The Introduction chapter should be 500 words in length approximately. It sets the scene for the entire thesis and introduces the topic. In this chapter, the student should outline the focus of the project, and the origins of the research question.
If possible, the student should frame the professional/industry context for the inquiry, and provide some industry insights in the form of media commentary and/or statistical facts.
In this chapter, the student introduces the research question and objectives/hypotheses, and provides rationale and justification for them. Students should ensure that their research question is phrased as a question (i.e. a sentence expressed in such a way as to elicit information), the research objectives are relevant to the research question and phrased in appropriate Masters Level language (EG: “To critically evaluate…”, “To investigate…”, “To determine…” etc.). In this chapter, students should also introduce the structure of the thesis and provide readers with an overview of the contents of each chapter.
Critical Literature Review
The Critical Literature Review should be 1,500 words in length approximately. It is the chapter in which students critically evaluate academic scholarship on their chosen topic. The student should read the literature on their topic, form key headings for the literature review and critically evaluate previous research on the topic.
In the context of a literature review, “critical” means that the student is intellectually engaged with the key debates in the literature on the topic in question. Students conduct the literature review to understand the academic conversation on a particular topic or subject and determine what the expert perspective is.
There may well be a divergence of opinion on a subject, or that different aspects of the subject have been previously explored. The goal of the literature review is to evaluate the current body of knowledge and formulate an academically relevant research question from this review. Students should try, wherever possible, to identify gaps in the current body of knowledge and ways in which they could contribute to the discourse on a particular topic.
For students engaging in quantitative research, it is useful to refer to hypotheses formulated during the research process in the Critical Literature Review, so examiners can see a clear link between the hypotheses and the extant literature.
The Research Methodology should be 1,000 words in length approximately. In this chapter, the student should re-state the research question and objectives/hypotheses for the benefit of the reader, having completed the literature review the focus of the research project should be made clear.
The student should then explain the paradigm the research approach is located in and the research philosophy guiding the inquiry. The nature of the research question will determine the paradigm the project will be located within, and the philosophy which will underpin the ontological and epistemological assumptions of the research approach. Generally, research will be either located in the positivist or interpretivist paradigm (although other paradigmatic positions, such as Pragmatism, are possible), and the research methods used in the inquiry will depend upon the research paradigm the work is located within.
Students should explain the research methods used and provide rationale and justification for the research design of the study. They should explain how they have collected their data, and the sampling strategy they adopted for the work. Students should also explain how they have conducted their analysis and interpretation of the data they have generated during the inquiry, and the ways they have ensured the trustworthiness, reliability and validity of their data and analysis.
In this chapter, students should also discuss the limitations of their research, and any challenges they may have encountered in the research process (access to interviewees, survey response rates, etc.). Students can use a single methodology (EG: Questionnaires/Depth Interviews), or use multiple data collection approaches as part of either a case study or mixed methods study. Primary and/or secondary data collection approaches are acceptable for the dissertation project. Students are often unsure as to how much primary data they should collect for an MSc dissertation project. Students are advised to collect a minimum of 8 hours of qualitative data (for a qualitative study), 100 questionnaires (for a quantitative study), or whatever appropriate balance for a mixed methods study.
The nature of the topic and the methodology must also be considered in how much data the student will collect, and consultation with the supervisor is vital prior to the data collection phase of the project. Students collecting secondary data as part of a Case Study or other secondary data project should agree an appropriate level of data collection with their supervisors.
The Data Analysis chapter should be 2,000 words in length approximately. This chapter accounts for 35% of the marks, and is a vitally important chapter for the dissertation. In this chapter, the student must analyse the data collected and identify key patterns from the analysis. These can take the form of overarching themes (in qualitative research), hypothesis testing (in quantitative research), or key tabulations from secondary quantitative data using SPSS or other statistical software.
Students should read their data with their research question and objectives in mind and ensure that the analysis adequately helps to address the overall aims of the research project. In this chapter, students should also compare and contrast their findings with previous studies for consistency, and evaluate the significance of their findings. It is also useful if students formulate a clear thesis (argument) from their analysis of the data collected in this chapter.
The Conclusion chapter should be 500 words in length approximately. In this chapter, students should reflect upon their research question and objectives/hypotheses, and the answers they have developed from the findings of their research project. They should also consider the theoretical (do the findings challenge existing theory?) and managerial implications (what do the findings imply for practicing managers/practitioners/public sector leaders of the research project). Crucially, students must show how they have addressed the research question and objectives they originally formulated for the research project.
The Recommendations chapter should be 500 words in length approximately. It should consider what recommendations would be made on the basis of the findings of the study and the answer to the research question/objectives/hypotheses posed. Students should make recommendations for management practice, wider society (if applicable) and importantly for future research projects, which may be particularly helpful for students undertaking dissertations in future cohorts. Students should also critically reflect upon their findings and consider their implications.
Bibliography and Appendices
The Bibliography of sources should include all sources cited in the dissertation as well as all sources which helped to formulate the approach to the topic, this is not included in the overall word count. All references should be cited using “Cite Them Right”, and dissertations should all conform to this referencing standard. Footnotes and/or Endnotes can be provided if students wish to further elaborate on a particular point made in the text of the dissertation. All references cited in the Bibliography must be in alphabetical order. Students can also include an Appendices which should include a sample of the questionnaire used, interview guides, sample interview transcripts (a minimum of three), or any other secondary documentation referred to in the dissertation. Any material in the appendices in any language other than English must be translated for the benefit of the reader.
Type of service-Dissertation services
Type of assignment-Dissertation
Pages / words-10 / 5000
Language style-UK English