevant to the area of inquiry, and the ability to apply it appropriately, and (v) the ability to write up and present the research as a dissertation in a way that combines academic depth and good scholarship with an appreciation of relevant practical and policy issues (as appropriate) in relevant subject areas.
A. Demonstrate a substantial and systematic understanding of current and recent theory and research focus in business and management.
B. Critically evaluate and apply relevant theories to construct suitable conceptual frameworks to study the research topic.
C. Develop skills of conducting a research project through producing a appropriate research design, paying attention to research ethical considerations, collecting data through appropriate methods and analyzing data using suitable approaches.
D. Present findings in a coherent and logical flow in the dissertation writing.
E. Think, learn and work independently whilst demonstrating initiative, responsibility, self-discipline, self-motivation, self-direction and originality in tackling and solving research problems in management
As MSc dissertation is an independent research students are required to do, students are expected to independently manage the time and workload with the support of their dissertation supervisor. Support to research methodology and method training is provided through semester 1 and 2.
Typically, the dissertation work starts in semester 2 when students should firstly identify their dissertation focus. Students can select a research focus in one of the following ways:
1. Select a topic proposed by IBSS faculties and seek agreement with the faculty member.
2. Self-select a topic and approach the faculty who has similar research interest and seek agreement.
Students are expected to work on their confirmed dissertation plan once their supervisor approves it.
The role of dissertation supervisor is to support students during their dissertation project time once the supervision is confirmed. Such a support ends with the submission of the final dissertation. Supervisors are expected to meet with their students and support in key aspects of the dissertation project including topic selection, literature review, research methodology and methods, data analysis and findings.