BSc in Management/Management (Specialism), International Management and International Management with American Business Studies students may elect to do a 40 credit Management dissertation, BMAN31500, in their final year.

IM and IMABS students who elect to take BMAN31500 Dissertation are encouraged to choose an international topic as this is a good link between their studies abroad and the final year courses.

The dissertation is available to BSc Management (Accounting and Finance) specialism students but will not count towards the 60-credit specialism requirement as students are permitted to take 40 credit project courses - BMAN31000 Financial Analysis of Corporate Performance or BMAN30190 Empirical Finance providing all pre-requisites are met. Supervisors will not be available from the Accounting and Finance Division.

Undertaking a dissertation provides a valuable introduction to carry out independent research. It is a good opportunity to study a key issue faced by a business and develop your analytical skills. If you are still in doubt, please take a look at the following information.

Students who intend to take BMAN31500 Dissertation in their final year are required to have passed BMAN24410 Research Methodology in their second year.

Why should I do a dissertation in my final year at AMBS?

Doing a dissertation may sound formidable, but it needn’t be.

Indeed it’s true that you will need to work hard and be self-disciplined, and time management skills are a “must”.

However, the most important point is that by doing a dissertation, you can take ownership of your personal development. Here are some answers to your concerns regarding embarking on a dissertation:

Can doing a dissertation make me more attractive in the job market?

Certainly it can. Actually, dissertations are far more likely to be discussed in a job interview than a normal course.

An advantage is that researching and writing a dissertation will enable you to enhance a wide range of skills, including; project planning, project management, market analysis, time management, and possibly, skills to communicate managers and/or customers in a real business world, which you may develop through fieldwork interviews for your dissertation.

Another advantage is that you will be able to obtain a good knowledge of a specialised area by doing a dissertation. You may already have a career plan or be interested in a specific industry or even a post. Then, doing a dissertation in a related area will put you in a very strong position.

How many words do I need to write?

As a rule-of-thumb, a dissertation should be around 12,000 +/- 10% words.

Students often try to write (or unintentionally end up with) a longer dissertation. However, the length per se is not a good indicator of quality – and quality is what matters most; it will be demonstrated through clear and well-structured arguments, well-focused literature review, rigorous methods, in-depth analysis, etc.

So, please try to write within the suggested length mentioned above. Although there is no penalty to a shorter/longer length than that, it is advisable that you focus on the quality, rather than a (longer) length.

Please bear in mind that having your dissertation too-long (or too-short) could often be a negative factor in your mark, because it could indicate that you were not able to organise your research within a relevant length neatly.

How much support can I get during my dissertation period?

You dissertation work will be guided by your chosen supervisor on a regular basis.

However, it is essential for you to take the initiative. Remember, a dissertation is fundamentally your work, not a joint venture with your supervisor.

Your supervisor will provide you with guidance/suggestions/comments. It is up to you how and how much you take them into account.

How self-disciplined should I be?

Although you have an academic guide (i.e., your supervisor), regarding other aspects of dissertation, you DO need to be self-disciplined and self-managed. There is no excuse for missing deadlines, computer-related troubles, printer errors, binding delays etc. etc. You need to plan your work carefully in view of contingencies, and take responsibility for it.

As your dissertation is worth 40 credits, your independent work on this should represent 400 hours over the course of the two semesters. Students are expected to arrange regular supervision meetings in semester 1 and semester 2, and dates and times for these should be arranged directly with your supervisor. The purpose of these supervision meetings is to check on your progress, offer support and advice and help develop the structure of your work.

How can I get the very best out of my dissertation?

A dissertation is worth 40 credits. This means you will need to do a lot of work. However, the potential rewards are enormous if you approach the whole process in a professional manner.

One strong point is that your dissertation supervisor will be one of your referees, and if you work on your dissertation enthusiastically and professionally, your supervisor is most likely to provide you with a glowing reference.

Another benefit is related to your CV. You can make a strong statement in practical and analytical skills, which you will have advanced through doing a dissertation (and at the end of the day, you can evidence your skills by your dissertation!).

Your dissertation will be the biggest project you do at University. The more effort you put into it, the more you will gain from it - definitely. Good luck!


Submission of Dissertation Proposal: No later than 3:00pm on Monday 9th October 2023

Please submit the form via Turnitin:

Submission of a Progress Report and an Ethics Form: Friday 8th December 2023

A progress report should be submitted to your supervisor directly at the beginning of December. The progress report (normally a 1000-1500 word document) describes the objective of your dissertation and the progress you made during the first semester, e.g. a literature review, methodology, and a plan for your fieldwork/data collection etc.

You are also required to follow a process to confirm whether or not you need ethical approval for your research. For further details about this process please see download the Ethical Approval Procedure (link coming soon).

Deadline for submitting the completed dissertation: No later than 12noon on Tuesday 7th May 2024.

Useful contact information

Dissertation Coordinator
Dr Masakatsu Ono (Bob)
Email: masakatsu.ono@manchester.ac.uk

The Curriculum and Programmes Team
Email: ambs.programmes@manchester.ac.uk
Telephone: 0161 306 3402

Management/Mgt. Specialism Programme Director
Matthew McCaffrey

Finding a supervisor

In BMAN31500 Dissertation, it is your responsibility to find a supervisor. Your supervisor must be a member of academic staff at Alliance Manchester Business School.

What you need to do

1. Take a good look at the following link and find a member(s) of staff whose research interests broadly match your chosen topic.

Academic members of staff are grouped into four divisions. Please look into the staff lists under the heading “Our divisions” on the following link:

2. Contact an academic member(s) of staff in person; introduce yourself, explain your dissertation topic, and ask if he/she is available to act as your supervisor.

3. Once your prospective supervisor has agreed to be your supervisor, you must fill in a dissertation proposal form. You must submit the proposal via Turnitin no later than 3:00pm on Monday 9th October 2023 - if you do not find a supervisor before this date you may have to make alternative course choices.

4. The responsibilities of you and your supervisor

Problems with finding a supervisor

Please remember that for BMAN31500, it is your responsibility to secure a supervisor. The coordinator cannot undertake the task of finding a supervisor for you. However, if you encounter any problems, please contact the course coordinator or the Head of each research division as soon as possible. Remember - if you do not find a supervisor by Monday 9th October 2023 you may have to make alternative course choices, as you may not be able to continue with the dissertation.

If you change supervisors at any time during your dissertation, you must inform the dissertation coordinator and the UG Team.

Help with writing

As an undergraduate student, researching and writing a dissertation may seem like a huge task. The secret of writing a good dissertation, however, is not that difficult. Below you will find information to develop your ideas and convey them in a structured and logical way. Good luck!

Please also note the Reference and Plagiarism section of this Online Handbook

Background readings

  • Bailey, S. (2006) Academic writing: A handbook for international students (2nd ed.)
  • Creswell, J.W. (2009) Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches
  • Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R., & Jackson, P. (2012) Management research
  • Monippally, M. & Pawar, B.S. (2010) Academic writing: A guide for management students and researchers
  • Saunders, M. et al (2009) Research methods for business students
  • Yin, R.K. (2003) Case study research: design and methods.