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Module Title
Dissertation (Research Methods Route)

Dissertation, Data, Literature Review, Methodology, Critical analysis

SCQF Points60
ECTS Points30
CreatedJuly 2006
ApprovedAugust 2013
AmendedAugust 2013
Version No.3

This Version is No Longer Current
The latest version of this module is available here
Prerequisites for Module

Successful completion of BSM577 Research Methods.

Corequisite Modules


Precluded Modules


Aims of Module

To provide students with the opportunity to undertake supervised, independent research on a topic of their choice in an area related to their subject discipline, applying the associated research skills acquired in the Research Methods module, to produce a dissertation, which sheds new light on the selected topic and which may be able to create new knowledge and understanding.

Learning Outcomes for Module

On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to:

1. Critically evaluate a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods and to select data collection and analysis techniques appropriate to their dissertation.
2. Apply information retrieval techniques to access relevant published materials and prepare a literature review.
3. Undertake a major piece of independent research in an area related to their subject discipline, involving the design and implementation of an appropriate methodology and present and discuss the findings critically and coherently in writing.
4. Synthesise and apply in a practical context, the knowledge, understanding and skills developed in the taught elements of the programme.

Indicative Module Content

Philosophy and practice of national and international research; reviewing literature; qualitative and/or quantitative research techniques; surveys and sampling; information retrieval; project management; questionnaire design; data analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Research Ethics.

Indicative Student Workload

Contact Hours

Full TimePart TimeDistance Learning


Directed Study



Private Study



Mode of Delivery

This module consists of independent work. All students are allocated a dissertation supervisor at the earlier proposal stage in the Research Methods module. This supervisor continues to work with the student towards the development of their dissertation. Tutorial meetings or distance learning equivalent will be mutually agreed to help, direct and monitor the progress of the dissertation.

Assessment Plan

Learning Outcomes Assessed
Coursework 1,2,3,4

Assessment is based on the submission of a written 20,000 word dissertation.

Indicative Bibliography

1.GIRDEN, E.R., 2011. Evaluating research articles from start to finish. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
2.JOYNER, R.L., ROUSE, W.A. and GLATTHORN, A.A., 2013. Writing the winning thesis or dissertation: a step by step guide. 3rd ed. California: Corwin.
3.ROZAKIS, R., 2007. Schaum's quick guide to writing great research papers. 2nd ed. London: McGraw-Hill. ebook
4.SAUNDERS, M., LEWIS, P. and THORNHILL, A., 2016. Research methods for business students. 7th ed. Harlow: FT Prentice Hall. ebook
5.SEKARAN, U. and BOUGIE, R.,2016. Research methods for business. 7th ed. New York: John Wiley.

Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781