Finance Dissertation

Module Code



Autumn and Spring

SCQF Level


Credit Value


Module Co-ordinator                

Professor Alan Goodacre


Professor Alan Goodacre, Dr Sarah-Jane Smith


Autumn - 25% Literature Review, 20% Test, 55% Topic Analysis
Spring - 20% Oral Presentation, 80% Dissertation

Module Introduction, aims and objectives

The 60 credit dissertation modules FINU9FD and ACCU9AD comprise two elements. The aim of this first element (20 credits, autumn semester) is to introduce students to research methods in accounting and finance. It covers the basics of both qualitative and quantitative research and assists students with the selection of an appropriate topic, literature review, data collection and analysis, and presentation of a dissertation. The second element (40 elements, spring semester) involves the completion and write-up of a dissertation.

Learning outcomes and skills developed

On completion of the first element, students will be able to

  • understand the nature of academic research
  • formulate and clarify a research topic
  • critically review academic literature
  • understand alternative research philosophies and approaches
  • formulate a research design
  • identify and evaluate data collection methods in accounting and finance
  • identify and evaluate ethical issues in research

Transferable skills

The element will provide the opportunity to develop personal transferable skills

  • independent learning
  • time management together with communication skills
  • a capacity for critical evaluation of arguments and evidence
  • an ability to analyse and draw reasoned conclusions concerning structured and unstructured problems

Introductory Reading

The prescribed text (required purchase) for the autumn element is:

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2012), Research Methods for Business Students, 6th edition, FT/Prentice Hall [ISBN: 9780273750758].

Previous dissertation topics have included:

  • Women’s progress in accounting
  • Accounting and auditing standards
  • Corporate governance following the collapse of Enron
  • Internal controls within an organisation and their behavioural impact
  • Justification of non-audit services
  • Corporate fraud
  • Training of accountants
  • Performance reporting by Charities


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