Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The Value of the Undergraduate Dissertation: Perceptions of Supervisors

By Denis Feather, J.R Anchor and Christopher J. Cowton


Dissertations are a common feature of final year undergraduate study, but there has been little research into their impact on student performance and satisfaction (Hammick and Acker, 1998; Webster et al., 2000; Pathirage et al., 2004), and even less into the perceptions and attitudes of their academic supervisors. The research reported in this paper is part of the project entitled: ‘Dissertation in the Business and Management Undergraduate Curriculum: Value Adding and Value for Money?’ The second phase of the project complements a quantitative study of student achievement (see Anchor et al., 2009), by investigating perceptions of the undergraduate dissertation by members of staff. The data for this part of the project was collected by means of a questionnaire survey sent to staff within the Departments of Leadership & Management and Strategy and Marketing at the University of Huddersfield Business School; a sample for follow-up interviews was also self-identified in the responses to the questionnaire survey. Issues focused upon in the questionnaire and interviews include whether students have the capacity to undertake a dissertation, their perceptions of its values and impact upon their results, and staff views of the demands that dissertation supervision places upon them. This paper focuses particularly on staff perceptions of value. The main findings are that the dissertation still has currency today, but needs to be evaluated to ensure that it is meeting the needs of different stakeholders. Further, that despite the perceived academic rigor of the dissertation, the lecturers believed that it gave students the ability to reach a level whereby they become autonomous learners

Topics: LB2300
Publisher: University of Huddersfield
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1997). A Complex Craft: United Kingdom PhD supervision in the social sciences, doi
  2. (2000). Assessing the Undergraduate Dissertation, Assessment doi
  3. (1998). Creating a Delicate Balance: the doctoral supervisor's dilemmas, doi
  4. (2005). Effective Postgraduate Supervision - Improving the Student/Supervisor Relationship, Berkshire:
  5. (1994). Establishing Boundaries: problems and solutions in managing the PhD supervisor's role, doi
  6. (2008). Facilitator, director or critical friend?: contradiction and congruence in doctoral supervision styles, doi
  7. (2004). Independent inquiry and the undergraduate dissertation: perceptions and experiences of final-year social science students, doi
  8. (2005). Introduction, In Reshaping the University - New Relationships between Research, Scholarship doi
  9. (2000). Marking the Difference: an investigation of the criteria used for assessing undergraduate dissertations in a business school, doi
  10. (2000). Realizing the University in an age of supercomplexity, doi
  11. (2003). Research Methods Modules and Undergraduate doi
  12. (2003). Research Methods Modules and Undergraduate Business Research: An Investigation, doi
  13. (2004). Revised Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research
  14. (1996). Support for New Supervisors of Research Students, In Enabling Students
  15. (1996). Support for New Supervisors of Research Students, In Enabling Students Learning - Systems
  16. (1996). The Idea of a University, In The Idea of a University, doi
  17. (2006). The Management of a Student Research Project, 3rd edn.,
  18. (2008). The Postgraduate Research Handbook, 2nd edn., Palgrave Study Skills,
  19. (1999). The Practitioner-Researcher - Developing Theory from Practice, doi
  20. (1996). The Research Students Guide to Success,
  21. (2001). The Synergistic Thesis: student and supervisor perspectives, doi
  22. (1994). Thesis Supervision in the social sciences: managed or negotiated?, doi
  23. (2009). Undergraduate Dissertations and Student Performance
  24. (2004). Undergraduate Research Projects and Dissertations: issues of topic selection, access and data collection amongst tourism management students, doi
  25. (2004). What is the future for undergraduate dissertations?, doi
  26. (1997). Working for a Doctorate, In Working for a Doctorate - A Guide for the Humanities and Social Sciences, (Eds, Graves,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.