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NBS8600 : Practice-based Dissertation in International Business Management

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Susan Addison
  • Demonstrator: Ms Annabel Cornish, Ms Sarah Carnegie
  • Lecturer: Mr Khang-Wai Chew
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 50 student places

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 3 Credit Value: 50
ECTS Credits: 25.0
European Credit Transfer System


To provide the opportunity for students to undertake analysis of a ‘live’ business problem, drawing on their learning across their programme of studies to formulate proposals and recommendations for management action.

This module is designed to allow the students to integrate their understanding of a wide range of materials covered on the programme and apply these to a ‘live’ business problem. Students are required to:
• undertake independent research to identify and explore the relevant dimensions of the business issue,
• investigate possible solutions and courses of managerial action, including identifying, critically assessing and interpreting recent developments in both academic research and management and organisational practices,
• review both academic literature and other practice-focussed sources to identify, assemble, analyse, interpret and synthesise relevant and balanced data from multiple sources to propose and support a preferred course of managerial action,
• demonstrate initiative, insight and comprehensiveness when ensuring that the scope (breadth, depth, variety of sources) of data gathered is appropriate to the complex and wide-ranging nature of the dimensions of a typical business issue,
• demonstrate how their analysis has identified and integrated learning and insights from across the range of relevant dimensions of business and management covered in the programme
• produce an individual independent ‘business report’ describing the research, analysis, options and recommendations for managerial action,
• prepare a robust and persuasive executive summary and poster presentation of their research, findings and recommendations, suitable for submission/presentation to corporate executives.

Outline Of Syllabus

This Practice-based Dissertation module provides the opportunity for students to undertake independent research and analysis of a business issue therefore there is no set syllabus.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision61:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1491:00491:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time11:001:00Introduction to the client company
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk21:002:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The skills required to conduct this dissertation will be developed in the Research Methods for International Business Management module and the International Management Practitioner module. These are both compulsory courses taught across semesters 1 and 2. Experience of management decision making and integration of learning is also developed in the compulsory International Business Simulation module which immediately precedes this dissertation module.

The number of places available on this module will be dependent on the availability of suitable ‘live’ business projects. Note: a ‘live’ project is a study written about a current, unresolved, issue faced by a real company. Because of the limited availability of places and the ‘external-facing’ nature of the projects, selection onto the module will be at the module leader’s discretion. Such selection may depend, for example, on achieving minimum standards (such as an average of 60% or better) in taught-modules and/or on student participation in voluntary briefing seminars in semester 2.

Because all business issues are different and involve different dimensions and aspects of business and management, the practice-based dissertation will be monitored through the tutorial system. Since several students will be working on different approaches to the same business problem some group cooperation may be involved during initial data gathering. However the dissertation report, the executive summary and the poster (and any data analysis and solutions and proposals derived therefrom) are all independent pieces of work.

Students who are not able to take this module will automatically be registered for the Research-based Dissertation module, for which the Research Methods module and assessment will already have prepared them fully.

Capacity on the module may depend on the availability of client projects

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report3A858,500 words independent report
Report3A151,500 wd Board Report. Summary of research & recommendations from ind. report in style & detail suitable for ‘client’ executives
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MFormative assessment will be provided in supervision meetings to support the research proposal, literature review & research design
Written exercise3MFormative assessment will be provided in supervision meetings to support the data analysis, discussion of findings & final draft
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

85% 8,500 words independent report
15% 1,500 word Board Report presenting the research and recommendations from the individual report in a style and level of detail suitable for presentation to ‘client’ executives as a convincing basis for decision-making

The independent report enables students to present their full research project covering: the research carried out; the data gathered and how it has been interpreted; the solutions explored and how the data supports the selection of a preferred solution; and recommendations for executive decision-makers including advice on areas requiring further investigation. Students will be required to achieve a pass in the Individual Report in order to achieve a pass for NBS8600.

The Board Report requires the student to undertake a key business skill being the ability to distil and communicate concisely and convincingly their findings and recommendations, and the robustness of those findings and recommendations, in a manner that is both readily assimilated by and persuasive to corporate executives.

Reading Lists