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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Foreword
Foreword
Welcome to the masters dissertation/thesis module handbook. Dr. Allan Osborne is the module tutor
Introduction for the master's dissertation/thesis modules which belong to the Project Management Programme in
the Faculty of Engineering and Environment. This framework includes the following programmes:
Higher Education Framework

Roles and Responsibilities MSc Project Management
MSc Construction Project Management
Supervision
MSc Building Design Management and BIM
MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology)
Research Resources
MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration with EI.CESI)
Research Proposal Form

There are several master's dissertation/thesis modules included with the framework. Each
Research E-Journal
dissertation/thesis module is worth 60 credit points of independent postgraduate study at level 7. The
Research Evidence File relevant dissertation/thesis module for each specialist project management pathway can be identified
in the following list:
Ethical Considerations

Research Project Ethics BE1036 Professional Practice Thesis - MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration with
Registration Form EI.CESI)
BE1180 Dissertation (Project Management) - MSc Project Management and MSc Project
Research Project Ethics Management (dual award in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology)
Approval Form BE1181 Dissertation (Construction Project Management) - MSc Construction Project
Management
Research Participant Consent BE1268 Dissertation (Building Design Management and BIM) or BE1269 Work-based Dissertation
Form (Building Design Management and BIM) - MSc Building Design Management and BIM

Data Protection
The length of time it takes students to complete one of the master's dissertation/thesis modules is
Dissertation/Thesis dependent upon their programme and mode of study and the date of their progression and enrolment
on to the relevant dissertation/thesis module. Students will be informed of the date of their enrolment
Declaration Form on to the relevant dissertation/thesis module and the date they are required to submit their
dissertation/thesis by their Northumbria programme administrator. This key information will also be
Title Page displayed as an eLP announcement on the welcome page to the eLP course site. All being well,
students will usually commence their studies on their relevant research module following the
Front Cover Northumbria examination board held immediately after the completion of the taught modules for their
particular programme and mode of study.
Submission Requirements
Following successful completion of 120 credit points of taught and directed postgraduate study at level
Submission Dates 7, students who successfully complete the relevant dissertation/thesis module for their programme of
study will be considered for the relevant Northumbria masters award (equivalent to 180 credit points
Deferment Regulations of postgraduate study at level 7). Students who fail the dissertation/thesis module at first attempt will
usually be given the opportunity to submit a referral attempt for a maximum mark of 50%. The
Assessment Procedures opportunity to resit is determined by the Chair of the Northumbria examination board.

Assessment Criteria Each research module provides an opportunity for students to undertake a piece of independent
research on a subject of their own choice. The research must be relevant to the ethos of their
Dissertation Viva Voce postgraduate programme of study. MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration with EI.CESI)
students are required to relate their research and thesis to the workplace environment of their
Thesis Viva Voce professional practice placement employer. This is also the case for MSc Building Design Management
and BIM students who choose to complete BE1269 instead of BE1268.

Students are required to choose a topic which is of interest to them and which allows them to
demonstrate the relevant research modules learning outcomes. Students must also choose a topic
which will enable them to carry out empirical research and write their dissertation/thesis within the
available timescale. Students will be able to defer submission of their dissertation/thesis on one
occasion.

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Before enrolling on a research module, students must have:

Studied the pre-requisite module BE1231 Master's Empirical Research and Work-based
Dissertation Preparation (worth 0 credit points of postgraduate study at level 7).
Submitted their Research Proposal Form whilst studying BE1231.
Received a Pass result following the submission of their Research Proposal Form.
Submitted their Research Project Ethics Registration Form whilst studying BE1231.
Received ethical approval for their research proposal.
Received official progression status, in accordance with the Northumbria assessment regulations,
to progress and enrol on to the relevant research module.


Although this handbook should provide students with the answers to many of the queries they may
have whilst enrolled on one of the relevant research modules, should any remain unanswered,
students should speak/communicate directly with the module tutor and/or programme coordinator as
approriate.

From this point forward, the module handbook will be written from the perspective of a single
dissertation/thesis module. Students are required to comprehend and apply this information and
guidance within the context of their specialist dissertation/thesis module.

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Introduction
Foreword
The module aims to direct the student to produce a dissertation/thesis which is an individual, student-
Introduction directed and supervisor-led piece of original research. The student's research topic is required to fully
acknowledge the philosophy, aims and objectives, and learning outcomes of the Programme
Higher Education Framework
Specification relevant to their programme of study within the Project Management Programme.

Roles and Responsibilities
The student is required to fully adhere to a number of relatively complex procedural and submission
Supervision requirements. The rationale for and an explanation of these requirements are outlined in this
handbook. Accordingly, the student and their supervisor(s) should familiarize themselves with its
Research Resources contents.

Research Proposal Form Prior to progression, and during enrolment on to the module, the student is required to prepare and
submit (and attend) the following components of formative and summative assessment:
Research E-Journal

Research Evidence File Research Proposal Form (which is formatively assessed during BE1231 and does not carry any
marks);
Ethical Considerations Research Project Ethics Registration Form (which is summatively assessed as a Pass or Fail
during BE1231 and is scrutinized by a representative of the Faculty Research Committee (FRC)
Research Project Ethics or the module tutor and is a strict University requirement);
Registration Form Research Supervision Programme Form (which is used to monitor attendance and engagement);
Research Participant Consent Form(s) (which must be completed by all participants taking part
Research Project Ethics in the research project);
Approval Form Dissertation/Thesis (which is summatively assessed and contributes to the module mark);
Research e-journal (which is formatively assessed and used to confirm the authenticity of the
Research Participant Consent dissertation/thesis);
Form Research Evidence File (which is formatively assessed and also used to confirm the authenticity
of the dissertation/thesis);
Data Protection Thesis Viva Voce (which is summatively assessed for BE1036 and helps to confirm the
unmoderated mark of the thesis); or in the case of the other research modules;
Dissertation/Thesis Dissertation Viva Voce (which is formatively assessed and helps to confirm the unmoderated
mark of the dissertation).
Declaration Form

Title Page A successful masters dissertation/thesis will present a thorough and critical review of relevant
literature and of current subject knowledge. It will demonstrate high levels of analytical and critical
Front Cover awareness, the ability to synthesize theories and the ability to relate theory to practice. This
theoretical base should be tested against appropriate practical illustrations.
Submission Requirements
Whilst working towards the execution of their research project, the student will be supported by a
Submission Dates supervisor/supervisors. In all cases, the student will be allocated one supervisor drawn from a panel of
experienced academic/research staff at Northumbria from the Faculty of Engineering and Environment.
Deferment Regulations In addition, the MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration with EI.CESI) student will be
allocated a supervisor selected from a panel of experienced academic staff at EI.CESI as well as an
Assessment Procedures
industrial mentor at their employing organization. The MSc Project Management (dual award in
collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology) student who chooses to return to Chalmers to
Assessment Criteria
complete their research, will also be allocated a local supervisor chosen from a panel of experienced
Dissertation Viva Voce academic/industrial staff at Chalmers. The Chalmers programme leader will co-ordinate the allocation
of local supervisors. Supervisors guide and counsel the student during the process of further
Thesis Viva Voce developing and refining their independent learning and research skills. Successful completion of the
module requires the student to use their independent learning and research skills in order to initiate,
design and undertake a piece of critical, reflective academic research that will lead them to produce
an original 15,000-word thesis for BE1036 (the maximum word limit is 20,000 words) or a 20,000-
word dissertation for all other research modules (with a recommended word limit of 15,000 words).

The module will build upon the concepts and theories presented during the research methods module,
BE1171 Research Skills and Methods of Enquiry, in which research skills, methodological approaches,
data gathering, and handling and analysis techniques are considered to be the essential tools of

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research-active personnel. It is anticipated that the student who has completed the research methods
module will have an increased awareness of the need to focus and develop their research-related
independent learning skills during the process of completing their dissertation/thesis.

The student will receive supervision and guidance during the preparation of their dissertation/thesis.
Depending upon the approach adopted by their supervisor, the Northumbria campus-based student
will receive either individual or group supervision with like-minded students. The decision to arrange
and hold individual or group supervision sessions is made by the supervisor, not the student. Both
approaches are considered to be acceptable and effective mechanisms in which to initiate and
perpetuate supervision. Northumbria distance learning students, and this includes the MSc Project
Management (dual award in collaboration with EI.CESI) student and the MSc Project Management
(dual award in collaboration with Chalmers) student who chooses to return to Chalmers to complete
their research, will normally receive individual supervision by e-mail, telephone, Skype or video
conferencing (where facilities are available), snail mail, etc. The decision to use video-based
communication technologies will be dependent upon the availability of supporting equipment, etc. and
agreement by all parties.

Following supervision and guidance sessions, the student is required to reflect upon and record their
personal progress by recording the items discussed and mutually agreed action points in a research e-
journal. In addition to writing entries in their Research e-journal after each supervision session, the
student is required to complete a weekly entry which summarizes their progress to date (monitored
against their research programme, which should also be placed in their research e-journal).

Supervisors may, from time to time, review the student's research e-journal and choose to add
appropriate comments or make corrections. The module tutor may also review the student's research
e-journal, especially when they are considered not to be progressing and engaging with the module
and their supervisor. The ability to effectively manage the production of an original dissertation/thesis
will be partially determined by assessing the student's research e-journal. e-journals may be
summatively assessed by supervisors as part of the final component of assessment.

The dissertation/thesis will be a final written record, in the stipulated academically accepted format
(see section entitled Dissertation/Thesis for further information), of the students completed research
project, including a statement of the research goals, research question (and hypothesis where
appropriate), and a focused and project-specific demonstration of the appropriateness of the methods
employed during the data collection and analysis processes. The dissertation/thesis will illustrate the
development of a clear and focused theoretical perspective and include an integrated critical literature
review, a demonstration of relevant methodological issues, the accurate interpretation of data, and the
clear and concise presentation of results.

When submitting their dissertation/thesis for assessment in accordance with the Submission
Requirements, the student will also be required to submit their dissertation/thesis in electronic format
(MS Word and not PDF) to the Turnitin online submission facility within the eLP course site, as well as
submitting an additional electronically-stored copy (MS Word format and not PDF) on a clearly labelled
CD-ROM.

Throughout the process of completing their dissertation/thesis, the student is required to maintain a
Research Evidence File. The file will include all correspondence and working papers associated with the
research project and include draft versions of chapters, questionnaires, interview transcriptions, case
study materials, copies of issued and received letters and emails, completed Research Participant
Consent Forms and evidence of data handling and analysis procedures, etc. Although the file will not
contribute towards the summative assessment of the dissertation/thesis, it will provide reassuring
evidence of the originality of the submitted work. The student is required to submit their evidence file
for formative assessment purposes. The student will not be permitted to submit their
dissertation/thesis for summative assessment without first of all presenting their research evidence
file. Dissertations/theses submitted without an accompanying research evidence file will not be
marked.

Prior to the examination board occurring during which the research module results are presented and
confirmed, the MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration with EI.CESI) student will orally
present and defend the theoretical and methodological frameworks, research findings, conclusions and
recommendations from their study during a one-hour presentation/viva voce. The proceedings will
include a 30-minute presentation of the thesis and a 30-minute oral defence. Members of the
examination panel will be appointed by the module tutor. The panel will include at least two members
of academic staff -- one each from Northumbria and EI.CESI -- and possibly two independent subject-
related specialists. Should a student fail to attend a viva voce when summoned, their thesis mark will
not be presented and confirmed at the Northumbria examination board by the module tutor until such
time that they have presented themselves for examination and satisfied the examiners and module
tutor. This will mean they will not be considered for an award during the progression and awards
board and will be unable to attend the Universitys academic congregation during which their masters
award would normally be conferred. The date and time for the student's viva voce will be determined
by the module tutor in collaboration with the Northumbria and EI.CESI programme leaders.

A viva voce will be arranged for all other dissertation students should the authenticity of the work and
confirmation of the unconfirmed mark be required by the module tutor and/or external examiners. In
all cases, should a student fail to attend a viva voce when summoned, their dissertation mark will not
be presented and confirmed at the examination board by the module tutor until such time that they
have presented themselves for examination and satisfied the examiners and module tutor. This will
mean they will not be considered for an award during the progression and awards board and will be
unable to attend the Universitys academic congregation during which their masters award would

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normally be conferred. Distance learning students may be asked to undertake and attend the viva
voce by teleconference, Skype or video conferencing (where facilities are available).

The student is expected to take their own initiative throughout their research project. The University,
including its collaborative partners at Chalmers and EI.CESI, provide the required space and
equipment in the form of the postgraduate hub, library facilities, technical staff and academic
supervisors to support students with their studies. Responsibility for the use and co-ordination of all of
these resources remains, at all times, with the student.

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Higher Education Framework
Foreword
According to the The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern
Introduction Ireland - January 2001, masters degrees are awarded to the student who has demonstrated:

Higher Education
Framework A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or
new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of their academic discipline,
Roles and Responsibilities field of study, or area of professional practice;
A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced
Supervision
scholarship;
Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how
Research Resources
established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in
Research Proposal Form the discipline; and
Conceptual understanding that enables the student to evaluate critically current research and
Research E-Journal advanced scholarship in the discipline; and to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of
them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.
Research Evidence File

Ethical Considerations Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:

Research Project Ethics
Registration Form Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the
absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-
Research Project Ethics specialist audiences;
Approval Form Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act
autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level; and
Research Participant Consent Continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high
Form level;

Data Protection
and will have:
Dissertation/Thesis

Declaration Form The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring: the exercise of
initiative and personal responsibility; decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations;
Title Page and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

Front Cover
The entire elements of the QAAs framework inform the pedagogy and philosophy of the masters
Submission Requirements research modules. The student should carefully reflect upon each outcome and consider how they can
best demonstrate these abilities whilst completing their research project and writing their
Submission Dates dissertation/thesis.

Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures

Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Roles and Responsibilities
Foreword
This section outlines some of the major responsibilities that rest with the student, supervisors and the
Introduction module tutor during the period of time that the student is enrolled on the module. When a student
fails to satisfy their responsibilities, they may experience an unexpected reduction of their final mark
Higher Education Framework
or may invalidate, delay or prevent the successful completion and submission of their
dissertation/thesis. Furthermore, when a student fails to fully engage with the requirements of the
Roles and Responsibilities
module (please refer to the Handbook of Student Regulations for further information), they may run
Supervision the risk of being withdrawn from the module and programme.

Research Resources
Students
Research Proposal Form Each student enrolled on the module has a number of responsibilities. The student can anticipate
success if they complete the following tasks correctly and on time. The student is required:
Research E-Journal

Research Evidence File To work consistently on their research project throughout the period of time allocated for the
completion of their dissertation/thesis;
Ethical Considerations To meet/communicate regularly with their supervisor and to discuss progress during at least 6
face-to-face/formal communication occasions. For the distance learning student -- including the
Research Project Ethics MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration with EI.CESI) student and the MSc Project
Registration Form Management (dual award in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology) student who
chooses to return to Chalmers to complete their research -- this requirement relates to 6 points
Research Project Ethics of meaningful contact by email, telephone, video conferencing, Skype calling (where facilities are
Approval Form available), snail mail, etc. Should a student fail to engage with their supervisor on at least 6
formal occasions while working on their dissertation, they will be Referred/Failed following
Research Participant Consent submission;
Form Following each supervision session, to reflect upon and record their personal progress by
recording the items discussed and mutually agreed action points in a Research e-journal. In
Data Protection addition to writing entries in their research e-journal after each supervision session, the student
is required to complete a weekly entry which summarizes their progress to date (monitored
Dissertation/Thesis against their research programme, which should be placed in their research e-journal);
To maintain a Research Evidence File which includes all correspondence and working papers
Declaration Form
associated with their project and includes completed questionnaires, interview transcriptions,
Research Participant Consent Forms, case study materials, etc. The evidence file must be
Title Page
submitted along with the dissertation/thesis. The dissertation/thesis will not be marked without
Front Cover its accompanying evidence file;
To attend each supervision meeting at the agreed time and place or to give adequate prior
Submission Requirements notice of postponement by either email or telephone. (It is strongly advised that the student
provides their supervisor with both their home and mobile telephone numbers);
Submission Dates To agree, at the outset, with their supervisor a timetable of meetings throughout the period of
time allocated for the completion of the dissertation/thesis (see section entitled Supervision and
Deferment Regulations the subsection entitled Research Supervision Programme Form for further information).
Depending upon the approach adopted by their supervisor, the Northumbria campus-based
Assessment Procedures student will receive either individual or group supervision with like-minded students. The
decision to arrange and hold individual or group supervision sessions is made by the supervisor
Assessment Criteria and not the student. Both approaches are considered to be acceptable and effective
mechanisms in which to initiate and perpetuate supervision. Northumbria distance learning
Dissertation Viva Voce students, and this includes the MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration with
EI.CESI) student and the MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration with Chalmers)
Thesis Viva Voce student who chooses to return to Chalmers to complete their research, will normally receive
individual supervision by e-mail, telephone, Skype or video conferencing (where facilities are
available), snail mail, etc.; and
To check with their supervisor whether or not they will be contactable or available to provided
supervision and/or feedback outside normal student attendance periods i.e. during the winter,
spring and summer breaks/vacation periods; and to submit their dissertation/thesis on or before
the date set by the module tutor (see section entitled Submission Dates and Deferment
Regulations for further information). The dissertation/thesis must be submitted according to the
detailed instructions outlined in this handbook (see section entitled Submission Requirements for

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further information). The student is responsible for all matters of expression within their
submitted dissertation/thesis, such expression being defined as matters associated with correct
spelling, punctuation, syntax and grammar; structure, layout, presentation and design of the
connectivity between the theoretical/methodological/ethical/empirical concepts.



Supervisors
Supervisors will be honest with their allocated students and inform them when they are working
progressively well or not so well. The student, too, is required to be honest with their supervisor. The
student must learn to trust their supervisor to ensure their professional relationship develops and
matures. Each supervisor has a number of responsibilities. These include:

To meet with their allocated campus-based students and to discuss their progress on at least 6
face-to-face/formal occasions (see section entitled Supervision and the subsection entitled
Research Supervision Programme Form for further information). For Northumbria distance
learning students, and this includes the MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration
with EI.CESI) student and the MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration with
Chalmers University of Technology) student who chooses to return to Chalmers to complete
their research, this requirement relates to 6 points of meaningful contact by e-mail, telephone,
Skype or video conferencing (where facilities are available), snail mail, etc.;
To provide their allocated students with academic support and encouragement;
To direct their allocated students to uphold academic and professional standards;
To encourage their allocated students to reflect upon and record their personal progress by
recording items discussed and mutually agreed action points in their Research e-journal;
To attend each supervision meeting at the agreed time and place or give adequate prior notice
of postponement by either email or telephone. (It is strongly advised that the student provides
their supervisor with both their home and mobile telephone numbers);
To offer verbal advice and guidance to their allocated students on most aspects of the
dissertation/thesis and its production;
To aim to return draft materials produced by their allocated students (where the request to
review the draft materials was initiated by the supervisor) with appropriate feedback comments
within 10 working days. The student does not possess the authority to request their supervisor
to proof read and/or correct/amend draft materials and/or correct spelling mistakes,
grammatical errors, punctuation, etc. When a student initiates a request to their supervisor to
provide feedback on draft materials, supervisors are able to return the student's work with
appropriate feedback comments within the timescale dictated by the University, i.e., 20 working
days; and
To offer supportive guidance and counsel when their allocated students are behind schedule.
When progress continues to remain behind schedule for more than 3 weeks, to advice the
module tutor of the situation, who in turn may liaise with the student's programme leader.


Module Tutor
The module tutor has a number of tasks to perform during the academic year. The module tutor is
required:

To manage and co-ordinate the module; liaise with students, supervisors and external
examiners;
To allocate students intending to submit their dissertation/thesis for assessment to Northumbria
a supervisor (this includes all students enrolled on a research module included within the Project
Management Framework). Supervisors will not necessarily have subject-related knowledge
relevant to a student's topic; however, they will possess experience and/or knowledge of
conducting and/or supervising master's students;
To warn students if they appear to be in danger of failing to complete their dissertation/thesis
on time, or if their work is unlikely to fully satisfy the modules learning outcomes;
To offer guidance and support to those students who may, because of unforeseen personal
extenuating circumstances, be unable to submit their dissertation/thesis on time. In most cases,
students with personal extenuating circumstances will be handled by the programme leader. In
exceptional cases, the module tutor will consult with the Faculty Registrar and/or Principal
Student Support Administrator to discuss and agree possible support procedures;
To co-ordinate the independent marking of the dissertations/theses once they are submitted and
to present samples of the submitted dissertations/theses to the external examiners for
scrutiny;
To co-ordinate the arrangements and examination panel members for the viva voce
presentations following submission of the theses by students enrolled on the MSc Project
Management (dual award in collaboration with EI.CESI) programme and BE1036; and
To co-ordinate the arrangement and examination panel members for all dissertation students
requiring a viva voce.

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Allan Osborne created this on 01 October 2012.


This was last edited on 25 February 2014.
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The PebblePad ePortfolio system has been developed by Pebble Learning in collaboration with the University of Wolverhampton. Northumbria University is responsible for this installation of PebblePad.
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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Supervision
Foreword
Members of academic/research staff acting as supervisors will undertake a supportive and enabling
Introduction role. The student will be expected to take the initiative and arrange/facilitate regular, mutually
convenient meetings/meaningful contacts with their supervisors in order to discuss and appraise their
Higher Education Framework
progress. As previously explained, for Northumbria campus-based students, supervisors may choose
to arrange supervision sessions with groups of students as opposed to individual student supervision
Roles and Responsibilities
sessions. Either approach is deemed acceptable.
Supervision
Supervisors may read and comment on draft chapters and other materials, as well as offer guidance
Research Resources about the definition of the research topic; useful references; the structure of the study; ethical
considerations; research methods; data collection, handling and analysis procedures; and the
Research Proposal Form development of rigorous conclusions. Supervisors will aim to return draft materials produced by their
allocated students (where the request to review the draft materials was initiated by the supervisor)
Research E-Journal with appropriate feedback comments within 10 working days. Supervisors will not proof read draft
materials and/or correct spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, punctuation, etc. If a student requires
Research Evidence File this level of English language and academic writing support and guidance, they are required to utilize
the expertise of the support staff employed in Student Services, and in particular, the English
Ethical Considerations Language Centre.

Research Project Ethics It is essential that the student takes appropriate advice from the very start. However, the student
Registration Form needs to prepare a focused and well-considered Research Proposal Form during BE1231 and
remember it is their research and not their supervisors. The initiative, decisions and creative effort
Research Project Ethics required for a successful dissertation/thesis must come from the student themselves. Advice from
Approval Form supervisors must not be interpreted as a relaxation of the requirements outlined in this handbook
and/or the Assessment Regulations for Northumbria Awards (ARNA).
Research Participant Consent
Form Supervisors will neither advise on the grade that any draft is liable to receive nor whether it is
sufficient to pass. The same is true for the completed dissertation/thesis. The student must recognize
Data Protection that all marks remain unconfirmed until scrutiny of the module has taken place by the external
examiners and the module results have been presented and confirmed at the examination board by
Dissertation/Thesis the module tutor. The dissertation/thesis assessment progress is rigorous, fair and unbiased.
Supervisors are unable to confirm or indicate an unconfirmed mark. Confirmed marks will be
Declaration Form communicated to students via the University's official results publication procedures.

Title Page It is vitally important that the student maintains regular contact with their supervisor and arranges a
programme of mutually convenient meetings and discussions; thus ensuring meaningful support and
Front Cover
guidance is maintained. The Northumbria campus-based student should discuss progress with their
supervisor on at least 6 face-to-face/formal occasions (see subsection entitled Supervision Programme
Submission Requirements
Form below for further information). For Northumbria distance learning students, and this includes the
Submission Dates MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration with EI.CESI) student and the MSc Project
Management (dual award in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology) student who
Deferment Regulations chooses to return to Chalmers to complete their research, this requirement relates to a minimum of 6
points of meaningful contact by e-mail, telephone, Skype or video conferencing (where facilities are
Assessment Procedures available), snail mail, etc. When seeking advice, the student must always be well prepared with
specific questions. It is also the students responsibility to reflect upon and record their personal
Assessment Criteria progress by recording the items discussed and mutually agreed action points in a Research e-journal.
Throughout the supervisory process, goals and timescales should, where possible, be established and
Dissertation Viva Voce regularly monitored by the student and the supervisor.

Thesis Viva Voce
Supervision Problems
There may be rare occasions when a student and a supervisor do not work productively. In such
cases, either party should feel completely free and comfortable to approach the module tutor and
request a change. The module tutor will then sympathetically, sensitively and objectively listen to the
representation of the student and/or the supervisor.

It will be necessary for the module tutor to discuss the request in detail with both parties in order to
ascertain an objective and accurate account of the true situation. Following this procedure, the module

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tutor will consult with the programme and/or supervision team in order to make a final decision.
Provided the request for change is found to be sound and absolutely essential, and provided that an
acceptable alternative supervisor can be found, the module tutor will agree to the request without
apportioning fault to either side. In such a case the original supervisor will not be involved in marking
the students work.


Research Supervision Programme Form
Northumbria campus-based students must agree in advance to meet with their supervisor during face-
to-face meetings on at least 6 occasions. Students should agree a timetable for these meetings during
their initial supervision meeting. Once they have agreed a timetable of supervision meetings with their
allocated supervisor, students should take their Research Supervision Programme Form along to each
meeting and request their supervisor countersign the form as confirmation/evidence of attendance.
Students must submit their fully completed and signed Research Supervision Programme Form as part
of their Research Evidence File.

For Northumbria distance learning students, and this includes the MSc Project Management (dual
award in collaboration with EI.CESI) student and the MSc Project Management (dual award in
collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology) student who chooses to return to Chalmers to
complete their research, this requirement relates to a minimum of 6 points of meaningful contact by
e-mail, telephone, Skype or video conferencing (where facilities are available), snail mail, etc. In a
similar manner to the situation outlined above, such students should agree a timetable for supervision
during their initial communication with their supervisor. Once they have agreed a timetable of
supervision with their allocated supervisor, students should record each supervision event on the
Research Supervision Programme Form and send a copy of the form to their supervisor immediately
afterwards. Students must submit their fully completed and signed Research Supervision Programme
Form as part of their Research Evidence File as confirmation/evidence of their meaningful
engagement/supervision. Supervisors will be asked to confirm the dates of the supervision
communication presented on this form following submission.

Unless a student has engaged in meaningful contact with their supervisor on at least 6 occasions, the
student's dissertation/thesis will not be accepted for summative assessment.

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Research Resources
Foreword
Students are advised to take advantage of the following resources during the process of working on
Introduction their research investigation and writing their dissertation/thesis.

Higher Education Framework
Key textbook: The key textbook for the module provides invaluable guidance and support for
Roles and Responsibilities the formulation, design, execution and production of a master's dissertation. Hart, C. (2005)
Doing Your Masters Dissertation. London: Sage Publications Ltd.
Supervision
Zotero: A free and easy-to-use web tool that is designed to help researchers collect, cite and
share their research resources. It is a cloud-based application that also installs a web browser
Research Resources
add-on. The most commonly used web browers are supported by Zotero. It works in a similar
Research Proposal Form manner to EndNote, but has many advantages, including the ability to work across multiple PCs
without the associated complications of keeping the bibliographic library file/database up-to-
Research E-Journal date.
Mendeley: Is a free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize
Research Evidence File your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research. It allows you to
automatically generate bibliographies; collaborate easily with other researchers online; easily
Ethical Considerations import papers from other research software; find relevant papers based on what youre reading;
and access your papers from anywhere online.
Research Project Ethics Cite Them Right: Northumbria University's guide for correct use of the Harvard referencing
Registration Form system written and published by the University Library.
Northumbria Skills Plus: The Northumbria Skills Programme is designed to introduce you to
Research Project Ethics some of the most important skills you need to succeed at University, writing your dissertation
Approval Form and beyond.

Research Participant Consent


Form

Data Protection

Dissertation/Thesis

Declaration Form

Title Page

Front Cover

Submission Requirements

Submission Dates

Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures

Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Research Proposal Form
Foreword
Students will initially be required to complete a dissertation/thesis proposal using the Research
Introduction Proposal Form, i.e. a proforma, during enrolment on BE1231.

Higher Education Framework
BE1231 is studied during the semester prior to enrolment on to one of the Project Management
Framework's empirical research or work-based dissertation modules, or in the case of students
Roles and Responsibilities
enrolled upon the dual award programme in collaboration with EI.CESI, during the semester the
Supervision students attend Northumbria University. The module builds upon the concepts and theories presented
during the pre-requisite research methods module BE1171. The module requires students to develop,
Research Resources consolidate and apply their independent research and study skills in readiness for undertaking a
masters-level research investigation of a topic of their own choice relevant to their chosen degree
Research Proposal Form programme.

Research E-Journal Students are instructed and receive guidance on how to complete a traditional (empirical) or work-
based masters dissertation. They are introduced to the criteria used to assess research and provided
Research Evidence File with examples of how to complete the technical as well as the intellectual aspects of completing a
masters dissertation/thesis. The techniques that are used to identify a suitable topic, write clear aims
Ethical Considerations and objectives, formulate hypotheses, and address ethical and sensitive situations are also explored.
Students are required to complete a research project proposal using a standardized proforma.
Research Project Ethics
Registration Form Depending upon which project management programme a student is enrolled, the proposal is
submitted either:
Research Project Ethics
Approval Form
Towards the end of the module for those students aiming to imminently progress and enrol on
Research Participant Consent to one of the masters empirical research or work-based dissertation modules,
Form Towards the end of the semester prior to progression and enrolment on to the masters
professional practice thesis module BE1036.
Data Protection

Dissertation/Thesis The proposal is summatively assessed, either as a Pass or Fail, in order to ascertain the potential of
the proposed topic to satisfy the relevant masters empirical research or work-based dissertation (or
Declaration Form professional practice thesis) module learning outcomes and, of equal importance, the philosophy of
the students chosen degree programme.
Title Page
When a Fail result is awarded, students will be permitted to resubmit their proposal as many times as
Front Cover necessary until they receive a Pass result. Unless a Pass result is awarded, students will not be
permitted to officially commence work on their dissertation/thesis.
Submission Requirements
The proposal provides an opportunity for the formative assessment of the students work at a
Submission Dates relatively early stage in the development process of the students proposed investigation. Students are
provided with formative feedback regarding their participation and performance throughout the module
Deferment Regulations and following submission of their proposal.

Assessment Procedures
If, during enrolment on the research module, the student changes the nature of their research
investigation after receipt of a Pass grade following submission of their Research Proposal Form during
Assessment Criteria
BE1231, they are required to seek the guidance of the module tutor as soon as possible. Should such
Dissertation Viva Voce a situation occur, students may be required to resubmit new Research Proposal Form and Research
Project Ethics Registration Form.
Thesis Viva Voce

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Research E-Journal
Foreword
Three characteristics of a successful student includes their ability to focus on and complete the right
Introduction tasks at the right time; their ability and capacity to work efficiently, effectively and rapidly to satisfy
targets; and their determination to complete tasks on-time and successfully. In essence, the
Higher Education Framework
successful student possesses well-defined and perfected time and project management skills.

Roles and Responsibilities
When a student embarks on the process of completing a dissertation/thesis, they are required to
Supervision balance the time they devote to their employment, social commitments and family life and their
research. Quite often, the student generally has more freedom over these choices than many others;
Research Resources however, making decisions and employing time management skills remain an important challenge for
all.
Research Proposal Form
Good time management is a skill that can be learned and perfected like all other personal organization
Research E-Journal skills. One technique that can be used by the master's research student to maximize productive time
is to organize research tasks more precisely by utilizing and maintaining a research diary in the form
Research Evidence File of a research e-journal. Diaries can prove to be a useful tool for keeping track of day-to-day activities
and, in terms of a research project, can be used for monitoring progress against key milestone events.
Ethical Considerations
The student is required to maintain a research diary, in the form of a personal research e-journal on
Research Project Ethics the eLP course site whilst undertaking their research project. The e-journal is a mini website, set up
Registration Form by the module tutor and maintained by the student, with regular entries of reflective commentary,
description of events, and other materials such as uploaded files, graphics and video. Entries will be
Research Project Ethics displayed in reverse chronological order on the eLP and will be viewed by the student, supervisors and
Approval Form the module tutor. Supervisors and the module tutor may, from time-to-time, add comments to
specific entries or amend entries. Privacy settings have been established to prevent students from
Research Participant Consent viewing each others e-journals.
Form
A students research e-journal will be a written (typed) reflective commentary based on their
Data Protection experiences and abilities to develop and execute their own research project. The student is required to
write an entry after each supervision meeting. Entries are required, as a minimum requirement, to
Dissertation/Thesis include the following:

Declaration Form
Date, time and venue of the supervision meeting, including the supervision communication
Title Page medium, i.e. one-to-one/individual supervision/group supervision, telephone supervision, email
supervision. video conference/Skype supervision. The student must attach all email
Front Cover correspondence sent and received in relation to their supervision process in their e-journal; and
Progress, agreed targets and priorities made since last supervision meeting/e-journal entry. This
Submission Requirements section must be completed immediately after/before each supervision meeting, as supervisors
are required to monitor their students progress and may decide to review their research e-
Submission Dates
journals. If little or no progress has been made, then supervisors may decide to postpone or
cancel future meetings until strong evidence of progress is demonstrated and presented in
Deferment Regulations
subsequent e-journal entries.
Assessment Procedures

Northumbria campus-based students must agree in advance to meet with their supervisor during face-
Assessment Criteria
to-face meetings on at least 6 occasions. Students should agree a timetable for these meetings during
Dissertation Viva Voce their initial supervision meeting. Once they have agreed a timetable of supervision meetings with their
allocated supervisor, students should take their Research Supervision Programme Form(see section
Thesis Viva Voce entitled Supervision for further information) along to each meeting and request their supervisor
countersign the form as confirmation/evidence of attendance. Students must submit their fully
completed and signed Research Supervision Programme Form as part of their Research Evidence File.

For Northumbria distance learning students, and this includes the MSc Project Management (dual
award in collaboration with EI.CESI) student and the MSc Project Management (dual award in
collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology) student who chooses to return to Chalmers to
complete their research, this requirement relates to a minimum of 6 points of meaningful contact by
e-mail, telephone, Skype or video conferencing (where facilities are available), snail mail, etc. In a

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similar manner to the situation outlined above, such students should agree a timetable for supervision
during their initial communication with their supervisor. Once they have agreed a timetable of
supervision with their allocated supervisor, students should record each supervision event on the
Research Supervision Programme Form (see section entitled Supervision for further information) and
send a copy of the form to their supervisor immediately afterwards. Students must submit their fully
completed and signed Research Supervision Programme Form as part of their Research Evidence File
as confirmation/evidence of their meaningful engagement/supervision. Supervisors will be asked to
confirm the dates of the supervision communication presented on this form following submission.

The students ability to effectively manage the production of an original dissertation/thesis will be
determined by assessing the students research e-journal. The e-journal does not directly contribute to
the module mark.

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Research Evidence File
Foreword
Throughout the process of conducting the research project, the student is required to maintain a
Introduction research evidence file. This file will include rough notes, photocopied articles, successive draft
chapters, correspondence associated with the research project and completed questionnaires,
Higher Education Framework
interview transcriptions, case study materials, etc. If a students dissertation/thesis includes
calculations, the working papers for these must also be included within the file. Furthermore,
Roles and Responsibilities
completed surveys, questionnaires and Research Participant Consent Forms must be retained, along
Supervision with the names and addresses of the respondents and the full correspondence details of their
employing organizations.
Research Resources
Academic Registry has amended the Universitys Research Ethics and Governance Handbook in order
Research Proposal Form to require each student to submit their research evidence file when submitting their dissertation/thesis
for summative assessment. In addition to this requirement, the Faculty of Engineering and
Research E-Journal Environment has decreed that dissertations/theses will not be accepted for submission and will not be
marked unless students submit their research evidence file in accordance with the Universitys
Research Evidence File guidance notes outlined in the Research Ethics and Governance Handbook. The Faculty's ethics policy
includes the following statement:
Ethical Considerations
"Students are required to hand-in a file of their preparatory work (including signed ethics forms,
Research Project Ethics notes, calculations, copies of articles, interview notes, records of supervision meetings, etc. as
Registration Form specified in the module handbook) with their completed dissertation/thesis, and this submission is
recorded by the administrative staff. This file is required to provide evidence of adherence to the
Research Project Ethics Universitys ethics policy and the development of the work, and so prevent and deter ghosting.
Approval Form Students should be made aware that, without this file of evidence, their dissertation/thesis will not be
assessed. The file is not normally summatively assessed, but where there are concerns about the
Research Participant Consent authenticity of any of the evidence, students may be required to attend a viva voce (oral
Form examination)."

Data Protection Students must submit their fully completed and signed Research Supervision Programme Form as part
of their research evidence file as confirmation/evidence of their meaningful engagement/supervision.
Dissertation/Thesis Supervisors will be asked to confirm the dates of the supervision communication presented on this
form following submission.
Declaration Form

Title Page

Front Cover

Submission Requirements

Submission Dates

Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures

Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Ethical Considerations
Foreword
Conducting empirical research is a requirement of the research module and the dissertation/thesis.
Introduction Once the student has established their research question(s), they need to demonstrate an awareness
of the alternative research methods available and select the most appropriate to meet their
Higher Education Framework
objectives. It is important to recognize the constraints that will inevitably be faced within a realistic
and meaningful research design. The implementation of the data collection procedure and the
Roles and Responsibilities
subsequent analysis need to be carefully thought through and built into the programme as soon as
Supervision possible.

Research Resources As well as practical and academic considerations, it is essential that students consider any ethical
issues in relation to designing and conducting their research at the outset. The policy statement,
Research Proposal Form which needs to be read before students complete the Research Proposal Form during BE1231, can be
found at the Universitys Policies and Procedures in Ethics in Research and Consultancy: Policies,
Research E-Journal Frameworks and Guidance webpage.

Research Evidence File Key considerations of ethical scrutiny relate to:

Ethical Considerations
Whether the research will directly involve human subjects/participants (for example, in surveys,
Research Project Ethics interviews and experiments) and in particular, whether the research will involve vulnerable
Registration Form subjects/participants (such as children, other young people under the age of 18, elderly people,
asylum seekers, those will ill health or some form of disability); and
Research Project Ethics Whether the research project involves the collection of data that will not be permitted to be
Approval Form used for other projects or which involves the collection of data of a potentially confidential
nature or otherwise is personally, commercially or politically sensitive information.
Research Participant Consent
Form
The University Policy Statement highlights the principles of beneficence and non-maleficence as being
Data Protection fundamental to all research activity:

Dissertation/Thesis
Beneficence is the requirement to promote the interests and well-being of others (i.e. the
Declaration Form ethical principle of doing good in the widest sense); and
Non-maleficence is the principle of not doing harm so both of the principles should be
Title Page applied.

Front Cover
The Economic and Social Research Councils (ESRC) Framework for Research Ethics is a useful source
Submission Requirements of guidance. It identifies six core ethics principles:

Submission Dates
Research should be designed, reviewed and undertaken in a way that ensures its integrity and
Deferment Regulations quality;
Researchers and research subjects/participants must be fully informed about the purpose,
Assessment Procedures methods and intended possible uses of the research, what their participation in the research
entails and what risk, if any, are involved;
Assessment Criteria The confidentiality of information supplied by research subjects re. the anonymity of
respondents must be respected;
Dissertation Viva Voce Research participants must participate in a voluntary way, free from any coercion;
Harm to research participants must be avoided; and
Thesis Viva Voce The independence and impartiality of researchers must be clear, and any conflicts of interest or
partiality must be explicit.



Ethics Procedures
Northumbria University has established policies, frameworks and guidance to address ethics in
research. This is an ever-changing field and the Universitys policies and procedures are continually

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revised and updated. The latest information published by the University is available at the Policies and
Procedures in Ethics In Research and Consultancy - Policies, Frameworks and Guidance webpage.

The University's ethics policy clarifies the obligations on researchers, promotes awareness of ethical
principles and ethical issues in the conduct of all research activities and provides a framework for their
consideration at Northumbria University. The University Research and Ethics Governance Handbook
provides detailed guidance on best practice in research. There are also a number of other documents
which can be accessed from the University's website, in particular the Policies and Procedures in Ethics
In Research and Consultancy - Policies, Frameworks and Guidance webpage, which includes a self-
evaluation tool for research projects, as well as useful links to other information and advice.

The Faculty of Engineering and Environment is required to have in place their own procedures for
monitoring ethical issues. These procedures derive from the Northumbria Universitys procedures. They
are designed to complement and supplement the university procedures with a particular focus on the
ethical issues most likely to be encountered in the built and natural environment. The Faculty of
Engineering and Environment procedures do not replace the university procedures: all research
activities should be conducted in accordance with the latest university procedures and researchers
should ensure they are familiar with them.


Research Ethics Committee
Each Faculty has a Research Ethics Committee which reports to the University Ethics Committee. In
the Faculty of Engineering and Environment, the Faculty Research Ethics Committee (FREC) is
subsumed within the Faculty Research Committee (FRC) and has the same membership. The terms of
reference of the FREC are as follows:

To monitor adherence to the University Ethics Policy for all research activities on behalf of the
Research Committee;
To define local guidelines and procedures for consideration and approval of local ethical issues;
To advise on and disseminate best practice for ethical issues;
To scrutinise and approve when necessary all ethical applications before seeking approval from
external interested bodies;
To maintain records of all research projects (including dissertations and theses);
To monitor adherence to all relevant professional body codes of research ethics, in particular the
Department of Health Research Governance Framework; and
To advise the Executive Dean over issues and problems of non-compliance, who will take the
appropriate action under the Universitys policies and guidelines.



Scope
The Faculty of Engineering and Environment's ethics procedures apply to all research projects carried
out by staff and students. This includes all research activity that involves primary research or the use
of secondary data that is not in the public domain (e.g. company data). This includes externally and
internally funded research and non-funded research. It does not include research that solely uses
published works, e.g. literature reviews or scoping studies. It does not include consultancy activity
arranged through RBI (Business), formerly known as Northumbria Commercial Enterprises, which has
its own procedures.


Liability
Research activity that does not comply with University procedures may not be covered by the
university insurance policies and individual researchers may therefore be liable in the situation of a
claim arising as a result of their research activity.


Ethical Approval
Anyone engaged in a research project must obtain ethical approval before commencing their research.
As a result, the University has established a traffic light system to determine any risks associated with
research projects. Each project will be designated as RED, AMBER or GREEN. The category will then
determine the level of ethical scrutiny required and any additional requirements, e.g. approval by an
external body and additional insurance.

The three risk categories are:

RED (High Risk)
For full list see the University Research Ethics and Governance Handbook. Clinical trials require special
arrangements. The most likely issues encountered in the Faculty of Engineering and Environment are:

Vulnerable participants would include, but is not restricted to, anyone aged under 18 years,
people with heath problems or disabilities etc.;
Sensitive personal data is defined under the Data Protection Act as including: racial or ethnic
origin; political opinions; religious beliefs; physical or mental health; sexual life; commission of
offences of alleged offences; and
Safety concerns for researchers or participants would include physical risks, emotional distress
and professional harm.

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All RED research projects must be approved by the FREC. This will be obtained at a meeting of the
FREC or by Chairs action if there is no suitable meeting date.

AMBER (Medium Risk)
Research involves human participants, personal data, commercially sensitive information or
environmental issues (may have an effect on the environment) etc.

All AMBER projects must be approved by the FREC. The FREC approval is delegated to a designated
member of staff who will usually give approval subject to conditions that University ethics procedures
as described in the following sections are adhered to (e.g. obtaining informed consent from
participants and appropriate storage of private and confidential information).

GREEN (Low Risk)
That is, other projects. GREEN projects should not raise any ethical issues and may be approved by a
designated member of staff.


Taught Master's Programmes
The module tutor for any module that involves research - such as the dissertation/thesis module on
the Project Management Framework - should ensure that the relevant University ethics procedures are
explained in the information provided to students. The information may be in the form of a module
outline, module handbook, work-based project handbook, assignment brief or similar documentation
as appropriate (such as this module handbook and the information presented in BE1231). Module
tutors for research methods modules should ensure that research ethics is included within the
teaching for the module.


Ethics Registration and Approval Forms
All students must complete a Research Project Ethics Registration Form for every dissertation/thesis or
project they undertake which involves research. Forms will usually be supplied by the module tutor or
they may be obtained from the programme administrator. In this particular instance, they are
available within this handbook and also in the information presented in BE1231.

The first section of the form (registration) should be completed by the student and the second section
of the form (approval) by the supervisor. The registration section will require sufficient information
from the student to determine project risk and to establish into which category the research project
falls, in accordance with the Universitys traffic light system. The category will then determine the
level of ethical scrutiny required and any additional requirements. Where ethical issues are identified,
the student is required to describe how these will be addressed.

The student also has to agree (by signature) to a statement that they have read the University's
guidelines on ethical procedures. The form will then be considered by a member of academic staff who
will complete the approval section of the form. The member of staff will usually be the students
designated supervisor (as advised by the module tutor).

The form should then be submitted to the programme administrator who will record the information
from the research project ethics registration and approval forms into a register of student research
projects and, if required, contact the secretary to the FRC to arrange for the research project to be
considered by the next meeting of the FREC. A copy of the form should be retained by the student
and should be submitted along with the completed dissertation/thesis in accordance with instructions
provided by the module tutor.

If the research project changes to a significant degree (which would change the answers in the
registration section of the ethics registration and approval form) then a new research ethics
registration form should be completed by the student and a new Research Project Ethics Approval
Form should be completed by the students supervisor.

The FREC has established standard procedures to address ethical issues arising from AMBER projects
as detailed in the following subsections.


Informed Consent
Where information is to be gathered from persons participating in the research (through interviews,
questionnaires or other means of observation), the prospective participants must be provided with
sufficient information to enable them to make an informed decision as to whether or not they wish to
participate. Guidance on producing an information sheet is contained within the University Research
Ethics and Governance Handbook.

A Research Participant Consent Form (RPCF) must be completed by each individual participant.
Participants are asked to confirm that they have been briefed about the particular research project
and its purpose and consent to their involvement in the research.

The RPCF also considers issues of anonymity and confidentiality and allows for the participant to
indicate specific requirements for anonymity or confidentiality including in relation to the use of
audio/video taped interviews.

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All students obtaining information from others through research work must gain consent using this
form. The supervisor should ensure that the student complies with this requirement and should
approve the information provided to participants in advance. Students should place completed
research participant consent forms (RPCF) in their Research Evidence File.

In the case of interviews conducted by telephone, rather than face-to-face, the following are indicated
as the alternative procedures for gaining consent:

Students can set up the telephone interview and send the RPCF in advance by post telephone
interviews are only to be carried out once the forms are received and signed by the participant;
Students can set up the telephone interview in advance by email with the RPCF attached. The
consent should be returned and printed out telephone interviews must only to be carried out
once the completed forms are received back from the participants by email;
The taping option. The student should telephone the proposed participant and ask for their
permission to record and obtain consent verbally. Once the recorder is on, the student and the
interviewee should go through the issues raised in the RPCF and record the answers. This will
then create either an audio tape or a digital sound file; either will need to be submitted in
written form within the Research Evidence File; or
A report of the telephone interview should be sent to the participant for approval with an
accompanying letter which should provide the following statement: If no response to this
request for consent to use the transcribed information from the telephone interview is received
within one month of the date of this letter, consent is deemed to have been provided.


As is the case with the written form with face-to-face interviews, students must comply with the
requirement to gain the participants consent by telephone interview. All participants consents
(completed forms or otherwise) should be retained with the project data and stored in the research
evidence file.

Where a student intends to use questionnaires to gain primary research information, the questionnaire
must be accompanied by a letter (or email as appropriate) explaining the purpose of the research and
must include, at the end of the questionnaire, a standard statement, as follows: I understand the
purpose of this research and agree to participate. The return of the questionnaire with this statement
implies that the respondent has given consent.

All questionnaires should be approved by the supervisor before they are sent out to participants.


Research Data
All data of a personal or confidential nature must be stored securely and at the end of the project
should be retained or destroyed in accordance with the Universitys Policies and Procedures in Ethics in
Research and Consultancy: Policies, Frameworks and Guidance. Full guidance on data protection (in
accordance with the Data Protection Act) and secure storage of research data is also available via this
webpage. A copy of the guidance relating to taught programmes is shown in the section entitled Data
Protection in this handbook. As a minimum, personal and confidential data should only be obtained if it
is required for the purposes of the research and should not be used for any other purpose. It should
be locked away when not in use and any computer facilities used should be password protected.
Students should discuss the requirements for secure storage with their supervisor. Personal and
confidential data should not be stored on personal computer hard drives. Students should either use
their university U drive or removable storage devices (e.g. CDs and USB sticks) which can be handed
in at the end of the project.

At the end of the research project all data and consent forms, both paper-based and electronic,
should be handed in to the Faculty of Engineering and Environment office in accordance with
instructions provided by the module tutor in relation to submission of the Research Evidence File. The
University will arrange for the destruction of all personal and confidential data once a students award
is confirmed.


Ethical Issues and Adverse Events
Students must inform their supervisor of any ethical issues or adverse events which arise during the
course of a project. The supervisor will inform the secretary to the FRC who will arrange for the
matter to be referred to the FREC for consideration.


Register of Student Research Projects
The programme administrator will maintain a register of all research projects undertaken by students.
The administrator will inform the dissertation/thesis module tutor of any student registered on a
module who has not completed a Research Project Ethics Registration Form and any supervisor who
has not completed a Research Project Ethics Approval Form. The programme administrator will also
produce a summary report of all student research projects for each programme. The summary report
is to be sent to the secretary to the FRC to be included in the annual ethics report.


Approval of Student Research Projects
The approval of a research topic by the supervisor should only be made once the Research Project
Ethics Registration Form has been satisfactorily completed.

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Research Project Ethics Registration Form
Foreword
All students must complete a Research Project Ethics Registration Form for every dissertation/thesis or
Introduction project they undertake which involves research.

Higher Education Framework
The Research Project Ethics Registration Form should be completed by the student. This is the
followed by the Research Project Ethics Approval Form which is completed by the students supervisor
Roles and Responsibilities
and/or the module tutor. The Research Project Ethics Registration Form will require sufficient
Supervision information from the student to determine project risk and to establish into which category the
research project falls, in accordance with the Universitys traffic light system (see section entitled
Research Resources Ethical Considerations for further information). The category will then determine the level of ethical
scrutiny required and any additional requirements. Where ethical issues are identified, the student is
Research Proposal Form required to describe how these will be addressed.

Research E-Journal The student also has to agree (by signature) to a statement that they have read the University's
guidelines on ethical procedures. The form will then be considered by a member of academic staff who
Research Evidence File will complete the Research Project Ethics Approval Form. The member of staff will usually be the
students designated supervisor (as advised by the module tutor) or the module tutor.
Ethical Considerations
The form should then be submitted to the programme administrator who will record the information
Research Project Ethics from the Research Project Ethics Registration Form and the Research Project Ethics Approval Form into
Registration Form a register of student research projects and, if required, contact the secretary to the Faculty Research
Committee (FRC) to arrange for the research project to be considered by the next meeting of the
Research Project Ethics Faculty Research Ethics Committee (FREC). A copy of the form should be retained by the student and
Approval Form should be submitted along with the completed research project in accordance with instructions
provided by the module tutor in the Research Evidence File.
Research Participant Consent
Form If the research project changes significantly (which would change the answers in the Research Project
Ethics Registration Form) then a new Research Project Ethics Registration Form should be completed
Data Protection by the student.

Dissertation/Thesis To summarise:

Declaration Form
The Research Project Ethics Registration Form must be completed by all students in consultation
Title Page with their supervisor and then returned to the programme administer for recording on the
Research Ethics Register.
Front Cover The Research Project Ethics Approval Form must be completed by all supervisors after consulting
their students Research Project Ethics Registration Form and then returned to the Programme
Submission Requirements Administrator for recording on the Research Ethics Register or for referral to the Faculty
Research Ethics Committee (FREC).
Submission Dates

Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures

Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Research Project Ethics Approval Form
Foreword
All students must receive a Research Project Ethics Approval Form for every dissertation/thesis or
Introduction project they undertake which involves research.

Higher Education Framework
The Research Project Ethics Registration Form should be completed by the student. This is the
followed by the Research Project Ethics Approval Form which is completed by the students supervisor
Roles and Responsibilities
and/or the module tutor. The Research Project Ethics Registration Form will require sufficient
Supervision information from the student to determine project risk and to establish into which category the
research project falls, in accordance with the Universitys traffic light system (see section entitled
Research Resources Ethical Considerations for further information). The category will then determine the level of ethical
scrutiny required and any additional requirements. Where ethical issues are identified, the student is
Research Proposal Form required to describe how these will be addressed.

Research E-Journal The Research Project Ethics Approval Form should be submitted to the programme administrator who
will record the information from the Research Ethics Registration Form and the Research Ethics
Research Evidence File Approval Form into a register of student research projects and, if required, contact the secretary to
the Faculty Research Committee (FRC) to arrange for the research project to be considered at the
Ethical Considerations next meeting of the Faculty Research Ethics Committee (FREC).

Research Project Ethics If the research project changes significantly (which would change the answers in the Research Project
Registration Form Ethics Registration Form) then a new Research Project Ethics Approval Form should be completed by a
member of academic staff, which will usually be the student's supervisor or the module tutor.
Research Project Ethics
Approval Form To summarise:

Research Participant Consent
Form The Research Project Ethics Approval Form must be completed by all Thesis supervisors after
consulting their students Research Project Ethics Registration Form and then returned to the
Data Protection Programme Administrator for recording on the School Research Ethics Register or for referral to
the Research Ethics Committee (FREC).
Dissertation/Thesis

Declaration Form

Title Page

Front Cover

Submission Requirements

Submission Dates

Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures

Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Research Participant Consent Form
Foreword
Where information is to be gathered from persons participating in the research (through interviews,
Introduction questionnaires or other means of observation), the prospective participants must be provided with
sufficient information to enable them to make an informed decision as to whether or not they wish to
Higher Education Framework
participate. Guidance on producing an information sheet is contained within the University Research
Ethics and Governance Handbook.
Roles and Responsibilities

Supervision A Research Participant Consent Form (RPCF) must be completed by each individual participant.
Participants are asked to confirm that they have been briefed about the particular research project
Research Resources and its purpose and consent to their involvement in the research.

Research Proposal Form The RPCF also considers issues of anonymity and confidentiality and allows for the participant to
indicate specific requirements for anonymity or confidentiality, including the use of audio/video taped
Research E-Journal interviews.

Research Evidence File All students obtaining information from others through research work must gain consent using this
form. The supervisor should ensure that the student complies with this requirement and should
Ethical Considerations approve the information provided to participants in advance. Students should place completed
Research Participant Consent Forms in their Research Evidence File.
Research Project Ethics
Registration Form In the case of interviews conducted by telephone, rather than face-to-face, the following are indicated
as the alternative procedures for gaining consent:
Research Project Ethics
Approval Form
Students can set up the telephone interview and send the RPCF in advance by post telephone
Research Participant interviews are only to be carried out once the forms are received and signed by the participant;
Consent Form Students can set up the telephone interview in advance by email with the RPCF attached. The
consent should be returned and printed out telephone interviews must only to be carried out
Data Protection once the completed forms are received back from the participants by email;
The taping option. The student should telephone the proposed participant and ask for their
Dissertation/Thesis permission to record and obtain consent verbally. Once the recorder is on, the student and the
interviewee should go through the issues raised in the RPCF and record the answers. This will
Declaration Form then create either an audio tape or a digital sound file; either will need to be submitted like a
written form within the Research Evidence File; or
Title Page A report of the telephone interview should be sent to the participant for approval with an
accompanying letter which should provide the following statement: If no response to this
Front Cover request for consent to use the transcribed information from the telephone interview is received
within one month of the date of this letter, consent is deemed to have been provided.
Submission Requirements

Submission Dates As is the case with the written form with face-to-face interviews, students must comply with the
requirement to gain the participants consent by telephone interview. All participants consents
Deferment Regulations (completed forms or otherwise) should be retained with the project data and stored in the Research
Evidence File.
Assessment Procedures

Where a student intends to use questionnaires to gain primary research information, the questionnaire
Assessment Criteria
must be accompanied by a letter (or email as appropriate) explaining the purpose of the research and
Dissertation Viva Voce must include, at the end of the questionnaire, a standard statement, as follows: I understand the
purpose of this research and agree to participate. The return of the questionnaire with this statement
Thesis Viva Voce implies that the respondent has given consent.

All questionnaires should be approved by the supervisor before they are sent out to participants.

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Data Protection
Foreword
Whenever research involves the processing of personal information relating to living individuals,
Introduction students are required to ensure that it is done so in accordance with the Data Protection Act (DPA),
which sets out a number of principles for processing personal information.
Higher Education Framework

This document provides guidance and outlines the requirements to ensure students follow best
Roles and Responsibilities
practice when undertaking research as part of their studies.
Supervision

Research Resources Definitions

Research Proposal Form Data Subject: the individual to whom the data relates.

Research E-Journal Processing: the collection, storage, use, retention and disclosure of personal data of living people.

Research Evidence File Personal Data: any information that affects a persons privacy such as:

Ethical Considerations
Information which is biographical in a significant sense; and
Research Project Ethics Individuals as its focus rather than some other person or some transaction or event.
Registration Form

Research Project Ethics Sensitive personal data is any information that affects a persons safety such as:
Approval Form

Research Participant Consent Racial or ethnic origin;


Form Political opinions;
Religious beliefs;
Data Protection Physical or mental health;
Sexual life; and
Dissertation/Thesis Commission of offences or alleged offences.

Declaration Form
Students should only conduct research involving sensitive personal data where they have obtained the
Title Page permission of their supervisor following satisfactory submission and scrutiny of the Research Project
Ethics Registration Form and subsequent approval following receipt of the Research Project Ethics
Front Cover Approval Form.

Submission Requirements
Submission Dates
Rules
Students must make sure that personal data is only recorded and processed:
Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures With the express permission of the individual to which it relates;
For the purposes for which the person gave their permission; and
Assessment Criteria Retained for as long as necessary to execute that purpose.

Dissertation Viva Voce


These requirements are set out in the 8 Principles of the Data Protection Act (DPA). So long as
Thesis Viva Voce students comply with these 8 principles, they should be compliant with the DPA.

Personal data shall be processed fairly and lawfully. Individuals should be clearly informed of
exactly what the information will be used for and asked to sign a declaration that they are
happy for you to process their information. This can be achieved using a Research Participant
Consent Form.
Personal data shall be obtained for the specific purpose of completing your research and
dissertation/thesis and not processed for any other reason.

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Personal data shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive. This means students should only
ask for information relevant to completing their research and dissertation/thesis at hand.
Students must not ask for more information than is necessary; they should only ask for
sensitive data if it is required to complete their research.
Personal data shall be accurate and kept up-to-date. This principle will only apply to long-term
research where there is a requirement for on-going use of personal data.
Personal data shall not be kept longer than necessary. Make sure that any personal data is
disposed of when the research project is completed.
Personal data shall be processed in accordance with the rights of individuals under the Act.
Anyone who supplies students with personal information has the right to withdraw consent to
process at any time. If someone asks a student not to process their information, they should
make sure they stop immediately.
Appropriate measures will be taken to make sure that personal data is kept secure, especially
sensitive personal data. Do not leave work lying around for people to see. If students have work
on data sticks or laptops, they should use a password to protect them where possible. If they
can, students store it on their University network U-drive instead of a computer at home. Be
careful of carrying personal information around.
Personal data shall not be transferred outside the European Economic Area unless students have
permission to do so and adequate security measures are in place. Do not publish information on
web sites unless permission has been granted.



Completed Research Projects
To comply with the 5th and 7th principles of the Data Projection Act (DPA), students need to make
sure that data no longer required is disposed of in a secure manner after final marks have been
returned or 6 months after dissertation/thesis submission. Electronic files on computers (both at
University and at home) memory sticks or in emails should be securely removed. If students have a
large amount of paper, it must be securely disposed. Do not leave personal data in the bin. If
students are unable to shred the paper themselves, they should speak with their programme
administrator for advice on its disposal.


Returned Research Projects
If the work contains neutral, i.e. anonymous, data then there is no need to worry. If for some reason
a students work contains data that can still identify someone, then they still need to make sure that
the information is held securely until such time that it is safely disposed. If students are unsure how
long they need to keep it for, they should check with the programme administrator.

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Dissertation/Thesis
Foreword
Critical appraisal and detailed analysis are important aspects of academic writing, and as a result, are
Introduction crucial to the preparation of a dissertation/thesis. The literature referred to, and the primary or
secondary data collected, are collectively known as raw data. This raw data must be carefully and
Higher Education Framework
intricately woven together by the student by adopting a focused, intelligent and evaluative
narrative/analytical discourse when writing their literature review. Analytical means asking appropriate
Roles and Responsibilities
questions; not taking anything for granted; being aware of potential bias in data sources; and drilling
Supervision down to get beneath the surface of the surface-level issues in order to uncover key facts.

Research Resources The first stage of any analysis is a critical review of the literature surrounding the topic. This needs to
be organized under a logical structure of chapters with appropriate sub-headings which make full use
Research Proposal Form of primary and secondary bibliographic references using the Northumbria Harvard referencing system.
The literature review should be organized around key themes; significant sources of information;
Research E-Journal important theoretical and methodological issues and the studys primary research goals. When using
secondary data (e.g. information that is already published), the student is required to present it
Research Evidence File appropriately and effectively and, if needs be, handle it in either a quantitative/qualitative/mixed
method manner. The student should be asking: What do these data tell us about the topic and how
Ethical Considerations do they relate to other forms of assembled evidence?

Research Project Ethics Should the student choose to collect primary data (e.g. information that has not previously been
Registration Form published and is therefore original to the study), the student should outline the methods used in the
research methodology chapter of the dissertation/thesis including any problems encountered during
Research Project Ethics the process of data gathering and handling. The data should be presented effectively using simple
Approval Form descriptive statistics (i.e. mean values, ranks, etc.), inferential statistics (i.e. correlations) or
qualitative data analysis techniques in the results chapter. The student should try to uncover the full
Research Participant Consent extent of what the data is saying or alluding to by comparing different sections of the data and using
Form quantitative/qualitative analysis (where appropriate). The student should not form emphatic
conclusions on the basis of weak data. In essence, the student is required to inform their reader(s) of
Data Protection what the data actually means as far as the studys goals are concerned.

Dissertation/Thesis In the conclusion chapter, the student should bring together the literature, secondary and primary
data evidence and compare and contrast what has been originally discovered with existing knowledge.
Declaration Form Again, the student should be asking questions (e.g. where, when, why?) before making conclusions
relating to the hypothesis/research question(s) and the research goals specified in the first chapter of
Title Page the dissertation/thesis The student should also undertake a critically reflexive appraisal of their study,
including the research goals, theoretical underpinning, methodology, data gathering and handling, etc.
Front Cover

It is recommended that a spell-checker be used on each draft chapter. There are, however, some
Submission Requirements
words that commonly slip though the spell-checkers net, e.g. their or there, principle or principal, its
Submission Dates or its, practice or practise, effect or affect, where or were. There are many more. Grammar-checkers
can also be useful; but they should not be used as a substitute for careful proof reading. The student
Deferment Regulations should take advantage of the academic writing support and guidance facilities that are available from
Student Services and the English Language Centre. Supervisors are not required to proof read draft
Assessment Procedures chapters in order to correct poor spelling, grammar, punctuation or structure. Supervisors are only
required to provide guidance on the planned structure of a students dissertation/thesis and research
Assessment Criteria process.

Dissertation Viva Voce
Academic Writing Support
Thesis Viva Voce If a student experiences difficulty in expressing themselves in suitable academic English or experiences
problems associated with spelling, grammar, punctuation etc., or in presenting figures, charts and
tables, they may wish to approach Student Services and the English Language Centre for one-to-one
advice or for acquiring self-help learning materials.


Presentation of Dissertation/Thesis
The length of the dissertation/thesis should be 15,000 words or an absolute maximum of 20,000

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words. Dissertations/theses exceeding this word limit will be penalised in accordance with the standard
policy, which is available from the Programme Handbook. The actual word count is to be declared
explicitly on the Research Declaration Form. Summarising and compressing the information in a
dissertation/thesis is one of the key skills that students are expected to acquire and demonstrate as
part of the research process.

The word count does not include the preliminary/front matter and/or references/back matter, but
includes ALL other material presented in the textual matter, including headings/sub-headings, in-text
citations and quotations, figures and tables, etc.

A Structured Abstract must also be included, which should be a prcis of the main elements of the
dissertation/thesis of no more than 200 words, and include a separate but brief list of keywords.

The dissertation/thesis will normally include between four and seven chapters, the format of which
should be as outlined below. It must be stressed, however, that the number of chapters and the exact
format of the dissertation/thesis will depend upon the theme of the investigation and the
methodological approach adopted. The advice given in these pages may therefore not necessarily
apply to each dissertation/thesis Students should check with their supervisor and/or the module tutor
if they are unsure about any aspect of the process of structuring and writing-up their research
project.


Writing Style
The level of writing must be appropriate to the stipulated educational attainment level of the students
chosen programme of study. Specifically, acute attention should be paid to correct spelling, grammar,
punctuation, sentence structure and clarity of style. It is the students responsibility to edit the script
for any typing errors (typos), uncover and correct all spelling errors (including dissertations/theses
that have been typed by another party). Supervisors are not responsible for proof reading and
correcting errors of this nature. The student is reminded that spell-check programs do not uncover all
spelling errors.

Normally, depending on the methodological stance, there should be no first person/personal pronoun
references (I, we, us, you) in the dissertation/thesis. If self-reference is required, reference may be
made to the author or the researcher. It is normal practice to write dissertations/theses in the third
person.


Preliminary or Front Matter
The logical order to which most preliminaries or front matter should be structured is outlined as
follows:

Front Cover: This is the page that should be placed at the very front of the dissertation/thesis.
There is a proforma/standard template that must be completed, printed and included during the
binding of the dissertation/thesis. Students must ensure they fully comply with the requirement
to include the front cover and use the proforma/standard template provided (see section
entitled Front Cover for further information).
Title Page: This is a page displaying the full and final title of the dissertation/thesis the students
full name; the students University of Northumbria personal identity number; the University and
Faculty name and date of publication (see section entitled Title Page for further information).
Acknowledgments: If included, the acknowledgements section should be short and limited to
those individuals/organizations that have assisted with the process of completing the
dissertation/thesis. Requests for anonymity should be remembered when compiling this section.
Table of Contents: A full and detailed list of the dissertation/thesis chapter titles, including
headings and sub-headings, and appendices.
List of Illustrations: A full list of illustrations (i.e. figures/diagrams) referenced to page numbers.
List of Tables: A full list of tables or charts referenced to page numbers.
Preface: Students should explain the motivation for the study, the background of the research
project, the scope of the research and the purpose of the dissertation/thesis.
List of Abbreviations: A list of abbreviations is desirable only if the student has devised new
abbreviations instead of using commonly accepted ones.
Glossary: A dissertation/thesis that contains many foreign words or technical terms and phrases
likely to be unfamiliar to the reader should include a list of these (alphabetically organized),
followed by their translation or definitions.
Structured Abstract: This is a brief and structured summary of the research, usually about 200
words in length, including keywords. It should be arranged according to the guidance stipulated
at Structured Abstract web guide.


Textual Matter
The logical order to which most textual matter subject to variations imposed by the topic researched
should conform:

Introductory Chapter: This is usually entitled Chapter 1. It introduces the reader to and clearly
defines the area being investigated. It will include the nature/scope of the research (i.e.
rationale), the research goals (i.e. aim(s), objectives, hypothesis or key question), the
parameters to the study (i.e. what is and what is not being studied), the outline research

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method (i.e. method to be used to address the research goals), the limitations to the study, and
the dissertation/thesis structure overview (i.e. briefly guides/informs the reader about what is to
be presented in the dissertation/thesis. This chapter should not contain a review of the
literature.
Literature Review Chapter(s): Depending upon the chosen format, the literature review may be
compiled in single chapter or several chapters. Either way, the literature review should
insightfully, critically evaluate previously published work, from a theoretically- and evidence-
based perspective. The chapter(s) should be very carefully structured and present, in a
descriptive and evaluative manner, previously published material, i.e. key theories and concepts,
organized into main issues. The student must be careful about what information they present in
their literature review chapter; they should only include published material that is directly
related to their study and accurately referenced using the Northumbria Harvard referencing
system. The primary aim of the literature review chapter(s) is to provide a concise and lucid
account of the current state of knowledge surrounding the topic to be investigated.
Research Method: This is usually one chapter reviewing how the problem is to be investigated
and the instruments/tools that will be used during the study. It is also good practice to remind
the reader of the scope of the study, the research goals, and the justification for selecting the
chosen research method. The student should also spend some time describing the characteristics
of their research sample and method of data analysis. Keywords to remember for this chapter
are explanation, evaluation and justification.
Results and Data Analysis: This is probably the most important chapter in the
dissertation/thesis. The student must schedule enough time to carefully structure and write this
chapter. Too often students leave this chapter to the last minute and present their findings in a
most inappropriate and ill-conceived manner. The student must express their findings very
clearly using texts, figures, tables, charts and graphs. The chapter should include an overview of
the studys findings, a descriptive analysis of the results, and an examination of the
correlations/associations/patterns in the data. Where a specific chapter is devoted to the
examination of case study material, it may be appropriate for this particular chapter to follow
the earlier descriptive chapter which examines the research findings (as explained immediately
above). A case study analysis chapter will enable particular research findings to be tested in a
specific situation. It may, nevertheless, be appropriate to highlight issues associated with a
number of case examples throughout both of the chapters, which consider the main research
findings. Although some interpretation will have already been presented in the Results, it is also
necessary for the student to consider the findings more critically. In the discussion of the
results, the student should analyze their own findings in relation to what is already known in the
literature. Students doing qualitative empirical or work-based research projects may choose to
combine 'findings' with 'discussion' in one integrated section. Organization of material should be
discussed with the supervisor at an early stage. The findings should be discussed and critically
evaluated in the light of any threats to reliability/validity or rigour/trustworthiness inherent in
the research design. The most relevant issues to be considered will vary between research
projects, but students should evaluate how rigorously they were able to execute the intended
research design and methods of data collection, any deviations from the original plan, and their
success in recruiting or gathering the intended sample. Students should also present a reflexive
analysis of their own position or role in the research and analyze the impact of their views or
beliefs on the interpretation of data. In a work-based project, the student must critically discuss
the influence of their research in the professional practice context within which the study was
located.
Conclusion: This chapter is the end product of the study where all the facts and arguments of
the students research and academic reflections are intricately woven together. The student
must not introduce new material in this chapter. It should be very carefully structured and
written to link the theoretical strands of the dissertation/thesis together, and it must appraise
the appropriateness of the research goals and chosen research method. The student should also
make justified recommendations concerning future avenues of potential research. The
conclusions should be clear, unambiguous, but also balanced and reasonable in relation to the
work done. The value of the research to the student's field of investigation or discipline should
be made explicit. Students should also make recommendations for future research and
professional practice development on the basis of their findings and experiences. As a general
guide, the Results and Data Analysis and Conclusions chapters should account for around one
third of the dissertation/thesis word count. However, this recommendation is dependent upon
the topic studied and the methods for gathering and analysing data. The student is
recommended to seek advice from their supervisor on this matter.



References or Back Matter
The logical order to which most reference matter subject to variations imposed by the topic
researched should conform:

Appendices: An appendix is a useful resource for depositing material that is relevant to the
textual matter but not suitable for inclusion within it. Examples might be detailed questionnaire
results, complex statistics, legal documents, transcripts from interviews, basic facts concerning
case studies and copies of letters of enquiry or for introducing the questionnaire. Although the
word limit is confined to work contained in the chapters in the textual matter, an appendix
should not be used to hide/deposit additional words. Appendices are labelled alphabetically,
although if there is little such material and it is all of a similar nature, it may all be included
within one appendix. Appendices are referenced in text in parentheses (Appendix A) not (see
appendix A)
References: This is a reference list of all items consulted/cited during the writing of the

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dissertation/thesis The student should group references in alphabetical order of author surname
using the Northumbria Harvard referencing system.
Bibliography: This is an ordered and structured list of all published and unpublished material
consulted during the preparation of the dissertation/thesis. The Bibliography list must exclude
the material listed in the References. The student should group references in alphabetical order
of author surname using the Northumbria Harvard referencing system.



Confidential Material
Following the recommendations outlined in the Ethical Considerations section of this handbook, the
dissertation/thesis should not contain confidential material, as it will be made available as an
electronic resource for other students. In exceptional circumstances it may be possible to include such
information, providing prior approval has been obtained from the participants of the research project
and the Research Ethics Committee, via the module tutor.


Presentation of the Dissertation/Thesis
A very high level of presentation is expected. These guidance notes, which are extracted from
BS4821: 1990 Presentation of Theses and Dissertations which, unfortunately, has been withdrawn
from publication should be strictly adhered to. If a student has any doubts, then they should speak
with the module tutor.

Conventions: It is essential that the presentation of the dissertation/thesis is consistent. The use
of italic, script, colour and fancy typefaces should not be used merely for decorative effect.
Displayed, block quotations should not be set in italic format, nor should capital letters be used
for long passages.
Colour: The use of colour in the text must be avoided. Colour may only be used for illustrations,
but should be used sparingly.
Format: The text and, wherever possible, all the material of the dissertation/thesis, including
illustrations, should be produced on A4-sized paper. If, in exceptional circumstances, another
format is required for the occasional chart or illustration, it should be produced on paper that
can be folded to fit within the dissertation/thesis. If an illustration is too large for such
treatment, it should either be bound so that part of it is concealed when the volume is closed,
although that will make it less convenient to consult, or it should be folded and stored in a
pocket attached to the inside back cover of the dissertation/thesis. Please check with the
module tutor if in doubt.
Paper: Paper used for the text should be of a substance within the range 70 g/m2 to 100 g/m2.
It should be white. This gives a good contrast with the text, so that it is easy to read and
reproduce. Coloured paper should not be used to separate the chapters of the
dissertation/thesis.
Production of Text: To avoid the risk of show-through, text should be produced entirely on
rectos (i.e. the right-hand page of an open book) and on paper that is opaque enough to avoid
show-through (see immediately above). The dissertation/thesis should be divided into
appropriate units such as chapters, sections and sub-sections. There should be some visual
indication of the beginning of a chapter. Every chapter should begin on a new page.
Margins: To allow for binding and ease of reading, the margin on the binding edge of the page,
i.e. the left-hand edge of a recto, should be not less than 40 mm. Other margins should be not
less than 25 mm. Running headings and page numbers should be within the recommended
margins. The margins around all illustrations and off-prints should normally be no smaller than
those of text, if they are bound into the dissertation/thesis.
Binding: The dissertation/thesis should be bound in such a way that it can be opened fully, for
ease of reading and assessment. It must be Wiro bound (comb or thermal tape binding are
unacceptable and will not be accepted as an appropriate submission medium). The
dissertation/thesis should be bound using the Front Cover template. The title of the
dissertation/thesis should, if necessary, be given in abbreviated form on the front cover.
However, it is strongly recommended that students keep their titles brief. Titles or words in non-
Roman characters should be converted to the Roman alphabet. Arabic numerals are acceptable,
but other symbols in non-Roman characters, e.g. symbols, should not be used in the cover title.
University Graphics (which is located at the rear of Trinity Building) can Wiro bind
dissertations/theses provided they are submitted for binding around 5 working days before they
are needed for submission. Students will be required to pay a small and reasonable fee for this
service. If students submit their dissertation/thesis in a format that fails to satisfy the binding
requirements outlined in this handbook, the submission will be considered unsatisfactory and will
not be examined until re-presented in accordance with the stipulated submission requirements
(see section entitled Submission Requirements for further information).
Font and Character Size: The size of the characters used in the textual matter, including
displayed matter, should not be less than 2 mm for capitals and 1.5 mm for x-height (height of
lower-case x). Students must use 12 point Times New Roman font for the main text and now
smaller than 9 point Times New Roman for illustrations. If smaller characters are used in
footnotes, etc., care should be taken to avoid serious loss of legibility when copies are made.
Students must not to reduce font size below 9 point.
Word Spacing and Division: Full justification of text should be avoided - left justification is
required. Text should be set with even spacing between words because unequal spaces between
words tend to impede comfortable reading. The student should therefore set text to left-hand
justification. Word division (hyphenation) at the end of lines should be avoided.
Line Spacing: There should be enough spaces between lines to allow ease of horizontal

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scanning. Students are therefore required to use one-and-a-half line spacing and not double
line spacing. In closer spacing, e.g. footnotes, the spaces between lines at any point should be
not less than the space between the words. Lines that contain mathematical formulae, diacritical
marks or strings of capitals letters may need additional space.
Paragraphs: Paragraphs should be set in one of the following ways: flush left with an additional
line space between paragraphs, e.g. in one-and-a-half line spacing, three line spaces between
paragraphs; or indented 5 mm to 10 mm with no additional space between paragraphs; opening
paragraphs and those that follow headings are not to be indented.
Displayed Text: Quoted matter that is displayed, normally more than 30 words, should be
indented 5 mm to 10 mm on the left- and right-hand side in block format. Text should be the
same size as the main text. Lines should be single line spacing. Displayed quotations do not
need quotations marks or to be typed using italic typeface.
Tables and Figures: Each table and figure should have a number and title which should appear
beneath the table or figure. The number should precede the title. The title should briefly
describe the content of the table or figure, e.g. Table 4.1 Influence of Interest Rates on
Construction, or summarize it, e.g. Figure 4.2 Reduction in Construction Output. Tables and
figures are numbered sequentially within chapters and should include a numerical reference to
the chapter in which they are positioned. For example, the second table listing employment
statistics within chapter 3 would be labelled: Table 3.2 Employment Statistics.
Headings and Levels: Headings should be used to indicate the hierarchical structure of the text.
There should normally be no more than four levels, where the chapter heading is the first level.
Each level should be distinguished from the others by position or typography or both. The
position and typographic dominance of headings should reflect their status in the hierarchy and
should be consistent throughout the Thesis.
Pagination: Page numbers should be visibly clear of the text, preferably in the top right-hand
corner of each recto. The pages of the dissertation/thesis should be numbered in a single
sequence beginning with the title page, which should be counted but not numbered and
including pages that carry tables, illustrations, appendices etc. The use of blank pages to divide
the dissertation/thesis into sections must not be used. The preliminary or front matter pages
should be numbered using lower-case Roman numerals, e.g. i, ii, iii, iv, etc; whereas the textual
matter and references or back matter pages should be numbered using Arabic numbers, e.g. 1,
2, 3, etc.

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Declaration Form
Foreword
The Declaration Form must be placed in the dissertation/thesis according to the following instructions.
Introduction
All students, and this includes Northumbria distance learning students and the MSc Project
Higher Education Framework
Management (dual award in collaboration with EI.CESI) student and the MSc Project Management
(dual award in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology) student who chooses to return to
Roles and Responsibilities
Chalmers to complete their research, must submit two Wiro bound copies of their dissertation/thesis
Supervision by the stipulated deadline (see sections entitled Submission Dates and Deferment Regulations for
further information) to the Faculty of Engineering and Environment office at Northumbria University.
Research Resources The dissertation/thesis must be Wiro bound (comb, thermal tape and ring binding are unacceptable
media and will not be accepted). The dissertation/thesis should be bound using the Front Cover
Research Proposal Form template with a signed and dated copy of the Declaration Form placed immediately after the Title
Page. Students are able to collect one copy of their dissertation/thesis from the Faculty of Engineering
Research E-Journal and Environment office after confirmation and publication of the results. The University is unable to
return a student's dissertation/thesis by post.
Research Evidence File

Ethical Considerations

Research Project Ethics


Registration Form

Research Project Ethics


Approval Form

Research Participant Consent


Form

Data Protection

Dissertation/Thesis

Declaration Form

Title Page

Front Cover

Submission Requirements

Submission Dates

Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures

Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Title Page
Foreword
The Title Page must be placed in the dissertation/thesis according to the following instruction. An
Introduction example title page is available via the following hyperlink: Example Title Page.

Higher Education Framework
All students, and this includes Northumbria distance learning students and the MSc Project
Management (dual award in collaboration with EI.CESI) student and the MSc Project Management
Roles and Responsibilities
(dual award in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology) student who chooses to return to
Supervision Chalmers to complete their research, must submit two Wiro bound copies of their dissertation/thesis
by the stipulated deadline (see sections entitled Submission Dates and Deferment Regulations for
Research Resources further information) to the Faculty of Engineering and Environment office at Northumbria University.
The dissertation/thesis must be Wiro bound (comb, thermal tape and ring binding are unacceptable
Research Proposal Form media and will not be accepted). The dissertation/thesis should be bound using the Front Cover
template with a signed and dated copy of the Declaration Form placed immediately after the Title
Research E-Journal Page. Students are able to collect one copy of their dissertation/thesis from the Faculty of Engineering
and Environment office after confirmation and publication of the results. The University is unable to
Research Evidence File return a student's dissertation/thesis by post.

Ethical Considerations

Research Project Ethics


Registration Form

Research Project Ethics


Approval Form

Research Participant Consent


Form

Data Protection

Dissertation/Thesis

Declaration Form

Title Page

Front Cover

Submission Requirements

Submission Dates

Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures

Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Front Cover
Foreword
The Front Cover must be placed at the front of the dissertation/thesis according to the following
Introduction instructions.

Higher Education Framework
All students, and this includes Northumbria distance learning students and the MSc Project
Management (dual award in collaboration with EI.CESI) student and the MSc Project Management
Roles and Responsibilities
(dual award in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology) student who chooses to return to
Supervision Chalmers to complete their research, must submit two Wiro bound copies of their dissertation/thesis
by the stipulated deadline (see sections entitled Submission Dates and Deferment Regulations for
Research Resources further information) to the Faculty of Engineering and Environment office at Northumbria University.
The dissertation/thesis must be Wiro bound (comb, thermal tape and ring binding are unacceptable
Research Proposal Form media and will not be accepted). The dissertation/thesis should be bound using the Front Cover
template with a signed and dated copy of the Declaration Form placed immediately after the Title
Research E-Journal Page. Students are able to collect one copy of their dissertation/thesis from the Faculty of Engineering
and Environment office after confirmation and publication of the results. The University is unable to
Research Evidence File return a student's dissertation/thesis by post.

Ethical Considerations There are several master's dissertation/thesis modules included with the framework. Each
dissertation/thesis module is worth 60 credit points of independent postgraduate study at level 7. The
Research Project Ethics relevant dissertation/thesis module for each specialist project management pathway can be identified
Registration Form in the following list:

Research Project Ethics
Approval Form BE1036 Professional Practice Thesis - MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration with
EI.CESI)
Research Participant Consent BE1180 Dissertation (Project Management) - MSc Project Management and MSc Project
Form Management dual award in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology
BE1181 Dissertation (Construction Project Management) - MSc Construction Project
Data Protection Management
BE1268 Dissertation (Building Design Management and BIM) - MSc Building Design Management
Dissertation/Thesis and BIM
BE1269 Work-based Dissertation (Building Design Management and BIM) - MSc Building Design
Declaration Form Management and BIM
Title Page
Using this information, students should download and complete the relevant front cover template from
Front Cover below:

Submission Requirements
BE1036 Professional Practice Thesis Front Cover Template
Submission Dates BE1180 Dissertation (Project Management) Front Cover Template
BE1180 Dissertation (Project Management) Dual Award Front Cover Template
Deferment Regulations BE1181 Dissertation (Construction Project Management) Front Cover Template
BE1268 Dissertation (Building Design Management and BIM) Front Cover Template
Assessment Procedures BE1269 Work-based Dissertation (Building Design Management and BIM) Front Cover Template
Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Submission Requirements
Foreword
All students, and this includes Northumbria distance learning students and the MSc Project
Introduction Management (dual award in collaboration with EI.CESI) student and the MSc Project Management
(dual award in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology) student who chooses to return to
Higher Education Framework
Chalmers to complete their research, must submit the following items to the Faculty of Engineering
and Environment Administration Office at Northumbria University on or before the deadline stipulated
Roles and Responsibilities
in the section entitled Submission Dates. The address to which items must be sent is:
Supervision
Faculty of Engineering and Environment Administration Office
Research Resources Northumbria University
Ellison Building
Research Proposal Form Ellison Place
Newcastle upon Tyne
Research E-Journal NE1 8ST

Research Evidence File
Dissertation/Thesis
Ethical Considerations Two Wiro bound copies of the dissertation/thesis (comb, thermal tape and ring binding are
unacceptable binding media) must be submitted for assessment. The dissertation/thesis must be
Research Project Ethics bound using the Front Cover template with a signed and dated copy of the Declaration Form placed
Registration Form immediately after the Title Page.

Research Project Ethics The title of the dissertation/thesis should, if necessary, be given in abbreviated form on the Front
Approval Form Cover template. The front cover is a page displaying the full and final title of the dissertation/thesis,
the students full name and their Northumbria University personal identity number; the University and
Research Participant Consent Faculty name and date of publication (see section entitled Front Cover for further information). It is
Form necessary for students to keep their final dissertation/thesis title brief: the maximum permissible
number of characters, including spaces, is 220. Titles or words in non-Roman characters should be
Data Protection
converted to the Roman alphabet. Arabic numerals are acceptable, but other symbols in non-Roman
characters, e.g. symbols, must not be used in the title.
Dissertation/Thesis

Declaration Form University Graphics (which is located at the rear of Trinity Building) can Wiro bind dissertation/theses
provided they are submitted for binding at least 5 working days before they are needed for
Title Page submission. Students will be required to pay a small, reasonable fee for this service.

Front Cover If students submit their dissertation/thesis in a format that fails to satisfy the binding requirements
outlined in this handbook, the submission will be considered unsatisfactory and will not be examined
Submission Requirements until re-presented in accordance with the stipulated submission requirements. This may result in the
students module mark not being presented at the Module Examination Board (MEB), which would
Submission Dates mean the student would not be considered for an award at the Progression and Awards Board (PAB).

Deferment Regulations
Electronic Copy of Dissertation/Thesis on CD-ROM
Assessment Procedures In addition to the two Wiro bound copies of the dissertation/thesis, students are required to submit an
electronic copy of their dissertation/thesis in Microsoft Word format on CD-ROM. The electronic copy
Assessment Criteria must be saved as a single file and not as a series of individual files for each chapter of the
dissertation/thesis. The electronic copy must also include the Front Cover and Title Page. A USB flash
Dissertation Viva Voce drive is an unacceptable submission medium for the electronic copy of the dissertation/thesis.
Students must clearly write their full name, their Northumbria University personal identity number,
Thesis Viva Voce
module number, module title and submission date on the CD-ROM. If this information is illustrated on
the CD-ROM case/sleeve/box, it must also be illustrated on the CD-ROM.


Electronic Copy of Dissertation/Thesis via Turnitin
Students are also required to submit an electronic copy of the dissertation/thesis in Microsoft Word
format to the Turnitin facility via the modules eLP course site. Instructions explaining the Turnitin
submission requirements and procedure are outlined in the eLP course site. Students are not

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permitted an opportunity to submit a draft copy of their dissertation/thesis to Turnitin for checking
prior to final submission. Neither are they permitted the opportunity to view the Turnitin originality
report following submission of their dissertation/thesis.


Research Evidence File
Throughout the process of completing their dissertation/thesis, students are required to maintain a
Research Evidence File. This file will include rough notes, photocopied articles, successive draft
chapters, correspondence associated with the research project and completed questionnaires,
interview transcriptions, case study materials, etc. It should also include the Research Supervision
Programme Form as outlined in the section entitled Supervision. If a students dissertation/thesis
includes calculations, the working papers for these must also be included within the file. Furthermore,
completed surveys, questionnaires and Research Participant Consent Forms must be retained and
included within the file, along with the names and addresses of the respondents and the full
correspondence details of their employing organizations.

Students must submit their Research Evidence File to the Faculty of Engineering and Environment
office at Northumbria University when submitting their dissertation/thesis for assessment. Failure to
submit a Research Evidence File will constitute an incomplete assessment submission, which may
adversely affect or delay confirmation of the students award.

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Submission Dates
Foreword
Two submission opportunities for the dissertation/thesis exist. These are the first attempt submission
Introduction opportunity and the deferred attempt submission opportunity. The submission dates depend upon
whether students are progressed to the dissertation/thesis module at the first Progression and Awards
Higher Education Framework
Board (PAB) following the successful completion of the taught element of their masters programme of
study or are referred to the next (re-sit) PAB. Students are therefore either normally progressed to
Roles and Responsibilities
the dissertation/thesis module or referred and then progressed to the dissertation/thesis module. The
Supervision first attempt and final attempt submission dates for a particular cohort of students will be highlighted
in an announcement on the eLP course.
Research Resources
In accordance with the Deferment Regulations, all students are permitted one deferred submission
Research Proposal Form opportunity. This means students will be allowed to defer submission of the dissertation/thesis from
the first attempt submission opportunity to the deferred attempt submission opportunity.
Research E-Journal
Decision to defer submission of the dissertation/thesis must be notified in writing by email to the lead
Research Evidence File module tutor at allan.osborne@northumbria.ac.uk by no later than the last Friday of the month
immediately prior to the first attempt submission opportunity.
Ethical Considerations
Deferment of the dissertation/thesis will incur the write-up fee at the time of the student's enrolment
Research Project Ethics onto the dissertation/thesis module. The programme administrator can provide students with
Registration Form information regarding the write-up fee.

Research Project Ethics


Approval Form

Research Participant Consent


Form

Data Protection

Dissertation/Thesis

Declaration Form

Title Page

Front Cover

Submission Requirements

Submission Dates

Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures

Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Deferment Regulations
Foreword
In accordance with the assessment and deferment regulations for dissertations/theses completed on
Introduction taught masters programmes, such as the Project Management Framework, students are required to
comprehend and adhere to the following:
Higher Education Framework

Roles and Responsibilities Two submission opportunities for the dissertation/thesis exist. These are the first attempt
submission opportunity and the deferred attempt submission opportunity (see section entitled
Supervision
Submission Dates for further information).
All students are permitted one deferred attempt opportunity. This means students will be
Research Resources
allowed to defer submission of their dissertation/thesis from the first attempt submission
Research Proposal Form opportunity to the deferred attempt submission opportunity.
Decision to defer submission of the dissertation/thesis must be notified in writing by email to the
Research E-Journal lead module tutor at allan.osborne@northumbria.ac.uk by no later than the last Friday of the
month immediately prior to the first attempt submission opportunity.
Research Evidence File Further delay in the submission of the dissertation/thesis beyond the deferred attempt
submission opportunity must be accompanied by an approved Personal Extenuating
Ethical Considerations Circumstances (PEC) claim. Students should refer to the Programme Handbook on the eLP
programme site for further information regarding PEC and the PEC claim procedure.
Research Project Ethics As the regulations permit all students the opportunity to defer the submission of their
Registration Form dissertation/thesis once, Authorised Late Submission of Coursework (LA) is not normally
permitted by the Student Support Administrator unless it is a genuine case and is fully
Research Project Ethics supported with third party documentary evidence. Supervisors are unable to authorise LA
Approval Form requests. Students should refer to the Programme Handbook on the eLP programme site for
further information regarding LA and the LA claim procedure.
Research Participant Consent Deferment of the dissertation/thesis will incur the write-up fee at the time of the student's
Form enrolment onto the dissertation/thesis module. The programme administrator can provide
students with information regarding the write-up fee.
Data Protection

Dissertation/Thesis

Declaration Form

Title Page

Front Cover

Submission Requirements

Submission Dates

Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures

Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Deferment Regulations
Foreword
In accordance with the assessment and deferment regulations for dissertations/theses completed on
Introduction taught masters programmes, such as the Project Management Framework, students are required to
comprehend and adhere to the following:
Higher Education Framework

Roles and Responsibilities Two submission opportunities for the dissertation/thesis exist. These are the first attempt
submission opportunity and the deferred attempt submission opportunity (see section entitled
Supervision
Submission Dates for further information).
All students are permitted one deferred attempt opportunity. This means students will be
Research Resources
allowed to defer submission of their dissertation/thesis from the first attempt submission
Research Proposal Form opportunity to the deferred attempt submission opportunity.
Decision to defer submission of the dissertation/thesis must be notified in writing by email to the
Research E-Journal lead module tutor at allan.osborne@northumbria.ac.uk by no later than the last Friday of the
month immediately prior to the first attempt submission opportunity.
Research Evidence File Further delay in the submission of the dissertation/thesis beyond the deferred attempt
submission opportunity must be accompanied by an approved Personal Extenuating
Ethical Considerations Circumstances (PEC) claim. Students should refer to the Programme Handbook on the eLP
programme site for further information regarding PEC and the PEC claim procedure.
Research Project Ethics As the regulations permit all students the opportunity to defer the submission of their
Registration Form dissertation/thesis once, Authorised Late Submission of Coursework (LA) is not normally
permitted by the Student Support Administrator unless it is a genuine case and is fully
Research Project Ethics supported with third party documentary evidence. Supervisors are unable to authorise LA
Approval Form requests. Students should refer to the Programme Handbook on the eLP programme site for
further information regarding LA and the LA claim procedure.
Research Participant Consent Deferment of the dissertation/thesis will incur the write-up fee at the time of the student's
Form enrolment onto the dissertation/thesis module. The programme administrator can provide
students with information regarding the write-up fee.
Data Protection

Dissertation/Thesis

Declaration Form

Title Page

Front Cover

Submission Requirements

Submission Dates

Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures

Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Assessment Procedures
Foreword
This section outlines the assessment procedures for the Dissertation/Thesis. Students should pay
Introduction particular attention to the explanations concerning word limits, plagiarism and the viva voce.

Higher Education Framework
There are several master's dissertation/thesis modules included with the Project Management
Framework. Each dissertation/thesis module is worth 60 credit points of independent postgraduate
Roles and Responsibilities
study at level 7. The relevant dissertation/thesis module for each specialist project management
Supervision pathway is outlined in the Foreword. Students must ensure they study the correct assessment
procedure for their particular master's dissertation/thesis module.
Research Resources
Dissertation
Research Proposal Form The module tutor co-ordinates the summative assessment procedure for all dissertations. The process
is confidential and unconfirmed module results will not be released before or after the Module
Research E-Journal Examination Board/Progression and Awards Board (MEB/PAB). Confirmed module results will be
notified to students via their final Student Module Results Form (SMRF) by post/collection from the
Research Evidence File Faculty of Engineering and Environment office and/or via MyMarks on MyNorthumbria. Students should
contact the programme administrator in order to ascertain the publication date of their confirmed
Ethical Considerations module result.

Research Project Ethics Supervisors will, wherever possible, examine their own supervisee's dissertation. In the case of a
Registration Form dissertation submitted by an MSc Project Management (dual award in collaboration with Chalmers
University of Technology) student who chooses to return to Chalmers to complete their research, their
Research Project Ethics allocated Northumbria supervisor will, wherever possible, examine the work.
Approval Form
Initially, and in all cases, the dissertation will be examined by two members of academic staff: the
Research Participant Consent students supervisor (wherever possible) and another member of academic staff appointed by the
Form module tutor (usually another supervisor). The first stage examiners will assess the dissertation
simultaneously and will meet together to discuss the work. Assuming the pair of first stage examiners
Data Protection
agrees, they will award a single mark that represents their unified opinion of the dissertation's merit.
Marks will be awarded as a percentage. The first stage examiners will also produce a combined
Dissertation/Thesis
feedback commentary using the assessment criteria/feedback sheet available in the section entitled
Declaration Form Assessment Criteria. The module tutor will subsequently record the first stage examiners' result for
the dissertation as the 100% weighting contribution towards the module mark.
Title Page
Should the first stage examiners fail to agree, the module tutor will proceed to assign a second stage
Front Cover examiner to assess and moderate the dissertation. The second stage examiner will be provided with
copies of the first stage examiners marks and assessment criteria/feedback sheets. The second stage
Submission Requirements examiner will return their assessment criteria/feedback sheet and mark to the module tutor once
completed. The module tutor will subsequently record the second stage examiners result for the
Submission Dates dissertation as the 100% weighting contribution towards the module mark.

Deferment Regulations The programme external examiners will be presented with a sample of the dissertations which have
been assessed by the first and second stage examiners prior to confirmation of the module results at
Assessment Procedures the Module Examination Board (MEB).

Assessment Criteria
Thesis
Dissertation Viva Voce The module tutor co-ordinates the summative assessment procedure for all theses. The process is
confidential and unconfirmed module results will not be released before or after the Northumbria
Thesis Viva Voce
Module Examination Board/Progression and Awards Board (MEB/PAB). Confirmed module results will
be notified to students via their final Student Module Results Form (SMRF) by post/collection from the
Faculty of Engineering and Environment office and/or via MyMarks on MyNorthumbria. Students should
contact the programme administrator in order to ascertain the publication date of their confirmed
module result.

The thesis will be examined by a panel. The members of the examination panel will be determined by
the module tutor, but will include at least three members of academic staff: two members of

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academic staff from Northumbria; and at least one member of academic staff from EI.CESI. At least
one of the academic members of staff appointed to the examination panel will not have been involved
in supervising the student during the process of conducting the investigation. Marks will be awarded
as a percentage.

Following examination by the panel, the examiners will discuss the work and agree a mark. Assuming
the panel is able to agree a unified mark, the members will proceed to complete a unified assessment
criteria/feedback sheet. The assessment criteria/feedback sheet is available for consultation in the
section entitled Assessment Criteria. Should the panel fail to agree upon a unified mark, the thesis will
be examined by the Northumbria external examiners and discussed in detail with the module tutor.
During this process the Northumbria external examiners and module tutor will be presented with the
assessment criteria/feedback sheets completed by each member of the examination panel. This
procedure will result in the module tutor and the external examiners making a final decision and
awarding a mark. The module tutor will subsequently record the moderated result for the thesis as the
75% weighting contribution towards the module mark.

The Northumbria external examiners will be presented with a sample of the theses which have been
assessed by the panel prior to confirmation of the module results at the Northumbria Module
Examination Board (MEB).


Plagiarism
The Information Management Research Institute at Northumbria University is the home of the JISC
Plagiarism Advisory Service. The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), which is funded by all
the UK post-16 and higher education funding councils, supports further and higher education by
providing strategic guidance, advice and opportunities to use Information and Communication
Technology (ICT) to support teaching, learning, research and academic administration. The Plagiarism
Advisory Service at Northumbria University is a web-based facility (TurnitinUK being one such facility)
which allows institutions, academic staff and students to gain generic advice and guidance about
plagiarism and detailed guidance on copyright and data protection issues relating to plagiarism. A
number of educational tools are available via the Plagiarism Advisory Service website for students to
determine what plagiarism is. Students are therefore advised to visit and use the tools on this website
if they are in any way doubtful about plagiarism.

Any instances of plagiarism that are suspected will be fully investigated and dealt with in accordance
with Universitys regulations. The meaning and implications of this are detailed in Appendix 1 of the
Assessment Regulations for Northumbria Awards (ARNA). Students are strongly advised to read this
section of the Regulations. The University takes a very firm view of any form of plagiarism, collusion,
falsification or academic misconduct. Students must ensure they do not plagiarise other peoples work.
Students must not take any risks they should always reference other peoples work fully and
correctly using the Northumbria Harvard referencing system.


Exceeding the Word Limit
Dissertations/theses exceeding the maximum word limit of 20,000 words will be penalised (the
recommended word limit is 15,000 words). The extent of the penality is determined by the former
School of the Built and Natural Environment's Assessment, Moderation and Feedback Policy. The word
count penality for taught postgraduate programmes is a follows:

Normally, the maximum word length is 20,000 words.


No minimum word count is stipulated (as any student submitting a piece of work substantially
less than 20,000 words is unlikely to perform well).
Tolerance of 10%: normally, up to 2,000 words extra without penalty.


Where the word count is exceeded by more than 10%, the mark which would otherwise have been
awarded is reduced as follows:

22,00124,000 (or >10% but <20% over) = 10% penalty


24,00126,000 (or >20% but <30% over) = 20% penalty
26,00128,000 (or >30% but <40% over) = 30% penalty
Over 28,000 (>40% over) = 100% penalty, i.e., zero mark awarded


The actual word count is to be declared explicitly on the Declaration Form. Summarising and
compressing the information in a dissertation/thesis is one of the key skills that students are expected
to acquire and demonstrate as part of the research process.

It is likely that the former School of the Built and Natural Environment's guide will be replaced in the
near future to reflect the Faculty of Engineering and Environment's assessment, moderation and
feedback policy, once it is published following Faculty sub-committee approval.


Dissertation Viva Voce
A viva voce (oral examination) will not normally form part of the assessment process for the
dissertation. However, if the first and second stage examiners and module tutor consider it necessary,

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where clarification of the content and authenticity is required, an interview/examination will be


arranged (where possible) before the programme external examiners visit.

Students must ensure that they are available to attend a viva voce, if required. The viva voce will be
held (where possible) before the end of the semester (please refer to the Academic Calendar for
further information) in which the dissertation is submitted for summative assessment. If a student is
unable to attend a viva voce, they may well discover that their dissertation module result is unable to
be presented and confirmed at the Module Examination Board (MEB). This may result in the student
being unable to graduate or to be considered for an award at the Progression and Awards Board
(PAB).

It is anticipated that a viva voce would include a 15-minute presentation by the student and a 30-
minute defence of the dissertation based on questions raised by an examination panel. The
examination panel will usually consist of the dissertation examiners and module tutor. A programme
administrator will also be present to take minutes.

Distance learning students and students unable to return to the UK to attend a viva voce will be
required to participate by teleconference, video conference or Skype.


Thesis Viva Voce
The thesis presentation and viva voce will be conducted in English and will provide the student with an
opportunity to present the theoretical and methodological frameworks, research findings, conclusions
and recommendations of their professional practice thesis during a one-hour examination and defence
of the work. The presentation and viva voce will occur once the examination panel (as discussed
above) has assessed the student's thesis. The student's presentation will last approximately 30-
minutes. This will be immediately followed by a 30-minute viva voce with the panel. Following the viva
voce, the student will be asked to leave the room while the examination panel moderates and agrees
a mark for the thesis, presentation and viva voce. Marks will be awarded as a percentage using the
Thesis Viva Voce Assessment Criteria which is available in the section entitled Thesis Viva Voce. Once
a decision has been made regarding the student's presentation and viva voce performance, the
student will be asked to return to the examination room in order to receive oral feedback from the
panel.

Students must ensure that they are available to attend the presentation and viva voce. If a student is
unable to attend their allocated presentation and viva voce time slot, they may well discover that
their professional practice thesis module result is unable to be presented and confirmed at the
Northumbria Module Examination Board (MEB). This may result in the student being unable to
graduate or to be considered for an award at the Northumbria Progression and Awards Board (PAB).

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Assessment Criteria
Foreword
There are several master's dissertation/thesis modules included with the Project Management
Introduction Framework. Each dissertation/thesis module is worth 60 credit points of independent postgraduate
study at level 7. The relevant dissertation/thesis module for each specialist project management
Higher Education Framework
pathway is outlined in the Foreword. Students must ensure they study and access the correct
assessment criteria for their particular master's dissertation/thesis module.
Roles and Responsibilities

Supervision
The criteria used to assess theses submitted by students enrolled on BE1036 are outlined in the
Thesis Assessment Criteria.
Research Resources
The criteria used to assess dissertation submitted by students enrolled on BE1180, BE1181,
Research Proposal Form BE1268 and BE1269 are outlined in the Dissertation Assessment Criteria.


Research E-Journal

Research Evidence File

Ethical Considerations

Research Project Ethics


Registration Form

Research Project Ethics


Approval Form

Research Participant Consent


Form

Data Protection

Dissertation/Thesis

Declaration Form

Title Page

Front Cover

Submission Requirements

Submission Dates

Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures

Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

Tree view

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Dissertation Viva Voce
Foreword
A viva voce (oral examination) will not normally form part of the assessment process for the
Introduction dissertation. However, if the first and second stage examiners and module tutor consider it necessary,
where clarification of the content and authenticity is required, an interview/examination will be
Higher Education Framework
arranged (where possible) before the programme external examiners visit.

Roles and Responsibilities
Students must ensure that they are available to attend a viva voce, if required. The viva voce will be
Supervision held (where possible) before the end of the semester (please refer to the Academic Calendar for
further information) in which the dissertation is submitted for summative assessment. If a student is
Research Resources unable to attend a viva voce, they may well discover that their dissertation module result is unable to
be presented and confirmed at the Module Examination Board (MEB). This may result in the student
Research Proposal Form being unable to graduate or to be considered for an award at the Progression and Awards Board
(PAB).
Research E-Journal
It is anticipated that a viva voce would include a 15-minute presentation by the student and a 30-
Research Evidence File minute defence of the dissertation based on questions raised by an examination panel. The
examination panel will usually consist of the dissertation examiners and module tutor. A programme
Ethical Considerations administrator will also be present to take minutes.

Research Project Ethics Distance learning students and students unable to return to the UK to attend a viva voce will be
Registration Form required to participate by teleconference, video conference or Skype.

Research Project Ethics


Approval Form

Research Participant Consent


Form

Data Protection

Dissertation/Thesis

Declaration Form

Title Page

Front Cover

Submission Requirements

Submission Dates

Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures

Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

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Project Management Programme Dissertation Handbook




Thesis Viva Voce
Foreword
The thesis presentation and viva voce will be conducted in English and will provide the student with an
Introduction opportunity to present the theoretical and methodological frameworks, research findings, conclusions
and recommendations of their professional practice thesis during a one-hour examination and defence
Higher Education Framework
of the work. The presentation and viva voce will occur once the examination panel (as discussed
above) has assessed the student's thesis. The student's presentation will last approximately 30-
Roles and Responsibilities
minutes. This will be immediately followed by a 30-minute viva voce with the panel. Following the viva
Supervision voce, the student will be asked to leave the room while the examination panel moderates and agrees
a mark for the thesis, presentation and viva voce. Marks will be awarded as a percentage using the
Research Resources Thesis Presentation and Viva Voce Assessment Criteria. Once a decision has been made regarding the
student's presentation and viva voce performance, the student will be asked to return to the
Research Proposal Form examination room in order to receive oral feedback from the panel.

Research E-Journal Students must ensure that they are available to attend the presentation and viva voce. If a student is
unable to attend their allocated presentation and viva voce time slot, they may well discover that
Research Evidence File their professional practice thesis module result is unable to be presented and confirmed at the
Northumbria Module Examination Board (MEB). This may result in the student being unable to
Ethical Considerations graduate or to be considered for an award at the Northumbria Progression and Awards Board (PAB).

Research Project Ethics


Registration Form

Research Project Ethics


Approval Form

Research Participant Consent


Form

Data Protection

Dissertation/Thesis

Declaration Form

Title Page

Front Cover

Submission Requirements

Submission Dates

Deferment Regulations

Assessment Procedures

Assessment Criteria

Dissertation Viva Voce

Thesis Viva Voce

Tree view

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