MKT3096 : Contemporary Marketing Dissertation

  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nima Heirati
  • Owning School:
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0


Component One:
Contemporary marketing literature is an important consideration in marketing theory and practice as it continues to develop and shape the way marketing is conceptualised, researched and practiced in academia and industry alike. An essential element of this module is the development of students’ critical thinking and research skills. Component one starts this process by using contemporary topics to introduce students to advanced concepts and theories relevant to marketing theory and practice. In addition, using the topics covered, students will be exposed to contemporary marketing debates at the forefront of the marketing discipline. Via guided reading of various different types of marketing texts, component one challenges students to develop and advance their abilities to read and think critically, question received wisdom, and develop logical and reasoned arguments. This component of the module provides a critical framework, background and skills training which are essential for the successful completion of component two.

Component Two:
The skills acquired in component one can then be applied to an individual research project which comprises component two of the module. This aims to develop the student's ability to act systematically and report the outcome of an in-depth investigation of a marketing topic by integrating and extending knowledge and skills gained throughout the undergraduate programme. Students are encouraged to work on their own initiative while seeking appropriate assistance from supervisors and the assessment process. This is a ‘live’ project which requires students to conduct secondary and primary research whilst following appropriate research design, methodological and report writing approaches which are considered in component one of the module. Students must follow a standard academic approach to their research design (i.e. marketing plans are not acceptable) as this allows students to provide evidence of their academic rigour and individual ability, as well as providing an alternative option to group-related modules offered at stage 3.

Outline Of Syllabus

Component One: Contemporary Literature Theory:

Develop critical thinking skills and analysis of marketing text from an intermediate (stage2) to advanced level.
A review of past assignments and consideration of the issues relating to how to conduct effective literature reviews and critiques.
An introduction to the process of publishing academic peer reviewed articles.
An induction to critically analysing theoretical/conceptual peer reviewed articles
An introduction to critically analysing peer reviewed articles containing primary research data
An introduction to critically analysing other types of marketing texts that are non peer reviewed.

Introduce and encourage students to analyse various styles of contemporary marketing management text covering three topic areas via review, critique and debate using skills introduced and practiced during skills sessions and private study. Sessions will also consider how to synthesise, compare and contrast various texts relating to a specific topic.
The topics will be chosen to reflect contemporary marketing issues and the research strengths/experience of the teaching team. For example such topics may include: Social Marketing & Behavioural Change; Development of the Marketing Concept; Critical Marketing; The Global Consumer; Social & Ethical Dimensions of Marketing.

Private study
Provides an opportunity for students to reflect on, and develop their own critical thinking skills whilst giving them time to complete the assessment set for component one. During this process students will also be developing their writing skills which will support component two.

Component Two: Marketing Dissertation

Plenary Lecture sessions
Introduce the theory of dissertation project choice; planning and time management; research design; methodological approaches; ethics in research; and report writing. Plenaries provide timely benchmarks for students thus enabling progression to be made through semester one and two via group discussion and delivery of specific information relevant to the consideration of content of report chapters and assessment.

Supervisory meetings
Provide support and advice to individual students on a one-to-one or group basis. As component two is student led, meeting arrangements are the sole responsibility of the student, and thus, will be held at various times through the academic year.

Private study
Makes up the majority of student time allocated to component two of the module.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1120:00120:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1130:00130:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching21:002:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision31:003:00Meetings with dissertation supervisor subject to discretion/need
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision31:003:00Meetings with dissertation supervisor.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1120:00120:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide a framework for supporting students to think critical and develop their analysis skills. In addition, the chosen topics will be presented via lectures for component one. A overview of the topic and insights form the chosen literature will be presented to student to help support and guide their private study and preparation for the assignment linked to component 1.

Lectures for component two provide essential details of expectations of students for each chapter of their research project.

Seminars provide opportunity for debate, discussion and development of key skills for component one.

Tutorials provide students with the opportunity to gain individual feedback on assessment for component one.

Other: Supervisors meetings provide students with one-to-one support and guidance and feedback for component two.

Private study involves developing critical skills and analysis; and writing assessment for component one. Private study for component two provides students with time to do secondary research on their chosen topic, conduct primary research, prepare draft chapters for review by supervisors (as appropriate), and prepare for assessment.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M203,000- 4,000 words progress report
Dissertation2M8010,000 words final dissertation
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Report1M1000-1500 Proposal
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students will be required to submit THREE pieces of work over the course of the year:
1.Dissertation Proposal (1,000 words)
2.Dissertation Progress Report (between 3,000 and 5,000 words)
3.Final Dissertation (max 10,000 words)

1. & 2. are negatively marked as they both constitute 'work in progress' assessment and are not a true reflection of student ability. Therefore, a weighting of 5% and 20% respectfully will be removed from the final weighting of 100% and the final dissertation will be marked out of 75% IF a student does not submit either piece of assessment. IF both assessments are submitted, the final dissertation will be marked out of 100%.

NB: Students will be provided with the date of submission of the Final Dissertation and word count requirements during Semester 1.

Reading Lists


Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.