LBPG5017 Dissertation LBPG 5018: Research Methodology BIS3004 IS Security and Risk Management BIS3004 IS Security and Risk Manag…

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Leicester Business School
LBPG5017 Dissertation
Academic Year: 2020-2021
Module Leader:
Credit value: 60
Name:
Email:
Dr. Martin Beckinsale
mbeckinsale@dmu.ac.uk
Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/mbeckinsale
Room:
HU4.52
Advice and Feedback hours:

Assessment 1
Type
Other coursework
Length
12,000 – 15,000 words
Weighting
100%
Deadline
Thursday 9th September 2021 11.59
am
Return date
7th October 2021
Note: all coursework must be submitted electronically via Turnitin, unless otherwise
specified. If you are unable to submit by the deadline you must apply for mitigating
circumstances – forms are available from the Student Advice Centre or from your
Programme Blackboard site. Information on penalties and late submissions can be
found at: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academicsupport-office/deferral-of-assessments.aspx
Faculty of
Business
and Law
[Type here]
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The Faculty is committed to a 20 day turnaround time for the marking and return of
coursework. The turnaround time does not include weekends, bank holidays or
university closure days. Please consult Blackboard for the most up-to-date information
on assessment deadlines and return dates.
Leicester Castle Business School
Our Mission
Our Vision
Our Values
To transform lives in our
global community of students,
staff and partners through
outstanding education and
research
To go beyond business as
usual by fostering creative,
distinctive and pioneering
solutions to real-world
problems
To promote the public good
through critical analysis of the
purpose of business and
through active engagement in
initiatives aimed at tackling
business, social and
community challenges
Through our
unsurpassed
commitment to the public
good and
transformational
scholarship, we will
position ourselves as the
definition of a 21st
century global Business
School
LEADERSHIP:
Confidence and courage
to shape a better future
INTEGRITY: Taking
personal pride in our
work
CREATIVITY: Thinking
beyond the usual and
embracing ideas
GLOBAL
MINDEDNESS: Finding
opportunities in our
diversity
COMMUNITY: Realising
the purpose and power
of business
The Teaching Team
Module Coordinator:
Dr M Beckinsale
Other staff involved:
Class – Centre for Learning and Study Support team. Timetabled resource and
dissertation sessions.
Supervisors from Finance, Marketing, Business and Management, Enterprise,
Human Resource Management, Project Management, Risk Management and LCBS.
These will be allocated at the start of the dissertation process in Semester 2
during/from 1st Feb 2021.
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Contents
1 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5
2 Purposes of this guidance ………………………………………………………………………………………………..6
3 The dissertation defined ………………………………………………………………………………………………….6
4 The aims of the dissertation……………………………………………………………………………………………..7
5 Learning Outcomes …………………………………………………………………………………………………………7
6 Programme requirements………………………………………………………………………………………………..7
7 Key dates and deadlines, extensions and deferrals ……………………………………………………………..8
8 Reassessment Opportunity ………………………………………………………………………………………………9
9 Criteria for a good dissertation ……………………………………………………………………………………….10
10 The focus of your dissertation…………………………………………………………………………………………10
10.1 Helping you to choose your focus and identifying a supervisor…………………………………….10
10.2 Your final choice of topic and completing the Topic Agreement Form…………………………..10
10.3 Your Plan of Approach…………………………………………………………………………………………….11
11 Research: key aspects ……………………………………………………………………………………………………12
11.1 Choice of Methodology and data collection ………………………………………………………………12
11.2 Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches………………………………………………………………….12
11.3 The Ethics form and Fieldwork…………………………………………………………………………………12
11.4 Fieldwork Abroad …………………………………………………………………………………………………..13
11.5 Data Safekeeping and Availability …………………………………………………………………………….13
11.6 Enhancing Research Skills………………………………………………………………………………………..13
11.7 Getting Started on your Research …………………………………………………………………………….14
11.8 Reference Material and Referencing…………………………………………………………………………14
12 Expectations and Responsibilities of the Student ………………………………………………………………14
13 Expectations and Responsibilities of the Supervisor…………………………………………………………..15
14 Meetings: Supervisor/Supervisee and the Discussion Record Form…………………………………….16
15 Writing up your research ……………………………………………………………………………………………….16
15.1 The Dissertation Content and Sequence……………………………………………………………………17
15.2 Literature review……………………………………………………………………………………………………17
16 Dissertation: submission requirements ……………………………………………………………………………20
16.1 Word Length, Format and Turnitin……………………………………………………………………………20
16.2 Submission Date, Extension and Deferral Requests…………………………………………………….20
16.3 Personal Reflection ………………………………………………………………………………………………..20
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16.4 Compulsory appendices ………………………………………………………………………………………….20
16.5 Viva Voce………………………………………………………………………………………………………………20
17 Frequently asked questions ……………………………………………………………………………………………20
18 The appendices …………………………………………………………………………………………………………….20
18.1 Appendix 1 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………22
18.2 Appendix 2 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………24
18.3 Appendix 3a: De Montfort University Guidelines for Ethical Research…………………………..25
18.4 Appendix 3b ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….26
18.5 Appendix 4: Recommended resources………………………………………………………………………27
18.6 Appendix 5 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………29
18.7 Appendix 6: Outline of chapter sequence and content ……………………………………………….30
18.8 Appendix 7: Dissertation submission requirements ……………………………………………………33
18.9 Appendix 8: Title page template ………………………………………………………………………………35
19 Further Information………………………………………………………………………………………………..35
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1 Introduction
The aim of this module handbook is to provide guidance and support for the Dissertation
and fulfils a different function from most of the other materials produced on the MSc
programmes. The purpose of this handbook is not to provide knowledge, but rather to act
as a resource and guide for a project that you will devise yourself. Therefore, the handbook
contains details of the expectations of both you and your supervisor, details on proper
presentation of the dissertation and guidance on planning the research process.
You should also refer to the materials from your research methodology module (LBPG5018),
particularly in recapping any materials on the research process, including research design
and specific approaches and techniques to research. The handbook is also supplemented by
a range of materials and resources on the module site on Blackboard.
There are three important points to note with regards to the process of researching and
writing for the Dissertation:
• The process is fundamentally different from any other element on the Masters
programme. Instead of a number of small assignments, this involves one large piece of
work in which the topic has to be properly sustained.
• The actual subject for the research is devised by you rather than being set by a tutor.
This means that the whole learning process is largely self-initiated and controlled by you.
The role of the supervisor is responsive and so depends on material generated by you.
The supervisor will not tell you what to look at, what to include or what to write: they
will advise, but not control the process. This, however, should be seen as a positive: it is
an opportunity for you to look at an issue that really interests you and which you are
able to study in some depth.
• It is important to develop a strong relationship with your supervisor. Whilst the
supervisor will not direct the process, they will respond to requests for advice and
guidance. They will be experienced both in writing academic pieces, but also in the
supervision of dissertations. They can therefore act as an important resource and as a
sounding board for ideas. There is a direct correlation between working closely with the
supervisor and successfully completing a dissertation. Under the COVID restrictions
engagement and meetings will be done through the use of online technologies such as
MSTeams, Email, Blackboard or other.
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2 Purposes of this guidance
The dissertation is an element of the Masters degree which requires you to take an
independent and self-structured approach to your learning. In order to complete your
dissertation successfully you will be required to focus on a particular topic, carry out an
investigation and write-up your findings and discussion in a 12000 – 15000 word
dissertation. During your period of study you will require and learn skills such as timemanagement and networking with other people along with the ability to express your ideas
in the form of a coherent written text.
The purpose of this guidance is to:
• Set out the technical requirements for your dissertation submission
• Advise you on the processes involved in dissertation preparation
• Provide you with reading material on research and dissertation preparation
It is intended that this guidance should facilitate your ‘research journey’, which we hope will
be an interesting and beneficial learning experience for you. Therefore, you should take
time to read through this guidance. If you have any questions about any of the content, you
should ask your dissertation supervisor for clarification in the first instance or the module
leader.
3 The dissertation defined
The dissertation is an extended piece of scholarship in which you have the opportunity to
pursue in some depth an interest in a topic which is largely of your own choosing. This
process encompasses:
• the choice of topic;
• searching and reviewing the literature related to the topic;
• the formulation of a research strategy;
• collecting and analysing data and incorporating all of these aspects in your write-up of a
comprehensive and integrated text.
Your dissertation is the final written document that embodies all of these activities together
with your conclusions and where appropriate, recommendations and reflection. The
dissertation should embody two things:
• Focus: it should clearly state what the issue to be considered is; why it is important and
then how it is going to be considered.
• Coherence: all the parts of the dissertation need to be related together into a cohesive
whole. It is important to always consider the relevance of the material and how it fits in.
In addition, you need to remember that at postgraduate level a dissertation should be
properly analytical and reflexive and not merely descriptive. Your dissertation is the final
written document that embodies all of these activities together with your conclusions and
where appropriate, recommendations and reflection.
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4 The aims of the dissertation
The aims of the dissertation are to:
• Develop your ability to work independently on a task that requires a wide range of
analytical and self-organising skills
• Give you the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of business within an
international context, by investigating a topic in some depth
• Enable you to utilise and integrate your learning from your programme of study by
applying aspects of your learning to a particular topic of investigation
5 Learning Outcomes
By completing the dissertation successfully you will demonstrate your ability to:
• Identify a research topic which is realistic and manageable
• Learn about your topic in some depth through a review of the literature and
the various activities involved in the process of dissertation preparation
• Formulate a research strategy that allows your topic to be properly
investigated
• Interpret and analyse ideas, concepts and data which are generated by your
research
• Draw appropriate conclusions and make recommendations concerning your
investigation
• Reflect upon the implications of your study for the literature and research in
this area
• Manage the various elements of the research process within a set timescale
• Produce a clearly written and well-presented text which includes all the
elements required for the dissertation
6 Programme requirements
This dissertation module is part of the following programmes:
MSc International Business and Management
MSc International Business and HRM
MSc International Business and Finance
MSc International Business and Entrepreneurship
MSc International Business and Marketing
MSc Risk Management
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MSc Project Management
MSc Intercultural Business Communication
Each programme has specific requirements for the dissertation. These are outlined in the
relevant programme handbooks and have been drafted to ensure that you are able to
deepen your programme specific specialist interest through your dissertation work. You
need to ensure that programme requirements are followed when selecting your topic of
interest.
As a general rule, you need to ensure that your dissertation topic reflects your Master’s
specialty.
7 Key dates and deadlines, extensions and deferrals
Module commences:
Supervisor allocation:
Topic Proposal Form:
Topic Agreement Form:
Draft literature review:
Ethics Form:
Dissertation deadline:
Week 29 (Introductory Session) but officially week 31/32
Week 32/33
Recommended submission week 29-32
From Week 34
From Week 37-38
From Week 37
9th September 2021 11.59 am via TURNITIN
Feedback and provisional mark:
Normally within 20 working days as per the DMU Assessment
and Feedback Policy, if submitted on time and there are no
specific problems whilst marking and moderating takes place
Viva: All students must be available and make appropriate
arrangements to attend a viva, if requested. Depending on
circumstances and subject to prior agreement, video
conferencing or Skype may be considered as appropriate
alternatives to being present on campus.
Submission deadlines are published in order to ensure equity for students and to facilitate
sound administration by assessors.
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*Please note the deadlines for topic forms, topic agreement forms and ethics forms pus the
literature review are guidelines. You can submit after these deadline but please make sure
you discuss with your supervisor.
It is expected that the Dissertation deadline will be met at all times. Only in exceptional
cases, and with the prior consent of the Dissertation Module Leader and / or Programme
Leader, will extensions to the final dissertation deadline be granted.
If in advance of the given submission date you consider that you need an extension of time,
you must:
• Discuss the matter with your supervisor, explaining why you consider that an
extension is necessary, in order to obtain his or her support. An extension will not
be considered, without the support of your supervisor. Appropriate evidence must
be provided to the supervisor to support any request for extensions (e.g. medical
note, etc).
• Complete the appropriate Extension Application form and follow indicated
procedures. An electronic version is available from the Module leader or Programme
Administrator.
Under exceptional and documented circumstances, you may request a deferral for your
dissertation. A deferral can be requested by a student if extenuating circumstances have
been experienced which have prevented the student from completing a module assessment
by an agreed deadline. A student should only request a deferral if a short extension is not
sufficient. The Programme leader can authorise 14 day extensions. A deferral request
should be made using the relevant form which is available via the Student Advice Centre.
Please email them studentadvicecentre@dmu.ac.uk. Please note that relevant evidence
must be included by the student with their deferral request to support the extenuating
circumstances they have experienced. Should your request be successful when considered
by the appropriate deferral panel, you will be given a new deadline within the next
assessment period. Please note that this will delay your graduation.
If you submit your dissertation after the published deadline, without an agreed extension or
deferral, your mark will be capped to a maximum of 50% (if submission is within 14 days
after the published deadline), after this, the dissertation will be marked at 0%.
8 Reassessment Opportunity
Students are entitled to one reassessment opportunity in each module, including the
dissertation. Reassessments must be completed within the maximum period of registration
of the programme.
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Reassessment is permitted in relation to fail marks only. The outcome of a reassessment
will be given on a student’s transcript, together with the original fail mark. A reassessment
outcome shall count as a minimum pass mark of 50%.
Students must take reassessments when required by the Faculty.
9 Criteria for a good dissertation
Your dissertation must demonstrate that it has met the following criteria:
• The focus is on a specific business topic that reflects your programme specialisation.
• The research has been undertaken in a systematic and sustained way
• There is a demonstration of originality in the application of knowledge
• An analytical and critical approach has been taken in the investigation
• Appropriate methods and techniques are applied in the enquiry
• It incorporates an understanding and evaluation of theory
• It demonstrates the implications of any findings for business and management and
research
10 The focus of your dissertation
10.1 Helping you to choose your focus and identifying a supervisor
You need to choose a topic that is of interest to you. It might be related to your past or
present work experience and one that might be beneficial to your chosen career. The topic
needs to be concerned with business and reflect your programme specialty. You also need
to make sure that information on the topic is likely to be available. You will be asked to list
up to three indicative titles and up to 5 key words or phrases that suitably describe your
topic(s) of interest in the Topic Proposal Form (Refer back to key dates and deadlines and
see Appendix 1). You will also be asked to show which other modules your proposed topics
draw upon so that we can find supervisors who have the relevant expertise in that area.
Please note that whilst we will make every effort to match supervisors in relevant topics,
this cannot be guaranteed.
10.2 Your final choice of topic and completing the Topic Agreement Form
The dissertation must have a clear focus with definable boundaries. It is your responsibility
to agree your topic with your supervisor, so ensure that you have sufficient opportunity to
refine your focus. You will need to complete a Topic Agreement Form (refer back to key
dates and deadlines and see Appendix 2). This has to be agreed with and signed by your
supervisor. It commits you to doing a study in a particular topic area. Whilst moderate
changes can be expected as your study progresses, and your knowledge of the subject
increases, major topic changes will not be allowed at a later date.
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10.3 Your Plan of Approach
A ‘plan of approach’ for your topic choice is given in Figure 1. This shows how you
might think through your topic ideas in order to complete the Topic Agreement Form.
!
Figure 1: Dissertation Topic Choice: A Plan of Approach
Identify your general area of interest / Review your
research proposal (submitted to the Research
Methodology module).
Ü
Brainstorm/write down topics that are of particular
interest to you
Ü
Identify specific ideas for your investigation
Ü
Use these to identify key words and a topic
Ü
Do some reading around the topic
Ü
Start making notes
Ü
Discuss your ideas with your supervisor
Ü
Update your original ideas with information from your
reading and your supervisor’s advice
Ü
Can you identify particular sections where your research
is more focused?
Ü
Within one of these can you identify?
• Key topics to focus on
• A research question that you would like to try to
answer in your research
• Emerging arguments
Are you in agreement with your supervisor?
Complete your topic agreement form
1.1.1.1.1.1.1 N
oNNoo
“#$!
No
Ask further
questions to
deepen your
research
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11 Research: key aspects
11.1 Choice of Methodology and data collection
Your choice of methodology and data collection methods must be agreed in advance
with your supervisor. You are normally expected to carry out some primary research
for your dissertation. You can achieve this for example, by designing a questionnaire
to send/give to respondents; to interview managers in a business organisation and
interpreting and analysing the data obtained. Exceptionally, a dissertation which uses
secondary sources only may be acceptable, especially where there is a tradition of
such research, e.g in Finance and Economics. However, be careful not to confuse the
literature review with documentary analysis or desk research. A submission that is
merely an extended literature review would not meet the Dissertation requirements.
11.2 Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches
The approach which you will use in your research will depend on a number of factors
and will be heavily influenced by the research question which you set out at the
beginning. A quantitative study is predominantly concerned with facts and figures and
with any aspects of the investigation, which are measurable. For example if a
researcher wishes to compare the extent of ‘diversity of the workforce’ in a number
of business organizations this could be carried out by categorizing into male/female;
age range; ethnic origin; length of service. So, the comparison would be a breakdown
and analysis of measurable data. In contrast, a qualitative approach is less concerned
with accurate measurement and the comparison of figures and is more concerned
with the depth of information, for example, by obtaining comments and opinions from
individuals. So, if a researcher wishes to carry out an investigation about ‘diversity of
the workforce’, a qualitative approach might find out from particular groups of
employees if they feel that they are given sufficient opportunities to participate in and
contribute to the goals of the organization. The opinions and views of individuals are
‘open ended’ and open to interpretation and are not directly measurable and are not
set out in the form of a set of figures.
Your research question(s) as well as your data collection and analysis skills should be
key considerations when making methodological choices.
11.3 The Ethics form and Fieldwork
Your choice of methodology and data collection methods must be agreed with your
supervisor. If you are collecting primary data and your proposed fieldwork involves
the issuing of questionnaires and/or the carrying out of interviews you must seek
agreement to such proposals from your supervisor prior to any fieldwork being carried
out.
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Any primary data gathered without ethical approval will mean
it can not be used in the Dissertation and if used without ethical
approval the Dissertation will fail. Ethical approval requires a
full ethics form to be submitted.
All fieldwork should be managed carefully and appropriately and in accordance with
DMU’s ethical guidelines (see %&&#'()*!+,-!.#!/0’12031!4′)5#3$)16!78)(#9)’#$!203!
:1;)<,9!=#$#,3<;). Therefore no primary data collection can take place prior to the
formal completion of the ethics form (see %&&#'()*!+>). Your dissertation may not
be marked without the ethical approval process being completed. Please note under
COVID restrictions any primary data collection must not be undertaken face to face
or in person. Please use technology, phone, messaging apps, msteams ect. Do
discuss with your supervisor.
11.4 Fieldwork Abroad
If you consider that fieldwork abroad is manageable and an important aspect of your
dissertation methodology, then the arrangements must be agreed in some detail with
your supervisor and receive his/her approval before you travel to that country where
the fieldwork is to be carried out. Any fieldwork carried out abroad which has not
been agreed with your supervisor, will not be accepted as a contribution to your
dissertation. Please note even if based overseas you must follow ethics of the
University and under COVID restrictions follow the guidance that the University
follows.
11.5 Data Safekeeping and Availability
It is essential that all data gathered is kept safe and is protected in accordance with
the ethical considerations appropriate to the study undertaken. It is also essential
that should the supervisor, module, or programme leader request to view collected
data, these are made available to them. Such requests will generally be related to the
assessment of the work.
11.6 Enhancing Research Skills
During the dissertation, you will attend a number of lectures/ workshops that have
been organised to help support the key phases of the dissertation. Attendance to
these sessions is compulsory as they are designed to help you progress through your
dissertation process smoothly and add to the one-to-one supervision sessions that
you will have.
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11.7 Getting Started on your Research
Once you have identified a possible topic, you will need to invest quite a lot of time in
refining it so that you can express it in the form of a clear research question and
objectives. In order to help you in this process of refining and clarifying your topic you
will need to:
• Read the literature which is relevant to your topic and which examines current
issues and perspectives linked to the topic
• Talk to others about your topic, including tutors who might have an interest in
your particular topic
• Discuss the topic options and ideas with your supervisor
• Consider whether the topic is feasible as a research project, taking into account
availability of data; time taken to collect and analyse data; costs involved in
data collection; and access to organizations
• Consider whether the enquiry is realistic and manageable, given your time and
other constraints
11.8 Reference Material and Referencing
A list of references on the various aspects of the research and dissertation writing
process is given in %&&#'()*!?-!=#<0@@#'(#(!3#$083<#$. These are provided as
a guide only and during the course of your research you might also find your own
references which might be helpful to you. You should discuss the literature relevant
to your topic with your supervisor.
You will be expected to use the Harvard system of referencing for your dissertation.
At the end of your dissertation you should provide a full list of references. This is a list
of all of the books and articles that you have cited in your dissertation, ordered
alphabetically by author surname. You should make use of a wide range of sources.
For further information about the conventions and formatting for different types of
resources, refer to the Faculty guidance, available on Blackboard, entitled
‘Referencing in Coursework: Guide to the Harvard System of Referencing’.
12 Expectations and Responsibilities of the Student
It is important to realise that the dissertation is owned by you; it is topic that you have
devised and which you control. This places certain responsibilities and expectations
on you which may be different from the other modules you have studied. Accordingly,
you are expected to:
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• Read and assimilate this dissertation module guide and, if necessary, ask your
tutors/supervisor to clarify any aspects which you don’t understand;
• Ensure that you meet all milestone deadlines;
• Select a topic suitable for research within the business context and be
prepared to research/obtain data on that topic and to critically analyse
material and draw valid and relevant conclusions;
• Complete and submit an Topic Proposal Form as fully as possible, to provide
the foundation for initial and on-going discussions ;
• Complete and submit a Topic Agreement Form in consultation with your
supervisor;
• Complete and submit the required Research Ethics Approval Form and
adhere to the relevant Code of Practice;
• Accept responsibility for conducting a detailed review of relevant and up-todate texts, articles and case-studies in connection with your topic;
• Take responsibility for remaining in regular contact with your supervisor
throughout the dissertation process;
• Engage in effective time management, e.g. produce an outline plan showing
key milestones in the dissertation process, taking into account holidays and
other commitments;
• Submit written drafts of chapters and research instruments (questionnaires
etc) in a timely and presentable fashion and in electronic form;
• Respond to the advice and guidance you receive. If you decide not to
respond, to discuss alternative action with your supervisor;
• Advise your supervisor and/or a member of the programme team if you are
having problems in progressing any aspect of your research, so that you can
be given help to do so;
• Only submit your own work and comply with the university’s guidelines for
sound academic writing.
• The student charter sets out commitments from the university to students,
from students to the university, and from the Students’ Union to students. You can
consult it at: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/student-resources/studentcharter/student-charter.aspx
13 Expectations and Responsibilities of the Supervisor
You are allocated a supervisor who will guide and advise you during the process
of your research. You will find out who your supervisor is once you have
submitted your topic proposal form week 31/32. Spreadsheet lists will be posted
and updated over the first few weeks which by Programme show student name
and allocated supervisor with contact details. Module Blackboard shell is
LBPG5017_2021_519 Dissertation and on that shell there is a menu link List of
Supervisors. This is where you will find the spreadsheets listed by Programme
you are studying. It is your responsibility to access these and to make contact
with your allocated supervisor by email which will be provided in the spreadsheet.
Page | 16
In effect, a partnership is established between you and your supervisor. It is essential
that you get to know your supervisor and meet with him/her on an on-going basis,
throughout the period of your research. For the supervisory relationship to work well,
it must be appreciated that you and your supervisor have rights and
responsibilities. The supervisor is a resource for you who is there to: !
• Comment constructively on the initial thoughts and ideas for your research,
suggesting areas for further exploration and development;
• Advise you on how to finalise your topic and will formally agree it with you
(with the Topic Agreement Form);
• Critically review and provide written feedback for your Literature Review
Chapter. (NB: To preserve the independence and integrity of the
dissertation, supervisors will review a draft work ONCE only).
• Advise you if there are likely to be any delays in providing feedback so that
alternative arrangements can be made;
• Make you aware of any long periods of non-availability so that alternative
arrangements can be made;
• Respond to all forms of communication– acknowledging receipt of
communications where there may be a delay;
• With prior agreement, advise on draft sections provided to them in good
time;
• When agreed in advance, comment on the structure and presentation of the
final, assembled draft dissertation prior to submission. As an indication, if
comment is requested on the final complete draft, this must be done at least
two weeks before the final submission date;
• Act as a first marker of the completed dissertation.
14 Meetings: Supervisor/Supervisee and the Discussion Record Form
As already mentioned, there is a direct correlation between working closely with the
supervisor and successfully completing a dissertation. There should be regular
meetings with your supervisor. You should normally meet (face-to-face or can be
online or on the telephone) at least three times whilst you are undertaking your
dissertation. You should create a written record after each meeting with your
supervisor, outlining the discussion and setting out any agreed actions. This
information should be captured on a Discussion Record Form (Appendix 5). The
discussion forms are also available on Blackboard. The completed forms should be
kept on file by all attendees and at least three forms should submitted with your
dissertation.
15 Writing up your research
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The writing-up of your research is a process which begins when you start to think of
your topic. You should have the discipline of setting out your ideas and thoughts in
writing on a continual basis.
You are advised to provide your supervisor with text that you have drafted, as part of
your write-up, as you progress your research. This is in order that you can incorporate
any feedback into your subsequent writing. The text which you submit and the
deadlines for doing so must be negotiated with your supervisor.
You will be required to formally submit your complete draft of the Literature Review
Chapter, through Turnitin. Your supervisor will comment on your draft and provide
feedback electronically via the rubric on TURNITIN..
Normally supervisors will only comment on form and structure of the final draft. If
your supervisor agrees to comment on the content of the full final draft, you must
make sure that this is presented at least four weeks before the deadline to allow time
for comment, reflection and redrafting.
15.1 The Dissertation Content and Sequence
The dissertation is normally arranged in about six chapters. The chapter structure
helps break the dissertation into manageable parts and ensures progression from one
theme to another. How the substantive chapters are organised will depend on
personal preference and the nature of the research and what you agree with your
supervisor. However, you must ensure that your treatment is sufficiently analytical,
integrating conceptual and empirical material. This integration may run through the
body of the work or it may take place largely in an analysis chapter.
As a guide, a descriptive summary of each chapter is given in %&&#'()*! A-!
.)$$#31,1)0′!B819)’#!02!<;,&1#3!$#C8#'<#!,'(!<0’1#’1.
15.2 Literature review
The purpose of a literature review is to convey clearly and concisely the value of a
published body of knowledge to a reader who may not be familiar with the topic in
question (see Figure 2). There are many ways in which the material may be organised.
One possible sequence is as follows:
• Introduction: The introduction should identify the general topic, issue, or area
of concern, thereby providing an appropriate context for the review. It might
also establish the writer’s reason for reviewing this particular body of work
• Main Body: The body of the review should summarise the individual pieces of
work, and compare and contrast the approaches where it is merited. This can
be achieved by, for example, presenting chronologically the development of
Page | 18
the field. Alternatively a thematic approach can be used, whereby the key
issues related to the topic are reviewed critically. This section should clearly
focus on the topic being investigated and identify where appropriate the gaps
in the literature, hence providing a justification for the proposed study.
• Conclusion: The conclusion should summarise the major contributions of the
prior research, maintaining the focus that was established in the introduction.
It should evaluate the current “state of the art”, and explain the rationale for
the focus of the study. It should clearly state the research questions that will
be addressed in the study.
• Reference List – Harvard referencing required.
Page | 19
Figure 2 Some of the Questions the Review of the Literature can Answer
Themes
What are the key
concerns,
themes, ideas?
Literature
Search &
Review on your
Topic
Sources
What are the
key sources eg
books,
journals?
Issues
What are the
major issues,
debates about
the topic?
Problems
What are the
main problems
that have been
studied to date?
Origins
What are the
origins and
definitions of the
topic?
Structure
How is knowledge
on the topic
structured and
organized?
Page | 20
16 Dissertation: submission requirements
16.1 Word Length, Format and Turnitin
You are required to submit a dissertation of 12000 – 15000 words. The detailed
requirements, including the format of your submission, are outlined in %&&#'()*!D-!
.)$$#31,1)0′!$8>@)$$)0′!3#C8)3#@#’1$. The dissertation must be a complete piece
and include all the compulsory appendices.
You do not need to print your dissertation, you are only required to submit an
electronic copy to Turnitin via Blackboard. The electronic copy must be presented in
the same way as if were printing it.
16.2 Submission Date, Extension and Deferral Requests
Please refer to Section 7 above for details of submission dates, extension and deferral
requests.
16.3 Personal Reflection
The dissertation is to include a short section at the end entitled ‘Personal Reflection’.
In this section you are asked to reflect on the process of researching and writing up
your dissertation. You should try to explore your learning experiences during the
period of your research and set out how these have contributed to your personal,
academic and professional development. Please note the key aspects of this section,
as follows:
• The text should be 600-800 words in length (about two sides of A4)
and is additional to the total word count for your dissertation
• The purpose is to reflect on your learning and evaluate the application
of subject knowledge and skills (theoretical & practical) to the issues studied
during the period in which you have been working on your dissertation
• The text should be evaluative and self-critical as well as reflective
• It may be referenced to subject based &/or methodology literature
• The quality of this section may be critical if the overall mark achieved in
your dissertation is marginal
16.4 Compulsory appendices
In addition to your dissertation, there are several “compulsory appendices” that need to be
submitted in fulfilment of the module. These are: Topic Agreement Form, Ethics Form, and a
minimum of three Discussion Record Forms. These should not be included in the main
dissertation file submitted, but should be uploaded in a separate area on the Blackboard
Page | 21
site. Please note that if these appendices are missing from the final submission, you can be
penalized for up to 5% of the final grade of the dissertation.
16.5 Viva Voce
In accordance with current university taught postgraduate programme regulations, the
dissertation supervisor, dissertation module leader, or programme leader can request a viva
of any student completing the dissertation module, LBPG5017.
The viva is an oral examination that can sometimes be requested by supervisors or second
markers or module leaders (as the dissertation is examined by the supervisor and a second
marker and moderated by the module leader).
A viva is normally requested when one or both examiners need some of their questions
answered before they can agree a final mark for the dissertation.
17 Frequently asked questions
You should make a note of any questions which you wish to ask your supervisor or a tutor
about your dissertation. There are a number of questions which students tend to ask each
year. Typical questions, with answers, are listed in Appendix 9.
18 The appendices
Reference has been made throughout this guide to the attached appendices. You should
take time to read through each of the appendices so that you are clear on all the
requirements that are expected of you, in order to carry out your own research and to
produce a dissertation.
Page | 22
18.1 Appendix 1
We encourage all postgraduate students to select research topics that reflect the areas
within which they wish to deepen their business knowledge.
Please use this form to indicate the area you wish to study, bearing in mind the requirements
of your programme of study. We cannot guarantee that students will be supervised by their
preferred supervisor.
Applicant
Last Name:
First
Name:
DMU Email
Address:
Student no.
Programme of
study:
The research
Indicative Titles for possible dissertation topic areas:
1.
2.
3.
List up to 5 key words or phrases that suitably describe your dissertation topic
E.g. organisational behaviour, innovation, technology, consumer behaviour, entrepreneurship, brand
management. Please do not use your programme of study as keywords, i.e. NOT International Business,
Management, HRM, Finance
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Tracking No:
Submission date:
Decision date:
Allocation:
Initials:
Leicester Business School
Topic proposal form
Page | 23
Identify key (seminal) journal articles and/or books that you expect to influence
your work, and those authors/ contributors of theories and ideas on whose work
you intend to draw upon (in Harvard Style)
e.g. Mintzberg, H., & Gosling, J. (2002). Educating managers across borders. Academy
of Management Learning and Education, 1, 64–76.
Argyris, C. (1980). Some limitations of the case method: Experiences in a management
development program. Academy of Management Review, 5, 291–298.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Indicate which modules your proposed topic(s) draw upon
ACFI5007
International Taxation Policies
ACFI5018
Risk Management
ACFI5020
Accounting for Managers
ACFI5021
International Finance
ACFI5022
Strategic and Financial Decision Making
ACFI5029
Corporate Governance
ACFI5031
Internal Control and Audit
ACFI5056
Global Supply Chain Management
CORP5039
International Strategic Management, Markets and Resources
CORP5042
Creative Action in International Organisations
CORP5060
Corporate Social Responsibility
CORP5061
Managing the Client Experience and Expectations
CORP5066
Contemporary Business Model Generation
CORP5068
Critical Management in a Global Context
CORP5069
People Management and Organisations
ECON5006
International Trade Theory and Policy
HRMG5027
Managing Organisational Change
HRMG5057
Managing Employment Relations
HRMG5059
International Human Resource Management
LCBS5002
Business Creation and Innovation
MARK5054
International Marketing
MARK5055
Managing Advertising and Communications
MARK5062
Social and Sustainable Face of Marketing
POPP5007
Globalisation
Other (please
state)
Signature of Researcher:…………………………………………………………………. Date: ………….…….
Page | 24
18.2 Appendix 2
As part of your dissertation process you are required to formally agree a topic with your supervisor,
so that you can effectively progress onto the next stage of your research. Please note that once you
have agreed your topic with your supervisor, you may make small adjustments to reflect, for example,
a sharper focus or a specific context, but you will not be allowed to change the core subject under
study.
Applicant
Last Name:
First Name:
DMU Email Address:
Student no.
Programme of study:
Supervisor
Last Name
First Name:
The research
Indicative Title:
Indicative aims and objectives:
Summary of the literature/ rationale for the study (about 200 words):
Indicative data Collection methods (about 80 words)
Signature of Researcher:…………………………………………………………………. Date: ………….…….
Signature of the Supervisor: ………………………………………………………… Date: …………………
A signed copy of this form must be included in the
appendix of the submitted dissertation.
Leicester Business School
Topic agreement form
Page | 25
18.3 Appendix 3a: De Montfort University Guidelines for Ethical Research
Responsibilities of the Researcher
Within a framework of good governance and appropriate training, responsibility for
the conduct of ethical research must ultimately lie with the researchers themselves.
They will be expected to recognize the relevant ethical principles, to operate within
the spirit of these principles, and be able to justify any research activity that does not
accord with these principles.
Principle 1: Protection of the participants’ interests
• Gain informed consent from participants
• Protect the interests of vulnerable groups
• Assure the anonymity of participants
• Assure the confidentiality of information
• Respect the privacy or participants (and avoid undue intrusion)
• Operate with transparency (open dealing with participants)
• Provide equality of treatment
Principle 2: Compliance with the law
• Ensure data security
• Establish ownership of the data (intellectual property & copyright)
• Recognise legal (and moral) sensitivities surrounding the topic of research
• Use legally acceptable methods of research (avoiding fraud, ‘hacking’,
‘spamming’ etc.)
Principle 3: Scientific integrity and beneficence
• Demonstrate the value of conducting the research
• Have the necessary credentials (researcher qualifications and experience)
• Use an appropriate research design (with suitable strategies and methods)
• Be open and honest in dealing with colleagues and funding agencies
The form in appendix 4b may be updated in the course of the programme. Please
ensure that you always use the most up-to-date electronic version available
from
[http://www.dmu.ac.uk/research/ethics-and-governance/faculty-specificprocedures/business-and-law-ethics-procedures.aspx]
This can be found through the DMU website:
DMU > Ethics and Governance > Faculty Specific Procedures > Business and Law
Procedures
Page | 26
18.4 Appendix 3b
All research activity conducted by members of staff or students within the Faculty of
Business and Law requires ethical approval. To gain approval a faculty specific form must
be completed and submitted to the appropriate designated officer.
Students should complete this form in consultation with their supervisors.
Ethical approval consists of two stages.
Stage 1 – complete a BAL Preliminary Ethics (triage) Application form is consultation with
your Supervisor. If you answer yes to any of the questions on the triage form then you must
complete stage 2. (Link: https://www.dmu.ac.uk/documents/research-documents/ethicsfaculty-procedures/bal/bal-preliminary-ethics-triage-application-form-ug-pgt-pgr-july-
2019.docx)
Stage 2 – Completion of the ethical approval form (Link:
https://www.dmu.ac.uk/documents/research-documents/ethics-faculty-procedures/bal/balethics-application-ug-pgt-form.doc)
Students should upload their completed forms to Blackboard for approval. More details
about how to do so can be found on the Dissertation Blackboard site.
The most recent version of the form can be downloaded from:
Guidelines and Forms for Ethical Research
See DMU website for The Guidelines for Good Research Practice
Available at: https://www.dmu.ac.uk/research/ethics-and-governance/faculty-specificprocedures/bal.aspx
Faculty of Business and Law
Application to Gain Ethics Approval for Research Activities
Page | 27
18.5 Appendix 4: Recommended resources
Furseth, I. & Everett, E.L. (2013) Doing Your Master’s Dissertation: From Start to
Finish, London: Sage.
General
Anderson, V (2004) Research Methods in Human Resource Management
London, CIPD Publishing.
E36@,’F!%!G!E#99F!:!HIJKKL!E8$)’#$$!=#$#,3<;!/#1;0($F!B*203(F!B*203(!4′)5#3$)16!
M3#$$N
Collis, J & Hussey, R (2009) Business Research: A Practical Guide for UG and PG
Students, 3rd Edition, Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan.
Cresswell, J. W. (2007) Qualitative Inquiry and Research Design: Choosing Among
Five Approaches London, Sage
Denscombe, M. (2014) The Good Research Guide for Small-scale Social Research
Projects, 5th edition, Buckingham, Open University
Easterby-Smith, M (2011) Management Research, London, Sage Publications.
Eriksson, P & Kovalainen, A. (2007) Qualitative Methods in Business Research, Sage
Publications.
Fisher, C. (2010) Researching and Writing a Dissertation, Prentice Hall.
Hair, J Money, A Samouel, P & Page, M ( 2007) Research Methods for Business,
Wiley
Hobbs , D & Wright R. (2006) The Sage Handbook of Fieldwork, Sage Publications!
Jaukowiz, A D (2000) Business Research Projects for Students, 3rd Edition, London
Oliver, P 2004 Writing Your Thesis, London, Sage Publications
Outhwaite, W. and Turner, S. ( 2007) The Sage Handbook of Social Science
Methodology, Sage Publications
Phelps, R Fisher, K & Ellis, A ( 2007) Organising and Managing your research: A
practical Guide for postgraduates, Sage Publications!
Remenyi. D Williams, B Money, A & Swartz, E (2002) Doing Research in Business
& Management: An Introduction to Process & Method, Sage Publications
Page | 28
Ryan, B Scapens, RW & Theobald, M (2002) Research Method & Methodology in
Finance & Accounting, 2nd Edition, Thomson Learning
Rudestam, K. E. and Newton R. R. (2007) Surviving Your Dissertation: A
Comprehensive Guide to Content and Process, London, Sage Publications, 2nd
Edition
Partington, D (Ed) 2002 Essential Skills for Management Research, London, Sage
Publications
Riley M, Wood RC, Clarke. M.A, et al, (2000) Research & Writing Dissertations in
Business & Management, Thomson
Smith, M. (2003) Research Methods in Accounting, London, Sage Publications
Quinton, S. and Smallbone , T. ( 2006) Postgraduate Research in Business : A
critical Guide , Sage Pub Skills Series
Yin, R.K. (2013) Case Study Research: Design and Methods, London, Sage
Publications
Literature Review
Fink A. (2013) Conducting Research Literature Reviews: From the Internet to Paper,
London, Sage.
Ridley D. (2012) The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students, Second
Edition, London Sage.
Kimberlin Library Resources
Study Guides to be accessed via
http://www.library.dmu.ac.uk/Support/Guides/index.php?page=359
Study guides that may be of particular interest can include the following:
1. How to find journals and journal articles
2. How to Undertake a Literature Search and Review: for dissertations and final
year projects
3. Harvard system of referencing
4. How to avoid Plagiarism and be citation wise
5. De Montfort University Guidelines for Students on Proof Reading
Page | 29
18.6 Appendix 5
As part of your dissertation process you are required to formally agree how your research project
should progress. You are therefore required to keep a record of your discussions and meetings with
your supervisor. You will be required to include a minimum of three signed and dated copies in the
appendix.
Student
Last Name:
First Name:
DMU Email Address:
Student no.
Programme of study:
Supervisor
Last Name
First Name:
Brief Record of Discussion
Actions by the student
Supervisor comments
Signature of Researcher:…………………………………………………………………. Date: ………….…….
Signature of the Supervisor: …………………………………………………………. Date: …………………
A minimum of three signed and dated copies of
this form must be included in the appendix of
the submitted dissertation.
Leicester Business School
Discussion Record Form
Page | 30
18.7 Appendix 6: Dissertation Outline of chapter sequence and content
Please find below guidance on the structure and chapters for a dissertation. Please
note some points related to elements that will be considered in the marking of the
dissertation are presented. Also note that the chapters Findings/Analysis and
Discussion can be combined into one Chapter. Do ensure you take a look at the
provided Dissertation examples available on the Blackboard shell
LBPG5017_2021_519 Dissertation
• An Abstract: The abstract summarises the whole dissertation (200-300 words,
one side of A4).
• Introduction: The introductory chapter explains the background to the topic under
investigation and the aims of the study. It should also set out the content of the
whole dissertation by giving a brief description of the content of each chapter.
§ Is the research topic or problem clearly stated and shown to be worth investigating?
§ Has appropriate background information been provided?
§ Has student stated and defined any key terms and or concepts?
§ Are the research objectives/aims clear, relevant, coherent and achievable?
§ Have the following dissertation chapters been summarised?
• Literature Review: This chapter provides a critical review of relevant literature.
This should account for a substantial part of the overall word-count. The relevant
theory/frameworks/models related to the research topic and objectives should be
critically reviewed. May include empirical research already done in the subject/topic
area and take a critical perspective. Chapter likely to highlight the research gap in
the literature that is being addressed. Academic referencing/Harvard expected.
Academic related content expected and acknowledged.
• Methodology: This chapter describes and explains your approach to your
research and the methods you have used to generate and analyse your data. The
chapter should demonstrate your awareness of different methodological
approaches and research methods and justify your particular choice. It should also
acknowledge any limitations or weaknesses of your research design and methods.
§ Is there a clear rationale for the research design and methodology? – Philosophy considered
§ Are research methods fully described?
§ Are relevant research instruments included?
§ Are, if necessary, sampling methods described in detail and justified?
§ Are data analysis methods discussed?
§ Was the methodology applied appropriately?
§ Has ethics been considered and is there evidence ethical approval was obtained?
§ Have the limitations of the methodology discussed? – this may be outline in the
conclusion/recommendations.
§ Has the methodology been critically evaluated?
§ Key research methodology sources/references/authors cited?
Page | 31
• Case-study: In dissertations that are based on an organizational case study, a
chapter that provides relevant information about the organization and the
background to the situation or issue that is being explored.
• Findings/Analysis: One or more chapters that present your data analysis and
synthesize your research findings. Data analysis should be presented clearly and
effectively. The primary aim of this chapter is to give an effective synthesis of the
issues explored in the study.
• Discussion: This chapter reflects on the theoretical and conceptual implications
of the findings. It includes a discussion of the findings that makes appropriate
reference to theory and other aspects covered in the literature review. The
research questions must be addressed in this chapter. This chapter may be
combined with the Findings/Analysis chapter.
§ Is all the data presented relevant to the aims and objectives?
§ Is the analysis thorough and appropriate to the data collected?
§ Are findings presented clearly?
§ Have findings been discussed and evaluated?
§ Have findings been compared and contrasted with theories, models and concepts derived
from the literature review?
§ For good or above findings sections evidence (e.g. in text referencing) of appropriate literature to
support analysis must be evident.
§ Evidence of use of theoretical frameworks/concepts/models. If quantitative have appropriate tools
been used.
• Conclusions: This chapter should summarise the key findings of your research
and assess their implications for practice and/or theory. Where appropriate, the
chapter may include recommendations for action or for further research that are
derived from the conclusions. This chapter should never introduce new materials.
§ Have the research objectives been reviewed and addressed?
§ Does the conclusion follow on from the findings?
§ Are the conclusions well grounded in the evidence and arguments presented?
• Reflection: A brief section in which you reflect on the process of researching your
project and writing your dissertation. In this chapter you should try to identify how
your experience of the dissertation process has contributed to your personal,
academic and professional development.
• Reference List: All the works that you have referred to in your dissertation listed
in alphabetical order. The list should be accurate, complete and in full detail. You
should use the Harvard style.
• Appendices. Appendices should include material not generated by you (eg
company organisation chart or material) that is important to the research but is too
detailed for inclusion in the main text (which would interfere with the narrative flow
of the text). Questionnaire and interview schedules and samples of raw data should
Page | 32
be included as appendices, as should a sample of the transcripts of interviews. DO
NOT use appendices simply as a way to add quantity to your dissertation. Material
in the appendices does not count towards the word length required. Compulsory
appendices: Topic Agreement Form, Ethics Form, a minimum of three Discussion
Record Forms. Please note that if these appendices are missing from the final
submission, you can be penalized for up to 5% of the final grade of the dissertation.
Page | 33
18.8 Appendix 7: Dissertation submission requirements
Word Length and Examination
Word Length: The dissertation will normally lie between 12,000 – 15,000 words in
length. The title page, acknowledgements, table of contents, abstract, charts and
tables, the personal reflection section, references and bibliography (and appendices)
are not included in the word count.
• Examination of the dissertation: Following first marking by the academic supervisor,
the dissertation will be marked by a second tutor. All dissertations will be made
available to the External Examiners for moderation.
• All students should be available for a viva: A sample of dissertations will be selected
for a viva.
• Turnitin Submission is compulsory.
Presentation
You do not need to print your dissertation, you are only required to submit an
electronic copy to Turnitin via Blackboard. The electronic copy must be presented in
the same way as if were printing it:
File type: preference is for an MS Word file
Paper size: set to A4 paper (210mm x 297mm). Margins shall be as follows: Left 40
mm; Other margins 20 mm. Font 11 pt Arial.
Title page: should include the following information in large type font:
• the full title of the dissertation
• the full name of the author
• the award for which the dissertation is submitted in partial completion of its
requirements (MSc…)
• that the degree is awarded by De Montfort University
• the month and year of submission
Line spacing: single or 1.5 line spacing can be used in typescript. Indented
quotations, tables and footnotes are conventionally single-line spaced.
Page numbering: pages should be numbered consecutively throughout the
submission, including appendices, photographs, diagrams, figures, etc. Page
numbers shall be located centrally at the bottom of the page and 20 mm above the
edge of the page.
Page | 34
Chapters and sequence
The following is a suggested standard approach for structuring a dissertation.
Title, Abstract, Acknowledgements, Contents, List of Tables, List of
Figures, List of Abbreviations/Acronyms
Chapter 1: Introduction – overview, rationale, context, scene setting, about
you, aims, objectives, summary of chapter contents
Chapter 2: Literature Review – policy, research, published & grey ‘literature’,
approach, definitions, gap in knowledge, themes, evaluative framework, justify
research
Chapter 3: Methodology – reflective, process, past tense, strategy/methods,
logistics, details, sampling, response rates, link to aims/question, ethics,
replicability, validity
Chapter 4: Findings – systematically reporting each method or emerging
themes, presenting data
Chapter 5: Analysis – review findings, link back to literature review and aims
(Findings and Analysis chapters could be combined)
Chapter 6: Conclusion – include recommendations, auto critique, reflect if
met aims/objectives, next steps…? (no new information)
Appendices: e.g. questions/questionnaires, forms
Abstract
The abstract should state the nature and scope of the work undertaken and the findings
or results of the investigation. Abstracts should:
(1) Be 200 – 300 words; be produced on one side of A4 paper in single spaced
type.
(2) show the author and title of the dissertation in the form of a heading.
Page | 35
18.9 Appendix 8: Title page template
TITLE PAGE
DE MONTFORT UNIVERSITY
LEICESTER BUSINESS SCHOOL
[Full Title]
FULL NAME [and PNumber]
[in lower case letters]
A dissertation submitted in part requirement for the award of
MASTER IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS AND (specify pathway)
or
MASTERS IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT
DATE
[Month and year]
Page | 36
18.10 Appendix 9: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
In terms of giving weight to each of the chapters, should the Literature Review
be given more emphasis in terms of word length?
There are no set rules about word length for each of the chapters. It is important to
make your own judgment as to how you progress your write-up but seek advice from
your supervisor as well. The literature review is an important chapter as it is in your
reading that you will build up and develop your knowledge on the subject. In
general, the literature review should be fairly substantial and is usually about 30% of
your dissertation.
How much time do I have with my tutor?
Each tutor has allocated hours for supervision in his/her timetable. The amount of
time the tutor devotes to you will depend on a number of factors and especially your
commitment to the research process and your willingness to keep in touch with your
tutor. It is expected that you should have regular one-to-one meetings and also
communicate regularly by email. It is also expected that you should keep a record of
the issues discussed during meetings.
Can I do case-study research that looks at more than one organization?
If your research is case study based, it is normally expected that you look at one
company/organization in some depth and from a number of perspectives. It is
possible to compare two organizations in this way but, but given your time and other
constraints, this might be unrealistic.
Am I required to carry out research abroad, in another country?
No, this is not a requirement and is not essential. However, if you intend to carry out
primary research, eg interviews or issuing of questionnaires in another country, this
must be discussed and agreed in advance with your supervisor. Also if you intend to
be abroad to collect data, you must seek authorization to leave the country from your
programme leader.
Must the research be carried out only on multi-national companies?
No, you can carry out research on any company or business organization and it does
not have to be a multi-national company.
Must my research be useful to the company that I am researching?
If you are researching a particular company or organization, it is making best use of
your research to set out recommendations that might help to improve the ways that
the company operates.
Do I need to collect primary data, for example, carry out interviews and issue
questionnaires or is it OK to use secondary data only by using material such
as books and the internet for my enquiry and write up?
Page | 37
As stated in Section 9.1, you are normally expected to carry out some primary
research for your dissertation. Exceptionally, a dissertation which uses secondary
sources only may be acceptable, especially where there is a tradition of such
research, e.g in Finance and Economics. This is a matter for you and your
supervisor to decide, depending on the topic that you choose and, for example, the
personal contacts that you might have in an organization.
If I interview people or ask them to complete a questionnaire, how many
should I choose for my sample?
There are no set rules for this. The sample that you choose will depend on a
number of factors, including the amount of time that you have to carry out the
fieldwork. The choice of sample and numbers involved must be agreed with your
supervisor.
What is meant by the ‘literature review’?
Your purpose in writing the review is to convey to your reader the knowledge and
ideas that have been established on the topic. The review needs to be organized
and evaluative and should not just be a descriptive list of available literature.
I’m concerned that the topic I choose might already have been researched by
another student. How do I check on this?
Firstly, it is possible to research a topic which is similar to a previous dissertation.
However, your approach must be original, for example using a different company or
a different concept. You can check on what has been researched previously by
students by consulting previous dissertations which are held in the Student Advice
Centre.
How do I go about choosing a topic to research?
Your choice of topic will be dependent on a number of factors: your interest in a
particular aspect of business, your programme of study; the availability of information
on the topic; its originality ie if little research has been carried out on it previously;
and availability of access to a business organization if doing primary research. You
need to think of all of these matters when making your choice. You will find it helpful
to discuss your possible topic choice with your supervisor and other tutors.
Page | 38
19 Further Information
Attendance: You are expected to attend all timetabled sessions. In order to register
your attendance, it is important that you sign the register in class or swipe your
student card against the reader (in rooms fitted with card readers). Fraudulent use
of student cards for attendance monitoring ie swiping in other students who are
not in attendance or asking other students to swipe your card when you are not
in attendance, will not be tolerated. If you are caught doing this, you will be
asked to attend a meeting with the Associate Dean Academic and if found in
breach of university regulations, this may be recorded on your student record.
Please note that you will be recorded as absent if your attendance is not recorded at
your timetabled activities. Your attendance will be monitored weekly; if you miss
classes you will be contacted by the Faculty, initially by email (to your University email
address) and thereafter, if you fail to respond and/or you continue to miss classes, by
post to your term-time and permanent address. Monitoring your attendance allows us
to identify and assist students who are experiencing difficulties. You will be expected
to respond promptly to any correspondence we send you; failure to do so could result
in termination of your student registration.
Extensions: Extensions to relevant deadlines are only granted where there is a
satisfactory explanation provided in advance. Module leaders may be able to grant a
short extension of up to 14 days or they can, if appropriate or practical, make
alternative arrangements for the assessment. Remember it may not always be
possible to make alternative arrangements. In exceptional circumstances extensions
beyond 14 days can be granted by the Associate Dean Academic or their nominee.
You may apply for an extension by completing an extension request form available
from the Student Advice Centre.
Unauthorised late submission of assessments
If an assessment is submitted later than the deadline without an approved extension
or deferral the mark received will be capped. If an assessment is submitted 1-14
calendar days late the mark for the work will be capped at the pass mark of 50 per
cent for postgraduate modules. If an assessment is submitted beyond 14 calendar
days late the work will receive a mark of zero per cent.
Deferrals
If your circumstances are such that an extension of 14 days would not be sufficient,
or if you feel that, despite being granted an extension of up to 14 days, your
performance in a piece of coursework has been seriously impaired, you may apply
formally to your faculty panel for a deferral of assessment of coursework. You will
have to fill in the appropriate form that is obtainable from the Faculty Student Advice
Centre and supply supporting evidence. Forms should be submitted to the Faculty
Student Advice Centre. Further information on the deferrals policy can be consulted
at: http://dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-supportoffice/deferral-of-assessments.aspx
Style and Referencing: Students in the Faculty of Business and Law follow specific
referencing guides for all written work. There are separate guidelines for Law
students (https://libguides.library.dmu.ac.uk/law/referencing) and for students in the
Page | 39
Leicester Castle Business School
(https://libguides.library.dmu.ac.uk/business/referencing).
Law students follow the footnote referencing system:
https://libguides.library.dmu.ac.uk/ld.php?content_id=26780459
Leicester Castle Business School students follow the Harvard referencing system:
http://www.library.dmu.ac.uk/Images/Selfstudy/Harvard.pdf
Return of submitted work: All students will be informed via a Blackboard
announcement when their assessment is marked. You are strongly encouraged to
discuss your written or in some cases audio feedback with your module leader if you
have any questions or concerns. Modules assessed wholly or in part by examination
may have generic feedback on examination performance made available via
Blackboard.
All marks on assessed work are provisional marks only and they will not be
confirmed until the Assessment Board meets. Marks and feedback on assessed
work will be available within 20 days. The turnaround time does not include
weekends, bank holidays or university closure days
The full Assessment and Feedback policy can be consulted at:
http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/quality-management-and-policy/academicquality/learning-teaching-assessment/assessment-feedback-policy.aspx
Good academic conduct and discipline: All students are expected to adhere to the
University’s regulations in relation to expected standards of behaviour.
Information on student regulations can be viewed at:
http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-supportoffice/student-regulations.aspx
Plagiarism and bad academic practice
De Montfort University’s Academic Regulations describe plagiarism as:
“the significant use of other people’s work and the submission of it as though it were
one’s own in assessed coursework (such as dissertations, essays, experiments etc)”.
This includes:
• Copying from another student’s work
• Copying text from sources such as books or journals without
acknowledgement
• Downloading information and/or text from the Internet and using it without
acknowledgement
• Submitting work which you claim to be your own when it has been produced
by a group
• Submitting group work without acknowledging all contributors.
De Montfort University describes bad academic practice as:
Low level duplication without citation for example errors made through carelessness
or misunderstanding or
Page | 40
Passing off ideas, data or other information as if originally discovered by the student.
Information on academic offences can be found at:
http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-supportoffice/academic-offences.aspx
Further advice on academic offences can be obtained by emailing
acasupportoffice@dmu.ac.uk Full details can be found in the University regulations
http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-supportoffice/student-regulations.aspx
Students are reminded that module assessment results are provisional until ratified
by the programme management boards and that results released to students can be
revised or redacted if there are concerns regarding academic practices.
Proofreading:
If you do use a third party to proof read your work or a professional proof reading
service you must discuss this with your tutor and declare this in a written statement
accompanying your work when you submit it for assessment.
Faculty of Business and Law Grade Descriptors
This is a guide to the criteria used by staff in the Faculty of Business and Law
assigning a mark to a piece of postgraduate work. The final mark awarded to a
piece of work will be informed by its predominant correspondence to these
descriptors. The University generic descriptors as well as advice for students can be
accessed at:
http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/quality-management-and-policy/academicquality/learning-teaching-assessment/mark-descriptors.aspx
Modules are marked on a range of 0-100%. Mark descriptors are given in the table
below. A mark below 50% indicates a Fail grade (the shaded boxes).
Mark
Range
Criteria
90-100%
Distinction
Demonstrates an exceptional ability and insight, indicating the highest
level of technical competence.
The work has the potential to influence the forefront of the subject,
and may be of publishable/exhibitable quality.
Relevant generic skills are demonstrated at the highest possible
standard.
80-89%
Distinction
Demonstrates an outstanding ability and insight based on
authoritative subject knowledge and a very high level of technical
competence.
The work is considered to be close to the forefront of the subject, and
may be close to publishable/exhibitable quality.
Relevant generic skills are demonstrated at a very high level.
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70-79%
Distinction
Demonstrates an authoritative, current subject knowledge and a high
level of technical competence.
The work is accurate and extensively supported by appropriate
evidence. It may show some originality. Clear evidence of capacity
to reflect critically and deal with ambiguity in the data.
Relevant generic skills are demonstrated at a high level.
60-69%
Merit
Demonstrates a sound, current subject knowledge. No significant
errors in the application of concepts or appropriate techniques. May
contain some minor flaws.
The work is well developed and coherent; may show some originality.
Clear evidence of capacity to reflect critically.
Relevant generic skills are demonstrated at a good level.
50 – 59%
Pass
Demonstrates satisfactory subject knowledge. Some evident
weaknesses; possibly shown by conceptual gaps, or limited use of
appropriate techniques.
The work is generally sound but tends toward the factual or derivative.
Limited evidence of capacity to reflect critically.
Relevant generic skills are generally at a satisfactory level.
45 -49%
Marginal
Fail
Demonstrates satisfactory subject knowledge to some degree. Some
important weaknesses; possibly shown by factual errors, conceptual
gaps, or limited use of appropriate techniques.
The work is generally sound but tends toward the factual or
derivative. Little evidence of capacity to reflect critically.
Relevant generic skills are generally at a satisfactory level.
40-44%
Demonstrates limited core subject knowledge. Some important
weaknesses; possibly shown by factual errors, conceptual gaps, or
limited use of appropriate techniques.
The work lacks sound development. Little evidence of capacity to
reflect critically.
The quality of the relevant generic skills do not meet the requirements
of the task.
30-39%
Demonstrates inadequate subject knowledge.
The work lacks coherence and evidence of capacity to reflect critically.
The quality of the relevant generic skills do not meet the requirements
of the task.
20-29%
Demonstrates seriously inadequate knowledge of the subject.
The work contains minimal evidence of awareness of relevant issues
or theory.
The quality of the relevant generic skills do not meet the requirements
of the task.
10-19%
The work is almost entirely lacking in evidence of knowledge of the
subject. No evidence of awareness of relevant issues or theory.
The quality of the relevant generic skills do not meet the requirements
of the task.
0-9%
The work presents information that is irrelevant and unconnected to
the task.
No evident awareness of appropriate principles, theories, evidence
and techniques.
20
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How we support you
Sometimes things happen that are beyond your control, for example, illness or
personal problems. If things start to affect your studies, you need to let someone
know. There are processes and people to help you.
Your personal tutor is an important starting point for help. He or she will be able to
advise you about the various University procedures. Many things can be dealt with
by your Programme Leader. Academic matters within the Faculty are led by the
Associate Dean Academic in conjunction with Associate Professor Student
Experience. The staff in the Student Advice Centre are there to provide support and
guidance.
There are in addition a number of sources of help that are listed in the Useful Links
and Contacts section below, such as the Student Gateway.
Module Level Feedback
Your feedback helps guide the choices the University will make. Your opinions are
essential to ensure that we provide every student with the best possible education.
The Module Level Feedback (MLF) survey is one way we gather student feedback on
your teaching and learning experience. The feedback you give us via the MLF helps
us to meet your needs at module level as well as programme level. It lets us know
what kind of enhancements will mean the most to you during your time here. This
survey is confidential and administered online; you will be invited to complete this
before the end of your module. The questions ask you to evaluate your teaching and
learning experience for each module you take on a five-point scale from ‘Definitely
Agree’ to ‘Definitely Disagree’. Questions cover the following topics (you can see the
full list of questions at Module Level Feedback ):
• Teaching
• The learning environment
• Learning outcomes
• Assessment and feedback
• Organisation and management
• Learning resources
• Overall learning / educational experience
You will also have the opportunity to tell us about the module’s best aspects, what can
be improved or what should be changed.
Page | 43
21 USEFUL LINKS AND CONTACTS
Careers Service
Website: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/careers-and-employability/careersand-employability.aspx
Counselling and Wellbeing
http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/counselling-mental-healthand-wellbeing/counselling/counselling.aspx
Disability Advice and Support
Website: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/disability-adviceand-support/disability-advice-and-support.aspx
The Student Gateway
http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/student-and-academicservices.aspx
Student Finance and Welfare
Website: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/student-financeand-welfare/student-finance-and-welfare.aspx
Student support
Website: http://dmu.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-study/student-support/studentsupport.aspx
Students’ Union
Website: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/welcome-to-de-montfort-studentsunion/welcome-to-de-montfort-students-union.aspx
Student Advice Centre
Website: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/schools-and-departments/leicesterbusiness-school/contact-us.aspx
Support for Mature Students
Website: http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/adjusting-tostudent-life/mature-students.aspx
Other Services and Links
Academic Appeals
http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-supportoffice/academic-appeals.aspx
Change in student circumstance (e.g. suspension of studies) –
http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/student-finance-andwelfare/changes-affecting-finances/taking-a-break.aspx
Complaints Procedure
Page | 44
http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/the-student-gateway/academic-supportoffice/student-complaints/student-complaints-procedure.aspx
Information Technology and Media Services (ITMS)
http://www.dmu.ac.uk/about-dmu/professional-services/information-technology-andmedia-services/service-desk.aspx
Nightline
http://www.dmu.ac.uk/dmu-students/student-resources/it-and-media/24-hoursupport.aspx
Student Code of Conduct
https://www.dmu.ac.uk/Documents/DMU-students/Academic-Support-Office/StudentCode-of-Conduct.pdf

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