Dissertation in Public Policy, Finance and Management

Key information

Start date
End date
Module code
FHEQ Level

Module overview

The dissertation is the final culminating piece of work for the MSc Public Policy, Finance and Management. It is based on an original piece of research undertaken by the student on a topic relevant to the aims and objectives of the MSc Public Policy, Finance and Management programme. The dissertation project brings together theory, method, collection and analysis of empirical evidence in a small-scale research project, the findings of which are analysed and critically discussed. The project typically involves, in addition to research of academic literature, the collection of primary and/or secondary data (of quantitative and/or qualitative sorts) through various means (such as, for example, interviews, focus groups, surveys, datasets, and simulations) and their analysis, as agreed with the supervisor.

Students are allocated a dissertation supervisor in Term 2 and will normally receive three substantive supervision meetings. The role of the supervisor is to assist the student in refining the topic of research, approve the plan of work, advise on sources and help the student with problems which may arise during the course of research and writing.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

Upon successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a command of appropriate theoretical perspectives, secondary literature and, where appropriate, primary resources relevant to the chosen topic of research;
  • Display the ability to frame research questions, consider an appropriate research design and explain relevant methodological and ethical issues relating to a proposed research project;
  • Employ the skills to pursue independent research from secondary and, where appropriate, primary resources in the field of public policy, finance and management;
  • Show ability to organise their data and articulate their arguments coherently and clearly;
  • Show ability to analyse research findings and write a critical discussion of those findings.

Method of assessment

Dissertation (10,000 words)

Suggested reading



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