Assessment Briefing

University of Lincoln Assessment Framework

Assessment Briefing 2021-2022


Module Code & Title: Dissertation BUS9036M

Contribution to Final Module Mark: 90% (or 100% unless the proposal grade is greater than the final dissertation grade).


Description of Assessment Task and Purpose:


The aim of this assessment is to produce and submit a dissertation or equivalent (as agreed with your supervisor). This must be compliant with the presentation requirements stated on Blackboard. Please see the template (see Assessment tab).

Further Guidance:

Specific texts and source materials are dependent upon the focus and methodology of your research. Generic guidance can for example be found in texts such as:

Biggam, J. (2018) Succeeding with your Master’s Dissertation 4th Edition  Sage:London


In addition, learning Resources which will support this assessment include – a variety of which can be found here (including how you can manage your dissertation process). Additional Learning Resources are also available via the blackboard module site.

Formative feedback is core to successful progression with the learning materials and outcome achievements and supported by supervisory discussions.

You may find the information contained in the ‘Late Arrivals’ guide on Blackboard useful in engaging with this module.

Learning Outcomes Assessed:


Presently, the learning outcomes for this assessment are as follows- that at the end of an effective submission you will be able to:


LO1         Communicate the aims, objectives and relevance of your chosen research project.

LO2         Develop achievable and logical plans to guide the implementation of your chosen research project.

LO3         Select, collect, analyse  and interpret evidence from multiple sources in accordance with sound principles of research and investigation.

LO4         Synthesise and critically evaluate different sources of knowledge in order to articulate logical and cogent argumentation.

LO5         Evaluate critically and apply theoretical and methodological approaches in ways which augment understanding 
of the topic

LO6         Reflect critically on your own research practice and intellectual argument particularly in the context of contemporary debates in management or business.

LO7         Propose practical resolutions via conclusions and recommendations when appropriate .

LO8         Demonstrate depth of knowledge, expertise and critical understanding of your chosen topic area.


Knowledge & Skills Assessed:


The successful completion of this assessment task will contribute to the development of the following for you:

Subject Specific Knowledge, Skills and Understanding: Literature searching, Referencing, Subject-specific knowledge, Project Planning, Techniques and Skills.

Professional Graduate Skills: independence and personal responsibility, written communication, critical thinking, working under pressure to meet deadlines, self-reflection, problem solving, effective time management.

Emotional Intelligence: motivation, resilience, self-confidence.


Assessment Submission Instructions:


You will create a final thesis (or a portfolio / format output equivalent to 14000 words).The exact format is agreed with your supervisor as part of your negotiated project and written into the agreed Plan of work. The deadline for this submission is the 7th OCTOBER 12 noon (UK) time 2022.

The expected date to return grades and feedback is 15 working days after the deadline depending upon when the Assessment Board meets.

Feedback & grades will be available electronically using a rubric on blackboard. If you have any specific questions relating to the feedback comments email the module co-ordinator to discuss.


Date for Return of Feedback: Three weeks after the submission date.


Format for Assessment: Please use the template provided on the Blackboard Site. This is also detailed in the TIPS support guide handbook (see TIPS /Assessment tabs in Blackboard).


Generic Guidance:

Please follow to the formatting guidelines:

– Font / Size: Arial or Times New Roman / 12

– Spacing / Sides: 1.5 / Single Sided

– Pagination required? Yes

– Margins: At least 2.54 to left and right and text ‘justified’

– Referencing: Full compliance with Harvard protocols



Marking Criteria for Assessment:


Please see the Appendix for a detailed rubric across all grading thresholds.


Feedback Format: Feedback is provided by Grademark Studio on Turnitin and through the use of the rubric. Additional time slots will be available for face to face feedback as required/requested.

Please note that all work is assessed according to the University of Lincoln Management of Assessment Policy and that marks awarded are provisional on Examination Board decisions (which take place at the end of the Academic Year.

Assessment Support Information:


Learning Resources which will support this assessment include:

Research and Dissertations

Introduction to Postgraduate Study Skills

Postgraduate Study Skills: Being Critical at Master’s Level

Postgraduate Study Skills: Managing the Dissertation Process

Postgraduate Study Skills: Academic Writing and the Research Process

Postgraduate Study Skills: In-depth Critical Literature Review

Postgraduate Study Skills: Reading Critically

Harvard Referencing


Important Information on Dishonesty & Plagiarism:


University of Lincoln Regulations define plagiarism as ‘the passing off of another person’s thoughts, ideas, writings or images as one’s own…Examples of plagiarism include the unacknowledged use of another person’s material whether in original or summary form. Plagiarism also includes the copying of another student’s work’.

Plagiarism is a serious offence and is treated by the University as a form of academic dishonesty. Students are directed to the University Regulations for details of the procedures and penalties involved.

For further information, see


Assessment Rubric (Assessment 2- Final Project)

Assessment Criteria









Fair with significant weaknesses


Poor with fundamental weakness

Less than 40


Communicates effectively the aims, objectives and relevance of the research project. (LO1)

The work is exceptionally well communicated and goes well beyond the expectations of this level

Excellent with few significant errors

Aims and Objectives well communicated with only minor issues. The relevance of the work is clear but some aspects may require some further elaboration.

Aims and objectives are stated and sufficiently clear but may require further refinement. The general relevance of the work is understood but not necessarily fully articulated in the context of the study.

Aims and objectives are apparent but may not be sufficiently coherent or logical. The broader relevance of the work may not be understood or weakly articulated

The aims and objectives remain vague and the work suffers from a lack of focus or clear sense of direction. The broader relevance is not considered or articulated


Reflects a well devised and executed adaptable plan, which was actively managed so as to achieve project objectives (LO2)

The student has demonstrated exceptional management of the project, well exceeding that required at this level

The work was well planned, actively managed and fully achieved the objectives.

The work was planned and managed so as to achieve most objectives.

The project was managed satisfactorily but not necessarily in an active manner. Some issues may not have been sufficiently addressed.

There were significant weaknesses at a number of stages that were addressed to varying degrees but significantly some remained unresolved.

The project suffered from significant weaknesses at many stages and there was limited evidence that these were either understood or addressed


Selected, collected, analysed and interpreted evidence from multiple sources in accordance with sound principles of research and investigation. (LO3)

The execution is virtually flawless and demonstrates competence beyond the level of study.

The work draws upon an extensive range of sources and uses these effectively following sound principles of research and investigation

The work draws upon a wide range of sources and uses these appropriately following the main principles of research and investigation. There will be minor omissions or insufficient triangulation or cross-referencing.

The work draws upon sufficient source material to substantiate argument. However, further data could have been collected and/or analysed to provide a fuller and more balanced investigation. The work has followed the basic principles of investigation.

Although the work has collected and analysed evidence the sources need enhancing and the interpretation is deficient in some ways. The work has not consistently followed the key principles of research design.

There is insufficient evidence and the analysis lacks sophistication with virtually no interpretation. Key principles of investigation have not been followed.


Synthesised and critically evaluated different sources of knowledge in order to articulate logical and cogent argumentation (LO4)

The work is exceptional and the powers of criticality and synthesis go well beyond the standards expected at this level.

The work demonstrates criticality and powers of syntheses. The argumentation is logical and coherent. There are strong arguments of advocacy as well as discovery,

The work does synthesise to a large extent and critically evaluate key sources of knowledge. This is robust but not fully developed. The argument is coherent and evidenced, but with a stronger emphasis on discovery than advocacy.

The work tends to summarise quite extensively what is known about the topic rather than integrating the various sources into a more coherent and logical argument. The evidence base is sufficient but needed to be better deployed. Argumentation is emergent rather than developed.

The work tends to present a summary of a somewhat constrained knowledge set. There maybe some critical comments but these are not evaluative. Arguments are under-developed

The work is a summary of a limited knowledge base. There is a limited basis from which to develop either synthesis or evaluation. No argumentation is evidenced


Critically evaluated and applied appropriate theoretical and methodological approaches in ways which augmented understanding of the topic (LO5)

The work is exceptional and extends our knowledge in a manner which goes well beyond expectation at this level.

The work is appropriately situated, critically evaluates & applies existing frameworks and knowledge domains in a manner that demonstrates a sophisticated understanding and capacity to augment current knowledge.

The key conceptual, theoretical and methodological frameworks are reviewed and applied to the specific topic/project. There is some critical evaluation of these frameworks

The work identifies and outlines appropriate approaches but, does not assess their relative merits nor build an evaluation of their utility to the aims of the project.

Although the work identifies and reviews key approaches, there are significant gaps. The focus is on accessible material rather than that which challenges convention.

There is limited engagement with conceptual, methodological or theoretical approaches that could inform the work. There is insufficient engagement with contemporary approaches, controversy or debate.


Critically reflected on the research practice and intellectual arguments underpinning the work, particularly in the context of contemporary debates in management or business. (LO6)

The work is exceptional and exceeds the level of reflexivity normally expected at this level.

The work is reflective and evaluates its contribution within the context of wider debates, whether academic or in terms of entrepreneurial, business and management praxis. The work demonstrates justifiable self- confidence.

The work is confident and demonstrates a sound understanding of the limitations of the research conducted and can position the findings within the contexts of wider debates. Positionality may not be fully analysed.

The work focuses on outlining strengths and limitations without necessarily engaging in critical reflection. Some reflection is applied to the work undertaken; there maybe a lack of confidence or over confidence in the project. The work doesn’t explore all the lessons learnt.

There is no critical reflection, rather there is a focus on some strengths and limitations. The reflection tends to be broad rather than applied to the specificities of the individual project.

The work identifies some issues but these represent a partial reflection on research practice. There is very little engagement with wider debates around business and management practice.


Proposed practical and appropriate resolutions via conclusions and recommendation, so as to demonstrate the benefit of the work undertaken. . (LO7)

The work is exceptionally insightful in terms of how the implications and relevancy of the work are understood and articulated.

The work proposes fully appropriate and practical resolutions via conclusions and recommendations, so as to demonstrate the benefit of the work undertaken.

The work reaches valid conclusions and makes relevant recommendations. The full implications of the work may not be articulated completely but what is proposed is evidence based.

The work reaches an overall conclusion but lacks specific and/or considered recommendations or practical resolutions. Not all recommendations follow from the evidence.

The conclusions are weakly articulated and limited. Where recommendations are made they may not reflect evidence or be practical. The work does provide sufficient basis for more robust conclusions.

The conclusion tends to be summative rather than integrative. The nature of the findings are not fully appreciated or understood in the context of existing debates or business and management practice.


Demonstrated a depth of knowledge, expertise and critical understanding of their chosen topic area. (LO8)

The work demonstrates exceptional knowledge and critical understanding such that it goes well beyond the standards expected at this level

The work demonstrates in-depth knowledge, expertise and critical understanding of chosen topic. The work is authoritative and contains original insights.

The work demonstrates a sound knowledge and developing level of expertise in the field. There is evidence of some critical understanding of key areas but this could be further developed. There are no significant gaps in the knowledge base, but originality is limited.

The work demonstrates a sufficient knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the topic or domain. The work tends to lack critical insight and expertise is emergent rather than developed

The level of knowledge and understanding is not quite at the level expected. Expertise is limited and derivative rather than original.

There is evidence that some knowledge has been accumulated but this is very limited and there are significant gaps and fundamental weaknesses or misunderstandings.


Presentation and organization of the dissertation

The work is exceptionally well presented and the organisation exceeds that expected at this level.

The work fully complies with presentation guidelines and conventions.

Overall the presentation is of a high standard but with a few minor amendments required to bring it up to full compliance.

The presentation meets the pass standard but contains a number of errors and deviation from the guidelines and conventions

The work is not quite up to the standard expected. There are numerous errors- whilst these detract from the text they could have been easily rectified by re-working or editing the work

There are significant weaknesses in presentation and the work does not really meet expectations and falls short of convention in several important respects. These errors would require significant reworking of the text.

AACSB/ APL – AoL criteria (not grade contributing)

Exceeded Threshold


Borderline Proficient

Not proficient

CC8 Synthesis:

Synthesise information to contribute original insight to contemporary challenges and domains

Integrates relevant and sufficient information to address the challenge or domain, gathered from multiple and varied sources In addition to typical sources, finds unusual ways or places to get information. Promotes divergent or creative perspectives

Integrates relevant and sufficient information to address the challenge or domain Finds one or two sources that are not typical Offers new ideas but stays within narrow perspectives

Does not integrate information to address the challenge or domain Gathers too little, too much, or irrelevant information, or from too few sources Does not offer any new ideas

Insufficient information, weakly organised and descriptive

CC11 Reflection:

Reflect on own knowledge and understanding, prioritising self-development in new high level skills.

Strong analysis and critical reflection on current personal skill set and professional development. Evidences experiential learning and mindfulness.

Good self analysis of recent experience, reflection of current personal skill set and established priorities for professional development. Draws conclusions and makes connections to future plans for developing higher order skills.

Limited analysis and reflection on current personal skill set and requirements of professional development. Does not make a connection to future plans.

Unable to identify own capabilities or prioritise areas for development

[Criteria are weighted only in terms of the chosen submission format – which can be diverse.]