Business & Management

Dissertation

BUS9036M

2021-2022

June 22

Contents

Module Details

Module Code: BUS9036M Dissertation

Credit Rating: 60

Level: M

Subject: Business & Management

Pre-requisites: Progression through varying Research Methods modules (by programme of study).

Co-requisites: NA

Barred Combinations: NA

Department: Management

Module Lead: Dr Ian Pownall

External Examiner: Various depending on Subject focus

Contact Details

Module Co-ordinator: Dr Ian Pownall [email protected]

David Chiddick Building

DCB2201

Supervisors: Various (confirmed during the module)

Admin Support: Gemma Spink

LIBS Reception

David Chiddick Building

01522 83 5509

Open: 9am – 4pm Monday – Friday

[email protected]

Introduction

Welcome to your dissertation – the capstone project of the Masters programme. It allows you to explore your focus and interests.  It provides the opportunity for you to apply, integrate, and deepen the knowledge, insights, and skills that you have learned during your programme of study.  You can explore in this project a real-world issue or a research topic, which you execute in a manner consistent with the core philosophy and values of Lincoln International Business School (LIBS).

In keeping with the spirit of LIBS Masters programme, this module seeks to enable and facilitate innovation and creativity in terms of project foci, form and output.  This module also differs in how you engage with it. With the aim of creating independent and critical learners, you are required to not only undertake an in-depth study of a topic related to the title of your named degree but also to take responsibility for your own learning and negotiate the form and output of the final work. So this work is led by you rather than being prescribed by your supervisor.

You should enjoy the experience because this really is, a module you can own and direct.

The exact choice of topic and format of the final assessment will be negotiated with the supervisor, dissertation co-ordinator and (perhaps) programme leader. You will agree a Learning Plan and approach to your research with your supervisor, so as to provide a clear path to follow, goals to achieve and generate a final dissertation thesis / output. Although the foci and form of the dissertation are to be negotiated, you might produce one of the following:

Independent research project

Design of a new enterprise

Guided individual research project (determined and initially scoped by an academic tutor)

Work-based project

Client based project

Other negotiated project (consultancy, event/exhibition design, multi-media project, etc.).

There are two additional areas of change and development for this year (2021-2022) in how this dissertation module will work.

Change 1-the use of an online ethical application and approval process (LEAS)

Change 2 -the use of a structured guide to support your research dissertation (called TIPS).

These changes are reviewed in turn shortly in this book and on the Blackboard site.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module you should 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.

The dissertation represents the final independent study of your Masters. 

It is important to note that it must reflect your chosen degree in terms of subject matter.

Employability Skills / Skills for your Future

The module enhances your employability by developing the following transferable Work Ready skills:

Learning and Adaptability through – problem solving and critical analysis: analysing facts and circumstances to determine the cause of a problem and identifying and selecting appropriate solutions.  

Research and analysing: the ability to analyse and evaluate a range of business data, sources of information and appropriate methodologies, which includes the need for strong digital literacy, and to use that research for evidence-based decision-making.  Conceptual and critical thinking, analysis, synthesis and evaluation.  

Organisation through self-management: a readiness to accept responsibility and flexibility, to be resilient, self-starting and appropriately assertive, to plan, organise and manage time.  

Organisation, adaptability and initiative through –self reflection: self-analysis and an awareness/sensitivity to diversity in terms of people and cultures. This includes a continuing appetite for development.

Principles of Responsible Management Education

The Lincoln International Business School is committed to the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) to develop future leaders that are socially responsible who will create sustainable environmental and economic value.

To that end, students are encouraged to integrate these principles into their research practice and reflect on the implications of PRME for their own work. All human activity impacts upon our environment (natural, social, political) and should be a consideration in your work.

Research Ethics – LEAS

The University requires that all those carrying out research engage with the University’s commitment to conduct research to high ethical standards; understand the reasons for, and participate fully in, the ethical review process; and fulfil their moral and legal responsibilities in respect of the rights and welfare of participants.

The Research Ethics Policy can be found here (at https://lncn.ac/re).

The conduct of students must always be overseen by their supervisor, who takes responsibility for ensuring that the Code of Practice for Research and all relevant policies and procedures are followed.

The research code of practice can be viewed here (at https://lncn.ac./copr)

The University of Lincoln is committed to ensuring that its research activities involving human participants and personal data are conducted in a way which:

• respects the dignity, rights and welfare of all participants in research;

• minimises risk to participants, researchers and third parties;

• appropriately manages personal data;

• aims to maximise the public benefit of research.

Securing Ethical Approval and using the Templates

All research undertaken in the Business School (staff and student (all levels)) requires ethical approval. For this research module – you will need to work with your allocated supervisor to secure ethical approval using the online Lincoln Ethical Approval System (LEAS).

You can find the starting point for this process here.

Your research is broadly viewed as ‘that involving humans’ and ‘that not involving humans’.

Both types of research need approval BEFORE you start any data collection. In the case of research not involving humans, a Project Registration Form (PRF) has been completed and approved for the module. This will support (and approve) of any research that is:

Desk or library based

Reviews of existing publically available data

Systemic Reviews of Literature

If your research then involves ONLY data from the sources listed above, then you must agree with your supervisor and advise me (the module leader) that your research will not involve humans and be desk based only. You do NOT then need to complete an individual ethical application.

For ALL OTHER research designs, you will complete an individual (ethical) LEAS application. Work with your supervisor when completing this application. You will need to liaise with your academic supervisor to complete the application before requesting the academic supervisor’s authorisation. Once your supervisor is happy that you have addressed all their comments, then they or you will need to request authorisation from the second marker for a review of your application. There is an option in your LEAS application when you select submission to note that you are a PGT student from LIBS to request this.

The second marker will only electronically sign the form when they are happy with it, otherwise they will add comments and reject the authorisation request prompting you to reflect further upon their concerns.

To COMPLETE an individual application to LEAS you will need:

Any participant information sheets (PI sheet)

Any questionnaire /interview questions and schedule

Any schedule for focus groups of other data collection approaches

Have considered the risks and data management of your proposed work

Have considered the literature AND methodological arguments outlined so far in this guide before you commence your application.

Have considered the language used in your data collection instruments with your participants

There are approved university templates (see the relevant section of the BB site) to guide you through a number of these tasks that you can adapt. You can also find these templates here and on Blackboard.

All of this information is submitted at the same time as your LEAS application.

You cannot therefore undertake a successful LEAS application BEFORE you have considered and reviewed the literature and your methodology.

The outcome of an application to LEAS will be either:

A favourable opinion – to support the work and allow it to proceed

An unfavourable opinion – whereby queries have been raised you need to address in your amendment to your application.

PLEASE NOTE – If your proposed research involves any aspect of a special human characteristic (such as working with children) then your LEAS application is reviewed by a committee in LIBS prior to a decision being taken. This will take more time to approve. Where this is the case, LIBS will allocate reviewers for projects that are vulnerable groups or sensitive topics (the second supervisor signature will not be available for those projects).

There are exemplar applications available on the portal here (and which are available of Blackboard -see the ‘ethics’ tab).

You will be allocated a first supervisor (and know of the second marker) who will help you through the ethical approval process and support you in your research.

In all cases of an individual LEAS application, please ensure you allow enough time between submission of an application and the intended start of your data collection (this may take upto 2-3 weeks if there are complications and difficulties in the proposed work and/or the LEAS application requires amendments).

Remember – all LEAS applications must include ALL supporting documentation required – this includes any questionnaires, interview schedules and participant information sheets etc. The University provides a number of templates for this information here. They are available as files also on the Blackboard site.

Remember – you may ONLY use approved questionnaire services – presently this is onlinesurveys.ac.uk (where the university will create an account for you) or MS Forms. An account will be created for you that you will then need to confirm when you receive the email invitation. You can also contact [email protected] directly to set up your account.

Remember – you may NOT start any research until your application has received a ‘favourable review’ (received by email) unless it is previously supported by the approved PRF.

FINALLY – a successful ethical application requires you to have a significantly progressed literature and methodological understanding. This is why the LEAS application seems later in the research time available to you. Again – please factor this into your time management.

Teaching & Learning Methods

Contact Time

There will be a series of keynote lectures delivered across Semester B and up to 6 hours of supervision. Please see the Blackboard site for what this means in practice.

Directed Study

You will be allocated an individual supervisor based upon a submitted Research Intention Form (RIF) and/or completion of the Research Survey (both available on the Blackboard site). Your supervisor will advise and facilitate the process of your independent study. You are encouraged to reflect on the database of staff interests (see the Blackboard site) to seek to align your research with available staff and where possible and feasible, to nominate potential supervisors.

Whilst the allocation of supervisors, aims to align staff and your interests, this cannot be guaranteed. All supervisors are capable of supporting you in your independent research journey.

Independent Study

You are expected to invest approximately 600 hours of time into your Masters dissertation. This is a significant volume of time as befits a significant part of your Masters study.

Most of this time will be used in your independent study.

Module Delivery

The module will be delivered by periodic supporting online workshops with the majority of time being used on 1-1 support meetings with your supervisor. You are expected to articulate your research focus and develop key research questions to guide your investigation. Supervisors will advise, but will not direct your study.

Module Delivery

Total Hours

Lectures

5

Supervision (max.)

6

Independent Study (nominal)

589

Nominal Total (60 CATS)

600

.

Feedback Strategy

Receiving formative feedback during your learning is essential to ensure you are prepared for your final assessments. To support your learning throughout the module the following formative feedback strategies are used:

Feedback on draft work, directions and themes

One-to-one meetings with your supervisor

Assessment Rationale

Assessment Method

Weighting(%)

Due

LO’s Assessed

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Proposal and Plan

10

TBC

x

x

Final Dissertation

90

TBC

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

The module is assessed by two written submissions. Full assessment details are available in Appendix 2.

Assessment Criteria Grids will be used to provide feedback on Blackboard and indicate how marks will be allocated, they are included in Appendix 3.

Assessment and other Submission Details

This module will be assessed through a portfolio of work comprising three distinct outputs (although only TWO are graded and contribute your mark for the module).

To start your research planning – you must complete EITHER 1 or 2 below:

FORMATIVE (not graded) – You will complete the Research Intention Form (RIF) on Blackboard if you have a reasonably developed idea you intend to pursue in your dissertation. Please email this to me ([email protected]) by the 28th February 2022.

FORMATIVE (not graded)- You will complete the Research Themes Survey (the link is provided on Blackboard) if you have not focused upon an idea yet . The survey will seek to gather and understand what your interests are and any themes that you may be thinking about. Complete this by the date 28th February 2022.

NOTE – Either 1 or 2 MUST be completed so that an appropriate supervisor can be allocated to you. Either must be completed by the 28th February ideally. Later submissions are accepted but there may be limits on the availability of supporting staff.

SUMMATIVE (graded) – You will produce a project plan and proposal (One document) – this will be the equivalent of 1000 words and will form the basis of an agreed Plan of work. Please use the template for this found on Blackboard. The submission date of this Assessment is June 22nd 2022 12 noon (UK) time 2022.

FORMATIVE but contributing to your SUMMATIVE experience – You will create and document an online supervision log that will be used to gauge your engagement and your progress. This is documented below in this handbook and on Blackboard.

SUMMATIVE (graded)- You will create a final dissertation/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

NOTE – your FINAL mark for the module is constructed from EITHER your dissertation / thesis mark ONLY OR the combined proposal and thesis/dissertation mark.

IF your proposal mark is greater than your final thesis/dissertation mark then your final mark for the module is constructed as (10% Proposal +90% thesis/dissertation)

IF your proposal mark is less than your final thesis/dissertation mark then your final mark for the module is constructed ONLY from your thesis/dissertation mark (100%).

This flexibility accommodates and recognises that typically your research thinking and execution will improve as you progress through your research.

Full assessment details are available in Appendix 2 and on Blackboard.

Recording your meetings with your supervisor

As a minimum – once a month in, January through May (inclusive) you must meet with your supervisor.

Following the meeting you must complete the dissertation supervision form. You must fill in all information, detailing what was discussed in the meeting and any outcomes or feedback.

You must input/select the email address for your dissertation supervisor. If the email is not typed correctly then the form will not be processed. If the email address for the supervisor is not in the list to select then please type it in.

Once the form has been completed it will be sent straight to the dissertation supervisor for approval.

If you do not complete a form for a particular month then the PGT admin team will send you a reminder to complete the form. If a form is still not submitted then you may be invited to an attendance panel meeting and if you have a Tier 4 Visa, your visa may be at risk.

Below is the link to the dissertation supervision online form which you need to complete once a month to evidence your engagement with the dissertation process.  All students need to complete the form, Home and International students.  

*Here is the link you need (it is also available on BlackBoard)

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=xEculd4FgkKDr19LRrFij4KpavXL2V9Hgoadw4QyfxJUMVRSRkdWVkczQUdGWjRHV1Y2TVRLQVhRQi4u

 

You need to complete the forms in order to be able to submit the dissertation.

The University’s Student Engagement and Participation Policy states that students need to engage during the dissertation period as well as during the timetabled sessions.

Please remember –If you hold a Tier 4 visa and do not submit the form each month to show your engagement then you are breaching the terms of your visa. 

Returning Home

If you have a Tier 4 visa and wish to return home to work on their dissertation then you need to ask for your supervisor’s approval and then complete a Change of Circumstances form and Tier 4 will review the request – you must not return home until the absence has been authorised.  The change form can be accessed via the link below and you need to select the category of ‘change of research location’.     

https://ps.lincoln.ac.uk/services/registry/Assessments/Tier4ChangeOfCircumstances/SitePages/Home.aspx

 

Unwell? Need to take a break from your studies?

If you need to request authorised absence during the dissertation period, for example if you are unwell and unable to study full time, please request authorised absence via the link on Blackboard. See the ‘Need help?’ tab on Blackboard.

KEY ASSESSMENT DATES and ACTIVITIES

DATE to be completed by

ACTIVITY

What you need to do

Who does this?

Support

Research Intention Form (RIF) [on Blackboard]

Complete this form IF you have a reasonably developed idea for your dissertation.

ALL

Module Tutor

Research Survey

[on Blackboard]

Click the survey link if you do not have any reasonably developed idea for a dissertation. These questions will aim to identify themes of interest to you.

ALL

You MUST complete EITHER the RIF or the Survey- so you can be allocated a suitable supervisor.

TBC

Confirmed allocation of supervisors

N/A – confirm you are on the listing!

MODULE TUTOR

ALL-Complete online log

Of your meetings with

Your supervisor

TBC

Assessment 1 Submission – Your Proposal

[on Blackboard]

Submit your Research Proposal

ALL

Between January and March 2022

Submit your LEAS Ethical Application Form Submission + supporting materials

[this submission is made via LEAS and NOT via Blackboard]

Work with your supervisor to complete your LEAS application.

ALL

TBC

Assessment 2 Submission

[on Blackboard]

Submit your Research Dissertation

ALL

Formative and Summative Assessments

You will receive formative feedback through regular supervision meetings with your allocated supervisor. The Proposal and (where necessary) the supervisory records will be assessed using assessment grids; but you will also receive feedback guidance and support through your supervisory meetings.

Information about your weighted assessments

This is a portfolio normally comprising three summative elements:

Initial Research Proposal and Project Plan (One Document) (10%)

Completion of an online supervision log and LEAS application (where required) (Pass/Fail)

Final Project/Dissertation (90%)

The weighting of the assessed elements is indicative; the final grade will be based on a combined mark, unless, once all elements have been completed, the final dissertation is awarded a higher grade, in which case the higher grade will stand. Please see the earlier discussion on this.

Detailed instructions for each of these assignments are also contained on the module’s Blackboard page, under Assignment Guidelines. Where you have negotiated a project you are still required to adhere to the above assessments. For an Enterprise Based Dissertation the ‘pitch’ contributes to the final dissertation component.

Dishonesty and Plagiarism

The University 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.

You can find the Postgraduate Regulations here.

Plagiarism is a serious offence and is treated by the University as a form of dishonest means in assessment. Students are directed to the University Regulations for details of the procedures and penalties involved. Plagiarism is, however, easily avoided by the full and correct use of referencing.

You can learn more about academic offences here.

When available, always check your ‘similarity’ index (SI) on Turnitin submissions to ensure you percentage rating is in the ‘green’. Please note however, that such a rating is indicative only and tutors will consider other evidence in assessing the academic integrity of your work. Where there are doubts about your work you may be called in for an interview.

If you are at all unsure of what unfair academic means are or what plagiarism means – you can watch this presentation.

[All LINKS tested December 2021]

Learning Resources

Reading

The key text(s) for this module are:

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

Saunders, M.N.K.,Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2019). Research Methods, 8th edition.Pearson: Harlow.

Other recommended reading for the module is:

Booth, A.,Sutton,A. & Papaionnou, D. (2016) Systematic Approaches to a Successful Literature Review Sage: London

Bryman, A. & Bell, E. (2015) Business Research Methods 4th Edition OUP: Oxford

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Jackson, PR (2018) Management and Business Research Sage: London

Fisher, C. (2010) Researching and Writing a Dissertation: An essential guide for business students FT:Prentice: London

Saunders, M.N.K., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2015) Research Methods for Business Students Pearsons:London

Wallace, M.& Wray, A. (2016) Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates Sage: London

Other more specific references are provided on the Module Blackboard site and will be signposted in class. You are also expected to read independently for this module This module requires that you follow the Harvard System of referencing.[Link tested August 2021].

The Library (www.library.lincoln.ac.uk )

Our Subject Librarians are Martin Osborne and Daren Mansfield. They can assist you to use the catalogue, do subject searches and so on. Contact details are:

Martin Osborne’s contact details:

Work telephone: (01522) 886316

Email: [email protected]

Room: University Library

Daren Mansfield’s contact details:

Work telephone: (01522) 886094

Email: [email protected]

Room: University Library

If you cannot find Martin Osborne or Daren Mansfield, any of the subject librarians will help you.

Digital Learning Resources (https://digitaleducation.lincoln.ac.uk/resources-hub/ )

In addition to the above it is recommended you make use of the digital learning resources to support your learning on this module:

You can reflect on your study skills development here.[Links tested December 2021].


Research and Dissertations

You can also review the University Library’s referencing guide here.

Appendix 1: Schedule of Activity

Date

Lecture Topic

Reading

11th January and repeated 18th January – both 3-4 pm ONLINE

Introduction to the module: This will provide an outline of the scope and flexibility of the LIBS dissertation

Saunders et al (2019) chapter 1,2

Biggam (2018) chapter 4

15th February 3-4pm ONLINE

TIPS and finding a focus

Saunders et al (2019) chapter 2

Biggam (2018) chapter 4

22nd February 3-4pm ONLINE

Literature, LEAS and Reading

Saunders et al (2019) chapter 3,4

Biggam (2018) chapter 5

15th March 3-4pm ONLINE

Methodology and Critical Thinking

Saunders et al (2019) chapter 5,6

Biggam (2018) chapter 8

29th March 3-4PM ONLINE

Supervision: This will outline how to get the most out of the supervision process.

26th April 3-4pm ONLINE

LEAS walk through

[additional session confirmed with the class]

Sessions are ONLINE unless otherwise advised.

Appendix 2: Assessment -Proposal Brief

Module Code & Title: Dissertation BUS9036M

Contribution to Final Module Mark: 10%

Description of Assessment Task and Purpose:

The aim of this assessment is that you are required to produce a research proposal and work plan for your dissertation. This must be in the format of the form on Blackboard and outlined here.

USE THE TEMPLATE PROVIDED ON BLACKBOARD FOR THIS SUBMISSION

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:

Postgraduate Study Skills: Managing the Dissertation Process

These Learning Resources are available via the blackboard module site.

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.

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 are required to submit your essay on or before noon (12pm) – 22nd June 2022 using the online assessment submission facility on the Module Blackboard site. Pay careful attention to instructions provided.

The expected date to return grades and feedback is 15 working days after the deadline

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: 3 weeks after submission

Format for Assessment: Please use the template provided on the Blackboard Site.

Marking Criteria for Assessment:

Please see the Appendices 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.

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 plagiarism.org

Assessment Rubric (Assessment 1)

Clarity 12%

Excellent (5)

Good (4)

Satisfactory (3)

Fair – with risk of failure (2)

Poor – needs significant improvement (1)

Not Evidenced (0)

Is the focus of the project clear and suitable? Do we have a central aim and related objectives? Is the focus suitable for the degree title?

Excellent Clarity

Aims and objectives clearly expressed but would benefit from further improvement/tightening

Aims and objectives apparent and workable, but some further clarification required

General aim apparent but are insufficient to provide the guidance or structure required.

General aims weekly identified but need further refinement and objectives need to be articulated appropriately

Not Evidenced

Rationale 20%

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is the justification for and relevance of the topic; in terms of academic literature, contemporary business practice and/or enterprise development?Is there scope for critical thinking and originality/creativity?

Excellent Rationale – clear and concise.

Rationale fundamentally sound but would benefit from further thought/stronger argument in some areas.

Rationale as outlined is generally relevant, but lacks originality and/or scope for creativity/criticality. The rationale needs to be clearer/stronger in some respects; to enable the work to make appropriate recommendations/develop stronger conclusions.

Rationale is weak and arguments need strengthening in several important respects if the work is to meet a pass standard.

Rationale unclear/inconsistent. The argument insufficiently supported and lacks clarity/relevancy.

Not Evidenced

Suitability 20%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the approach to the problem or project sound? Are the potential sources of evidence identified and to what extent can this material be assembled? Have sources of evidence been evaluated? Are the sources/subject accessible?

Excellent – clear relationship between aims/objectives and chosen approach. If followed through competently the work should address all aims and objectives.

The approach is generally suitable and, if carried out competently should enable the general aims and most of the objectives to be met. There are some minor concerns/potential improvements required

Approach being taken is broadly appropriate. However, there are some doubts about some aspects and further work is needed in several important respects. However, there is confidence that the approach should enable the work to succeed.

There are significant doubts about the suitability of the approach being taken/proposed. Unless the issues are addressed then the work is unlikely to meet the standard expected.

Methods/Sources are either inappropriate or ill defined. Unless the approach is changed/further developed the work is likely to fail.

Not Evidenced

References 12%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the scope and extent of the literature understood? Have the key sources been identified an accessed? Are the citations correct?

Excellent – precise and appropriate with no obvious limitations

The references/sources are broadly and specifically appropriate to the purpose of the research. If used well they should enable the work to reach a high standard. Some minor additions/adjustments are needed to improve the potential.

The evidence presented confirms that the sources are broadly sufficient and accessible. Further work is needed to either identify more focused material/sources and/or broaden the evidence base. If used appropriately, the evidence base is sufficient to enable the work to reach a pass standard.

Basic sources identified but further sources are needed to scope the study. Unless the sources are developed, the work is unlikely to pass.

References inappropriate/insufficient, further literature search needed. As it stands the evidence base is insufficient to enable the work to pass.

Not Evidenced

Structure 12%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the proposed structure logical and consistent with the aims and objectives?

Excellent – no further improvements required

The proposed structure is consistent with the proposed approach and follows conventions. There are only minor improvements needed.

The proposed structure of the work is consistent with the general principles of research. If the work was presented in the manner suggested it would be likely to meet a pass standard. However, the proposed structure could be enhanced in some key respects.

Structure needs more work and unless improvements are made the final output is unlikely to pass

Structure flawed in several respects and unless these issues are resolved, the dissertation is highly likely to fail

Not Evidenced

Schedule 12%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is the proposed structure of final output appropriate? Is the schedule fully outlined and agreed with the supervisor? Is the schedule clear and achievable?

Excellent – the schedule has built in contingency and is highly likely to succeed.

The schedule is clear and logical. However, there are some minor concerns and/or limited evidence of contingency planning.

The workflow is generally clear and milestones appropriate, The schedule may be ambiguous in part and have limited contingency; or be inconsistent with some of the supervisor’s expectations. However, if all goes according to plan, the work has a high probability of being completed on time.

More work needed to clarify workflow and milestones, and more importantly, the work is at risk of failing to meet the deadline

Schedule flawed in several respects and the work is highly unlikely to be completed satisfactorily unless these are resolved

Not Evidenced

Ethics 12%

 

 

 

 

 

 

Has the proposal considered likely /primary ethical issues, will be responsibly managed and consistent with the values of LIBS?

Fully articulated and all potential dilemmas identified and outlined

Generally well articulated and no significant issues unidentified. There may be minor issues associated with argument and presentation – but fundamental issues have been initially addressed. There are no reasons to limit progress of the project.

Generally sufficient to allow a LEAS application to be made but some minor matters need to be resolved. Ethical approval is likely.

Some ethical dilemmas either need further argument or resolutions needed before the work can expect to secure ethical approval. Ethical approval is unlikely to be supported at this stage

Limited awareness of ethical principles and/or responsible management. The work cannot proceed until these are addressed.

Not Evidenced

Appendix 3: Final Dissertation Assessment Brief

Module Code & Title: Dissertation BUS9036M

Contribution to Final Module Mark: 90%

Description of Assessment Task and Purpose:

The aim of this assessment is that you are required to submit a dissertation or equivalent (as agreed with your supervisor). This must be compliant with the presentation requirements stated on Blackboard.

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:

Postgraduate Study Skills: Managing the Dissertation Process

These Learning Resources are 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.

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 are required to submit your essay on or before noon (12pm) UK time – 7th October 2022 using the online assessment submission facility on the Module Blackboard site. Pay careful attention to instructions provided.

The expected date to return grades and feedback is 20 working days after the deadline (or the scheduled assessment board date).

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: Nominally 3 weeks after the submission deadline OR the by the appropriate examination board.

Format for Assessment: Please use the template provided on the Blackboard Site and as detailed in the TIPS guidance document.

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:

The generic marking criteria are as follows. These are then applied to the assessment task in the Appendix.

Please see the Appendices 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.

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 plagiarism.org

Assessment Rubric (Assessment 2- Final Project)


Assessment Criteria

Exceptional

80+

Excellent

70-79

Good

60-69

Satisfactory

50-59

Fair with significant weaknesses

40-49

Poor with fundamental weakness

Less than 40

Communication

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

Management

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

Method

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.

Synthesis

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

Evaluation

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.

Reflection

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.

Conclusions

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.

Knowledge

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

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

Proficient

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

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