HR9711 - Masters Dissertation: Management Research Report

What will I learn on this module?

The dissertation module aims to enable you to develop intellectual and practical skills for undertaking an individual student-led, ethical investigation into a HR focussed business problem or issue and relevant to CIPD professional practice. Using appropriate research methodologies and data collection methods, you will critically synthesise a body of Human Resource Management and Development knowledge, relevant to the programme, with an organisational issue that you have identified. You will then provide recommendations for improvement change based on their analysis.

The module is student-led but you are supported by lectures and workshops which provide an introduction to undertaking Business-Management research followed by one-to-one or small-group supervision meetings on the submission of the proposal.
The lectures and workshops will cover the following topics:
1. Developing a research aim/question (focusing and scoping the research) and writing a research proposal
2. Developing a literature review
3. Choosing a research methodology and methods in compliance with ethics
4. Qualitative & Quantitative data collection techniques
5. Qualitative & Quantitative data analysis techniques
6. Communicating findings, analysis, conclusions and recommendations

Upon completion of the module you will be able to:
1. Conduct independent and ethical academic and practical research, involving the application and critical evaluation of appropriate theories and models, including the requirements for CIPD.
2. Engage critically with relevant literature to establish a framework in which to analyse and synthesise the results of your primary or secondary research
3. Generate / collect relevant primary or secondary data using an appropriate and justified method
4. Analyse your data using an appropriate and justified method of analysis
5. Recognise the ethical implications of your work
6. Critically evaluate the process of research you have undertaken

How will I learn on this module?

The lectures and workshops introduce you to the underpinning knowledge necessary for undertaking an individual student-led investigation into an applied business problem or issue. The lectures are delivered on an interactive basis drawing upon directed learning and your own practitioner experience. Workshops are practical IT lab-based sessions giving the opportunity to learn through a series of exercises and activities. The necessity of independent reading and learning is also a critical dimension of this module. In this regard, all of the taught sessions are supported by a teaching and learning plan that outlines the process for learning, tutor-led work, and directed reading. A comprehensive Dissertation Handbook detailing the special structure required for this dissertation, the assessment criteria, advice on ethical issues and a logbook for individual supervision sessions is also available.

The one-to-one sessions with your supervisor give you the opportunity to seek guidance on the research process. Your supervisor will not instruct you but will provide you with on-going formative feedback on your progress as you engage with the dissertation process. Supervisors will be appointed in line with NBS policy which recognise the requirements of professional bodies and AACSB accreditation.

A detailed guidelines handbook is provided for all students via the eLP. A supporting reading list provides you with key references to enable you to undertake a more detailed and in-depth review of the research approach and methods that you choose to adopt for your own research. Examples of past dissertations are also available.

a Summative assessment and rationale for tasks
Stage 1 - Masters Dissertation Proposal
In order to give you a clear sense of direction before starting their research project within their organisation, you are required to complete a detailed research proposal for your chosen project using the proposal framework document available in the assessment folder and in the Dissertation Handbook (and on the eLP module site). This is worth 10% of the final mark.

Stage 2 - Management Research Report Masters Dissertation Submission
In order to demonstrate all the learning outcomes for this module, you are required to complete a detailed and thorough dissertation report investigating a 'live' organisational problem or issue within the field of Human Resource Management and Development. The report should outline the outcomes of both primary and secondary research, detailed analysis of the findings with clear, realistic recommendations for action to the client. The report should be around 15,000 words, and will be worth 90% of the final mark.

b Additional formative assessment - details of process and rationale
Formative assessment will take place through group work, assignment discussion and reflection, case study activity, and theory/practice related discussions.
Criteria will be provided to enable participants to understand what is expected of them and how they will be assessed on their performance. Participants are required to demonstrate self-reflection and reflective practice where appropriate.
You will be allocated a personal supervisor at the beginning of semester 2 and will be able to discuss progress during supervision meetings

A pass mark for the dissertation can be used to compensate a fail mark for the proposal. Provided the dissertation is passed with a mark of 50% or more, when the composite mark results in an overall mark of less than 50%, a mark of 50% will be awarded for the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The selection of a suitable dissertation topic rests with you, the student. However, to achieve this, you will be supported by the following academic staff:
• Lecture and seminar tutors, who will usually be from, or have an interest in, your programme subject area, or a related field
• Supervisor, who will usually be from, or have an interest in, your programme subject area, or a related field

In addition, you will be provided with support from your peers in the lectures and workshops. These lectures are based upon programme cohorts, so you will be grouped alongside other members from your particular degree programme or field.

The module is supported by an e-learning portal, which acts as a repository for: lecture materials, seminar-workshops exercises and materials, exemplar dissertations, assessment details. In addition, the eLP houses the online reading list (including direct links to textbooks, journal papers, academic and conference reports) and various support facilities such as the recordings of certain lectures.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

By the end of this module, you should be able to:
Knowledge & Understanding:
• Apply and critically evaluate appropriate concepts, theories and models (MLO1)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Establish a framework in which to appraise, analyse and synthesise the results of primary or secondary research (MLO2)
• Critically reflect upon the research topic and approach to its study (MLO3)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Undertake independent primary or secondary research, adopting an evaluative and critical perspective throughout this research (MLO4)
• Generate and analyse relevant primary or secondary data using an appropriate level of, and critically justified, method while critically evaluating the limitations of the data source/s and the method/s employed and also recognising the ethical implications of the research work undertaken (MLO5)
• Develop and appraise key employability capabilities, including: time management, project management, communication (written and verbal), negotiation, persuasion and influence, discovery, initiative, creativity and innovation in problem-solving, analysis (MLO6).

How will I be assessed?

The module assessment comprises two components:

• 3,000-word research proposal (10%) (MLO1) (MLO2)
• Dissertation of 15,000 words (90%) (MLO1) (MLO2) (MLO3) (MLO4) (MLO5) (MLO6)

Full and detailed handbook of guidance will be given on this assessment. The eLP will be used to permanently host this detailed guidance, also a copy of the marking criteria, to ensure that students can access it throughout the dissertation process. Feedback is provided via a specific marking rubric for both components.





Module abstract

This module provides you with the opportunity to examine, in depth, a business-management challenge of direct interest and within your work. Following initial seminar-workshops, which provide an introduction to undertaking HRM related Business-Management research, you will work with a supervisor to identify a suitable research area, to generate empirical (primary) or secondary data, to analyse this data and to draw theoretically informed conclusions.

The module aims to equip you with the necessary intellectual and practical skills for undertaking your individual student-led, ethical investigation, while alongside, it also aims to equip you with key transferable, employability skills, including: time management, project management, communication (written and verbal), negotiation, persuasion and influence, discovery, initiative, creativity and innovation in problem-solving, analysis.

You will be assessed through two tasks: the development of an initial research proposal and the submission of a final dissertation.

Course info

Credits 60

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part-time

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

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