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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 08/04/2022 10:35:46

Title of Module: Finance & Accounting Dissertation (CIMA)

Code: ACCT11029 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 60 ECTS: 30
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Business & Creative Industries
Module Co-ordinator:Mr Gerry  McPake

Summary of Module

This module develops students’ understanding of, and skills in, the academic research process. Students are introduced to the philosophical concepts underpinning good research and a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods. Students build upon and further develop their research proposals to show their abilities to choose feasible and robust research ideas, to formulate achievable aims and objectives, and to select and design appropriate research strategies.

This module also aims to provide students with an opportunity to undertake a sustained, rigorous and independent investigation of an applied finance or/and accounting topics. Therefore students are required to choose a topic, theme or problem for investigation and provide a rationale for its selection; identify a series of specific research questions and objectives for the proposed investigation; formulate a research design appropriate to the problem or topic identified.

The resulting dissertation should present and interpret research findings and also critically evaluate the relevant underpinning academic and professional literature. In addition, it is also intended that the experience of carrying out the applied research and writing up the results will provide participants with opportunities to:

  • demonstrate their capability for analysis and reflection.
  • develop the skills and knowledge necessary for lifelong professional development.
  • acquire the confidence and capability to progress in the field of finance or/and accounting.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2


Term 3check mark

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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate originality and creativity in the selection and justification of an appropriate research topic.

L2. Undertake a critical review of complex literature within finance or/and accounting context.

L3. Display advanced proficiency in the evaluation and selection of techniques of data collection and analysis.

L4. Plan and produce a substantial piece of advanced independent work that shows the competence of carrying out critical literature review, selecting appropriate research methods, employing data analysis techniques that achieve the research aims.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

Critical understanding of key issues in research philosophy
-Searching for, and synthesizing a range of research topics within finance or/accounting context.
-Critical understanding of theoretical perspectives on a selected topic of finance or/and accounting area.
-Developing extensive knowledge of different research methodologies, designs and techniques appropriate to finance or/and accounting context.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

Evaluate challenges and opportunities in the selected project topic.
-Constructing an appropriate research design.
-Planning a significant piece of finance or/and accounting -based research.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

Giving reasoned justification for choices of topic and method.
-Critically reviewing appropriate literature.
-Demonstrating originality and creativity in topic choice.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

-Writing an advanced level project, synthesizing and consolidating a wide range of appropriate and up-to-date literature, using secondary data and demonstrating awareness of methodological choices all undertaken within an accounting context.
-Communicating effectively and appropriately in speech and writing.

-Interpreting complex secondary materials.

-Making effective use of information retrieval systems and use information technology applications.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Taking responsibility for the production of a project.

-Working effectively with a project supervisor and in seminar groups.
-the student will work on own for larger periods setting personal goals and targets.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The Learning and Teaching strategy of this module has been developed with reference to a number of internal and external benchmarks, with particular reference to the QAA benchmark statement for Masters degrees in Business and Management, the University’s Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy and Internationalisation Strategy. Learning and teaching will be externally informed through the professional bodies’ syllabuses. Attending students will have access to learning in a physical space and online students will have similar access to the eLearning environment. Students will be encouraged to reflect on their learning at the end of each session and to update, as appropriate, their Personal Development Plan.

Learning Activities

As a guide it is recommended that students should dedicate up to 12 hours per week to complete all the additional material in the form of narratives, slide shows, quizzes and other exercises that are provided on the Moodle site. In addition there is a need for all students to recognise their own time to be used for personal development and additional reading of journals and articles as appropriate.

Face to face will be monitored by attendance at workshops and seminars, online engagement will be monitored e.g. access and use of the material on Moodle and participation in online activities e.g. forums. It is particularly important that students are allocating sufficient time to their studies and if they encounter problems they must notify their personal tutor or/and their supervisors at once.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity25
Asynchronous Class Activity100
Independent Study465
Personal Development Plan10
600 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Students are required to make use of written and electronic sources in order to complete their dissertation. Guidance will be provided by their supervisor. However, in addition to specialized acdemic reference that will vaery among students, some indicative resources are supplied below

Saunders, M.N.K., Lewis. P. and Thornhill, A. (Latest edition) Research Methods for Business Students, London, Pearson Education Ltd.

Research Proposals:
Denscombe, M. (Latest edition) Research Proposals: A Practical Guide (Open UP Study Skills), Open University

Literature Review:
Ridley, D. (Latest edition) The Literature Review: A Step-by-Step Guide for Students, London, Sage

Method and Methodology:
Clough, P. and Nutbrown, C. (Latest edition) A Student’s Guide to Methodology, Third Edition, London, Sage
Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. And Lowe, A. (2013). Management Research (4th ed), London, Sage.

Ryan, R., Scapens, R.W., and Theobald, M. (Latest Edition) Research Method & Methodology In Finance And Accounting, Thomson

Research Proposals:
-Denscombe, M. (Latest edition). Research Proposals: A Practical Guide (Open UP Study Skills), Open University.
-Saunders, M.N.K., Lewis. P. and Thornhill, A. (Latest edition). Research Methods for Business Students, London, Pearson Education Ltd.

Case Studies:
-Yin, R. (Latest edition). Case Study Research: Design and Methods, Thousand Oaks, Sage.

Surveys and Quantitative Methods:
-De Vaus, D.A. (Latest edition) Surveys in Social Research, Routledge.
Hinton, P. (Latest edition). Statistics Explained: A Guide for Social Science Students, Guilford Press

Qualitative Methods
-Charmaz, K. (Latest edition). Constructing Grounded Theory, Newbury Park, and Sage.
-Marshall C and G Rossman (Latest edition). Designing Qualitative Research: Qualitative Data Analysis, Thousand Oaks CA, Sage.
-Miles, M. and Huberman, M. (Latest edition). An Expanded Sourcebook: Qualitative Data Analysis, Thousand Oaks, Sage.

Recommended Academic Journals
-British Accounting Research
-Journal of Accounting and Public policy
-International Small Business Journal
-Entrepreneurship and Regional Development
-Journal of Banking and Finance
-Journal of Corporate Finance
-Accounting and Business Research
-Critical Perspectives on Accounting

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Students are expected to: attend Dissertation workshops as arranged by module or Programme Leader; engage with module support resources; attend meetings as arranged with supervisor and submit work for feedback as agreed with supervisor.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardAccounting, Finance and Law
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelAccounting, Finance & Law
ModeratorAngela Dunlop
External ExaminerL McCann
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
MSc Dissertation weighted at 100% of the final module mark. A minimum mark of 50% must be gained to pass the module. Word limit for the dissertation is between 15,000-18,000 words.

(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Dissertation/ Project report/ Thesischeck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark1000
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
As per University regulations and policies.
UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.