AF6042 - Dissertation

What will I learn on this module?

The Dissertation module aims to equip you with the necessary intellectual and practical skills for undertaking an individual student-led, ethical investigation into an accounting, economics or finance (AEF) related problem or issue. In addition, the Dissertation aims to equip you with key transferable, employability skills: time management, project management, communication (written and verbal), negotiation, persuasion and
influence, discovery, initiative, creativity and innovation in problem-solving and analysis.
The module is student-led but you are supported by introductory lectures and seminars which introduce AEF research followed by one-to-one or small-group supervision meetings with an academic from the AEF subject discipline.

The lectures and seminar-IT workshops will provide a thorough grounding into undertaking an extended piece of research, focusing on:
• Refining a research aim/question (focusing and scoping the research) and project proposal
• Developing a literature review
• Researching ethically
• Quantitative research and analysis techniques
• Qualitative research and analysis techniques

Upon completion of the Dissertation module you will be able to:
• Conduct independent and ethical academic research involving the application and critical evaluation of appropriate theories and models.
• Generate or collect relevant primary or secondary data.
• Analyse your data using an appropriate and justified method of analysis.
• Engage critically with relevant literature to establish a framework in which to interpret the results of your research.
• Recognise the ethical implications of your work.

How will I learn on this module?

On this module you will learn through active engagement in research-rich learning. The module is predominantly enquiry-based but is also informed by a research-orientated, research-tutored and research-led curriculum. Lectures provide you with the underpinning knowledge necessary for undertaking an individual student-led investigation into a AEF related business problem worthy of academic investigation. The seminars-workshops provide you with opportunity to put this knowledge into practice for your own AEF related proposal. You will develop team and peer-review skills through group activities and reflection, helping you to identify areas for developing further your research proposal.

The one-to-one or small-group supervisions give you opportunity to seek guidance on the research process ahead of working with your allocated supervisor. Your supervisor will not instruct but will provide you with on-going formative feedback on your progress as you engage with the dissertation process. You will learn to develop effective skills essential for graduate employment in managing your dissertation: time
management, project management, communication (written and verbal), negotiation, persuasion and influence and innovation in problemsolving and analysis. A detailed guidelines handbook is provided for you via the eLP. A supporting electronic reading list provides you with key references to enable
you to undertake a more detailed and in-depth review of the research approach and methods that you choose to adopt for your own research. Examples of past dissertations are also available via the eLP. This independent learning will be further supported by various online materials housed within the module eLP covering key lectures and seminars interventions.

You will receive on-going formative feedback from your supervisor through your meetings starting with your research proposal and taking place throughout the period of your engagement with the dissertation process. A weekly webinar allows your ongoing contact with the module tutor and other students developing a AEF dissertation.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The selection of a suitable dissertation topic that is specific to the AEF discipline rests with you. However, to achieve this, you will be supported by the following academic staff:
• Lecture tutors.
• Seminar-workshop tutors.
• Supervisor.

From part-way through semester one through to submission of your dissertation, your key point of support is the supervisor. The dissertation module is led by an academic from the AFM department who has oversight of this supervisory and support processed, alongside responsibility for supporting the e-learning portal, allocation of supervisors and regular communication with students on the module. They will
provide ongoing support via the weekly webinar that further complements the formal inputs described above. In addition, you will be provided with support from your peers in the seminars-workshops.

The module’s e-learning portal acts as a repository for: lecture materials, seminars-workshops exercises and materials, exemplar dissertations and assessment details (including submission, plagiarism detection and marking criteria). In addition, the eLP houses the online reading list (including direct links to textbooks, journal papers, academic and conference reports) and various support facilities such as recordings of certain lectures. The eLP site will also provide a blended approach to learning housing various recordings of the module lectures and key seminar/IT workshop interventions that further support the classroom based study within the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Apply and critically evaluate appropriate concepts, theories and models relating to a subject of your choice within the AEF discipline. (MLO1)
• Establish a framework in which to appraise, analyse and synthesise the results of primary or secondary
research relating to your AEF research investigation. (MLO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Undertake independent primary or secondary research, adopting an evaluative and critical perspective,
thereby critically reflecting upon the research topic in the AEF arena and approach to its study. (MLO3)
• Develop and appraise key employability capabilities, including time management, project management,
communication (written and verbal), negotiation, persuasion and influence, discovery, initiative, creativity and innovation in problem-solving and analysis as a means of assessing personal development. (MLO4)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural
awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
Generate and analyse relevant primary or secondary data using an appropriate and critically justifie, method while evaluating the limitations of the data sources and the methods employed. (MLO5)
• Critically evaluate the ethical implications of the research work undertaken. (MLO6)

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment will take place through applied group-based activities in the IT workshops and seminars that will provide an initial input into the module. This formative assessment will be built on weekly through the 1-hour webinars hosted by the module tutor. You will be encouraged to discuss your
initial research ideas through peer review activities and discussions. You will receive on-going formative feedback from your supervisor based on the research proposal and throughout the period of your
engagement with the dissertation process. A comprehensive handbook of guidance will be given on this assessment. The eLP will be used to permanently host this detailed guidance, alongside a copy of the marking criteria, to ensure that students can access it throughout the dissertation process.

The summative assessment will be an individual 10,000 word dissertation based about your choice from the AEF discipline. This will assess the module learning outcomes MLO1-3 and MLO5-6 inclusive. In addition, you will be required to submit a 1,000 word reflective statement providing an individual assessment of how you have met the UG goals and objectives that underpin your programme and undergraduate study,
and in doing so, how you are prepared for either graduate employment or higher-level study. This will assess MLO4.





Module abstract

The Dissertation module takes an enquiry-based, research-rich approach and is your chance to engage with a specific topic, problem or issue of interest to you in accounting, economics and finance. As you develop your dissertation, your supervisor will support you to confirm your research area, generate empirical (primary) or secondary data and then analyse it to draw conclusions informed by theory.

The module aims to equip you with the intellectual and practical skills you need for leading your own responsible and ethical investigation. As well as further developing key transferable, employability and enterprise skills, you’ll learn to:

•Define feasible hypotheses and objectives for empirical research in accounting, economics and finance

•Draw on appropriate theories and concepts, and locate and compile data and information

•Apply appropriate techniques to analyse that data and test hypotheses

•Present analysis outcomes and results in a coherent final report

•Work independently and interactively engaging with other students working on their own projects.

Course info

UCAS Code L101

Credits 40

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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