Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Accountancy Dissertation ACCFIN4001P

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: Adam Smith Business School
  • Credits: 40
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The dissertation is an independent piece of work (compulsory for all Honours students), which is designed to assess the student's ability to complete a major and worthwhile piece of research, with some guidance, but largely self-motivated and with a minimum of supervision. The accounting dissertation course requires students to attend a series of lectures that aim to familiarise them with the interrelated stages of the research process (from theory building to theory testing), with a range of methods utilise in social sciences research, and with real-life examples of research in the different areas of the accounting & finance literature, which the students can use for their own dissertation.


Six (6) two-hour lectures over a three-week period at the beginning of Semester 1 of Year 4, the majority of which are devoted to the discussion of the main features of a seminal method in accounting and finance research, and the evaluation of their relative strengths and weaknesses; as well as minimum five (5) individual supervision meetings totalling to four (4) contact hours. In addition, an introductory group meeting can potentially be arranged in the beginning of the supervision process. 

Requirements of Entry

There are no prerequisites but the appropriate degree's regulations on progress apply.

Excluded Courses





The course is assessed as a whole on the basis of a dissertation of 8000-10000 words (100%).





Word Length/Duration

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aim of this course of study is for the student to learn to complete a substantial piece of independent work on a research topic of the student's own choice within the disciplines (broadly defined) of accounting or finance, and to present that work in a way that demonstrates a critical understanding of the literature of the field, and the ability to select and apply appropriate theories, methods and methodologies in the conduct of the underling research.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of issues in Accounting and Finance in the chosen area of interest;

2. Draw upon relevant principles, perspectives and theories to inform their selections of method and research design;

3. Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the selected research methodology as it has been applied in the specific research project; 

4. Construct and present well-reasoned arguments to support the decisions made within the research process and the findings and conclusions of the dissertation.

5. Report the findings produced by this research project and display the ability to reflect on the project findings and their implications for theory, practice and future research.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Submission of a research proposal (around 2000 words) is compulsory for the award of credit in the course.