Promotion Marekting


MA International Business &

M A International Economics and Trade

Dissertation Handbook

Academic Year 2009/10


Your dissertation is a very significant part of your MA programme. In the MAIB it represents 60 credit points, ie the equivalent of THREE taught courses, that is three sets of lectures and classes, three sets of course work, three sets of examinations.   It cannot be compared to a ‘large’ essay.   The Dissertation has specific characteristics and will be remembered by you for many years after you have completed it. It often provides a key resource in your next career stages, as the basis for further career development, or as the central theme of a successful job application interview.

This research dissertation handbook contains valuable advice and is very thorough in its approach to producing a successful dissertation. It highlights, step-by-step, the various layers of dissertation work, which is an integrated process of writing and research. However, there is a ‘snag’ with advice concerning research! It can make you so concerned with achieving the ideal that it is easy to become demoralised when faced with the ‘messy reality’ of actually doing research. While most students aim for the ideal, as you work through the handbook and particularly as you come to the actual mechanisms of doing your research and producing your own dissertation, bear in mind that there is a difference between the ideal and reality. For instance:

1. In choosing a topic, many students and even experienced researchers are liable to select far   too wide a topic. Unless this is corrected early you are then faced with a topic that cannot be adequately completed in the time available. Also, you may be faced with the agony of having to throw away good and painfully obtained data, information that does not fit the revised and narrower topic area. This common problem is well worth addressing in advance of the research programme before you get deeply...