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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23
No such Code for pgprog: N3K807

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI44T60: Dissertation with Research Methods (Financial Management)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Not available in 2021/22
Tied to N2P209 Management (Finance)
Tied to N3K807


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide students with the necessary training to undertake advanced-level research in financial management.
  • To provide students with the opportunity to conduct an in-depth investigation at an advanced level of a relevant issue in financial management. The positioning of the dissertation at the end of the programme is intended to promote integration of material covered in the core and optional modules.
  • To provide students with an advanced understanding of the relevance and importance of alternative epistemological positions in the social sciences and the nature of both qualitative and quantitative approaches to research.
  • To provide students with opportunities to be familiar with the frontier empirical and theoretical research in financial management.


  • The nature of qualitative and quantitative research;
  • Reviewing the literature and formulating a research question;
  • Use of relevant databases;
  • Quantitative data analysis – basic descriptive, correlations, t-tests, regression analysis;
  • Qualitative research methods – interviews, focus groups, document analysis;
  • Ethical issues in research.
  • The dissertation topic is chosen by the student and formally approved by the Board of Examiners. It should be one that is suitable for in-depth investigation, and relevant to the student’s degree programme.
  • For MSc Management (Finance) students, the topic should be in the broad area of financial management. It can be on finance itself, or on the management of finance, including the managerial consequences of financial decisions, or how to manage Finance employees, etc. There is no requirement to engage in financial or statistical or quantitative methods.
  • For Islamic Finance students, the topic should be one that is relevant to Islamic finance/ Islamic financial management.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • Have a critical understanding and awareness of the nature and scope of advanced research in financial management;
  • Be aware of, and familiar with, the facilities available for conducting literature searches and obtaining relevant data to facilitate empirical investigation;
  • Be familiar with relevant computer packages for conducting empirical analysis;
  • Have a critical understanding of a relevant topic and the most appropriate techniques of analysis;
  • Have a critical understanding of methodological issues in research: issues in designing and undertaking quantitative and qualitative research.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • Be able to organise, structure and manage a research project in financial management effectively and conduct empirical/theoretical analysis at an advanced level;
  • Be able to make a critical evaluation of published journal articles and assess their relevance to a chosen research project;
  • Be able to operate independently on a research topic and exercise appropriate judgement in the selection of material;
  • Have further developed the skills of inquiry, bibliographic search, data collection, measurement and analysis, interpretation and presentation of results.
Key Skills:
  • Planning and organising;
  • using initiative;
  • computer literacy;
  • numeracy;
  • written communication of research on a chosen topic;
  • time management
  • self-discipline;
  • problem solving and analysis.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • A combination of lectures, seminars, computer labs and guided reading addressing key topics in research will cover the subject-specific knowledge and skills together with general aspects of the dissertation process.
  • The combined summative components of the dissertation require students to write a draft research proposal, including a short literature review, and a detailed initial plan for a research method, including - where relevant - detail on data collection and likely analytical methods. Students then work independently on their research, analysis and writing up, for their dissertation, under the guidance of a supervisor, modifying their research design if necessary. Within the dissertation, students produce a short Exec summary providing a business perspective on their research findings.
  • Normally the student will meet their supervisor on no more than six occasions. This is considered appropriate, given that the dissertation module is underpinned by lectures and seminars/computer labs.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 Weekly 2 hours 20
Seminars 4 Fortnightly 1 hour 4
Individual supervision 6 As necessary 0.5 hour 3
Computer Labs 4 Fortnightly 1 hour 4
Reading, preparation, research, analysis and writing up 569
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 80%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation, including a short executive summary providing a business perspective on the research findings 10,000 words (maximum) 100% Same
Component: Research Proposal Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Draft research proposal, including a short literature review and a detailed initial plan for a research method including – where relevant – data collection and likely analytical methods 1,500 words (maximum) 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Students receive formative feedback on the research proposal.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University