MBA Dissertation Module Guide

MBA Dissertation Module Guide

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1. Learning and Teaching Strategy

You will be allocated to a learning set so that you and a number of your peers can meet online, in scheduled sessions, with your supervisor to discuss issues of concern or any that lack clarity. You will be expected to submit draft work for regular feedback from your tutor. You are encouraged to interact freely and in a candid fashion with your peers to maximise opportunities for informal learning. Draft work will usually be the focus of the supervisory meetings and the relevant materials (MBA dissertations) from the University’s repository will also be a source of insight into the presentational format, respective length of sections and academic writing style expected. Draft work will be commented on in a timely fashion by supervisors and returned to you. Self discipline and good time management skills (to complete the required tasks on an agreed timescale will be at a premium as you near completion of your dissertation.


2.   Module Communications

The Module Tutor’s contact details are provided at the top of this page.  You must check your University of Bolton email address and the Moodle area dedicated to this module regularly as many module communications are channelled through these media.

Your Module Tutor will normally aim to respond to your email messages within 2 full working days of receipt; however responses will be longer in holiday periods.

4. Module Description

This module is supported at a distance through an online platform. The dissertation provides you with the opportunity to undertake an independent and substantial piece of research which focuses on strategic management/business issue in order to further develop knowledge and practice. The dissertation is underpinned by the work undertaken in the Research Methods and Academic Skills module, which is a prerequisite for commencement. Following feedback on your proposal and mini literature review developed in the Research Methods and Academic Skills, you will refine the scope of your research within an Introductory chapter. You will also develop a more in depth Literature Review and draft a Research Methodology chapter which outlines your research philosophy, approach, strategy and intended method(s) of analysis. Following further feedback and with your supervisor’s guidance, you will then undertake the data gathering either by fieldwork or desk research or some combination of both. Your findings will be critically analysed and conclusions and recommendations/refelctions drawn.

Taught (T), Developed (D) and Assessed (A).

5. Learning Outcomes and Assessments

Example below:

Learning Outcomes Assessment
1.    Develop a realistic and ethical research question with a measurable aim and objectives001 (Dissertation)
2. Compile a critical literature review and research methodology001 (Dissertation)
3. Synthesise research findings and make informed judgements in the light of these001 (Dissertation)& Viva Presentation
4. Develop recommendations for future practice and/or further research as a result of findings001 (Dissertation)& Viva Presentation
5.   Critically reflect on and refine academic and personal goals001 (Dissertation)& Viva Presentation

6. Assessment Deadlines

Assessment itemDue DateWeight
115000 (Fifteen Thousand word) dissertation15th August, 2019100%
2Viva presentation16th AugPass/fail

7. Assessment Feedback

Formative: offered on draft chapters throughout your dissertation stage Summative: Within 4 weeks.

9. Formative Assessment

Draft work (usually chapter by chapter) will be presented to the supervisor (via email) for comment. This will be returned in a timely fashion.

10. Indicative Reading

Moore, S. (2010). The Ultimate Study Skills Handbook. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press – Online available via [email protected]

O’Gorman, K., & MacIntosh, R. (2015). Research Methods for Business and Management: A Guide to Writing your Dissertation (2nd ed.). Oxford: Goodfellow Publishers Limited – Online available via [email protected]

Silvis, C. A. (2015). Presentation Skills: One Hour Workshop. Andover: Cengage Learning PTR – Online available via [email protected]

Thomas, A. B. (2014). Research Concepts for Management Studies. Florence: Routledge – Online available via [email protected]

Wang, G. T., & Park, K. (2015). Student Research and Report Writing : From Topic Selection to the Complete Paper (1st ed.). Hoboken: Wiley-Blackwell – Online available via [email protected]

LEAP Online:

11. Guidelines for the Preparation and Submission of Written Assessments

  1. Written assessments should be word-processed in Arial or Calibri Light font size 12. There should be double-spacingand each page should be numbered.
  2. There should be a title page identifying the programme name, module title, assessment title, your student number, your marking tutor and the date of submission.
  3. You should include a word-count at the end of the assessment (excluding references, figures, tables and appendices).

Where a word limit is specified, the following penalty systems applies:

  • Up to 10% over the specified word length = no penalty
  • 10 – 20% over the specified indicative word length = 5 marks subtracted (but if the assessment would normally gain a pass mark, then the final mark to be no lower than the pass mark for the assessment).
  • More than 20% over the indicative word length = if the assessment would normally gain a pass mark or more, then the final mark will capped at the pass mark for the assessment.
  1. All written work should be referenced using the standard University of Bolton referencing style
  2. Unless otherwise notified by your Module Tutor, electronic copies of assignments should be saved as word documents and uploaded into Turnitin via the Moodle class area. If you experience problems in uploading your work, then you must send an electronic copy of your assessment to your Module Tutor via email BEFORE the due date/time.
  3. Please note that when you submit your work to Moodle, it will automatically be checked for matches against other electronic information. The individual percentage text matches may be used as evidence in an academic misconduct investigation (see Section 13).
  4. Late work will be subject to the penalties:
    • Up to 7 calendar days late = 10 marks subtracted but if the assignment would normally gain a pass mark, then the final mark to be no lower than the pass mark for the assignment.
    • More than 7 calendar days late = This will be counted as non-submission and no marks will be recorded.

Where assessments are graded Pass/Fail only they will not be accepted beyond the deadline date for submission and will be recorded as a Fail.  Students may request an extension to the original published deadline date as described below.

  1. In the case of exceptional and unforeseen circumstances, an extension of up to 14 days after the assessment deadline may be granted. This must be agreed by your Programme Leader, following a discussion the Module Tutor. You should complete an Extension Request Form available from your Tutor and attach documentary evidence of your circumstances, prior to the published submission deadline.

Extensions over 14 calendar days should be requested using the Mitigating Circumstances procedure, with the exception of extensions for individual projects which, at the discretion of the Programme Leader, may be longer than 14 days.

Requests for extensions which take a submission date past the end of the module (normally week 15) must be made using the Mitigating Circumstances procedures.

Some students with registered disabilities will be eligible for revised submission deadlines. Revised submission deadlines do not require the completion extension request paperwork.

Please note that the failure of data storage systems is not considered to be a valid reason for an extension. It is therefore important that you keep multiple copies of your work on different storage devices before submitting it.

12. Procedures for Examinations:

There is no examination in this module

13. Academic Misconduct:

Academic misconduct may be defined as any attempt by a student to gain an unfair advantage in any assessment. This includes plagiarism, collusion, commissioning (contract cheating)amongst other offences. In order to avoid these types of academic misconduct, you should ensure that all your work is your own and that sources are attributed using the correct referencing techniques. You can also check originality through Turnitin.

Please note that penalties apply if academic misconduct is proven. See the following link for further details:

14. Assessment:

There is only one assessment for this module. The submission should be a comprehensive and detailed research work in the line of research proposal prepared in the previous module. The dissertation should reflect the quality of work appropriate for HE7 and should be an original work of the learner. The dissertation should be initiated with a chapter on introduction and the contextualization of the research must be done with necessary incorporation of relevant literature etc. Justification of the research should also be done clearly. In the review of literature, an extension of the literature review presented in assessment 2 of research module method is desirable. Research gaps or the departure points of research should be identified based on literature review and the specific research questions and objectives are to be highlighted accordingly. The development of research instruments identified as suitable within the research methods module should be extensively used. Ordering of the data should have been done to most succinctly address the research objectives. Evaluation of the findings by utilization of the conceptual frame identified in literature review (chapter 2) and other relevant works identified therein should be comprehensively and critically done. A reflective section on the completion of MBA should also be added.

The dissertation should comprise of following sections, components and chapters:

  1. Scanned copy of filled in candidates Declaration form (Refer Moodle2 page)
  2. Front Sheet
  3. Acknowledgement
  4. Declaration of originality
  5. Table of Content
  6. List of Figures
  7. List of diagrams
  8. Abstract (not more than 300 words)
  9. Chapter-1: Introduction (15% words)
  10. Chapter-2: Review of Literature (30% words)
  11. Chapter-3: Research Methodology (20% words)
  12. Chapter-4: Results and Findings (20% words)
  13. Chapter-5: Observations, Implications and Future Scope of Research (15% words)
  14. Bibliography/References (As per Harvard Referencing Style)**
  15. Annexure/Appendices (Sample Questionnaire, Authorisation/Permission letter if any)

** Bibliography/References should be substantially distributed from variety of sources like corporate/industry/organizational websites, web-repositories, e-books, printed books, journals, magazines, monographs, unpublished reports etc. based on the requirements.

15. Specific Assessment Criteria:

(Please note that the General Assessment Criteria will also apply. Please see section 15)

First class (70% and above):

Students will provide an in-depth appraisal of the effectiveness of a sustainable tourism plan, demonstrating excellent critical reasoning skills. Focused and justified recommendations will be made as to how problems/weaknesses identified in the plan may be overcome, and sustainability improved. Extensive research demonstrating use of a wide range of current secondary research sources will be evident. Academic style and referencing will be excellent.

Second class (50-69%):

Students will provide a comprehensive appraisal of the effectiveness of a sustainable tourism plan, demonstrating critical reasoning skills. Justified recommendations will be made as to how problems/weaknesses identified in the plan may be overcome, and sustainability improved. Research demonstrating use of a wide range of current secondary research sources will be evident. Academic style and referencing will be good.

Third class (40-49%):

Students will provide a satisfactory appraisal of the effectiveness of a sustainable tourism plan, demonstrating critical reasoning skills. Considered recommendations will be made as to how problems/weaknesses identified in the plan may be overcome, and sustainability improved. Research demonstrating use of a range of current secondary research sources will be evident. Academic style and referencing will be fair.

Fail (39% and below): Students who do not meet the requirements of a third class grade will not successfully complete the assessment activity.

Minimum Secondary Research Source Requirements:

Level HE7 – It is expected that the Reference List will contain between fifteen to twenty sources. As a MINIMUM the Reference List should include four refereed academic journals and five academic books.

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