MMD014-Dissertation (MSc by Research)

Module Provider: International Business and Strategy
Number of credits: 120 [60 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Prof Gianluca Marcato

Type of module:


Summary module description:

A dissertation is an independent piece of research work in the MSc by Research programme in Henley Business School. It is considered to be the most important element in this programme as it demonstrates the knowledge and skills acquired both in terms of the subject area and academic research rigour. 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 theoretical and/or empirical research project which draws the prior knowledge and many skills acquired from the past experience and during the taught part of the MSc programme, enables students to practise writing an academic paper, 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 the module is to enable students to conduct research and apply their knowledge to theoretical and/or empirical problems through an independent project. Students should show a detailed understanding of a particular subject field and related research methods applicable within the analysed context. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

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

• Develop an understanding of the research topic subject matter 

• Develop and acquire new skills in conducting research 

• Plan and manage a systematic approach to a research project 

• Carry out a literature review 

• Critically approach a research problem 

• Develop the process to find a solution to a given research problem 

• Evaluate the solution and provide a critical appraisal 

• Derive logical conclusions 

• Produce a dissertation 

• Present the work in form of oral presentation 


Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

The content of the dissertation will be usually illustrated by a theoretical and/or empirical component, which may be a model, conceptual framework, solution, empirical understanding, or any other deliverables. The research work must be conducted in an ethical and professional manner. The text of the dissertation would range between 10,000 and 15,000 words and it may be supported by ancillary material. 

The field of enquiry will be selected by th e student in consultation with and approved by the supervisor. 

Placement opportunity: 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. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The dissertation project is normally conducted by an individual student guided by supervisors. The student will have regular meetings with the supervisors and contact with other members of staff with expertise in the chosen research field. The other time is for individual research and study. The weighting between the written dissertation and the practical component will be agreed between the supervisor and the student, but the weighting will not normally exceed 30% for the practical component . 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Practicals classes and workshops 200 400 600
Guided independent study: 0 0 0
Total hours by term 200 400 600
Total hours for module 1200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

During the presentation, students will be asked questions and will have to defend their research approach and outcomes. 

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Students will receive formal feedback from supervisors during their regular meetings. 


Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: 


Assessment requirements for a pass:


Students will be required to obtain a mark of 50% overall. 


Reassessment arrangements:

By resubmission of Dissertation in accordance with University policy. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 20 May 2021


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