I have already completed the proposal of dissertation, although I would require the rest be completed to the topic my next step is , proposal work attached.The whole dissertation without references and Headings should count 11000, I can also send the Guidance on Dissertation.Use Arial 12pt as your default font, and the following sections in order:
Table of Contents
List of Tables & Figures
First Chapter – Introduction (research purpose and objectives)
Chapters 2 Literature Review
Chapter 3- Research Methods,
Chapter 4- Data Description (this chapter is often combined with Chapter 5 depending on the nature of your research) etc.
Chapter 5 – Data Analysis (alternatively this chapter may be called Discussion and Analysis)
Chapter 6 – Chapter 6 – Conclusions and Recommendations,
Final Chapter – Conclusions and Recommendations
Dissertation Title = BOLD, CAPITALS, 18 point
Chapter Titles = bold, Initial Capitals, 14 point
Sub-headings = bold, as Chapters but 12 point.
Reference list that are single-line spacing, Use the Harvard Reference system throughout. Do not use footnotes. Limit your use of direct quotes from secondary information sources to the absolute minimum. A single list in alphabetical order by author or organisation of all of the works cited in your text. If you have cited a source in your text then there must be an associated reference. Similarly if you have referenced a source then there must be an associated citation in your text. The Reference list must not be in bullet- or numbered-list format.
You must cite and reference all the literature that you discuss and refer to in the Dissertation. The reason for this is so others can refer to your sources so it must be traceable. The format used for referencing literature is the Harvard Referencing system.
15-1309 Ewelina Diss Porposal Economic value added Dissertation proposal Student name Programme Matric number Table of Contents Title ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….4 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….4 Scope of research and rationale …………………………………………………………………….5 Aim ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..5 Objectives ………………………………………………………………………………………………………6 Literature review ……………………………………………………………………………………………..7 Usefulness and limitations of common performance measures ………………………….7 EVA – advantages and limitations …………………………………………………………………8 Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………….9 Research methods …………………………………………………………………………………………10 Outline ………………………………………………………………………………………………………10 Sample selection criteria and period of study …………………………………………………10 Key variables ……………………………………………………………………………………………..11 Analysis technique ……………………………………………………………………………………..12 Timeline ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….13 References ……………………………………………………………………………………………………14 Title Relationship of stock market performance and financial parameters of UK banks: EVA versus commonly used financial ratios Introduction The objective of the proposed research is to compare the suitability and reliability of various financial parameters in explaining the stock market performance. Economic value-added is a value-based performance measure, focusing on the value creation by the company (Haddad 2012). Performance measurements have moved from profit maximisation to wealth maximisation and currently to value maximisation (Jensen 2002). Traditionally applied financial parameters generated from the financial accounts made based on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, such as return on assets, return on equity and earnings per share are used to evaluate organisations. However according to Abdeen and Haight (2011) several adjustments can be made to internal accounting treatment distorting the true measures. For example return on equity and return on assets are commonly used performance measures; however with the shortcoming that maximisation of the rate of return does not always maximise the returns for shareholders. Economic value-added is considered as a superior method for measuring profitability or value creation as it considers the cost of capital and hence the risk of operations of the organisation (Shah et al., 2015). Scope of research and rationale Financial performance of four UK banks – Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC would be compared among themselves and with each other to identify whether the financial performance measures are actually indicating the market value represented through share price of the firm. Economic value-added and other commonly measured performance indicators would be calculated for a three year period and regressed with the stock performance over the same period to identify whether the firm’s value addition is in line with the movement of the stocks. HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays and RBS are the four largest UK based banks in terms of size (HSBC- £100.3 Billion, Lloyds- £55.5 Billion, Barclays- £42.3 Billion, RBS- £37.9 Billion). Banking has witnessed good prospects since 2011 after facing significant pressures due to the recession and hence measuring the stock market performance of these 4 banks over a 3 year period would make a valid and reliable comparison. Aim The aim of the research is to identify the relevance of EVA and commonly used financial parameters in predicting the stock market performance of organisations. It is proposed to compare various financial performance measures of four selected banking/financial companies (HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays and RBS) by applying economic value-added and the generally accepted financial ratios (return on equity, return on assets, earnings per share) from the accounts prepared through the methods prescribed under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). Objectives The objectives of the research are 1. To critically analyse the various performance measures used to evaluate organisations in general and banks in particular 2. To critically analyse the usefulness of commonly used performance measures in forecasting stock market prices 3. To analyse the modern concept of Economic Value Added-based performance measure 4. To calculate various performance measures of Lloyds, Barclays and HSBC 5. To evaluate the relationship between the performance measures of HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays and RBS to the stock price movement Literature review Valuation of organisations are made based on earnings, profitability, cash flow and more recently based on residual income (Imam et al., 2013). According to Jensen (2002) analysing the financial performance of organisations in the recent years has incorporated an array of measures. Usefulness and limitations of common performance measures The most common measure used by analysts is the earnings of an organisation; however according to Abdeen and Haight (2011) the discretionary nature of earnings makes it an unreliable indicator for analysis. A large number of research studies have been conducted to evaluate the information content of financial ratios and other financial performance indicators to identify the value of organisations (Brigham and Ehrhardt 2013). Profitability of organisations are analysed based on earnings per share, return on equity, return on assets and return on investment (Imam et al., 2013). However Shah et al., (2015) considers these measures as unreliable as they do not include the cost of capital. As per Abdeen and Haight (2011) these financial performance measures are prejudiced by the accounting principles based on accrual methods. The concept of economic value-added stands out from other financial performance measures according to Haddad (2012) and Shah et al., (2015). Economic value added measures the difference between after-tax profitability and the total cost of capital and hence as per Haddad (2012) indicates the actual profit off an organisation. EVA – advantages and limitations The performance of the organisation, reflected through the stock prices hence should have correlation with economic value-added and the studies by Athanassakos (2007) and Abdeen and Haight (2011) have corroborated the same. The study by Haddad (2012) identified that economic value-added has high correlation with the stock prices and higher than the other commonly used financial performance measures and profitability indicators such as financial ratios. The study by Biddle et al., (1998) measures the ability of economic value-added to explain the movement of stock prices using the data from United States stocks over a ten-year period. However the study seems to have considered the earliest methods of economic value added measure commonly considered the residual income rather than the modern methods; however identifies the increasing usage of economic value-added by investors and analysts. The more recent study by Ismail (2006) again studies the information content of economic value-added and other financial performance measures to explain the stock price movem
ent for the UK market over a large sample (more than 2000 firms). Ismail’s (2006) study is very much in line with the proposed study. However, Ismail (2006) finds that economic value-added as a measure is outperformed by the revenues and profitability of organisation in explaining the stock price movements. In fact Ismail’s study considers that economic value-added does not provide any incremental information from the other commonly accepted financial performance measures, however perplexingly goes on to conclude this measure can in fact identify and capture the unexplained variations in spite of any evidence. The study by Palliam (2006) again very similar to Ismail (2006) and the proposed research used economic value-added to evaluate stock returns. A range of commonly used financial performance measures were compared with economic value-added and similar to Ismail, Palliam (2006) also questions the rationale for using EVA. However the researcher’s method for measuring the capital invested in assets is questionable and furthermore the calculation of other financial performance indicators had significant cosmetic adjustments, even though the researcher indicates that such adjustments have not affected the reliability of the study. Summary Hence there is conflicting research evidence about the information content of economic value-added in analysing the performance of organisations and its ability to predict the stock price movements. It is pertinent to note that financial ratios are of recent origin and analysts and investors are using a large variety of them with modern ones being added regularly. One example is the “F-score” developed by Joseph Piotorski in around 2000 to identify future out performers based on a set of measurement criteria. With the diminishing levels of information asymmetry, more number of people are able to evaluate organisations with the help of new financial parameters and gradually they become unreliable in predicting and even explaining the movement of stock prices as new ones are included and investment decisions are made based on new measures. In this context it would be pertinent to evaluate the information content of economic value added measure as a predictor to stock price movements by considering it along with other commonly used financial performance measures for the immediate past. Research methods Outline It is proposed to conduct a purely quantitative research by adopting a philosophical position of positivism and a deductive approach. Positivist philosophy belongs to epistemological foundations and considers that knowledge is based on natural phenomena and their relationship (Saunders et. al. 2009). Hence an empirical study based on verifiable data and commonly accepted methods of analysis with scientific basis would be pursued during the research. A deductive reasoning and logic would be adopted to find data sources to support arguments and hence the conclusions would be based on the premises gained from analysis of data (Bryman and Bell 2011). Sample selection criteria and period of study The research would be based on secondary data. The objective of the study is to evaluate the influence of various financial parameters in understanding and analysing organisational performance and hence to be used in investment decisions (stock market). With this objective, it is proposed to analyse the largest for banking organisations in the UK, taken as a sample. The data collected from the published financial sources for HSBC, Lloyds, Barclays and RBS would be used for the study. The data would be collected from published annual reports of the four banks. It is proposed to calculate the performance indicators from the financial data for a threeyear period (2012, 2013 and 2014). Key variables The key variables to be considered for the study would be the following financial performance indicators and the stock market data for the four banks. The following financial parameters would be calculated for every quarter over a three-year period. The average stock price of the four banks for all the quarters would also be calculated. 1. Return on equity (Net Income / Shareholders Equity) 2. Return on assets (Net Income / Total Assets) 3. Earnings per share and (Net Income – Dividends on Preferred Stock / average outstanding shares) 4. Economic Value-Added (Net Operating Profit after Tax Is – Capital x cost of capital) The economic value-added would be computed considering the bank’s net operating profit after taxes minus the cost of equity capital. The cost of equity capital is a product of the expected return and the equity capital of the bank. The economic value-added when negative indicates the organisation unable to add value to the shareholder whereas a positive economic value added measure indicates the bank has added value to shareholders investment. The comparison would be conducted with the help of economic value-added and other performance measures for each bank for the three year period. Analysis technique A regression analysis would be conducted by taking stock price movements over a three-year period. The independent variable would be the stock prices and the dependent variable would be the above-mentioned financial performance measures. The objective is to analyse and identify which of the performance measures are clearly portraying and correlating with the stock price movement. Based on the analysis, the feasibility of Economic Value-Added as a performance measure can be identified for the four banks. The regression analysis would be conducted with the help of SPSS. Timeline Weeks 1st Week 2nd Week 3rd Week 4th Week 1st Week 2nd Week 3rd Week 4th Week 1st Week 2nd Week 3rd Week 4th Week 1st Week 2nd Week 3rd Week 4th Week 1st Week 2nd Week 3rd Week 4th Week 1st Week 2nd Week 3rd Week 4th Week Introduction and background work Developing theoritical background Discussion and review with tutor, revisions Finalising review of literature Finalising research design identifying data sources and collecting financialdata Calculating EVA and other financial performance measures Regression analysis and subsequent evaluation Further research and discussion on results Conslusions of report Discussion and review with tutor, revisions 1 Week Finalisation, revisions and submission 1 Week Gantt Chart 2 Weeks 2 Weeks 2 Weeks 3 Weeks 4 Weeks 4 Weeks 2 Weeks 2 Weeks February March 3 Weeks (Contingencies) October November December January 2 Weeks 2 Weeks References Abdeen, A.M., & Haight, G.T., (2011) A fresh look at economic value added: Empirical study of the fortune five-hundred companies. Journal of Applied Business Research (JABR), 18(2) Athanassakos, G., (2007) Value based management, EVA and stock price ‐ performance in Canada, Management Decision, 45(9), 1397 – 1411 Biddle, G.C., Bowen, R.M. and Wallace, J.S., (1998) Economic value added: some empirical EVAdence, Managerial Finance, 24(11), 60 – 71 Brigham, E., and Ehrhardt, M., (2013) Financial management: theory & practice, Cengage Learning Bryman, A. and Bell, E., (2011) Business Research Methods. 3rd ed. Oxford University Press: New York Fernandez, P., (2013) EVA and cash value added do NOT measure shareholder value creation. Available at SSRN 270799 Haddad, F.S., (2012) The Relationship between economic value added and stock returns: Evidence from Jordanian banks. International Research Journal of Finance and Economics, 89, 6-14. Imam, S., Chan, J., and Shah, S.Z.A., (2013) Equity valuation models and target price accuracy in Europe: Evidence from equity reports, International Review of Financial Analysis, 28, 9-19 Ismail, A., (2006) Is economic value added more associated with stock return than accounting earnings? The UK evidence, International Journal of Managerial Finance, 2(4), 343 – 353 Jensen, M.C., (2002) Value maximization, stakeholder theory, and the corporate objective function. Business ethics quarterly, 12(02), 235-256. Martin, J.D., & Petty, J.W., (2001) Value based management: the corporate response to the shareholder revolution. Oxford University Press Palliam, R., (2006) Further evidence on the information content of econ
omic value added, Review of Accounting and Finance, 5(3), 204 – 215 Shah, R., Haldar, A., & Rao, S.V.D., (2015) Economic Value Added: Corporate Performance Measurement Tool, Corporate Board, 11(1) Saunders M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A., (2009) Research Methods for Business Students, 5th ed. Pearson Education: Harlow
_________________________________________________________________ Undergraduate Dissertation Module 2015/6 Study Guide SOE10133 Edinburgh University The Business School • The Business School • Edinburgh Napier University • Edinburgh • First published by Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland © 2011. Revised 2014. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means – electronic, electrostatic, magnetic tape, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise – without permission in writing from Edinburgh Napier University, 219 Colinton Road, Edinburgh, EH14 1DJ, Scotland. Contents Page 1 Introduction……………………………………………………..………….……….. 2 2 The Supervision Process……………………………………………..…….……. 14 3 Assessment 1: Proposal…………………………………………………………. 17 4 Assessment 2: Dissertation………………………………………………………. 30 5 Dissertation Submission Details………………………………………………….. 43 6 Plagiarism…………………………………………………………………………… 49 7 Reassessment………………………………………………………………………. 50 2 Honours Dissertation Introduction Welcome to the Honours Dissertation Module. This Study Guide is to help you through the Dissertation process and to assist you with the assessments that are required to successfully pass this Module. The Module will commence with a series of lectures and workshops. Thereafter, you will be supported in your studies by your Supervisor as you undertake your Dissertation. If you have any queries as you work through this Module you should direct these in the first instance to your Supervisor. Wishing you good luck in your studies and I hope that you will enjoy the Dissertation Module. 3 Honours Dissertation 1 What is the Module about? The Honours Dissertation Module is a 40-credit Module that introduces you to the research process and gives an overview of the concepts associated with conducting research. There are in effect two elements to the Module; the first is the taught element that will provide you with a thorough grounding in the research process and how to manage your own study, the second is the Dissertation stage itself. This is what you will be assessed on. However it is only possible for you to conduct a proper piece of academic research if you are familiar with the relevant ideas, concepts and requirements. This is why it is critical that you attend the lectures and workshops, keep up to date with the reading of material, and maintain contact with your Supervisor. The aims of the Module are: To provide you with the experience of designing, managing and completing a substantial research project To provide you with the opportunity to apply theories and concepts learned in previous Modules to a relevant problem or issue in your research On completion of this module, you will be able to: 1: Identify a topic for systematic investigation, analysis and evaluation 2: Establish a research aim and research objectives 3: Select and justify appropriate research methodologies 4: Critically assess literature relevant to the research to be undertaken 5: Prepare a research proposal 6: Collect, analyse and evaluate primary and/or secondary data and produce conclusions and recommendations The great thing about this Module is that, not only will you develop the skills associated with the above aims, but you will also enhance existing skills such as using your initiative, time-management, prioritising, problem solving and many others. These are all key skills that employers are increasingly valuing, and completing a successful Dissertation is an excellent way to demonstrate them. 4 Honours Dissertation Studying this Module This Study Guide has been written to support you as you attend the lectures and workshops and as you work on your own through the Dissertation process. You will be supported in your studies by your Supervisor once your Dissertation is underway. As regards the structure and content of this Module there are a number of points that you need to be aware of. Firstly, this Module will be delivered via six two-hour lecture sessions in teaching weeks 2 – 7 and three one-hour workshops which will normally be held in weeks 3, 7 and 9. The workshop sessions are organised on a Programme basis, so please check your timetable as some students may have sessions timetabled differently. An outline of the Module teaching material will usually be made available on Moodle before each taught session. You may wish to print out the lecture slides as Powerpoint handouts and bring these with you to the lectures. Much of the Lecture material will involve going over examples and providing more detailed discussion to that provided in the PowerPoint handouts and so it will be beneficial to write down these important points on the appropriate slide handouts you bring with you to each lecture. The workshops will be practical sessions which will focus on how to tackle certain aspects of your research e.g. to prepare a dissertation outline and a research proposal, and how to use a particular research method. Moodle will be used throughout the module and students should familiarise themselves with the materials and information available. Materials and information will be added at appropriate points throughout the module; you should access the Moodle page at least once a week for new information. Assessments There are two separate, but related, assessments. There is no formal exam, however, students may occasionally be called to attend an oral examination (viva) if examiners require further clarification of a student’s dissertation research e.g. to establish whether a dissertation has attained a pass standard in borderline cases, or to establish the level of understanding the student has relating to their dissertation research. Prior to submitting the two assessments, you must first submit a Dissertation Outline. Although no marks are awarded for the Dissertation Outline, it is a requirement in order to progress with the module and in the allocation of a Supervisor for your Dissertation research. The first assessment is worth 25% of the Honours Dissertation Module mark and involves producing an Honours Dissertation Proposal. This will form the basis of your Dissertation and it is therefore vital that you submit a suitable piece of work. 5 Honours Dissertation Guidance on how this assessment should be approached is provided later in this Guide and will also be covered in detail in the relevant lecture and workshop session. The second assessment is by way of your Dissertation, and this is worth 75% of the Honours Dissertation Module mark. Both your Proposal and Dissertation will be marked by your Supervisor. A sample of proposals will be independently double marked and all final dissertation submissions will be double marked. A sample of proposals and dissertations will also be marked by an external examiner. Penalties for late submissions The penalty for late submission of assessments is 5% per day. Please liaise with your supervisor if you think you will have a problem submitting your Proposal on time. The submission deadline for the Dissertation is final and no extensions can be granted. However, if you have extenuating circumstances, you may submit an application to the University on these grounds. If your application is upheld, you may be granted more time to complete your dissertation. Study Time At the beginning of the module, you may feel that the Dissertation submission date is far away; however you should be aware that research always takes longer than you think so you are strongly advised to keep up to date with the module material and make sure you progress according to the indicative milestones provided in the timetable. The key to managing your time is to keep constantly monitoring where in the Dissertation you should be and where you actually a
re. If you feel you are slipping behind you need first to work out the cause and second to resolve whatever it is that is keeping you behind. If necessary contact your Supervisor if you think you are experiencing problems that could seriously impact on your ability to submit the Dissertation on time. It is always better to raise such problems with your Supervisor rather than to just ‘hope’ you can catch up. 6 Honours Dissertation Student Prizes Every year, we continue to award student prizes for excellent dissertation submissions. These are awarded at the student graduation ceremonies and are a very worthwhile achievement. Continuing annual prizes include: Alan Forrest Honours Dissertation Statistics Prize – to be awarded to the student who makes the best use of statistics in their dissertation John MacAndrew Memorial Prize – to be awarded for the most outstanding Business School dissertation 7 Honours Dissertation Keeping in touch and staff contacts If you have any queries relating to this Module you should first check for the relevant information on the Dissertation Study guide, the module Moodle page, the teaching materials and your lecture/ workshop notes. If the answer to your particular query is not available through these means, then contact your individual Dissertation Supervisor or the Module Administrator in the first instance. If you have any queries relating to your research for your dissertation, it is best to discuss these issues with your supervisor, either in person or by email. If you are unable to find answers to any administrative queries, for example, concerning assessment submissions, submission dates etc. you should contact the Module Administrator: Dissertation Coordinators A team of Dissertation Coordinators manage the allocation of supervisors, marking processes etc. within each of their subject areas. An up-to-date list of coordinators is provided on the Moodle page. If you are experiencing any issues relating to your supervision e.g. if you have been unable to make contact or have had no response from your supervisor within a reasonable timeframe, then you may wish to contact the relevant Dissertation Coordinator for your dissertation subject area. Module Leader If any unresolved issues remain after following the above guidance, then please get in touch with me, the Module Leader, and I will try to help as much as I can. 8 Honours Dissertation Further Reading and Other Resources There are many useful textbooks in the area of research methods and dissertations and a few are listed below. You may wish to buy a text to have to hand, but before you decide which to buy, take a look at the books either in the library or online to see which style you prefer. Textbooks on Methods Title: Essentials of Business Research: A Guide to Doing your Research Project Author: Wilson Publisher: Sage Publications Published: London ISBN: 978-1-4462-5733-3 (PB) Title: Research Methods for Business and Social Science Students Authors: Adams, Khan and Raeside Publisher: Sage Publications Published: New Delhi ISBN: 978-81-321-1366-9 (PB) Title: Business Research Methods Authors: Bryman and Bell Publisher: OUP Published: Oxford ISBN: 0199284989 Textbooks on the Dissertation process Title: Your Undergraduate Dissertation Authors: Walliman Publisher: Sage Publications Published: London ISBN: 0761941401 Title: How to write your undergraduate dissertation (Palgrave Study Skills) Authors: Greetham Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Published: London 9 Honours Dissertation ISBN: 023021875X Title: Dissertations and project reports (Palgrave Study Skills) Authors: Cottrell Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Published: London ISBN: 1137364262 Journals There are many academic journals relevant to all areas of business that you will have studied on your Programme. You are expected to read many sources of literature relevant to your chosen research topic including academic journal publications. You will be given advice on library searching and critical reading of the literature during the lecture sessions. 10 Honours Dissertation Overview of Lectures An overview of the topics to be covered during the Lectures is as follows: Lecture 1 Introduction The Research Cycle Choosing a Dissertation Topic Aim, Research Objectives, Questions and Hypotheses Lecture 2 Why do a Literature Review? Performing a Literature Search Lecture 3 Research Design Primary and Secondary Data Sampling approaches Overview of Data Collection Methods Analyses of Qualitative Data Lecture 4 Survey Design and Quantitative Methods of Analyses Lecture 5 Making the Literature Review work for your Dissertation Lecture 6 Research in Practice Research Ethics Structure of the Honours Dissertation and the Supervision Process Overview of Workshops As mentioned in an earlier section of this guide, workshop sessions are designed according to your particular Programme of Study, and may vary from the outline presented in this guide. For more information, please check the Dissertation Moodle page and your timetable. 11 Honours Dissertation Workshop 1 Preparing the Research Outline Workshop 2 Developing the Outline into a full Research Proposal Workshop 3 Workshop on Research Methods It is important that you familiarise yourself with the different aspects associated with this Module as it will be unlike any Module that you have covered before. Here you get a chance to demonstrate independent learning by applying theoretical concepts covered in previous Modules to a research project of your choosing. You will be responsible for managing this project and ensuring that you meet the overall Module and Programme requirements. Guidelines for work This Study Guide is complementary to the lecture and workshop material that you will receive (in the form of information, further guidance and lecture slides provided on Moodle) and provides information on the formal requirements of the Dissertation and sets out guidelines on presentation. Your Dissertation must cover a topic related to material covered on your Programme. You should select a topic related to your Programme, and if you are on a Business Management or Business Studies Programme with a ‘with route’, you must select a topic in the area of the ‘with route’. For example, if you are studying Business Management with Marketing, then you must choose a dissertation topic in an area of Marketing which relates to your degree studies. There are several key requirements that you must adhere to if you are to produce a high quality and interesting piece of work: 1 Define the Topic This is of critical importance. You must focus on a specific problem, opportunity or issue. Many students that struggle do so because their topic is ill-defined or simply too broad to cover in detail in the time available. It is likely that your topic will change slightly as your research progresses, and this is a natural aspect of 12 Honours Dissertation research conducted in practice. However, a study that evolves to take account of the research process is acceptable whereas a study that jumps from issue to issue because the context has been ill-defined will ultimately result in a fragmented piece of work. 2 Mixture of Theory and Practice The Dissertation is your opportunity to show to others what you know about the wider subject areas covered on the taught elements of the Programme. This means that you must base your study on acknowledged theoretical or conceptual frameworks. In effect you take theoretical elements covered on some of your Modules and you apply them in a practical way through your research. 3 Primary and Secondary Information Primary information is new information that is collected directly by the researcher (you) for the purpose of a specific study (the Dissertation). Secondary information is that which has previously been collected or published. Your Dissertation will probably make use of both these types of information. In the early stages you will tend to make use of secondary sources of information such as relevant literature, research findings, company reports, government statistics etc. Y
ou may also collect your own information whether by survey, interviews, case studies etc. (primary data). It is not always necessary to collect primary data for your dissertation; it is perfectly reasonable to use secondary data, providing the information you require to answer your research objectives is available. If you decide to make use of secondary information or data, you must show that you have analysed this information in a way that has not already be done or published by anyone else. The analysis of the secondary information will be the novel element of your dissertation, and lead to new findings for discussion. Once you have analysed your information or data, whether primary or secondary information, you must compare your own findings to previously published results, comparing and contrasting your findings to that already published. 4 Analysis and Interpretation Research findings should not just be presented and described. You must analyse the information using the correct techniques whether by statistical analysis or by a more interpretive approach. You must then think carefully about 13 Honours Dissertation what your results actually mean, how they relate to your research objectives, and how they relate to what previous research has discovered. 5 Logical Conclusions and Recommendations Conclusions should flow logically from the findings. This is a crucial element of research. You cannot base your conclusions on results and findings that you do not have; similarly your conclusions must be based on your findings following analysis and interpretation of the information or data presented. In addition, you also need to reflect on the overall validity and merits of your study and describe what limitations your study has, there are always some! Try to make sensible and practical recommendations based on your findings. This will show that your research has real academic value. Also discuss how the body of knowledge could be extended by recommending areas that could be researched in the future. VERY handy hint… It is never too early to start your Dissertation, including the actual document that you will submit at the end of your research. It is a good idea to set up your document early and this means you can start to enter material in the relevant sections. For example, if you start to read the literature you can begin to compile your reference section and also enter basic ideas into your Literature Review chapter. All of your ideas and notes will soon build up and before you know it you will have started to write up many of your chapters and other sections. This avoids the problem of actually sitting down with blank pages in front of you not knowing how to start a 10,000 – 12,000 word piece of work. And always, always, back up your work! 14 Honours Dissertation The Supervision Process You will submit your Research Outline by the date due (instructions will be provided on Moodle) and based on this information you will be allocated a supervisor. This will be a member of academic staff from one of the cognate groups in the Business School or sometimes from a department in another faculty. He/she will be an experienced supervisor and have some expertise within your broad area of study (e.g. business policy, marketing, personnel) or on the research methods relevant to your research. It is your responsibility to keep in contact with your supervisor, and not vice-versa. The supervisor’s role is to help you throughout the research process, and to advise you on the standard of your work. Mode of contact with the supervisor will vary and may include face-to-face or email discussions, one-to-one meetings or group supervisory meetings. The supervisor will give advice, to the best of his/her ability, but will not tell you what to do. The final responsibility for the Dissertation rests with you and not your supervisor! The responsibilities of your supervisor include: Giving advice about focussing your research, the planning of the research project, and about literature and sources. (meeting 1) Giving feedback on your submitted proposal, and discussing issues relating to proposed methodology and research instrument. (meeting 2) Giving feedback on your draft literature review, discussing data gathering, issues of analysis and presentation. (meeting 3) Reviewing your complete draft dissertation provided this is received in sufficient time as advised by your supervisor. Your supervisor will: make appropriate arrangements to ensure they can give their full attention during supervisory meetings be accessible to advise on problems if reasonable notice is given provide verbal feedback on written work along with handwritten or typed comments as appropriate 15 Honours Dissertation 2 make you aware of any periods when he/she is unavailable to give advice be supportive and give constructive criticism ensure that you are made aware if your progress is inadequate or if the standard of work is below that generally accepted Your responsibilities include: Meeting the submission deadlines and maintaining the progress of work in accordance with the stages outlined in your handbook and agreed with your supervisor Attending meetings, organised at your own initiative, on time. If you must cancel a meeting this should be for a good reason and you should inform your supervisor as early as possible. Taking notes whilst at supervision meetings to record advice and action points agreed with your supervisor. You may use the Supervision Meeting Record Sheet which is included in this section of the Study Guide, and you are advised to fill this out as your meeting comes to a close. You may also find it useful to keep a research diary for this purpose. Taking the initiative in raising problems or difficulties Submitting any draft chapters 4 working days in advance of supervisory meetings (Note: For supervisors working part-time , more than 4 working days may be needed) and submitting final draft dissertations to Supervisors by the date set by your supervisor. These are guidelines only and firm dates need to be agreed with your individual supervisor. Note that it is not unreasonable for supervisors to expect your final draft well in advance of the final submission date as they are likely to have many drafts to read as well as their other work commitments. Ensuring that your work is complete and proof read before submission. You should agree with your supervisor if drafts should be submitted by email or in printed form. In order to be successful in your dissertation you must: put in the required effort show initiative and work independently 16 Honours Dissertation plan and organise your time effectively act on the advice given by your supervisor to improve your work 17 Honours Dissertation Supervision Meeting Record Sheet Student Name: Supervisor Name: Student matric No: Date & Time of Meeting: Stage in the dissertation research process (e.g. formulating aim & objectives, reviewing the literature, data collection plan etc.): Summary of areas/ points/ feedback discussed during meeting: Next steps or tasks the student should work on/ complete before the next supervisory meeting (e.g. drafting particular chapter(s), analysing data etc.) Research or writing skills the student should learn/ improve to help with the progression of the dissertation (please write these points very clearly so that the student can seek out the precise areas of improvement/learning required): 18 Honours Dissertation ASSESSMENT 1: Proposal Dissertation Proposal (25% of final Dissertation module mark) In order to ensure that you make the best possible start and to help you clarify your thoughts you are required to submit a Dissertation Proposal. The word count for the Dissertation Proposal is 2,000 words (+/- 10%) and this applies to all of the following sections except for the Timeline of Dissertation and References that are not included in the word count. Include your word count on the Title Page of your Dissertation Proposal. You should include all of the following in your proposal: Title Background to th
e Study and Overall Research Aim Research Objectives Initial Review of Relevant Literature Research Methods: Justification and Description Information to be Collected How Information will be collected Analysis technique(s) Timeline of Dissertation References (at least 15 in total including at least 10 academic journal articles) The title need not be a question but should be a clear statement of the main point of your study. The aim and objectives are the purpose of the Dissertation. Your aim should be related to the title, and the objectives are the steps involved that allow you to meet that aim. You then need to outline what information is required that will allow you to successfully meet your objectives. How will you collect this information in practice and what is the timeline of the main steps in your study? The timeline should start in around week 11 when you submit your proposal and finish with the Dissertation submission; don’t just include the data collection stage. Provide details of relevant sources properly referenced (use the Harvard Reference system as for the Outline and the Dissertation). 19 Honours Dissertation 3 Guidance on Dissertation Proposal The Dissertation Proposal is worth 25% of the total Module mark. Therefore this is a substantial piece of work that requires you to put in a great deal of effort in preparation for your submission. The importance of the Proposal cannot be stressed too much. A good Proposal will result in a high mark that will be an important contribution to your final mark for the whole Dissertation Module. As the Dissertation Module is weighted at twice that of any other Module (40 credits) when it comes to determining your final level of award (1st, 2:1, 2:2 or 3rd class Honours Degree) it is critical that you get off to a good start. Even more important than gaining a high mark, a good Proposal will mean that you have a clear idea of what you plan to do, and you should therefore be able to submit a good Dissertation that will account for the remaining 75% of the Module mark. A lot of effort and commitment by you in the run up to the submission of the Proposal can be very beneficial to you on a number of levels. This obviously means a lot of hard work, investing the time required, and, most importantly, following the advice of your Supervisor as you work on your Proposal. In addition we have produced this set of guidance notes for you to follow to ensure that your Proposal meets the objectives required. I encourage you to read these notes carefully, to follow the suggestions made, and to reread these notes over and over again and make sure that you have addressed all of the main issues required. If you do this you will be well on the way to submitting a good Proposal and Dissertation. Presentation There are a few key issues that you need to be aware of in terms of the presentation of your work, and as such you are required to: Use Arial 12pt as your default font Use 1.5 line spacing throughout the whole Dissertation Proposal with the exception of long quotations, diagram sources and “References” that are singleline spacing Use the third person in writing, therefore do not use words such as “I”, “My”, “Me”, “We” etc. If required use phrases such as “the researcher” or “the author”, but try to limit their use Use the Harvard Reference system throughout. If you do not know how to use this system then you must learn this quickly. Do not use footnotes for 20 Honours Dissertation referencing and only include footnotes extremely sparingly (and preferably not at all) Limit your use of direct quotes from secondary information sources to the bare minimum (and again if you can avoid using them at all then that is preferred). Dissertation Title This should be a 10 to 20 word sentence that describes what your whole study is about overall. This is likely to change as your research gets underway but having a relevant Title at the start is useful to help you focus on what you intend to do. Background to the Study and Overall Research Aim There are certain sections of your Proposal and Dissertation that are critical in terms of being given a high mark for your submission. The opening section of your Proposal is one of those. Here, you need to communicate to the reader the importance of your chosen topic, the relevance of that topic to your programme of study, and the potential value of your eventual research findings. You need to write this to the very best of your ability so that it comes across as a clear, concise summary of exactly what you intend to do in your research, why this is important, and how this is clearly related to some theoretical material you have covered on previous Modules on your Programme. To help you to focus on what is required here you must choose a topic that is a problem, an opportunity, or an issue. If you choose a problem that someone is facing (whether a company, an organisation, a business sector, a group of consumers etc.) then your research will be of value if you solve that problem. If you choose an opportunity (again as it refers to one of the entities identified above) then your research will be of value, as it will help people to benefit from that opportunity. If it is an issue, then you are conducting a piece of research that is focused on a very particular aspect that means your findings will probably be the first to deal with that issue in a particular context and therefore be a contribution to knowledge. An issue could be something that is making the news and is seen by you as being important, unusual, complex etc. For example, climate change, slowdown in global economy, developments in technology, changes in communication systems and networks, changes in legislation, could all be seen as issues that are likely to impact on people and organisations in the future, but these are current issues meaning your own research is likely to be unique. Your research topic cannot be purely descriptive. Nor can it be a simple case study. There must be something that involves research and will address a problem, 21 Honours Dissertation opportunity or issue. The Dissertation you will undertake is designed to address one single issue, and that is that you will discover something by the end of the Dissertation that you do not know before you begin your Dissertation. A purely descriptive study or a simple case study of an organisation does not do that. So, focus on whether your topic is a problem, an opportunity or an issue and describe what that is at the very start of your proposal. Then go on to describe the background to the topic you have chosen. What is the recent history? What companies or organisations does this affect? What functions or roles of staff is this study related to? What group of consumers or potential customers does this study impact on? The whole way through this opening section you must support your discussion by citing appropriate source material (using the Harvard Reference System). Any time you rely on information from other sources you must acknowledge that source by citing correctly in text, and then including a full reference in the Reference list at the end of your work. Once you have explained what the background is, you need to describe what you intend to discover. Is it people’s opinions about your topic? Do you want to compare responses between different groups? Do you want to identify if a trend exists over the last few years? You must be clear in your writing that you know exactly what the research is trying to discover. Then include a small section that addresses two very important issues; first of all, who could benefit from your research findings and second, how will they benefit from your research findings. You do not conduct academic research for your own benefit alone; you conduct academic research for the benefit of others, whether they are people working for a particular company, a government, a business sector, members of the public, professionals etc. The whole point of doing research, and the real value of research, is that other people could come into the university, read y
our Dissertation and get something of value from it. This means that they can read your work in a couple of hours and then go off and follow your recommendations. This means that they do not need to spend 6 or 7 months of their own time redoing the research that you have worked so hard to do. This is the real value of your work. Next, discuss what your overall Aim is. This should be a 10 to 20 word sentence that describes, clearly and concisely, exactly what you want to achieve. The Aim is likely to be quite a complex thing and will probably be close to the Title of your Dissertation when you have finished the work. However, the Aim is what you intend to do, whereas the Title is what you have actually done. Therefore you usually only know what the final Dissertation Title is after the whole study has been completed. 22 Honours Dissertation Research Objectives Here you list what your main Research Objectives are. For most studies 4 Research Objectives is fine (although if you have one or two more that is acceptable). The Research Objectives break the complicated overall research Aim into smaller, more manageable pieces. You need to think about these very carefully as everything that you write about after the Research Objectives must be related to at least one of them otherwise what you are doing is irrelevant. A bullet list is fine for Objectives and to see how these are written and set out you should look at as many academic journal articles as you can on your chosen topic as they will all include a section on Research Objectives. As an example they should be set out something like; The first Objective is to define a particular theory, model, concept by referring to the relevant published literature The second Objective may be to identify which variables, concepts, key issues etc. should be examined by you in detail as they apply to the specific research topic you have chosen The third Objective may be to collect relevant information through an appropriate data collection method. This may be by survey, interview, experiment etc. from the correct sources e.g. employees, companies, members of the public, suppliers, professionals etc. The fourth Objective would be to make recommendations to companies, professionals, managers, customers etc. on how they can solve their problem, take advantage of their opportunity or deal with the issue that is affecting them directly 23 Honours Dissertation Initial Review of Relevant Literature The initial Literature Review is the longest section in terms of number of words and also the time taken to complete. This is because you must spend a considerable amount of time identifying, searching for, accessing, reading and discussing material from a wide variety of sources. This may seem daunting at first, but the secret to a good Literature Review is to realise that by reading so much relevant source material, you are actually learning about critical issues that will be of great help to you when it comes to the rest of your Proposal and, of course, the Dissertation itself. For instance, by reading appropriate academic journal articles you will discover how researchers have conducted similar studies to yours. This means you can identify what research approaches work, what type of information is required, how this information will be collected and analysed etc. Also, it is very worthwhile putting in the time and effort to produce a good initial literature review, as you will build and expand on this initial review for your Dissertation. As regards the amount of source material, as a guide it is recommended that you should aim for at least 15 different sources but preferably around 20 or more would be ideal. However, the number of sources you cite will be dependent on your research area. Some research areas and topics are well established and there are many key references available, other more novel areas may have fewer publications available. The aim of this initial review of the literature is to cover all significant or key sources of relevance to your topic and should be laid out as follows: A general introductory section that briefly explains the main themes that you will explore in this section A background discussion of historical work and any key concepts, theories, models, frameworks etc. that may have been developed and adopted in practice (this may go back many years or even decades) Next, you should identify the key theoretical issues as they apply today and examine these in detail in appropriate subsections Finally, and most importantly, you must discuss all this material that you have read in terms of how this relates to your own study. In particular, after all this hard (and sometimes tedious) work, how does your understanding of the literature fit in with what you are hoping to discover through the Research Objectives that you set out previously in your Proposal? 24 Honours Dissertation Research Methods: Justification and Description (Information to be collected – How information will be collected – Analysis Technique(s)) Once you have completed the initial Literature Review you will have a very good idea about the options open to you regarding how you will conduct your own study. Many of the journal articles that you will have discussed in the previous section will have provided you with detailed information on the best way to research your topic and also whether there are likely to be any problems with your planned research approach. In the early stages of this section it is important that you identify and set out the key questions and/or hypotheses that you wish to test. This can only really be done after you have a thorough understanding of the types of questions and/or hypotheses that need to be asked based on your review of previous studies in the area. Once these have been discussed, you need to explain how you will go about answering these questions or testing these hypotheses. This may involve the collection of primary data, or for some students it may be more appropriate (or indeed the only option open to them) to gather and then analyse only secondary data. Discuss the type of research you are doing and explain how you will collect the information required in practice. This includes issues such as; Format of questions that will be asked Identification of key variables and measures (if appropriate to your study) Sample size to allow you to have enough information to analyse and provide you with robust results Sampling approach, to ensure that you are collecting the right information from the right sources Time and place the data is to be collected etc. All of this should be done in enough detail such that, if the reader could simply read this section and then go off and carry out the data collection element of your study, then you have been successful. If, on the other hand, key details have not been outlined by you in detail, then there are problems with your Proposal. You must also include a discussion covering the key concepts of study validity, reliability, and generalisability. Also describe to the reader any ethical considerations, or anticipated problems that you consider may impact on the effectiveness of the information collection stage. 25 Honours Dissertation Finally, describe how you will analyse the collected data. This need not be a comprehensive discussion at this stage, but you should let the reader know that you know how the collected information will be analysed, and, finally, how this analysed information will help you to address each of your Research Objectives that you identified earlier in your Outline. Note: It is very important in these sections to make it clear to the reader your own position with regards to the information collection. Your plans must be feasible, for example, if you are conducting a piece of research on a particular organisation and you work for that organisation then say so. If you have already spoken to people in a company about conducting interviews or undertaking a survey then say so. If you do not tell us that you can/have arranged to collect information from the key sources required for
your study then we will have serious doubts about whether you will get access to this data and this may result in a delay to the start of your Dissertation. Timeline of Dissertation This should be a detailed list of all the key steps required for your study to be successful from submission of your Proposal until submission of your Dissertation (the final submission date). Include all of the research steps. This includes all the different things you need to do in terms of finding background information for your opening chapter, identifying the different types of source material for the different elements of your Literature Review chapter, identifying, designing, collecting and analysing information etc. Also include steps such as comparing your findings to that of previous studies, reflecting on the validity and reliability of your overall research approach and findings etc. There should be at approximately 20 steps and for each one you need to identify how long you think it will take you. The best way to set this out is to insert a list of all the weeks available so that you can then see where you need to be at each point in time and how long each individual task will take you. This section is for your own benefit, not that of the Supervisor. If you know where you should be at any point in time then at least you can deal with any problems that you may have such as finding yourself a week or two behind schedule. If you have no idea where you should be then how will you know if you need to speed up or remove some stages from your study? Remember, research always takes longer than expected; things never go as planned, even for experienced researchers, so bear this in mind when you plan your time. 26 Honours Dissertation References Although most of your references are likely to be included in your initial literature review section, you will need to include source material the whole way through your Proposal. All sources must be cited and referenced according to the Harvard Reference System. Your reference list must be a single list of all sources in alphabetical order. Do not number- or bullet-list your references. Remember, if you have cited a source in the main body of your work then there must be a reference. If you have a reference in your Reference list then there must be a citation in the main body of your work. Do not cite Wikipedia! Do not cite any University Module Material! Research Integrity Form for Undergraduate Dissertations You must complete this form, sign, and attach to your Proposal submission. Your supervisor should then sign the form to acknowledge that your plans adhere to University ethics guidelines. Note that your supervisor can sign after you submit your Proposal for marking, but you should have discussed any issues/ sought their advice beforehand. The marking scheme for the Proposal is: Background 15% Aim and Objectives 15% Initial Literature Review 30% Research Methods: 20% Timeline 10% Presentation & Harvard Referencing 10% This mark is then weighted by 0.25 and added to your mark for your Dissertation. Proposal Submission Details 27 Honours Dissertation Please submit your Proposal directly to your Dissertation Supervisor for marking. Normally, you are expected to submit a hard copy of your proposal by the due date. If you have any specific queries regarding the submission process please contact your Dissertation Supervisor to discuss. A penalty of 5% per day may be applied to an unauthorised late submission. Proposal Re-assessment If you fail your Proposal, there is an early re-assessment opportunity available. This will allow you to improve your Proposal according to your Supervisor’s feedback, and enable you the opportunity to improve your mark (which will be capped at 40%). There will be no opportunity to resubmit your Proposal at a later date. 28 Honours Dissertation RESEARCH INTEGRITY (ETHICS) REVIEW FORM FOR UNDERGRADUATE STUDENT DISSERTATIONS (to be completed, signed and attached to your Dissertation Proposal prior to submission) Name: Matric Number: Supervisor’s Name: Programme: Dissertation Title: I confirm that my dissertation project DOES NOT include any of the following: TICK (√) A Primary research involving vulnerable groups e.g. children, young people under 18 years of age, adults with incapacity, or individuals in a dependent or unequal relationship B Primary research involving sensitive topics e.g. participants’ sexual behaviour, their involvement in criminal activities, their political views, their experience of violence, abuse or exploitation or their mental health C Research involving deception which is conducted without the participants’ full and informed consent D Research involving access to records of personal or confidential information which enables individuals to be identified, or research involving the use of the Edinburgh Napier University Email System E Research which would induce psychological stress, anxiety or humiliation or cause pain F Research which would potentially cause harm to participants’ esteem, career prospects and/or future employment opportunities. G Research involving intrusive interventions which participants would not encounter in the course of their everyday lives H Research where there is a possibility that the safety of the researcher may be in question I understand that if my research includes points A or B above, then I cannot proceed with my proposed research, and must amend my proposal such that my research does not include points A and B. If my research does involve any of points C- H, then I must discuss further with my supervisor and seek approval from the Faculty Integrity Committee before I can proceed with my proposed research. It is my responsibility to follow the University’s Code of Practice on Ethical Standards and any relevant academic or professional guidelines in the conduct of my study. This includes providing appropriate information sheets and consent forms, and ensuring confidentiality in the storage and use of data. If there is any significant change in the question, design or conduct over the course of the research I should complete another Research Integrity Review Form. Student’s Signature: Date: Student’s Signature: Date: 29 Honours Dissertation Dissertation Proposal Marking Matrix Criteria/Scale Fail (0% to 39%) Third (40% to 49%) Lower Second (50% to 59%) Upper Second (60% to 70%) First Class (70% to 100%) Background (15%) No / little background provided Brief introduction that covers history / background Good introduction that covers history / background Good introduction that covers history / background, why topic should be researched, who it will interest etc Excellent introduction that covers history / background, why topic should be researched, who it will interest etc Aim and Objectives (15%) Inappropriate aim and objectives Few objectives with weak links to aim Objectives have reasonable links to the aim Good aim and supporting objectives Excellent aim and supporting objectives Literature review (30%) LR has no / little relevance to research aim Short LR with some links to research aim that relies on very few sources / largely based on textbooks Descriptive LR linked to the research aim that uses a reasonable number of academic articles Comprehensive LR linked to the research aim that describes previous academic work Excellent LR linked to the research aim that describes and discusses previous academic work Research methods (20%) Inappropriate research methods Weak explanation of appropriate research methods Reasonable explanation of research methods Good explanation and discussion of research methods; Excellent explanation and discussion of research methods Timeline (10%) No / inappropriate timeline provided Brief timeline based on objectives Reasonable timeline based on objectives Comprehensive timeline based on objectives Comprehensive, practical timeline based on objectives Presentation and Harvard Referencing (10%) No structure; disjointed / rambling No / little citing and referencing of other people’s work Some structure; disjointed / rambling Some citing and referencing of other people’s work Go
od structure; reasonably coherent discussion Reasonable citing and referencing of other people’s work Good structure; coherent discussion and linkages Good citing and referencing of other people’s work Well structured; coherent discussion and good linkages Excellent citing and referencing of other people’s work 30 Honours Dissertation Assessment 1: Proposal Feedback Sheet Name: Matriculation No: Programme: Marker: Title: Background: (15%) Aim and Objectives: (15%) Initial Literature Review: (30%) Research methods: (20%) Timeline: (10%) Presentation and Harvard Referencing: (10%) Overall Comments: Assessment 2: Dissertation The Dissertation must be between 10,000 and 12,000 words maximum excluding the abstract, acknowledgements, contents page, references and appendices. Emphasis should be placed on developing a clear and concise writing style. Excessive length may indicate a poorly-defined topic, a rambling writing style or overambitious objectives. Excessive length will be penalised. Structure The Title Page of the Dissertation should be structured in accordance with the submission guidelines in Moodle. A template is available for you to download and amend. For a small fee, the university will bind your dissertation for you if submitted by the due date. Then include the following sections in order: Declaration Abstract Acknowledgements Table of Contents List of Tables & Figures First Chapter – Introduction (research purpose and objectives) Chapters 2, 3, 4 etc. Final Chapter – Conclusions and Recommendations References Appendices There are a few key issues that you need to be aware of in terms of the presentation of your work, and as such you are required to; Use Arial 12pt as your default font Use 1.5 line spacing throughout the whole Dissertation with the exception of long quotations, diagram sources and the Reference list that are single-line spacing 31 Honours Dissertation 24 Use the third person in writing, therefore do not use words such as “I”, “My”, “Me”, “We” etc. Use the Harvard Reference system throughout. Do not use footnotes for referencing and only include footnotes extremely sparingly (and preferably not at all) Limit your use of direct quotes from secondary information sources to the absolute minimum (and again if you can avoid using them at all then that is preferred). You may, of course, quote directly from people that have provided you with primary information (such as in an interview situation etc.) The beginning of the Dissertation will be set out as follows; Declaration (signed by you confirming this is your own work) Abstract (150 – 250 words that describe all of the important elements of the whole Dissertation. This can only be written once you have completed the rest of the document) Acknowledgements (to those people that have assisted you in your study) Table of Contents (a breakdown of chapters and main sections within chapters by page number) List of Tables and Figures (if relevant) 32 Honours Dissertation Chapter 1 – Introduction Your opening chapter is extremely important as it sets the scene on what is about to come in the rest of the Dissertation. You should therefore aim for this to be a clear and concise piece of work that provides all the key information required for the reader to understand the background to the work and how you will conduct the research in the pages that follow. In particular you should have an introductory section that covers; An explanation of what the study is all about. Here, you should include a discussion of the background to the research and also identify a particular problem, opportunity or issue that will benefit from you actually conducting your investigation. A piece of work that is purely descriptive with no practical benefits is likely to be a weak Dissertation overall and unlikely to be awarded a pass mark You also need to explain why you are doing this study (this is not for your benefit but for the benefit of others) You need to describe who will benefit from your research findings You need to explain how they will benefit from these findings You then need to set out your overall aim and research objectives; Your overall aim is closely linked to your title but will be based on answering a question or making some sort of discovery. Basically your aim is what you ultimately want to achieve and should be something that you want to discover and don’t yet know Your research objectives will break your overall aim into 3 or 4 smaller pieces. This is where you will be able to focus on what is important in your research rather than getting sidetracked by irrelevant issues You then need a discussion on how you will actually do the study; Explain your overall research approach in terms of primary or secondary data collection and how this information will be analysed Describe the sampling approach i.e. exactly who is it that you need to contact and gather information from and/or what data do you need to gather for analysis purposes You can then have a section on potential limitations of conducting this kind of study if you are familiar with what some of those problems might be. Finally, have a section at the end of this chapter that tells the reader how the rest of the Dissertation is set out. This basically means writing a sentence or two about what will be presented by you in each of the remaining chapters of the Dissertation. 33 Honours Dissertation Chapter 2 – Literature Review The Literature Review chapter is usually the longest in terms of number of words and also the time taken to complete. This is because you must spend a considerable amount of time identifying, searching for, accessing, reading and discussing material from a wide variety of sources. Overall, this chapter will account for 25-35% of the total word count. This may seem daunting at first, but the secret of a good Literature Review chapter is to realise that by reading so much relevant source material, you are actually learning about critical issues that will be of great help to you in the remaining parts of your work. For instance, by reading appropriate academic journal articles you will discover how researchers have conducted similar studies to yours. This means you can identify what research approaches work, what type of information is required, how this information can be collected and analysed etc. Another key benefit is that in the latter stages of your Dissertation you will be expected to compare your main research findings with those of other people. In effect, have you discovered something new that we did not know about? Have you, perhaps, confirmed the findings of others? Either way, if you can discuss your findings as they relate to the findings in previous studies this will greatly enhance your work overall and consequently lead to a higher mark. As regards the amount of source material, it is recommended that for a good quality Dissertation you should aim for at least 40 different sources throughout the whole Dissertation. Although many of your cited sources will appear in the Literature Review chapter, remember to cite relevant material throughout the whole of your Dissertation. Many of your sources should be academic journal articles as these are the most relevant to a student conducting research at Honours level. The remainder of your sources may be a mix of textbooks, company reports, newspaper articles, websites, government publications and statistics etc. The exact mix will of course depend on the nature of your investigation. This chapter should be laid out as follows; A general introductory section that briefly explains the main themes that you will explore in this chapter A background discussion of historical work and any key concepts, theories, models, frameworks etc. that may have been developed and adopted in practice (this may go back many years or even decades) Next, you should identify the key theoretical issues as they apply today and examine these in detail in appropriate subsections 34 Honours Dissertation Finally, and most importantly, yo
u must discuss all this material that you have read in terms of how this relates to your own study. In particular, after all this hard (and sometimes tedious) work, how does your understanding of the literature fit in with what you are hoping to discover through the research objectives that you set out in the opening chapter? Chapter 3 – Research Methods Once you have completed the previous chapter you will have a very good idea about the options open to you regarding how you will conduct your own study. Many of the journal articles that you will have discussed in the previous chapter will have provided you with detailed information on the best way to research your topic and also whether there are likely to be any problems with your planned research approach. In the early stages of this chapter it is important that you identify and set out the key questions and/or hypotheses that you wish to test. This can only really be done after you have a thorough understanding of the types of questions and/or hypotheses that need to be asked based on your review of previous studies in the area. Once these have been discussed, you need to explain how you will go about answering these questions or testing these hypotheses. For some students this will involve the collection of primary data. For some students it may be more appropriate (or indeed the only option open to them) to obtain and then analyse only secondary data. There is no problem with this approach and your choice of approach will largely depend on your research topic and objectives. Once you have been allocated a supervisor, you can discuss with them, the most suitable approach for your research. You should also give consideration as to whether any ethical issues may potentially arise from your proposed research study. A link to the Business School guidelines on ethics is available on the Dissertation Moodle page and you should discuss any potential ethical issues with your supervisor before embarking on your proposed study. Discuss the type of research you are doing and explain how you will collect or obtain the information required in practice. This includes issues such as; Time and place the data is collected Format of questions that will be asked Identification of key variables and measures (if appropriate to your study) Sample size to allow you to have enough information to analyse and provide you with robust results 35 Honours Dissertation Sampling approach, to ensure that you are collecting the right information from the right sources Or if analysing secondary data: The source of the data and who (individual(s) or an organisation) has published the data Where and when the data or information were collected or made available A description of the data available e.g. key variables or measures appropriate to your study Background to the data collection methods e.g. sampling approach or whether data systematically collected etc. All of this should be done in as much detail as possible. In effect, if the reader could simply read this chapter and then go off and repeat the data collection element of your study because you have provided enough detail here, then you have been successful. If, on the other hand, your study could not be repeated as key details have not been discussed by you in detail, then there are problems with this chapter. This level of detail is also required to enable the reader to assess the validity, reliability and generalisability of your study. You must also include a discussion covering the key concepts of study validity, reliability and generalisability, and describe to the reader any anticipated problems that you consider may impact on the effectiveness of the information collection stage. Finally, describe how you will analyse the collected data. This need not be a comprehensive discussion at this stage, but you should let the reader know that you know how the collected information will be analysed, and, finally, how this analysed information will help you to address each of the research objectives that you identified in the opening chapter. Throughout this chapter, it is very important that you remember to cite references to support your choice of research design and research methods. This is likely to include referencing articles included in your Literature Review to support and justify your choice of research methods, and also referencing research methods textbooks. Chapter 4 – Data Description (this chapter is often combined with Chapter 5 depending on the nature of your research) Having completed the collection of data for your Dissertation you should spend some time describing the characteristics of that information before then going on to conduct more detailed analysis. Depending on the type of research you are involved in, this may be relatively short as far as chapter length is concerned, or may be a substantial 36 Honours Dissertation part of your work if you are investigating more theoretical or complex issues. You may decide to combine Chapters 4 and 5 into one single chapter if the material to be covered is quite short. Either way, it is important that the reader becomes familiar with the characteristics of the data so that they will then be able to understand the analysis and results that you will discuss in the following chapter. Elements that you should discuss here include; Response rate(s) to surveys or other data collection methods (such as the number of people you initially needed to contact before you had enough for a series of 1-1 interviews) A breakdown of demographic information (such as sex, age, experience, buying habits etc.) if, and only if, this is relevant to your investigation and is directly related back to at least one of your research objectives A discussion of whether the above information has allowed you to meet the sample characteristics required (e.g. in a study of a wider population, we may expect that approximately 47% of respondents will be male, and 53% will be female, as this roughly matches the gender split within most populations). If you find that the sampled data does not match with the wider population in any respect then you need to address this issue and consider the implications this will have for issues such as validity of your results. While describing all of the above it is often appropriate to summarise the data either in terms of percentages, through appropriate tables, or through appropriate diagrams or graphs. Be clear and systematic in this chapter, and only describe the information that you will then analyse and report on in the following chapter. If something is described here, that is because it is important and will be analysed in the next chapter. Chapter 5 – Data Analysis (alternatively this chapter may be called Discussion and Analysis) This is a critical part of the whole study and is where any new discoveries will be made. You need to set this chapter out in a logical manner and the most appropriate way to do this is to systemically address the research objectives, questions and/or hypotheses that you set out in previous chapters. You may have a purely qualitative study, in which case much of the discussion here will be based on your own interpretation of information that you have gathered (such 37 Honours Dissertation as through interviews, focus groups, observation studies etc.). It is perfectly acceptable to include direct quotes in this stage to highlight specific issues or get a particular point across. In any event, you should not identify any individual by name or other identifying characteristic. Similarly, in most studies at this level the names of organisations should be omitted from your written work unless you have the express permission of the owner/custodian to use the name of the organisation. In a quantitative study you will be presenting numerical data and this must be analysed using appropriate methods, in most cases using specific statistical tests. Most quantitative data can be analysed using a variety of different tests but you must choose the single test that is appropriate for your objectives and hypotheses and stick
to the results you generate. It is unethical to reanalyse data with a variety of statistical tests until you find a result or answer that you had hoped for. All tables, charts etc. should be introduced and not stand alone without any relevant discussion by yourself. This is done by having an introductory discussion explaining what is shown in the table or chart that is coming up in the text. Immediately after the table or chart you then need to describe what it tells you. Do not leave this for the reader to work out. You must demonstrate that you understand what any table or chart actually displays. At the end of this chapter, regardless of whether you have a qualitative or quantitative study (or better still, both), you need to restate the main results and discuss them as they relate to what was known on this topic before you started your investigation. This means going back to the results and findings that you identified in the Literature Review chapter, and discuss whether your results are in some way different, or whether your results simply confirm what was known about this topic before you started your Dissertation. Chapter 6 – Conclusions and Recommendations This is the final piece of written work that will be read by the markers before they pick up their pens and Marking Sheets and allocate the marks based on what you have written in your Dissertation. Therefore, you should make this the best piece of work you have written on the whole Programme. This is a list of some of the issues that you should try to cover in the final chapter of your Dissertation. It is by no means exhaustive and this is not an ‘official’ list in terms of marks, only my recommendation based on supervising and marking other Honours Dissertations. However, if you do cover most of these issues then you should be on the right lines. 38 Honours Dissertation 1. In theory anyone should be able to read just your final chapter and still have a good idea about what your whole Dissertation is all about. 2. Remember that the markers may read your first chapter and then go straight to your final chapter to make sure that you have been consistent in what you set out to discover. Therefore it is important that your final chapter addresses everything you say you are going to look at in your first chapter. 3. The final chapter should be well structured. There are a lot of individual areas to cover so you need to be clear in setting this out. I suggest that you include a discussion on the following points; Re-state your overall Aim and Research Objectives. Let the reader reacquaint themselves with what you have attempted to discover in your research and why the research is important. Discuss how you did this (i.e. your research approach and why you chose this approach) and also describe what theoretical or conceptual ideas underpin your own academic study. Then go over your results and discuss the practical implications of your findings. This means identifying and writing out in detail the main recommendations you are making based on the research you have just conducted. This could be the largest section of your final chapter and so needs quite a bit of detail. You also need to discuss which of your research objectives have been fully met, which only partially met, and which (if any) you could not address in any meaningful way. It is important that you bring in your own interpretation of the findings, so try to argue your case strongly here. Also discuss how your findings relate to those of other studies in the area you previously covered in your Literature Review chapter. Once you have stated your findings and conclusions you need to be honest in reflecting on the potential and apparent limitations of your study. (This is not a criticism of your work but an acknowledgement that every piece of academic research has some weaknesses associated with it.) Here you need to talk about the validity and reliability of your own study. You should also acknowledge any limitations that you discovered when actually conducting the research (e.g. problems with sampling approach or response rate, lack of clarity over question wording or meaning etc.). You also need to discuss the generalisability of your findings. Who else could make use of your study findings? If it is many organisations, individuals, businesses etc. then this adds value to your findings. If you have used a case study approach then can your findings be transferable to other organisations? If so then is this to a small number of very similar 39 Honours Dissertation organisations, all organisations in the sector, all organisations in a particular country etc.? Finally talk about recommended future research areas. There will be many things that you wanted to discover but were unable to because of lack of time or other resources. It may be that during your investigation you came across something new that would make a good study for someone else. What about any issues covered in the media, new Government legislation, advances in technology, world trade etc. that could impact on your findings? Does this mean that someone else should reinvestigate this issue at some point in the future? 4. One of the best ways to see how your final chapter should be structured is to reread some of the journal articles you read for the Literature Review chapter. The final two or three pages of any academic journal article will be similar to what I have described above. If you can structure your final chapter in the same way, and cover most of these points in a sensible and honest manner then it will be a very good read, a clear summary of the main points to do with your study, and the basis for a very good mark. References A single list in alphabetical order by author or organisation of all of the works cited in your text. If you have cited a source in your text then there must be an associated reference. Similarly if you have referenced a source then there must be an associated citation in your text. The Reference list must not be in bullet- or numbered-list format and (unlike the rest of the Dissertation) should be formatted at single-line spacing. Appendices Additional supporting material such as a copy of a questionnaire, interview schedule, letter of introduction, tables of statistics etc. This material is seen as essential to the Dissertation but would otherwise interrupt the flow of text and is therefore placed in Appendices. 40 Honours Dissertation Style A number of presentation (format) style rules should be adopted. Font will be Arial 12pt and all line spacing will be at 1.5 lines (except long quotations, diagram sources and the Reference list that are single-line spacing). Dissertation Title = BOLD, CAPITALS, 18 point Chapter Titles = bold, Initial Capitals, 14 point Sub-headings = bold, as Chapters but 12 point Quotations = quotation marks to be used and quotation to be indented as below. Source and page number(s) to be clearly shown e.g. “The next stage is linking, where all the variables considered important can be linked together towards a more holistic theory. This process involves consideration of literature and existing models and relating this to the results.” (Adams et al., 2007; p169) Citing Literature You must cite and reference all the literature that you discuss and refer to in the Dissertation. The reason for this is so others can refer to your sources so it must be traceable. The format used for referencing literature is the Harvard Referencing system. Wikipedia Wikipedia is one of the few resources that are not acceptable for citing and referencing in the Dissertation. There is nothing wrong with using Wikipedia to initially investigate an issue or find a suitable description of an item. However, because anyone can edit Wikipedia articles there is no guarantee that the information held there is accurate and reliable. Diagrams, Charts & Tables These should be included in the main text and referred to by chapter, subsection and number. For example, referring to a histogram that is the third figure in chapter four, section two might be referred to as “explanatory text… as displayed in
Figure 4.2.3.” After the figure a legend should appear, e.g. Figure 4.2.3 – Histogram of Survey Response Rates All illustrations (diagrams, charts, tables) should appear on or close to the text page in which they are discussed. They should not be confined to an appendix. Appendices should only be used for items such as questionnaires, essential extracts, 41 Honours Dissertation substantial computer output and other data tables which are too detailed for the body of the text. When including diagrams, charts and tables, you must always introduce them in the paragraph immediately before they appear, and then discuss what they show in the paragraph immediately after they appear. Students are not allowed to use a photocopy of an illustration from an original source without copyright permission. If you include an adaptation of a diagram, chart or table published elsewhere, you must include the source of the original diagram, chart or table. Typing Your typescript must be line spaced at 1.5 lines with a left margin throughout of 30mm and all other margins of 25mm. The Dissertation must be printed on one side of the paper only. The typescript must be 12 point Arial font. Page numbers to be consecutive and in Arabic numerals. Initial pages (Abstract, Declaration, Contents etc.) to be in Roman numerals. All page numbers to be at the bottom centre of the page. The Dissertation must be in English and a declaration must be made that the work is the author’s own and has not been submitted previously for the award of any other qualification or as a component of any other work undertaken by the author. Each chapter should be sectioned into subsections, and the subsections numbered and given a title, e.g. section eight in Chapter 2 could appear as: 2.8 The Value of the Audit. Binding Two copies of your dissertation are to be submitted by the due date. Note that the front covers should also be printed. The University will organise for your dissertation copies to be bound (for a small fee to cover costs), Please note that you do not have to allow extra time for binding done within the university; you may submit two printed (loose-leaf) copies ready for binding by the due date. A soft copy on a CD or Memory stick (full version including the front page) also needs to be submitted by the due date. Students must also submit the complete dissertation (full version including front page, abstract, reference list, appendices etc.) through Turnitin. Please note that the soft copy will not be returned to students, but students may collect one paper copy of their dissertation from 1/53 after the module results 42 Honours Dissertation are published. All uncollected dissertations will be sent for confidential waste 3 months after. Summary The above guidance is to help you to present a piece of work in the correct format and presented in such a way that your Dissertation is a professionally produced piece of academic research. It is now up to you to ensure that the content of your Dissertation is of a suitably professional standard. 43 Honours Dissertation Dissertation Submission Details Two printed copies of the Dissertation must be submitted to Room 1/53, Craiglockhart Campus by the due date. In addition a soft copy of the whole Dissertation (including the front page, abstract, all chapters, reference list, appendices etc.) must be submitted through Turnitin. Details on how to do this will be provided on Moodle. Computer failure or corrupted or lost files is not an acceptable reason for late submission. A penalty of 5% per day may be applied for an unauthorised late submission. Successful management of the whole project is part of the Dissertation process. All primary and secondary data collected and analysed must be kept in its original format and file format (if applicable) until after the Programme Exam Board as you may be asked to supply this as evidence of your work. You may also be called upon to attend an oral examination to defend and explain your research work, in cases where the examiners feel that more information is required; for example, if your dissertation is very borderline or if plagiarism is suspected. The Dissertation Proposal is worth 25% of the overall Dissertation mark. The remaining 75% of the marks are allocated to the completed Dissertation. A mark is initially agreed between your Supervisor and the second marker who will be another member of academic staff at Edinburgh Napier University. A sample of Dissertations will also be reviewed by external examiners. The marking scheme that is used is: Abstract 5% Introduction, Aim and Objectives 10% Literature Review 25% (+/- 5%) Research methods: Justification and description 15% Analysis, results and findings 25% (+/- 5%) Conclusion, recommendations, limitations and further research 10% References: Breadth, depth and quality 5% Presentation 5% 44 Honours Dissertation 5 Assessment 2 (Dissertation) Mark Sheet A penalty of 5% should be imposed for projects of excessive length. Maximum length is 10000 words. Note – the dissertation is to be marked as a 100% piece of work, the system will then weight it to the appropriate 75% of the overall mark. SOE10133: Honours Dissertation Supervisor: Name: 2 nd Marker: Mat. No. Topic Area: Proposal Mark: / 25% Abstract: (5%) Introduction, Aim and Objectives (10%) Literature Review (25% +/- 5%) Research Methods: Justification and Description (15%) Analysis, Results and Findings (25% +/- 5%) Conclusions, Recommendations, Limitations and Further Research (10%) References: Breadth, Depth and Quality (5%) Presentation (5%) Supervisor Mark Second Mark Agreed Mark Overall Comments: Supervisor Signature: (Print & Sign Name) 2 nd Markers Signature: (Print & Sign Name) 45 Honours Dissertation Dissertation Marking Matrix Criteria/Scale Fail (0% to 39%) Third (40% to 49%) Lower Second (50% to 59%) Upper Second (60% to 69%) First Class (70% to 100%) Abstract (5%) Weak description of the dissertation with no/ little reference to the aim, objectives, nature, findings etc Weak description of the dissertation with little/ some reference to the aim, objectives, nature, findings etc A reasonable description of the dissertation with some reference to the aim, objectives, nature, findings etc A good description of the dissertation that covers the aim, objectives, nature, findings etc An excellent description of the dissertation that covers the aim, objectives, nature, findings etc Introductory chapter (10%) Few key sections covered. Very weak introduction / aim / objectives / research method etc Most key sections covered. Weak introduction / aim / objectives / research method etc Most key sections covered. Reasonable introduction / aim / objectives / research method etc All key sections covered. Good introduction / aim / objectives / research method etc All key sections covered. Excellent introduction / aim / objectives / research method etc Literature review (25% +/- 5%) * Note 1 Brief LR with some links to research aim that uses few sources / LR has little relevance to research aim Descriptive LR with links to research aim that relies on few sources / largely based on textbooks Descriptive LR linked to research aim that uses a reasonable number of academic journal sources Comprehensive LR that describes and discusses previous work with some critical analysis. Good links to research aim Excellent LR demonstrating good critical analysis of the literature. Strong links to research aim Research methods (15%) Inappropriate research methods; no / little explanation or justification Weak description of appropriate research methods; no/ little explanation as to why they were selected Reasonable description of research methods; some explanation as to why they were selected Good description of research methods; good explanation as to why they were selected Excellent description of research methods; excellent explanation as to why they were selected Analysis and discussion of research findings (25% +/- 5%)* Note 1 Little or inappropriate description/ analysis of findings Weak description / analysis of findings with no/ little links to the LR Reasonable description/ analysis of
findings with some links to the LR Good description/ analysis of findings with good links to the LR Excellent analysis and discussion of findings that is well linked to LR 46 Honours Dissertation Conclusions and recommendations (10%) Not linked/ very little linkage to dissertation Some linkage to dissertation but tends to be précis of the dissertation Reasonable conclusions and recommendations linked to previous sections Good conclusions and recommendations with good links to previous sections; some consideration of study limitations Excellent conclusions and recommendations well linked to earlier sections; consideration of limitations / validity / reliability etc References (5%) No / little Harvard referencing of other people’s work Some Harvard referencing of other people’s work, but limited range of sources Reasonable Harvard referencing of other people’s work; reasonable range of sources Good Harvard referencing of other people’s work; appropriate range of sources Excellent Harvard referencing of other people’s work including a good range of appropriate sources and quality references Presentation and writing style (5%) Inadequate structure; incoherent flow; poor use of diagrams Poor structure; arguments not clear; poor use of tables and diagrams Acceptable structure; arguments reasonably clear; reasonable use of tables and diagrams Good structure; coherent arguments; good use of tables and diagrams Well structured; clear arguments and points; excellent use of tables and diagrams Note: The literature review and analysis and discussion of research findings have a total mark of 50%. The 50 percentage points can be apportioned between these sections to reflect the type of dissertation produced by a student. Marks allocated to these two sections must be agreed by the dissertation supervisor and the second marker. 47 Honours Dissertation 48 Honours Dissertation 49 Honours Dissertation Plagiarism Plagiarism is against the university regulations and can lead to a student failing a piece of coursework, a Module, or even the Programme itself. Plagiarism is copying someone else’s work and passing it off as your own. This is especially relevant to the Literature Review chapter where failure to reference properly may be treated as plagiarism. However plagiarism applies to all areas of the Dissertation, from choosing a suitable topic to making suitable recommendations. If you are in any doubt about what constitutes plagiarism then consult your Supervisor. If plagiarism is identified then this is considered to be cheating and one or more of the following may happen; 1 You will be invited to attend a disciplinary hearing of a University Disciplinary Committee at which you are entitled to be represented. 2 The Dissertation mark will be reduced by a certain number of marks. This will result in a fail or a pass being awarded depending on the original Dissertation mark and the number of marks that this is reduced by. 3 The Dissertation will be marked at 0% and you will be invited to resubmit by an agreed date to obtain a capped mark of 40%. 4 You fail the Programme. 5 Prior to any of the above, an oral examination (viva) may be undertaken involving you, your supervisor and up to two other members of staff. In addition evidence of primary information that you have collected must be retained until your results are known. This includes completed questionnaires, interview schedules and transcripts, spreadsheets of questionnaire responses etc. Important: If there are any concerns as to the authenticity of your work the Academic Conduct Officer (ACO) will email you at your Edinburgh Napier University email account to let you know of the accusations being made against you. It is therefore vital that you monitor your email account on a regular basis and respond to the ACO’s email within the time allowed so that any evidence you provide can be carefully considered by the relevant parties. 50 Honours Dissertation 6 Re-Assessment As explained in Section 3 of this Study Guide, there is one early re-assessment opportunity for the Proposal. If you choose not to take this opportunity to improve your Proposal mark (capped at 40%), please note that this assessment cannot be reassessed at a later date. In research terms, there would be no sense in producing a research proposal after the research has been completed! If your overall mark for the Dissertation module is below 40%, then you will fail the module. Remember, your overall mark is calculated by the weighted sum of your Proposal and Dissertation marks. If you fail the overall module, you have one re-assessment opportunity. This will involve improving your dissertation, taking on board the feedback from your first attempt, in order to gain an overall dissertation mark of 40% or above. Please note that if you failed the Proposal component (and did not achieve a mark of 40% after the early reassessment opportunity) and passed the Dissertation component, it is possible that you fail the overall module. In this case, you must improve the Dissertation component, taking on board the feedback received, to improve your overall mark (in this case you may need to gain more than 40% for your Dissertation component to pass the module overall). If you fail the module, you should contact your supervisor for further support and guidance, and resubmit your Dissertation to 1/53 by the due date as per instructed. In addition, you should also provide a separate document with written comments on exactly which areas of the Dissertation you have improved. This may take the form of bullet points, referring to the feedback on your first submission, and explaining exactly which aspects of your dissertation you have improved (you should also refer to sections/ page numbers etc. to guide the markers to the specific areas of improvement). Note that the University regulations do not allow for any compensatory passes to be awarded for the Dissertation module. 51 Honours Dissertation 7