INMR99-MSc Dissertation (MSc Digital Innovation/MSc Digital Business and Data Analytics)

Module Provider: Business Informatics, Systems and Accounting
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2023/4

Module Convenor: Dr Stephen Gulliver

Type of module:

Summary module description:

A dissertation project is an independent piece of research work undertaken in MSc programmes in Information Management and Digital Business. It is considered to be the most important element in the MSc as it demonstrates the knowledge and skills acquired both in terms of the subject area and academic research. It is normally conducted by an individual student, guided by an academic supervisor, in the chosen specialised domain. It gives students the opportunity to undertake a substantial applied research project that draws upon knowledge and skills acquired from the past experience and during the taught part of the MSc programme. The dissertation module enables students to practise writing a scientific report, allows students to develop problem-solving skills, and enables students to manage research activities and critically assess the outcomes from the project. 


The aim of this module is to enable the student to conduct research and apply the knowledge into practice through an independent research project. Students are required to deliver a clearly presented  dissertation that: defines a clear research question; uses relevant methods to collect and analyse data; evaluate findings; and develop a clear research contribution. Moreover the student should show, via written and oral channels, a detailed understanding of a particular subject field, a survey of recent developments in the field, a critical analysis of these developments, and a prognosis of future developments. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

Intended learning outcomes:

At the end of the module the student will be able to:? 

• Systematically carry out a literature review to critically define a clear research problem, aim, and objectives.

• Plan and document a research proposal, considering problem scope, methods, ethics, risk, resources, and proposed approaches.

• Independently develop and acquire new skills and knowledge required to conduct the defined research dissertation.

• Develop and present the work in form of oral presentation, showing a high level of oral presentation skills.

• Develop a solution to a given research problem, and evaluate the solution via a critical appraisal, to derive logical conclusions.

• Structure and write a Masters dissertation.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Guidance on dissertation is provided in the Autumn and Spring semesters to clarify the requirements for the dissertation. Moreover, live lectures, workshop sessions, and online question and answer sessions will be used to support student understanding of research methods and skills during the Autumn and Spring semester.? 

The dissertation project normally commences with?development of a one page outline proposal, which is submitted at the end of the March. Based on this proposal a supervisor is assigned.?The topic is normally proposed by the student yet developed in consultation with the appointed supervisor. Students are also required to submit a literature review (by the beginning of June), and research design document (by mid-June), which are used to provide the student with formative feedback on progress. Student are required to complete two summative outcomes, i) an interim presentation (held at the end of June), and ii) the Dissertation document (submitted in early September). 

The research work must be conducted in an ethical and professional manner. 

The text of the dissertation would not normally exceed 12,000 words but it may be supported by ancillary material. 

Students may carry out their dissertation projects in organisations as part of placement or internship of up to six months in duration. The placement needs to be arranged by students and requires an approval by the Programme Director who ensures that the placement enables the students to satisfy the academic requirements of Dissertation. 

Global context:

Discussion providing consideration of national, business, and individual culture are all discussed within class sessions. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Lectures provide the base material and use numerous case studies. This module has a strong use of practical business examples taken from real life cases. Coursework feed-forward support and 3x 2hr revision tutorials are provided to students to support preparation for assessment points.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10
Seminars 5 5
Project Supervision 5
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 30 30 30
    Wider reading (directed) 10 10
    Preparation for presentations 10
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 30 15
    Carry-out research project 20 80
    Dissertation writing 10 90
Total hours by term 55 115 230
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 80
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Assessment will consist of a presentation?(10-minute oral presentation followed by 10 minute Q&A)?(20%) to take place in?the final week of June, and a research dissertation?(12,000 words)?(80%) due in?the first week of September.?The presentation aims to assess the student’s presentation skills only.? 

Formative assessment methods:

Students receive feedback from their project supervisors during supervision meetings?based on their work that includes the outline proposal and research proposal, as well as their progress. They will also receive comments and feedback from the audience at the?interim (oral)?presentation reporting on progress of research.? 

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here:
The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Students will be required to obtain a mark of 50% overall through weighted average of the two components.? 

Reassessment arrangements:

By resubmission of Dissertation in accordance with University policy. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Required text books (advised) - £50.00

Last updated: 30 March 2023


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