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PGBM115 MSc International Business Management Dissertation



Upon successful completion of this module, students will have demonstrated


K1. Identify specific substantive problems or issues within international business management or organisation or business sector placing them into a strategic context within the research investigation

K2. Identify and formulate research questions appropriate at a post-graduate level

K3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the research topic through an in-depth analysis of relevant literature

K4. Design appropriate research strategy to investigate the identified problem

K5. Design and undertake relevant qualitative and / or quantitative research as necessary to analyse the identified problem

K6. Analyse, interpret and critically evaluate information relevant to the research topic drawing conclusions about the results to assist the conduct of international business management


S1. Ability to act independently, with limited guidance in planning and undertaking research activity on international business management issues, demonstrating effective self-direction

S2. Ability to engage in critical thinking and being creative in organising, analysing, synthesising and appraising relevant literature

S3. Ability to collect data effectively, analyse, interpret and present findings in a manner that is clear and comprehensive


Utilising an applied business research methodology the dissertation will include the following elements:

• A clear abstract

• A clear account of the organisation/business sector being investigated

• A review of relevant academic literature and derivation of valid research questions both from the literature and the banking/finance sector issues

• A review of the methodological issues concerning the research question including critical evaluation of alternative research methodologies and their limitations

• A review of the research method adopted and data collection techniques including interviews, observations, and participant observation and their implications and limitations

• Interpretation and analysis of qualitative, and if appropriate quantitative data, using appropriate statistical and computational techniques

• A clear presentation of empirical findings and implications for the activities and operation of the organisation/business sector

• Reflection on the personal and organisational learning as a result of undertaking the project and how that learning relates to the programme as a whole.

By examining a specific problem or issue the student will be able to apply the knowledge

and techniques learned during their studies. The purpose is to equip the students with

some of the necessary tools and transferable skills which they can take with them into

their subsequent careers. Part of the formal teaching input will incorporate a series of

lectures which will signpost students to the key research issues. Themes for the lectures

will be:

Theme 1

Conducting a critical literature review in practice for applied research in finance and management - Research question and research objectives, illustrative examples.

Theme 2

Choosing and justifying a research framework and methodology for applied research in finance and management. Illustrative examples.

Theme 3.

Ethical issues relating to doing applied research finance and management, types of finance and management data and data sources.

Theme 4.

Qualitative data and applied qualitative finance and management research. Data collection, data presentation and methods of data analysis. Illustrative examples.

Theme 5.

Quantitative data and applied quantitative finance and management research. Data collection, data presentation and methods of data analysis. Illustrative examples.

Theme 6.

Mixed methods for doing applied research in finance and management - key issues and methods- Illustrative examples.

The workshops will reflect and develop the lecture content to enable a research proposal of approximately 1500 words to be developed during the initial phase of the module and working with the academic supervisor, the student will identify the key issues to be analysed within the main body of the dissertation. Following the approval of the chosen topic the student will begin the dissertation phase and its constituent research process will involve a series of one-to-one meetings. During these meetings the academic supervisor will:

• aid the student with the strategic context in which the project is being set as well as determining the scope of the literature review to be undertaken by the student

• help the student to clarify the research methodologies that will be used by the student in gathering data/ intelligence for the project

• discuss with the student the findings arising in the project and help the student to reflect upon the conclusions and recommendations of the project

• review with the student any final issues before submission


The project work will be conducted independently by the student, helped by an academic supervisor. The formal teaching component will be provided through the applied research methods element, which is scheduled to take place before commencement of the dissertation. In this element of the module a detailed research proposal will be developed by the student with support from the academic supervisor. The supervisor will assist the student to:

• help to refine and finalise the research proposal

• provide academic expertise and advice on literature review and use of appropriate

• methodology to underpin the project

• monitor the student's progress during the period of the dissertation preparation

• keeping records of all meetings

• encourage student to keep appropriate records of action and progress which could

• subsequently be included in the dissertation

• provide general support, direction and guidance as required throughout the research


Required For KIS return to HESA

Seq. Element % of module assessment weighting Summary Pass Mark LO Written exam – central timetable

(% of the element) Written exam – local timetable

(% of the element) Coursework

(% of the element) Practical

Students will be required to submit one written research work of 15,000 words containing a literature review, methodology, data analyse and conclusions assessment. This is a summative coursework, weighted at 100%. This will assess all module learning outcomes.

Note: As part of the development of the dissertation, the student will be required to complete a 1500 words research proposal which the academic supervisor will confirm as appropriate and provide feedback to enable the student to continue with the dissertation. This element will be formative to support the student in preparation for the dissertation phase.


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