Module Name: Dissertation
Assessment Number 2
Assessment Type (and weighting) Dissertation – 70%
Assessment Name Dissertation
Assessment Submission Date
Learning Outcomes Assessed:
LO1: Identify an appropriate research topic and formulate appropriate objectives
LO3: Produce a critical literature review and research methodology
LO4: Undertake primary research and critically appraise the results
LO5: Synthesise research findings and make informed judgements in the light of these
This assessment satisfies the learning outcomes as specified in module guide.
Specific Assessment Criteria
85%+: Your dissertation will be of exceptional quality where you demonstrate exceptional knowledge and understanding of academic models and concepts relating to your chosen academic subject area and excellent research skills and abilities. The analysis of relevant models and concepts will be of exceptional quality. The dissertation structure, its presentation, your written English and your referencing will all be of a very high standard indeed.
70% – 84%: Your dissertation will be of excellent quality where you demonstrate excellent knowledge and understanding of academic models and concepts relating to your chosen academic subject area and excellent research skills and abilities. The analysis of relevant models and concepts will be of excellent quality. The dissertation structure, its presentation, your written English and your referencing will all be of a very high standard indeed.
60% – 69%: Your dissertation will be of very good quality where you demonstrate a very good knowledge and understanding of academic models and concepts relating to your chosen academic subject areaand excellent research skills and abilities. The analysis of relevant models and concepts will be of very good quality. The dissertation structure, its presentation, your written English and your referencing will all be of a very good standard. The academic content, the quality of discussion, referencing, and other elements will be likely to require some or limited development.
50 – 59%: Your dissertation will be of good quality where you demonstrate a good knowledge and understanding of academic models and concepts relating to your chosen academic subject area and good research skills and abilities. The analysis of relevant models and concepts will be of good quality. The dissertation structure, its presentation, your written English and your referencing will all be of a good standard. The academic content, the quality of discussion, referencing, and other elements will be likely to require some development.
40% – 49%: Your dissertation will demonstrate a satisfactory awareness of academic models and concepts relating to academic models and concepts relating to your chosen academic subject area and satisfactory research skills and abilities. There will be some omissions of expected content and the analysis of relevant models and concepts is likely to be cursory. There will probably be significant problems with any combination of the dissertation structure, its presentation, your written English and your referencing. The academic content, the quality of discussion, referencing, and other elements will be likely to require extensive development.
Borderline Fail 35-40%: Your dissertation will demonstrate limited awareness of academic models and concepts relating to your chosen academic subject area and a deficit of research skills and abilities. You are likely to offer limited analysis of relevant models and concepts and there will probably be significant omissions of expected content. In addition, there will probably be very significant problems with any combination of the dissertation structure, its presentation, your written English and your referencing. The academic content, the quality of discussion, referencing, and other elements will be likely to require very extensive development. Only the most obvious issues are addressed at a superficial level and in unchallenging terms.
Fail ≤34%: Your dissertation will demonstrate a lack of basic knowledge of either theory or research practice for this level, with little or no evidence of understanding or research skills. Arguments are likely to be severely limited and the work will lack clarity with sparse conclusions.
Dissertation Presentation Guidelines
The following guidelines should be used in preparing your written document in order that all dissertations conform to a similar style and structure.
⦁ The dissertation should be typed on A4 white paper, be double spaced, and on one side of the paper only.
⦁ All pages should be numbered at the centre of the bottom of the page.
⦁ Photographs and other illustrative material should be scanned – adhesive tape etc. is unacceptable.
The dissertation may be bound using either:
⦁ Plastic spiral spine;
⦁ Staple and tape;
The dissertation should be 8,000 words in length (excluding cover page, contents page, tables, figures, reference list and appendices).
Word Count. You are expected to revise and edit your dissertation to remain within +/- 10% of the allocated word limit for that piece of work. In order to ensure that word counts can easily be checked you should include:
A note of the word count, as performed by your word processing package, should be included in the dissertation. A deduction is made for all tables, figures, appendices and bibliography, which DO NOT count towards the overall word limit.
It is likely to be an exceptional piece of work that covers the dissertation requirements fully in much less than the set word count less 10%.
Structure of the Dissertation
The dissertation should follow the structure below:
⦁ Title page
⦁ Contents page
⦁ List of tables
⦁ List of figures
⦁ List of appendices
⦁ Literature Review
⦁ Findings and Analysis
⦁ Conclusions and Recommendations
⦁ Word count
This should be presented in the following manner:
DISSERTATION TITLE STUDENT’S NAME
DISSERTATION To be submitted to the Examination Board Supervisor: NAME
The front page should create an accurate impression of the content of the dissertation. The dissertation title should communicate concisely the main thrust of the work. It can be followed by a longer clarification of the area investigated. For example, the title may be:
A Case Study of job satisfaction in Bank X in Bolton
This is a summary of about 250-500 words which describes the issue under investigation and the aims of the study. It should also briefly identify the main conclusions and recommendations. It should be no longer than one page.
This is a brief summary of the people and organisations you may wish to thank.
Explain any key terms employed.
This should show the reader how the report is structured and how the author has developed their approach to the problem. The contents page should be presented in the following manner:
Abstract i Acknowledgement ii Glossary iii List of Figures List of Tables where applicable iv List of Appendices
1 INTRODUCTION 1
2 LITERATURE REVIEW3
3 METHODOLOGY 13
4FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS 20
5 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 35
WORD COUNT 45
List of Tables, Figures and Appendices
It is likely throughout the dissertation that you will want to use tables or diagrams to present information. If these are directly related to your arguments it is better to include them in the main body, rather than the appendices. In such cases, it is conventional to provide a special “contents page” – List of Figures/List of Tables – which identify clearly where tables and figures are located.
List of Tables Page Table 1. Motivational factors for employees 38 Table 2. Motivational factors for managers 40
Moreover, when you have more than one Appendix, you should include a special “contents page” listing all the Appendices.
The introduction should set the context and tone for the rest of the dissertation. You should outline the reasons giving rise to the problem or issue to be identified. It should give a broad introduction to the topic under review and the issues raised. The main point is to set clear objective(s) that you are seeking to achieve by the end of the dissertation report, which should be relatively concise and precise.
The review should examine the relevant literature and develop a conceptual and theoretical framework, based on models and theories, which will be used to analyse the topic under investigation. It should also involve a synthesis and a critical evaluation of current knowledge and background material on the topic being explored. Information from textbooks, academic and industry journals, newspapers and organisational documentation should be discussed, compared and contrasted in a structured and critical manner. Write selectively and focus on what is directly related to your topic. The review may consist of a number of sections or subsections.
This section should provide a critical discussion of the research methods and approaches considered and your rationale for the research design developed. The issue of triangulation and validity in the research design need to be covered in detail together with a critical discussion and evaluation of the design framework. Any limitations in the research design that emerged from the investigation should be acknowledged. The methodology should provide sufficient detail to allow your supervisor to assess the reliability and validity of your methods.
Findings and Analysis
In this section the results of your primary research should be presented and analysed, in a clear and concise manner. You will need to determine the key elements of your study and structure your results accordingly (it is not appropriate to simply list responses to questionnaires/interviews in question order). Your analysis and evaluation of data should be clearly linked to and supported by the academic concepts discussed in your literature review. This section may include tables (numerical information), figures (qualitative responses, graphs, charts) and photographs to illustrate points.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Your conclusions should naturally flow from your discussion and analysis of your findings. The conclusions should include a summary of your main findings which can be brought to bear on the defined objectives of the study. You should also include a discussion about the alternative courses of action available and their feasibility, desirability and acceptability to the organisation. Your conclusions need to be referenced back to your Literature Review and Findings and Analysis. The recommendations should emerge from the conclusions and should be feasible and practical: where costs are likely to be incurred, there needs to be a justification of the likely benefits. In addition, you need to consider and identify the possible human, political and managerial implications of any recommendations. This section should not introduce new material.
References must be Harvard style. Guidance is available at
This is a word-processed count of all words from the Introduction to the Recommendations (excluding tables, figures).
In your appendices you should include:
⦁ A blank copy of your Questionnaire or Interview Questions
⦁ A small sample of completed Questionnaires (up to 5)
⦁ Tables of raw data
⦁ Additional information which provides support to the discussion in the main body of the Dissertation Report
⦁ Print out of first page of your TurnitinUK receipt.
Appendices should be numbered and given titles, which indicate their content and be clearly referenced in the main body of the Report.
NOTE: You must keep all of your research materials (questionnaires etc). They may be requested by your supervisor, moderator and/or external examiner.
NOTE: Where information contained in a report is considered to be confidential to your employer, arrangements can be made to restrict access to a dissertation.
You are required to complete and submit an Ethics Checklist form as part of the workshop tasks to demonstrate that you have considered ethical implications of your research. Form RE1 – Research Ethics Checklist can be found at
NOTE: Your project may need to be considered by the Ethics Committee before its approval, depending on the nature of your research.
Submission of the Dissertation
The submission deadline for your Dissertation Report (70% of the module mark) is WEEK 10 of your second semester of the Dissertation module.
A hard copy of your dissertation with a white general cover sheet, should be submitted to your supervisor.
An electronic copy of the dissertation has to be submitted via “Turn-it-in”.
NOTE: Submission of the Dissertation may be done on or before the published submission date. Dissertations not available at this time will be considered late, unless an extension has been previously agreed.
Working with your Supervisor
Allocation of supervisors
You will be allocated a Dissertation Supervisor after the Dissertation Workshops have finished. The Supervisor will be responsible for guiding you through the dissertation module. To maximise your chances of gaining a good grade, it is important that you make an appointment with your supervisor as soon as is practical. It is the student’s responsibility to contact his or her supervisor.
The role of dissertation supervisors
Your dissertation supervisor is an important resource who can give you advice on how to organise, conduct and produce your dissertation. The responsibilities of the dissertation supervisor are as follows:
⦁ To agree proposed dissertation title
Your dissertation supervisor must approve your dissertation title. Any change in the title and/or subject matter of your dissertation must be agreed in writing by your supervisor.
⦁ To provide advice, support and guidance throughout the dissertation
Your supervisor cannot do the work for you, but can help you to define:
⦁ The overall objective of the research in broad terms
⦁ The specific dissertation objectives – what you want to look at in detail
⦁ The proposed approach, theoretical framework, conceptual models,
⦁ An estimate of the resources required and time available, plus interim deadlines
⦁ Contingency plans; Ethical considerations
In summary, your supervisor can help considerably by acting as a sounding board for your
ideas and plans. Your supervisor can indicate lines of thought that you may not have considered, or ask questions which will force you to explain and justify your ideas and
⦁ To assess your dissertation
Your dissertation supervisor will be the first assessor of your dissertation. A sample of all of the students’ dissertations is internally and externally moderated.
Key Stage Progress Meetings
Although the dissertation has been built around the concept of independent learning this does not mean that the student will be given total responsibility for controlling the time line for the production of the dissertation. As part of the assessed workshops programme you will agree a series of meetings designed to monitor and support your progress.
You must consult your supervisor at regular agreed intervals. You must make an appointment with your supervisor to discuss each piece of draft work that you submit. The appointment should be made at the time that you submit each draft.
Drafts of the dissertation should be submitted to the dissertation supervisor, subject to prior arrangement. Failure to submit draft work at the stated times is likely to have a significant impact on your final grade for the dissertation.
Failure to meet with your supervisor could lead to failure of the module. It is your responsibility to contact your dissertation supervisor to arrange meetings to discuss your progress. The importance of these key stage progress meetings cannot be over-emphasised, and are designed to act as deadlines to motivate you to achieve particular stages of the dissertation, and obtain feedback from your supervisor.
Formal summative feedback is provided on the standard feedback form below after your submission. Because of its length and complexity dissertation coursework in this module is not usually marked on Grade mark. However, during your supervision you can expect to receive significant and frequent formative feedback.
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