RSCH09013 2016 Dissertation M Sc. Marketing

General Details

Full Title
Dissertation M Sc. Marketing
Transcript Title
Diss M Sc.
N/A %
Subject Area
RSCH - Research
MKTS - Marketing, Tourism & Sport
09 - NFQ Level 9
30 - 30 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
Catherine McGuinn
Programme Membership
SG_BMARK_M09 201600 Master of Science in Marketing SG_BMARK_M09 201900 Master of Science in Business in Marketing

•·         The dissertation phase of the course aims to facilitate the student in drawing together the various aspects of the taught course with the academic skills developed and through engaging in a particular aspect of critical marketing study, relate the conclusions of their own area of practice.  The aim of this module is to enable students to undertake an ordered and critical investigation of the chosen research, which will demonstrate their ability to work independently at masters level, both in preparing and presenting their dissertation and subsequently. 

•·         This process is designed to develop the skills and expertise required to facilitate the continued professional development of the student.  The dissertation will therefore, be indicative of the students research potential and will demonstrate an ability to extend the existing body of knowledge in the chosen field.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


•1. Select a contemporary marketing issue, determine Masters level research objectives, undertake a critical literature survey, set up an appropriate research design and deploy the chosen methods;


•2.          Utilise appropriate concepts, theories and techniques, collect, analyse and present the data, qualitatively and or/quantitatively, and draw appropriate conclusions;


•3.          Present research in the form of dissertation to Masters standard in which the research findings are communicated clearly, concisely and effectively;


•4.          Demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge and a practical understanding of how established techniques and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge;


•5.          Develop analytical and critical appraisal skills that illustrate a conceptual understanding enabling the student to evaluate methodologies and, where appropriate, propose a new hypotheses;


6. Demonstrate a clear reflective process, which enhances the student's own professional and personal development as a reflective, innovative practitioner able to approach practice as a dynamic agent for change;

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Self-directed learning.


Guidance/direction of a dissertation supervisor.

Module Assessment Strategies

Written dissertation 100%

Repeat Assessments

As above

Indicative Syllabus

 Guidelines for the Masters Dissertation

The Dissertation Defence:

The "proposal defence" comes near the beginning of the process and is not intended as a presentation and defence of the conclusions the dissertation will reach. Its focus is more on the questions being asked in the dissertation than on the answers being given, though this is not incompatible with having one or more working hypotheses or tentative theses. The purpose is to determine whether the topic is deemed to be of significant philosophical importance and yet manageable in the time and space available. The discussion is not so much an exam as an attempt to formalize the earlier discussions, giving faculty persons with some interest and expertise related to the topic the opportunity to make suggestions for approaches to the topic, bibliography to be explored, pitfalls to be avoided.


The Dissertation must be:

•-          Word Processed

•-          Double Spaced

•-          Quotations must be single spaced

•-          Margins (40mm at binding edge)

•-          Numbered pages

•-          Appendices numbered using Roman numerals

•-          The Dissertation should be between 15,000 and 20,000 words in length

•-          Two copies must be submitted.

•-          May be submitted in soft cover file but must be bound before graduation



      - Plagiarism, i.e. unattributed use of others work, leads to automatic failure

- The dissertation must be the student's own work.

- Use of quotations and data from others is useful but these must be attributed to the authors and either indented in the text or quotation marks should be used.



The dissertation should be comprised of clear, specific and concise sections. Irrespective of the specific subject matter of the dissertation an effective way to proceed would be to answer the following questions in order.



Why is this area/problem/topic worth researching?

Introduction Chapter

What is the area/problem/topic?

Literature Review Chapter

How did you study the area/topic/problem?

Research Methodology Chapter

What did you find?
What do these findings mean?

Findings Chapter

What importance does your research have for theory and practice?
Based on your conclusions from the study what further research is required?

Conclusions and Further Research Chapter



Preface Pages:

•-          Declaration

•-          Contents list - must give the page number of each item on the list and include appendices.

•-          Possibly a list of tables and/or figures.

•-          Possibly - dedications; lists of abbreviations; etc..



•-          Approximately 200 words.

•-          A précis of the study

•-          It includes the topic to be studied, the methods used and key findings.


The purpose of the abstract is to provide a quick synopsis of the dissertation.  It is on the basis of the abstract that people will decide whether or not to read the dissertation.  Avoid detail. Specificity, clarity and conciseness are the key.



•-          A brief outline of the background of the research

•-          Describes the key focus of the research issue

•-          Gives an overview of the content of each chapter


Objectives:     Here the main research question and the sub-objectives are stated.


Title Page:

 Whilst many may read the title of the dissertation, only a few will read the entire report. All words in the title should be chosen with great care with emphasis on clarity. The content of the dissertation should be described in the fewest possible words.

            The title page should contain the following:


•1.      The full title of the Dissertation and the subtitle, if any.

•2.      The full names of the author, followed, if desired, by any qualifications and distinctions.

•3.      Details of the Dissertation - "A Research Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment for the Degree of Masters of Business Administration, Institute of Technology, Sligo.

•4.      The name of the Department, the Faculty and Institute of Technology/ University in which the research was registered. - "Department of Business, School of Business and Humanities, Institute of Technology, Sligo.

•5.      The name of the Research Supervisor(s).

•6.      The month and year of submission.

Statement of the Problem:

•-          The hypotheses to be tested

•-          The research questions to be answered

•-          The intended outcomes of the research






Review of Related Literature:

•-          Focused on the area of research

•-          Recent

•-          Evaluation of prior research

•-          Informing the research process and the assessor


"If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants" - Sir. Isaac Newton.

As indicated by Sir Isaac Newton, academic research is based on a slow methodical building of the body of knowledge

    • The purpose of the Literature Review chapter is to present the research that has been carried out to date on the chosen subject.  Students should be able to come to an understanding of the main themes and findings in the particular chosen subject.  A good literature review must illustrate that the student has read and understands the relevant literature in the area.  The main headings of the chapter should be the main themes of the literature.  It is imperative that the literature is combined and synthesised.

The chapter should commence with an Introduction, which clearly outlines the academic argument for pursuing this area of research.  It is very important that the literature review has a clear logical progression in its arguments.  Therefore it is important that one include link sentences that illustrate and argue why one is presenting the sections in the order that they are presented.  The end of the chapter must have a conclusion, which summarises the main points that have been argued through out the literature review chapter.

The structure of the main headings of the literature review is important, as these headings will be used continuously through out the dissertation.  The literature review chapter is the foundation of the dissertation, the stronger the foundation - the stronger the finished product. 




•-          Type of research

•-          The research instrument

•-          How the research was carried out

•-          How the results were analysed

•-          Limitations of the methodology


The principal purpose of the Research Methodology chapter is to provide enough detail that a competent research worker can replicate the study.  The section on methodology also allows the research to be validated.  Careful writing of this section is critically important because the premise of the scientific method in research requires that results, to be of scientific value, must be reproducible.

This chapter is concerned with research methods - not findings.  It is imperative that research findings will not be included or referred to in this chapter.

•-          Enough information must be given so that the research could be reproduced by another competent research worker and judgment made regarding the validity of ones work



The purpose of the abstract is to provide a quick synopsis of the dissertation.  It is on the basis of the abstract that people will decide whether or not to read the dissertation.  Avoid detail. Specificity, clarity and conciseness are the key.


•-          Must be logical and accessible to the assessor

•-          Must contain prose as well as tables and graphs

•-          Should contain the salient results only - appendices to be used appropriately




•-          Critical and creative element

•-          Results explained and evaluated and related back to the literature



The actual structure of the headings for this chapter follow logically the main research questions identified in the literature review and documented in the research methodology chapter.


The chapter normally starts by presenting some background data, which give some kind of overall description and provide the "big picture".  The main part of the chapter presents what has been found on each of the research questions on the basis of the primary research carried out. 


Having presented the findings comment must be made on what these findings mean. This is an extremely significant part of the dissertation representing the conversion of data into knowledge.



•-          Short

•-          Key findings

•-          Possible recommendations

•-          Limitations of the study

•-          Areas for further research


As the chapter heading suggests this chapter serves two purposes; to present the conclusions of the research and to outline possible areas for further research.



In the previous chapter findings were presented and commented on. This chapter should serve as a statement of what these findings mean. By drawing on what was previously known (as per the literature review) and answering the research question(s) asked, one can reach conclusions on what has been found. It is imperative to keep the research question under active consideration in this chapter. When presenting each conclusion one should:

•§         state each conclusion as clearly as possible

•§         summarise the evidence for each conclusion


Further Research:

The research will have reached some interesting conclusions but these will need to be investigated further. In this section one should outline how another researcher could build on the research that has already been undertaken in this dissertation.




•-          The Harvard referencing system

•-          Alphabetical Order

•-          All literature included

•-          Must be mostly recent literature

•-          Relative and authoritative literature





- Only relevant information to be included

•-          Must be in order

•-          Must be numbered in relation to text Appendices


The Appendices should include items that are important to the overall documentation of the dissertation, but if presented in the main body would interrupt the flow of the argument being presented. A common example of items included in the appendices are the items used in carrying out the research e.g. questionnaire, cover letters for research etc.  Also if abbreviations are used an appendix providing a list of the abbreviations is required.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Written Report Dissertation Continuous Assessment UNKNOWN 100 % Week 15 1,2,3,4,5,6

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Tutorial Not Specified Contact with Supervisor 18 Fortnightly 9.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 9.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
2010-12-20 Research Methods: The Basics Routledge
ISBN 0415489946 ISBN-13 9780415489942

Research Methods: The Basics is an accessible, user-friendly introduction to the different aspects of research theory, methods and practice. Structured in two parts, the first covering the nature of knowledge and the reasons for research, and the second the specific methods used to carry out effective research, this book covers:

  • Structuring and planning a research project
  • The ethical issues involved in research
  • Different types of data and data quality
  • Analysing and organising data to draw sound conclusions
  • Writing up and displaying data in effective ways

@text:Complete with a glossary of key terms and guides to further reading, this book is an essential text for anyone coming to research for the first time, and is widely relevant across the social sciences and humanities.

Recommended Reading
2005-04-21 Getting a PhD: An Action Plan to Help Manage Your Research, Your Supervisor and Your Project (Routledge Study Guides) Routledge
ISBN 0415344980 ISBN-13 9780415344982

This highly practical guide provides information that will help research students avoid needless mistakes. It informs and advises you about many of the important facets of postgraduate research, including:

  • what it means to conduct research at doctoral level
  • the requirements for independence, contribution to knowledge, originality and suitability for publication
  • planning a research project over a period of time
  • responsible research practice
  • criteria used in the examination of a PhD.

Getting a PhD is an essential handbook for PhD students and provides plenty of useful advice for Masters students or undergraduates conducting a research project.

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Business Research Projects for Students


Thomson Business Press




Supplementary  Reading






Research Methods in Business Studies

Ghauri P, Gronhaug K.

Prentice Hall


Management Research - An Introduction

Easterby-Smith, Lowe & Thorpe



Research Methods for Managers

Gill J & Johnson P

Paul Chapman


Doing Research in Business and Management: an Introduction to Process and Method

Remenyi, D




Researching and Writing Dissertations in Business and Management

Riley M, Wood R, Clark M et al

Thomson Publishers


Marketing Research in Ireland. 2nd Edition

Domegan, C & Fleming, D.

Gill and McMillan


Additional Sources of Information:





Academic Online Bibliographies: ABI Inform, Proquest, Wilson Web Business. Wide range of sources available in the college library.


Websites:  exps - not exhaustive): - writing thesis tips from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne
 - writing a literature from the University of Canberra Australia
 - links to many resources on writing research projects and papers from the Centre of Academic Writing at the Central European University








Other Resources


Additional Information