MQM3DCBC-Dissertation for MSc in Coaching and Behavioural Change

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Dorota Bourne

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The dissertation module forms a core component of Stage 3 of the MSc in Coaching and Behavioural Change and provides an opportunity for programme members to demonstrate their in-depth, critical understanding of a topic relevant to the MSc but chosen by them through the design, execution and reporting of an original piece of empirical research in the form of a Masters-level dissertation. The choice of topic may be motivated either by primarily practical or primarily theoretical concerns. The module includes a research methods teaching component and in addition requires submission of a written research proposal. Programme members will be supported by a supervisor whilst working on their dissertation.


  • To develop programme members’ knowledge and understanding of key research skills required to undertake an original piece of research in Coaching and Behavioural Change at Masters level.

  • To familiarise programme members with the decision criteria regarding research methodology, research ethics, literature review, data collection and data analysis.

  • To enable programme members to design, plan and manage their own research project.

  • To enable programme members to undertake a piece of original research in a topic area related to Coaching and Behavioural Change and to produce an in-depth report on the procedures followed and the outcomes achieved.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that programme members will be able to:

  • Formulate appropriate research questions to guide an investigation into the chosen topic.

  • Compose a research proposal outlining a research project suitable for a Masters-level dissertation.

  • Recognise ethical aspects of research and apply appropriate ethical procedures throughout the project.

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    Critically analyse and synthesise relevant literature on the chosen topic.

  • Recognise and critically evaluate the main methodological approaches within Coaching and Behavioural Change and to select an approach appropriate for the chosen topic.

  • Assess the suitability of different data sources and types and collect data appropriate to their research questions.

  • Assess th e suitability of different data analysis methods and select and apply an appropriate analysis method for their project.

  • Draw conclusions and formulate recommendations grounded in evidence and addressing their research questions.

  • Produce a critical report in the form of a structured Dissertation that answers the chosen research question and demonstrates critical understanding of the literature, methodology and data.

  • Reflect critically on their experience of carrying out the project and their learnings from it.

Additional outcomes:

Programme members will develop an understanding of the research process and the practical challenges in undertaking a research project. Practical skills in the locating, reviewing and synthesising existing literature on a topic and collecting and analysing data will be improved. Programme members will also enhance their project management and time management skills, as well as developing their capabilities for independent learning.

Outline content:


  • Introduction to research

  • The role and application of theory in research

  • The literature review process and the composition of a literature review

  • The nature and role of research design and methodology in research

  • Sources of data and data collection methods

  • Data analysis methods

  • Reporting research findings

  • Conducting research ethically

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

For the research methods component of the module a blended learning approach will be used, combining workshops, facilitated group working and self-study supported by a study guide and learning materials. This will culminate in the submission of a written, assessed research proposal. Additionally programme members will be assigned a supervisor who will assess their proposal and support them during the execution of the project and the writing up process.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Project Supervision 2.5 2.5 21
Practicals classes and workshops 21
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 118 70 50
    Carry-out research project 40 40
    Dissertation writing 8 27
Total hours by term 141.5 120.5 138.0
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Summative assessment is a Dissertation is in the form of a single written report with a word count not to exceed 15,000 words (100% of marks).

Submission date: 30th April 2022 

Formative assessment methods:

Programme members are required to submit a formal, written proposal which must be approved and ethical clearance given before they can proceed with the empirical phase of their project.

Penalties for late submission:

10 marks will be deducted for an assignment submitted within 30 days of the original deadline or an approved extended deadline.

Zero marks will be awarded for an assignment submitted more than 30 days after the original deadline or an approved extended deadline.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A minimum mark of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:

These are in accordance with the arrangements for resubmission laid out in the Programme Specification.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 14 April 2021


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