We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2022/2023

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23
No such Code for pgprog: N1KR17
No such Code for pgprog: N1KS17
No such Code for pgprog: N1N317
No such Code for pgprog: N1N417

Department: Management and Marketing


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Not available in 2021/22
Tied to N1KR17
Tied to N1KS17
Tied to N1N317
Tied to N1N417


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Business Report (BUSI56345).


  • To provide students with the opportunity to conduct an in-depth investigation at an advanced level of an issue which is applicable and relevant to business and/or management. The positioning of the dissertation at the end of the programme is intended to promote integration of material covered in the core and elective phases.
  • The dissertation should be theoretically underpinned and should normally involve undertaking empirical research, but may be a critical essay that draws upon academic literature.


  • Students can choose to pursue either of two types of dissertation: a business project in which they work with a host organisation; an issue-led investigation which is not focused on just one organisation but instead examines a management issue by, for example, conducting and analysing a survey of practice in a number of organisations.
  • The topic (which is formally approved by the Board of Examiners) should be one that is suitable for in-depth investigation.
  • MBA dissertations have typically been based in a wide variety of organisations, including: profit-seeking companies in both manufacturing and the service sector; nationalised industries; public agencies and local authorities; non-profit seeking organisations; global multinationals; and owner-managed small firms.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • be able to critically analyse a specific issue or area of management or business in depth and to explore its significance in practice.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • be able to critically apply knowledge and different forms of reasoning to form a discriminating analysis of issues currently being experienced in specific organisational and business contexts;
  • be able to conduct an independent piece of advanced research, over a longer period of time than has been possible on the programme hitherto, thereby further developing analytical and research skills needed to explore business and management problems in depth;
  • produce a substantial piece of written work demonstrating critical analysis of a specific issue.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • have further developed the skills of self-organization and motivation in managing time and activities in working to a deadline.

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

  • Each student is allocated a supervisor to provide support throughout the dissertation phase, assisting with any queries, providing advice where appropriate, and monitoring progress towards achieving the learning outcomes. Supervision is normally provided at a distance and may be conducted by email, telephone, post or fax. This is considered appropriate, as the dissertation is underpinned by the core module ‘Methods of Inquiry’.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Individual Supervision 4
Research, Preparation and Writing 596
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation 15,000 words maximum 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

The Supervisor will provide feedback on one chapter.

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