In the dissertation module students carry out an individual research project on a business topic of their choosing. Projects may for example be the development of a business plan, research on a particular market/industry/business phenomenon, or a specific managerial problem. Students will receive support in the form of lectures and individual 1:1 meetings with allocated dissertation supervisors. Support focuses on the following critical phases of the research process:
- Defining the scope of the project.
- The survey of the academic and practitioner literature to identify the existing ‘state of the art’ in a topic area.
- The research design and the development of a strategy for data collection and analysis.
- The collection of primary and secondary data.
- The analysis of collected data and the formulation of conclusions/actionable recommendations.
The dissertation project not only provides an opportunity to work on a topic that interests the student, but it also allows the student to showcase what she/he has learned at UCL in the context of a project that is of practical relevance to potential employers. Therefore, students are recommended to choose a dissertation topic with an eye on their future career plans.
The dissertation module provides students a tangible piece of work they may share with potential employers that highlights their unique skills and expertise. Also, the dissertation project teaches students valuable project management skills and familiarises them with employing scientific methods in the study of business problems.
- The Research Proposal
- Writing a Critical Literature Review
- Writing up Findings and Analysis
- Writing Absracts, Introductions, Conclusions and Recommendations
In addtion the module will cover different aspects of using scientific methods in the study of management topics:
- Approaches to formulating a research design (e.g. inductive versus deductive designs).
- The formation of data collection strategies that are appropriate for a chosen research design. These include:
- The collection of qualitative data, e.g. through interviews, ethnographic observations, surveys.
- The collection of quantitative data, e.g. through the collection of financial/market data.
- Strategies for the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data, including the use of appropriate software packages such as Excel or Nvivo.
Although formative feedback is provided to students in the form of written progress reports by the supervisor, the only marked piece of work students undertake will be the final dissertation submission. Thus, the dissertation submission accounts for 100% of the final mark. The length of the dissertation is expected to be around 12,000 words.
Current students should refer to Moodle for specific details of the current year’s assessment.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2016) Research Methods for Business Students 7th ed. Harlow: Pearson Education ISBN 978-1-292-01662-7