MQM3DISS-Leadership Study / Dissertation

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

Module Convenor: Dr Caroline Rook

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The module is offered as part of Stage 3 of the MA Leadership, a part-time programme for experienced leaders or managers with significant leadership responsibility. The leadership study / dissertation is a major research-based project investigating a significant leadership problem or issue which leads to actionable recommendations. It requires programme members to develop and build on key elements of their learning throughout the Masters programme and apply it within a practical context. Programme Members normally choose a problem in their own organisation or industry as a vehicle for their study. In developing their leadership study /dissertation, programme members are required to undertake a critical and in-depth review of current thinking in their chosen topic area which forms the basis for an empirical investigation leading to conclusions and recommendations grounded in appropriate evidence. In order to do this effectively, programme members are expected to develop and apply a research design and research techniques that are appropriate to the problem or issue. They are also expected to consider and review their personal learning from the leadership study and programme experience. Programme members are also given individual support and guidance during this process through the support of a Supervisor who has good subject knowledge. A Supervisor is appointed on the basis of the leadership study / dissertation proposal. The module is supported by practical workshops as shown in the programme schedule.


This module aims to:

• Build upon the knowledge gained during the MA Leadership programme and the application of that knowledge to a specific leadership problem or issue.

• Identify, define and scope a significant leadership problem or issue that can be addressed through structured and rigorous investigation.

• Demonstrate understanding of relevant investigative approaches and the ability to select and justify the chosen approach.

• Demonstrate the ability to collect and analyse relevant evidence as part of the overall investigation.

• Formulate logical, appropriate and actionable recommendations as a result of the investigation.

• Manage the investigative process and the stakeholders involved

• Communicate the findings in writing and presentation in a convincing and articulate manner.

• Reflect critically on the personal learning from the leadership study / dissertation and MA Leadership programme experience

Assessable learning outcomes:

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

• Define and investigate a leadership issue or problem

• Analyse a problem or issue through a critical assessment of current thinking and use theoretical and mental models drawn from elements of both the programme and from specific and relevant wider reading in order to develop reflective and more insightful knowledge understanding of the problem or issue.

• Design an appropriate approach to the investigation and a methodology that facilitates the collection, analysis and application of data robustly and appropriately.

• Provide a clear exposition of the process and analysis in order to develop logical, grounded and practicable recommendations from their study.

• Reflect on the theoretical, practical and personal learning from conducting the leadership study / dissertation and the MA Leadership programme


The programme member will receive feedback from peers and tutors on these outcomes throughout the module. This will contribute to their reflective statement in the final assignment for assessment

Additional outcomes:

• Increased confidence in their ability to conduct further rigorous, evidence-based research projects and leadership studies

Outline content:

The module covers the following topics:

• Introduction to leadership research methods, including mixed methods

• Reviewing literature

• Critical analysis

• Identifying a project and the proposal

• Designing a leadership study / dissertation

• Practical aspects of conducting leadership research

• Presenting and documentin g findings and recommendations

Global context:


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be an initial two day workshop for this module, followed by a one day mini conference looking at the interim findings, then a one day mini conference presenting the final findings. Teaching methods include working in a whole group of up to 50 with one or two tutors, and in smaller groups of up to 8 programme members. Other learning activities take place in pairs and individual reflection.

Teaching includes input from tutors, demonstrations of technique s and practice in small groups. Plenary discussion and table discussions are encouraged. Formative and summative feedback is given as appropriate.

Programme members are expected to draw on their personal leadership experience in their own or other organisations to help them conduct their chosen leadership study / dissertation. After the first workshop in this module, the programme members write their proposals.  After the proposal is accepted, programme members are supported and advised on their learning by a Supervisor who is an assigned subject specialist. The final submission is the full leadership study / dissertation document, including a separate learning reflection assignment.

Programme members are encouraged to keep a personal learning log, paper or electronic, during both this module and the complete programme, which should form the basis of the final learning reflection assignment.

They have access to the V irtual Learning Environment throughout the programme, until the end of their registration period.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 35
Project Supervision 88
Work-based learning 100
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 40
    Wider reading (directed) 7
    Preparation for presentations 40
    Dissertation writing 80
    Reflection 10
Total hours by term 400 0 0
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 20
Dissertation 80

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Prior to the first workshop, programme members will be expected to identify a potential topic for their leadership study / dissertation that meets their personal interest and a current leadership challenge for themselves or their organisation. The programme member will develop this proposal at the first workshop and an appropriate supervisor will be allocated to support them through the subsequent study and writing up of the report. It is expected that all these experiences will be discussed in the final assessments, which will comprise: 


  • A research project proposal of 1,500 words 

  • Final submission consisting of: 

  • A full written leadership study / dissertation report of 12,000 words 

  • A final learning reflection assignment of 3,000 words 


Assessment submission is according to the assessment schedule for the student’s cohort. 

Formative assessment methods:

Feedback from tutors and peers is formative and supports leadership development during this module. 

Penalties for late submission:

As university post-experience postgraduate programmes.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Minimum of 50%

Reassessment arrangements:

One re-submission allowed capped at 50%

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 8 April 2021


Things to do now