Module Title:Dissertation Level 8
Language of Instruction:English
Credits: 10
NFQ Level:8
Module Delivered In 3 programme(s)
Teaching & Learning Strategies: Writing a dissertation involves the learner deciding what phenomenon to study, how to study it and within the established conventions of the relevant business research community. Thus the pedagogy of the module is student-centred, where learners are seen as active and responsible participants in the development of their learning. Learners will be allocated a dissertation supervisor to support the research process and will be able to draw on up to 15 minutes per week of advice and guidance from their supervisor. Class activities to support the research process include lectures and tutorial sessions, using small group activities and individual tasks contributing towards the development of research skills. The purpose of the lectures, seminars and practical classes is to address the theoretical and practical issues involved in business research. The module will also be supported with on-line learning materials.
Module Aim: The aim of this module is to give learners supervised guidance and research method training (through a series of research method lectures/workshops and individual dissertation supervision) in preparing their dissertation on an agreed research topic. It aims to develop students' research, critical writing and thinking skills and will provide students with the opportunity to apply the theories, ideas, skills and techniques from their programme of study to a research area of personal, academic and/or career interest to them. It is the intention of the dissertation module to develop a body of knowledge that contributes to the continuing evolution and development of business, both nationally and internationally.
Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this module the learner should be able to:
LO1 Develop an appropriate research question/hypotheses and write a research proposal for investigation.
LO2 Locate, analyse and synthesise a body of source material (including primary and secondary) appropriate to the research topic under investigation and undertake a comprehensive literature review using the Harvard System of Referencing.
LO3 Evaluate the research method options available to a researcher and justify the methodology chosen for the research question/hypotheses under investigation.
LO4 Conduct independent primary research to address the research aims/objectives of the dissertation demonstrating an awareness of the ethical issues to be considered in business research.
LO5 Critically assess, compare and discuss research findings with existing evidence.
LO6 Produce a research dissertation that demonstrates sound research skills with clarity of thinking and logical argumentation in drawing conclusions and recommendations for management theory and/or practice.
Pre-requisite learning
Module Recommendations

This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is recommended before enrolment in this module.

No recommendations listed
Incompatible Modules
These are modules which have learning outcomes that are too similar to the learning outcomes of this module.
No incompatible modules listed
Co-requisite Modules
No Co-requisite modules listed
This is prior learning (or a practical skill) that is mandatory before enrolment in this module is allowed.
No requirements listed

Module Content & Assessment

Indicative Content
Developing a Research Question
Starting a dissertation project and identifying a feasible research problem/question/ hypotheses; Techniques for generating a research topic and research Ideas; Defining research questions /hypotheses into a statement of problem and research objectives; what makes a good research proposal?; Writing and structuring a research proposal
Writing a Literature Review
The purpose of doing a literature review; Starting a literature search; The literature review process; Breadth and depth of material cited; Level of critical analysis; Integration of research objectives within the literature review; Using the Harvard Referencing System
Research Design
Research philosophy, research theory and methodology behind choice of research method; Emphasis on reasoning behind quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods design.
Ethics in Business Research
Key ethical issues in relation to the choice of research topic, Methods of data collection, The responsibilities of the researcher toward the research participants and the sharing of research findings and results; Compliance with IT Carlow Policy on Ethics in Research
Differences between probabilistic and non-probabilistic sampling strategies and for which type of research they are best suited; Sampling techniques
Data Collection
Choice of data collection methods (Interviews & Interview Schedules; Surveys/Questionnaires; Focus Groups; Case Studies; Ethnography; Experiments; Critical Incident Techniques; Content Analysis; E-Research Methods); Justification for research method chosen; How to construct a data collection tool in the context of either quantitative or qualitative research; The Importance of quality (including Reliability, Validity, Feasibility, Limitations and Ethical Research); Project management, effort and originality.
Data Analysis, Results and Findings
Key principles in both quantitative and qualitative data analysis; Data Analysis using SPSS, Statistical Thinking and/or Nvivo (SPSS classes assist students as follows, Using the Data Editor: Data Coding and Entry; Defining Variables; Value labels; Missing values; and, Modifying and recoding data values; Analysing and interpreting data: Frequencies; Descriptive Statistics; Explore and Cross tab procedures; and, Multiple Response Procedures; Exploring Sub-Groups of datasets: Select procedure and the split file procedure; Linear Correlation and Regression; Normal distribution; Confidence Intervals; Introduction to Hypothesis Testing (parametric, non-parametric); Using the Output Editor: Creating and modifying Charts; Changing TableLooks; Exporting tables and charts to other applications; and, Statistical Thinking); Expression and presentation of results; basis of results; final results
Writing a Critical Discussion
Discussion of problems and evidence; Discussion related to the literature; Synthesis of arguments made; Professionalism of discussion
Writing Conclusions and Recommendations
Relationship of conclusions to objectives; Strength of conclusions; Research Recommendations (feasibility, appropriateness).
The Written Report/Dissertation
Structure of a research dissertation; Standard of expression; Final checks on referencing (accuracy, completeness); Professionalism of report.
Other Relevant Information on Dissertation
Dissertation Document comprising of between 10,000 to 12,000 words; Individually appointed supervisor; Maintenance of Weekly Supervision Logbook; Oral presentation may be required; .
Assessment Breakdown%
Continuous Assessment100.00%
Continuous Assessment
Assessment Type Assessment Description Outcome addressed % of total Assessment Date
Other Research Proposal -Formative Assessment 1 5.00 Week 3
Other Literature Review - Formative Assessment 2 5.00 Week 9
Other Research Methodology Chapter -Formative Assessment 3 5.00 Sem 1 End
Other Dissertation 10,000-12,000 words 1,2,3,4,5,6 85.00 Sem 2 End
No Project
No Practical
No End of Module Formal Examination

SETU Carlow Campus reserves the right to alter the nature and timings of assessment


Module Workload

Workload: Full Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Lecturer-Supervised Learning (Contact) Every Week 0.25
Independent Learning Every Week 5.75
Lecture Every Week 2.00
Laboratory Every Week 1.00
Total Hours 9.00
Workload: Part Time
Workload Type Frequency Average Weekly Learner Workload
Contact Hours Every Week 0.25
Independent Learning Time Every Week 7.25
Lecture Every Week 1.50
Total Hours 9.00

Module Delivered In

Programme Code Programme Semester Delivery
CW_BBBBM_B Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Management 7 Mandatory
CW_BBSCM_B Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Supply Chain Management 7 Mandatory
CW_BRLMB_B Bachelor of Business(Honours) in Management 4 Mandatory