Unit Information Form (UIF) UIF2014
Section 1 – General Unit Information
Changes made to section 1 of the UIF require Faculty level approval.
Unit Name InternationalBusiness Management Dissertation
Unit Code TBC
Credit Value 60
Location of Delivery Luton
Period of delivery Semester 2/3
Pre-requisites or Restrictions As required by progression regulations
Aims and Relevance The International Business Management Dissertationis the culmination of the Masters programme. It enables the student to undertake a sustained and focussed piece of postgraduate in-depth research in a Management/Business related area.
Its purpose is to bring together all the taught elements of the programme to reinforce their interrelationship, and to provide an experience that enables you to move forward from the understanding of a discrete knowledge base to synthesising and exploring new areas in more detail as required by the Dissertation.
The unit simulates the working environment where individuals are required in their assessments and their interaction with colleagues and supervisors to combine both tacit and explicit knowledge in different ways and increase and enhance their understanding in different areas.
The design of the International Business Management Dissertationgives you the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of management as well as the skills essential to conduct research. In particular,the first semester gives you the specific research skills and aptitudes necessary for you to take the knowledge and understanding you have developedintoyour individual assignments.In this unit, you initiallydemonstrate your research and writing capabilities with an Academic Poster, and a focussed Critique of a book chapter or journal article.
The culmination of this unit combines your knowledge and understanding in an [approved] complexresearchquestionof your choosing thatdefines your critical writingand thinking, and your analytical and reflective skills. You develop arguments that lead to a conclusion supported by evidence in the form of a substantial written secondary research Dissertation.
Syllabus Content Delivery of this unit takes place over two semesters (commencing semester two of your course), In the first week, we allocate you a supervisor to guide you through your assessments and your chosen Dissertation topic. It is ourintention that your supervisor remain with you for the two semesters to maintain continuity.
The emphasis of this unit is on independent learning. The pedagogical approach taken is that of Enquiry Based Learning (EBL), drawing on the use of case studies, individual independent work, arriving at your own [approved] research question, in consultation with your supervisor. Writing up your own piece of research in a Dissertation provides you with many of the skills needed for dealing with complex real-world business and management situations, thus aiding employability.
At the beginning of the unit, you encounter via fora and supervisor provided specific case studies a number of business scenarios or problems, together with a small number of chosen articles to read. This pack of information should help you to formulate your topic/research question, both for your Academic Poster and your Dissertation.Your topic has to be appropriate to your area of study, and needs to receive the formal agreement of the supervisory team.
The first semester provides you with a lecture, delivered weeklyalong with fortnightly individual and occasional group colloquies with your supervisor,and a number of specific fora delivered byacademics, administrators, library staff, or guest senior business managers. There are two assessed components in the first semester (semester two) of the unit.
Your supervisorguides youthroughout the International Business Management Dissertationunit, from helping you define your research question through the Academic Poster and Critique all the way to the submission of the Dissertation. Your supervisor meets you in week 2, then every other week in semester one to review draft assignment work and provide formative feedback on assignments (semester one) and every other week to guide and provide formative feedback on your Dissertation (semester two). These meetings are mandatory and form part of your learning contract, as is the submission of draft work in advance of specific meetings for mini-viva voces. The meetings must take place face to face. Students unable to attend these meetings require mitigation agreed by the Mitigation Team.
By the time you commence semester two, you should have an approved research question, formulated your objectives, and identifiedthe information needs to deal with the issues identified. The second semester contains a minimum of four colloquies with your supervisor, to guide you on your final Dissertation.
In addition to the taught elements in semester one, there will be 4 compulsory masterclasses/workshops in semester two,to help you hone the skills acquired in semester one for the professional construction of:your Literature Review, Methodology, Critical Writing, and presentation of all the required elements of the Dissertation.
It is a feature of good research practice that you keep a log of how your research develops.A good starting point might be the formal records of your colloquies, but typically would also include the literature searched, annotated materials, library records, descriptions of secondary data sources, any of which we may call upon for inspection during one of your colloquies (mini-viva voces).
Core learning outcomes
On completion of this unit you should be able to: Assessment number
1 Demonstrate both explicitly and tacitly a depth of knowledge and a systematic understanding of yourdiscipline, across specialist and applied areas.To be critically aware of, and deal with, complexity, gaps in knowledge/understandingand contradictions in their chosen topic’s current knowledge base with confidence, clarity and with a high level of criticality. 1
2 Select and use appropriate research techniques to synthesize materials across different subjects and functional areas systematically and critically.To create original responses to problems that expand or redefine existing knowledge or develop new approaches to changing situations appropriate to the intended audience(s). 1
Assessment number In order to pass the assessment you will need to:
1 Understand the context of a research topic, definingaresearch question(s)/objectives with your own research topic, which has an appropriate level of depth and breadth in your specificbusiness/course area.
Define the data requirements, identify an appropriate Methodology, be aware of a comprehensive set of information and data sources, identify appropriate literature for a Literature Review, anddemonstrate how the Academic Poster (Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, and Anticipated Outcomes) holistically might answer a specific research question.
Justify criticallyarguments with appropriate evidence throughout the work.
Synthesize and presentproposed research usingappropriate academic or professional language in a coherent and persuasive manner, displayed in a professional way.
2 Critically evaluate a single book chapter/journal article.
Identify and apply academic sources that both demonstrate and evidence your critique
3 Understand the context of a research topic, defininga research question(s)/objectives with your own research topic, which has an appropriate level of depth and breadth in their specific business/course area.
Define the data requirements, be aware of a suitably comprehensive set of information and data sources, identifying appropriate literature, and demonstrating how your Dissertation (Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, and Conclusions etc.) holistically answers your specific research question.
Review and prioritize the issues of the research topic, analyse information and data in a systematic and critical manner, and be able to justify your arguments with appropriate evidence. Synthesize information and results with clarity and criticality, with a logical development of argument. You should present the research with appropriate academic or professional language in a coherent manner.
Assessment of this unit consists of three components, Assessment One; an Academic Research Poster, Assessment Two; a Critique of an academic piece of work (book chapter or journal article), and finally, a Research Dissertation. In addition, there are a number of ‘touch’ points throughout the two semesters to ensure you are 'on track' with your assignments and wider writing. These points are a mandatory element as they allow you the opportunity to demonstrate your progress (submitted via Turnitin) against each assignment, and for your supervisor to offer formative guidance/assessment on the work submitted via mini viva voces.
The work you submit for formative feedback on an ideally fortnightly basis (or more regularly as advised by your supervisor) through Turnitin is vital for you to demonstrate your progress on every assignment and the Dissertation, and for your supervisor to guide you appropriately.
The Academic Poster: Is an important part of academic discourse, it allows you the opportunity to display an academic research proposal for critical discourse by both academics and students, and for you to have the opportunity to answer questions/defend the nature of the proposal
The Critique:Is a specific form of writing; it is neither a report, nor an essay in style or substance. It is an opportunity for you to demonstrate you can be academically critical. A critique is typically a precise analysis of an argument or set of arguments. You are required to determine what is said, how well it is said, what points were made, how well were they made. Perhaps also who is the intended audience, is there any evidence of bias, underlying assumptions or missing points? It is a systematic, but individual response to an article/book chapter underpinned by academic literature.
The Dissertation: The expectation of a Dissertation is that it is the culmination of your learning experiences during your time on the Masters programme, and a demonstrationof independent and individual research written up by you. Thus, the Dissertation is the final output of the International Business Management Dissertationunit.
The supportive environment of the colloquy is such that every student has many opportunities to discuss their work and receive regular feedback to optimise their mark/grade. The benefit of these sessions is immeasurable. However, supervisorsmay request a formal viva voce after you have submitted work (draft or final)or, if you fail to attend a colloquy.Theviva voce constitutes an important teaching and learning tool andis a recognised feature of the International Business Management Dissertationunit. Failure to defend your work successfully at a viva voce may result in an additional vivavoce on other work, an academic concern/offence, the failure of the unit, or a referral to the Academic Conduct Panel.
No Assessment Method Code Weight % Submission week Submission method Length of exam Outcomes being developed and assessed
1 Postgraduate Academic Poster 10 Week 6 Sem 1 e - Understand Analyse Synthesize
2 Academic Critique 15 Week 11 (Sem 1) e+hc - Synthesize Organize Apply
3 Dissertation 75 Week 13 Sem 2 e+hc - Analyse Synthesize Apply
This Unit focuses on the development of your abilities in the following areas:
Enquiry Extensively use of academic and reputable related information sources to provide a sound information base for the creation of the Academic Poster, Critique, andDissertation. Construct and synthesize information from a range of sources suitable to satisfy a variety of contextual situations. Explore, develop, and exchange information to derive new arguments for the application within different contextual purposes.
Contextual understanding Undertake a literature and data search drawing on a wide range of sources appropriate to the context of the research question. Develop ideas, research questions and objectives, recommendations and justifications to arguments and present these in writing. Integrate, organize and critically present discussion and results systemically following appropriate professional and academic convention and standards and appropriate to the intended audience(s).
Collaboration Engage intelligently with your supervisor, colleagues, and external partners/business leadersto develop your Academic Poster, Critique, and your Dissertation with appropriate level of presentation.
Enterprise Explore complex problems and provide a range of credible solutions against a variety of contextual scenarios. Develop systematic methodologies to uncertain problems to provide justified recommendations.
Code Activity Hours Revision period Final Assessment Total
Week(s) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14, 15
Lectures 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 12
Fora 1 1 1 1 4
Colloquy .25 .25 .25 .25 .25 .25 1.5
Poster Competition 2 2
e-learning activities 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 3 3 31
Poster/Critique or Dissertation drafting 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 60
Assessment Preparation 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 120
Supervisor Defined Research/Activity
Reading 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 60
Hours Per Week 24 24.25 24 24.25 24 24.25 26 24.25 23 24.25 24 24.25 290.5
Teaching Schedule (30 week Unit – Sem1)
Code Activity Hours Revision period Final Assessment Total
Week(s) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14, 15
Masterclasses 1 1 1 1 4
Colloquy .25 .25 .25 .25 .25 .25 1.5
e-learning activities 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 24
Library based research 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 50
Supervisor defined Dissertation activity 5 10 5 10 5 10 5 10 5 10 5 10 90
Dissertation Preparation 10 5 10 5 10 5 10 5 10 5 10 5 90
Reading 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 50
Hours Per Week 27.25 28 27.25 27 28.25 27 27.25 28 27 27.25 18 17.25 309.5
Teaching Schedule (30 week UnitSem 2)
Summary KIS data
Scheduled Guided Independent Autonomous Total Other
Total Hours 25 105 360 110 B C
Percentage 4.2 17.5 60 18.3 100%
Section 2 - Resources and Support
Once initial approval of the unit has been given, the Unit Co-ordinator may make changes to this section, following appropriate consultation
Core texts –
Brown, R. B. (2006), Doing Your Dissertation in Business and Management: The Reality of Researching and Writing, Sage Publications, London.
Ridley, D. (2008), The Literature Review. A Step-By-Step Guide for Students, Sage Publications, London.
Such is the potential for variety in your topic the two core textsare generic, designed to assist you primarily in writing your Dissertation, although much of the information contained you can apply to all of your assignments. You will however be expected to draw upon a variety of useful texts depending on the nature of the scenario. It is anticipated that you will consult books, academic journals, trade press, reputable newspapers, industry reports and, if appropriate, company annual reports and other information sources in the University Library, the Digital Library and reputable sources in the public domain.
SECTION 3– Administrative Information
Department Marketing, Tourism and Hospitality
Unit Co-ordinator Dr Simon Reilly
Version Number 1/14
Body approving this version University Approval.
Date of University approval of this version 20/08/2014
Shared Units – Indicate below all courses which include this Unit in their diet
Form completed by:
Name: Simon Reilly Date: August 2014
Authorisation on behalf of the Faculty Teaching Quality and Standards Committee (FTQSC)
Chair: ………………………………………………………… Date: …..…………………………………….
Date Nature of Update FTQSC Minute Ref: