Postgraduate Thesis Handbook

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Postgraduate Thesis Handbook







©

Global Institute of Management and Economics

Dongbei University of Finance and Economics


I


Quick Facts

Key dates


Please refer to
the Graduat
e

Thesis Schedule for DUFE

Postgraduates
.
I
f there are changes
ma
de on the schedule, the Office will inform
supervisors and
students immediately; otherwise,
students should follow the dates given.


Other points to note:


Your
thesis

topic must be

r
elevant to your

degree


IBM, TM.


You must keep copies of all notes/ materi als/ drafts as well as
the data collected and used
in
the
thesis
, for at least one year after you have submitted
your
thesis
. You must produce
thes
e if requested to do so.



Check regulations on student handbook for
p
lagiarism
and

r
eferencing

to
refresh
your
memory
on how to reference correctly.



If you want a copy of your
thesis
, please make sure that you print an extra copy.














II


Tab
le
o
f Contents


Chapter 1 Introduction & Overview

................................
................................
.................

1

1.1 Course Contact details

................................
................................
.........................

1

1.2 Course Description
................................
................................
...............................

1

Chapter 2 Thesi s Stages Explained

................................
................................
................

4

Chapter 3 Research Proposal Guidance

................................
................................
.........

6

3.1 Int roduction
................................
................................
................................
..........

6

3.2 Thesis proposal form

................................
................................
............................

6

Chapter 4 Supervi sion

................................
................................
................................
....

8

4.1 The role of the supervisor

................................
................................
.....................

8

4.2 Supervisi on meetings

................................
................................
...........................

9

Chapter 5 Asse
ssment
................................
................................
................................
....

9

5.1 What if I need an extension?

................................
................................
...............

10

5.2 What happens if I fail?!

................................
................................
.......................

10

Chapter 6 THESIS CONTENT AND STRUCTURE
................................
...........................

10

6.1 Contents

................................
................................
................................
............

10

6.2 Length

................................
................................
................................
...............

13

Chapter 7 Avoiding Plagiarism

................................
................................
.....................

14

Chapter 8 Appendices

................................
................................
................................
..

15

Appendix A: Title Page Templ ate
................................
................................
...............

15

Appendix B: Declaration of Ori ginality

................................
................................
.......

16

Appendix C: Layout and Formatting Requi rements
................................
.....................

17






1


Chapter 1

Intr
oduction & Overview

The
thesis

is a
compulsory

course

undertaken by all MSc students in the
Global Institute of
Management

and Economics
.
This means that you must pass the

course.
The purpose of
the

Thesis

Handbook is to provide support and gu
idance to you and
your
thesis

supervisor during the completion of the
thesis
.

1.1

Course Contact details


Course

convenor:

Dr
.

Tariq Malik
,


E
mail:

tmalik@dufe.edu.cn

Complete the details below when your supervisor is allocated to you.


Supervisor:


Name:


Room:

Phone:


Email:

1.2
Course

Description

Course Code


Course Title


Level

MSc

Course Co
-
coordinator

Dr. Tariq Malik

Credits

8




2


Assessment Pattern

Units of Assessment

Weighting towards
Course Mark

Coursework

100%

Alternative Assessment

Not applicable


Pre
-
requisite/Co
-
requisites

A pass (70%) in the Research Methods course


Course Overview

The
thesis

is
compulsory

to all programmes and is the final element of
the programme,
providing
an
opportunity for a sustai
ned period of research. It
allows students to concentr
ate
on topics that are of
particular interest to them and it draws upon a range of different aspects of
the taught prog
ramme particularly
the Research Methods
course
. It also
gives an opportunity
for students to work
independently with
individual supervision.


Module Aims

The
course

is designed to allow students to: undertake an original piece of research;
demonstrate an ability to select and define and focus upon an issue at
an appropriate level;
develop and apply relevant and sound methodologies; analyse the issue; develop
recommendations and logical conclusions; be aware of the limitations of research
work. The students will also be expected to demonstrate an awa
reness of any ethical
dilemm
as that arise in their research.


Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this
course

the students will have:



Developed an in depth understanding and insight of a relevant topic of specific interest



Demonstrated critica
l engagement with existing literature relevant to their topic



Demonstrated an ability to use appropriate methodologies and to justify their use



Demonstrated the ability to analyse and present their data, and to critically compare these
3


with existing know
ledge



Demonstrated an ability to critically evaluate results to produce sound conclusions



Shown an ability to identify modi fications to existing knowl edge structures and theoretical
frameworks



Awareness of the limitations of their study, and be abl e to
identify new areas for
investigation/new problems/new or alternati ve applications or met hodological approaches



Synthesised many of the elements covered in the taught part of the programme



Demonstrated the ability to present a major pi ece of coherent work

based on self
-
directed
research


Course Content

Students will identify a topic area of interest that they wish to develop further through their
thesis
. This
must

be relevan
t to their programme of study. On the basis of this topic, students
will be assign
ed a supervisor

who will gui de their
work.
The

course

is, however, largely based
on
se
lf
-
directed study

and research, which takes place duri ng the Spri ng semester and the
summer.


Methods of Teaching/Learning

The teaching and learni ng strat egy is designed

t o develop t he

student
s' ability to conduct and
report
independent research. It builds on the Research Met hods
course
, allowi
ng students to
gain experi ence
of
applying some of the pri nciples and methods

learned.
Included i n the
strategy is the developmen
t of a

research proposal to help students crystallise their ideas.


The teachi ng and learning methods include regul ar supervision. The exact nature and timing
of this will be
agreed bet ween the student and thei r supervisor
. Students

are

ex
pected

to
meet

their supervisor
once allocat ed to discuss their initial ideas. Followi ng this they will write a
short research proposal
which
is a formati ve assessment, and allows
a fruitful discussion
between student and supervisor about the proposed research. The propo
sal
should be agreed
with the supervisor before proceeding with the
thesis
. Where necessary, students must obtain
ethical approval pri or to data collection. Subsequent meetings may

include
discussing details

4


of
methodological approaches,

ho
w to organise
fi
eldwork and
structuri ng and writing the
thesis
.
The supervisor will also comment and provi de feedback on one complete draft of the student's
work.


Assessment Strategy

The student is assessed on the basis of thei r written
thesis

and oral defence
.

All
theses

are also checked for plagiarism using an electronic plagiarism detection

S
ystem.

Chapter 2

Thesis Stages Explained

It is expected that you will dedicate regular time to your
thesis

throughout the
whol e of the
course
, both duri ng an
d aft er the scheduled support sessions, and throughout
Semester
1b

as well as during the
rest
peri od. You will need to bear in mind other
course

commitments (such as exam revision and/ or coursework) but try to spend at least some time
each week on your
th
esis
, even if this is only collecting literature.


Submission of the topic area and provisional title


You need to register the topic area with the
Postgraduate

Academic Affai rs
Office

in order for
us to allocat e you a supervisor. You shoul d do this as s
oon as
the notice is gi ven to you from
the Office
. If you do not meet this deadline you will not be assigned a supervisor.


Allocation of supervisor


You will be all ocated a dedicated supervisor for your
Thesis
. You will be informed who your
supervisor i
s. It is your

responsibility to make contact with

your named supervisor as soon as
you can. More information about the role of your supervisor is in Section 5.0.




5


Complete
Thesis

Proposal



This is a valuable opport unity for you to get written 'formati
ve' feedback on your i deas from
your
supervisor early in the
process.
Writing a proposal is the best way to clarify
your ideas and plan your
thesis

(see Section 3).


Submit your proposal
directly to your supervisor; the proposal is not gi ven a
grade and does
not affect your overall

thesis

mark, but you
are
strongly advised to take advantage of
this
opportunity

for feedback and

advice.


Only approved proposal will be allowed for the thesis proposal oral defence.


Deadline for submitting drafts


It is unreasonable to expect your supervisor to read and comment on drafts of your work close
to the
submission date. Discuss the l atest date that your

supervisor

will recei ve drafts prior to
the submission deadline. You are expected to plan your time effe
cti vely
-

the final weeks of the
course

are for formatting, proofi ng, printing, bindi ng etc. Your supervisor may still be available

for questions and/ or meetings, but establish the availability of your supervisor at the begi nni ng
of your
thesis

period.


Printing and binding


You are required to use DUFE
g
raduate
s
chool

d
esign to print and bind
your
thesis;

you
will
need

to

leave
around two weeks to do this prior to

the

submission deadline.


Submission


Any time between 9.00 and 17.00

by the deadline re
quired
. Location for submission will
be
advised by the Office
.

6


Thesis oral defence


Students will need to take thesis oral defence

face to face with oral defence committee
members
. Oral defence session takes 1
0

minutes for each student
, this does not i
nclude
question and answer session
; a PowerPoint is compulsory. Students shoul d dress formally
and be ready in the oral defence room at least 15 minutes before starting. Students will need to
answer questions rel ated to thesis raised by the oral defence c
ommittee members. Students
who failed oral defence will be offered another chance which is also the last chance.

Chapter 3

Research Proposal Guidance

3.1
I
ntroduction

The research proposal is designed to provide you with an opportunity to

organise your id
eas
.

Based upon your proposal your supervisor will provi de you with formati ve feedback on
your
thesis

ideas at an early stage, thereby hel ping you to ensure t hat you have a vali d and
viable
thesis
.

3.2 Thesis proposal form

Cover page

information


Propos
al of Master Thesis


Dongbei University of Finance & Economics


University ID:


Student name



Faculty




Programme



Research area



Supervisor:


7


Date






Contents

pages information


Title of
Thesis



Purpose

&
Intro
duction


Literature
Review


Framework

&

Hypothesis

and
Methodology


Contribution
of the Study

(managerial
implications
& academic
implications)


References &
Bibliography


Official Use

Master
Thesis
Proposal
Appraisal
Panel

Name

Title

Graduates superv
isor (YES/NO)













8


Proposal
Appraisal

Comments:

Result

□PASS □FAIL

Signature


Agreed

to proceed

on

writing up this
thesis

Comments from supervisor:


Signature: YY MM DD

Comments from faculty:



Official Stamp

Signature of director: YY MM DD

Note: extra
pages could be added.

Chapter 4

Supervision

This section details the supervision arrangements and mutual expectations for Postgraduate
students
and their

thesis

supervisor
s. It also includes advice as to how to get the most from
your supervisor.

4
.1 The
role of the supervisor

A supervisor will be allocated to you on the basis of the title of your proposed
thesis
. Whilst the
exact nature of the role

of supervisor may vary, they will all undertake to:


Discuss the proposal for the
thesis


Agree on the approach to be

adopted and timetable of work


Give guidance on

reading (as appropriate)


Give advice

on structure and presentation


Give advice and feedback on the acceptability of eleme
nts o
f student draft chapters.


Your supervisor, although experienced in
thesis

supervision, may not have
subject
-
specific
information on your
thesis

topic. Obtaining this material inevitably is your
responsibility.


9


Please note:

if you contact and send work
to your supervisor i n the last minute, you cannot
expect your supervisor to have the time to do t he necessary checks. Supervisors will not
normally read and/
or comment on a complet e draft close to the deadline for submission. You
should establish,
with
you
r supervisor, the last date on which they will recei ve a complete draft.

4
.2
Supervision meetings

You must arrange to meet your supervisor at least
once a month
. These meetings shoul d be
spaced evenly throughout the time period.
You
should

remember

tha
t your Supervisor will be
supervising other
thes
e
s

and that
they
have to share their time fairly.


The foll owi ng points are intended as gui dance for you regardi ng your responsibilities duri ng
the process of supervision. Taking control of these meetings wi
ll ensure that all parties benefit.


Be well prepared


Make sure you have read any texts suggested


Note down any problems you have and discuss strategies to overcome them


Have a clear view on how the
thesis

is progressing


Submit written work
well in advance of the meeting for discussion


Remember that this is your
thesis

and you are expected to guide the meeting.


Make notes during meetings and keep a record of what has been discussed and
agreed
before ending the meeting with
your supervisor

thinks

about whether you have:


Raised

all the key issues


Agreed the date of the next meeting and discussed future work

Chapter 5

Assessment

DUFE master thesis is assessed
by written thesis and oral defence
; the final assessment
results will be gi ven as ‘excell ent’ ‘good’ ‘pass’ a
nd ‘fail’. There is no exact grade for fi nal
thesis.

10


5
.
1

What if I need an extension?

There is no automatic right to an extension.

If you
beli eve
significant extenuati ng
circumstances
will prevent you from submitting your
thesis

on time (for
example
sust
ained
serious illness), please inform your supervisor
and
the Office wit h an extenuati ng
circumstances form (can be collected from the Office). This will be forwarded to the
d
irector of
p
ostgraduate
s
t
udies for consideration. Any

form will need to be accom
panied by supporti ng
evidence. Please note: IT
fail
ure is not a
vali d
extenuating circumstance at
any stage of the
thesis

-

keep regul ar
back
-
ups! Please ensure that you request an extension by the deadli ne
above, as extension requests will not be consider
ed after this date or retrospectively.

5.2

What happens if I fail?!

If you are told that you have failed, you should contact your
supervisor who gui des

your
resubmission.
He or she

will meet with you once to confi rm that
you u
nderstand the feedback
and w
hat you need to do.
He or she

will
also l ook over one draft of the work that you intend to
resubmit, and give general feedback.

Chapter 6

THESIS

CONTENT AND STRUCTURE

Although
you are
free to structure your
thesis

how you choose (heedi ng
your supervisor’s

advice) you may fi nd it easier to i nclude all the materi al necessary by using the foll owi ng
structure.

6
.1

Contents

Your
thesis

should
include the following elements:



Title page (see Appendix
A for template)



Abstract:
Set out on a page of its own immedi
at ely after the title page. The abstract is
likely to be the last

section to be written. It is a short (300 words max.) summary of
the
thesis

and should outline the nature and scope of the work, the research probl em, main
methodological approach, key findi
ngs and conclusion/ recommendations.

11




Declaration
of originality
(see Appendix
B
)



Table of contents:
An outline of the entire
thesis

in list form,
s
etting out
the
sequence of
the
sections with page numbers. It is conventional to number the
prelimi nary
pag
es
(abstract, table of contents) with lower case Roman numerals

(
i.e. (i), (ii), (iii) etc.)
and the main text pages (starting with the fi rst chapter) in Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3 etc.) as
shown below:


CONTENTS PAGE

List of Tables i

List of Figures
ii

List of Abbreviations iii

Acknowledgements iv


CHAPTER 1 (Title) 1

1.1 (First section heading)

1.2 (Second etc.)

1.3 (Third etc.)




List of tabl es and fi gures: A table is a present
ation of data in tabular form;
a fi gure is a
diagrammatic represent
ation of data or other
materi al such

as graphs
, photographs,
images
or maps
. Tables and Figures should be numbered consecuti vely
according to chapter (
e.g.
: Tabl e 1.3 is the thi rd table in Chapter 1, and Fi gure 4.2 is
the second figure in Chapte
r 4). Each should be separately listed with page numbers.




List of abbreviati ons: Abbreviations shoul d be used spari ngly, and those that are not
self
-
evi dent or in common use should be explai ned where they fi rst appear in each
chapter by gi vi ng the full
expression and the abbrevi ation in brackets, e.g. 'gross domestic
product (GDP)
'. Abbreviations not in common use

shoul d

appear at the
beginni ng

of
the
thesis
.


12




Introduction and/or definition of research problem:
The introduction shoul d set out

the
pur
pose and scope of the
thesis
, clearly explaining what it is about, how it
is structured,
but more importantly, why the research is necessary and to whom. You need to ensure
that the academic and applied rationale is well explai ned and justifi ed.

The sectio
n should
end with the main aim
and objectives of your study.



Literature review (this may be more than one chapt er):
This section gi ves an overview

of
the context and background to the research problem. It builds on your problem defi nition
and aims and obj
ecti ves and so is an expansion of the concise arguments you make there.
It is probably the section that will gi ve you most scope to show off the wi de range of
sources
you have consulted. Although based on existing literat ure, you shoul d still
present

your

material critically.




Methodology
: This section eval uates and justifi es the research methodol ogy that will be
used to obtain t
he data to answer the research questions. It states
the research probl em,
disc
usses the operationalisation of hypotheses
(
wher
e relevant), discusses the
research
instrument used, the method of collecting the data
-

i ncludi ng sampling, the analysis of
the data and the validity and reli ability of data. It should contain enough detail to allow
someone else to repeat your study.




Re
sults:
You should

present your data in an appropriate form, which may include

tables,
graphs or in the case of qualitati ve data, verbatim quotes. Select the format that best
suits
your data, and do not
present

your data in more than one form. Ensure that
the
text
around your presented data pulls out the key fi ndings, rather than repeats what is
already
gi ven. A tabl e/fi gure should never be presented without supporting text. Tables and
figures shoul d be clearly and consistently labelled either above or belo
w, and the reader
should be
able to understand the

table/figure

from the
title

without
referri ng to the text
for
explanations. Units of measurement,
t
he year to which the data refer, geographical

area covered, and sources should be clearly stated. The la
bels in the t ext and i n the lists
should correspond exactly.


13




Critical analysis and discussion:
It can be hard to know
wh
ich section to discuss

your
results
-

this or the preceding one
-

and you may decide to combine these two sections
into one or more ch
apters based on theme, depending on your topic and your
supervisor's vi ews.
However, what is vital is that
your
Thesis

contains sufficient
analytical
discussion in addition to the more descripti ve 'scene setting' material of t he literature
revi ew sections,

and presentation of results. It is here that you will compare and contrast
your findings with those already reported in the literature.




Concl usions: Here you need to answer the "So what?" question. What significance
do
your research findi ngs have? For
whom? Why? and How? In this chapter you link
the
research problem
with literat ure rev
iew and fi ndi ngs, stating what
you can conclude
based
on the work conducted. Based on your conclusions you should comment on

managerial implications, the limitations o
f the research, suggest further work and better
ways to resol ve
the

problem.
Students should also include a
section
for

'recommendations for management practice'.






Full list of references used in the
thesis
: You should provide correctly formatted
biblio
graphic details for every citation included in the
thesis
. Do not include mat erial which
is not referred to in your text
.




Appendices:

Often misused and
mis
understood, an appendix should only be
used to
include suppl ementary (but non
-
essential ) material wh
ich, i f included, would disrupt the
flow of the text. Appendices are not marked so do not include any vital informati on,

e.g.:
results of analysis, in one if you want the content to be considered as part of t he
assessment. Appendices do not contribute to t
he overall word length.

6
.2
Length

The
thesis

should
be
no more

than

20,000 words in
total. A margin of 10% above this
is
acceptable, but

any submitted
thesis

which is above these limits
will be subject to penalties.
All
14


penalties will be applied at the
discretion of the
course

convenor in consultation with
the
supervisor.


The following do not count in the word
-
limit:


Supporting text pages (abstract, table of conten
ts, bibliography, references)


Tables,

graphs
, legends, annotat
ions or illustrative material


Footnotes and Appendices


You must state the actual word count on the

last

page of the
thesis

(
see
Appendi
x

C

for other

requirements
).

Chapter 7

Avoiding Plagiarism

Plagiarism, whether intentional or uni ntentional, is a form of cheati ng, as a result of which
an
indi vi dual gai ns or seeks to
gain

an unfai r academic advantage. It includes the use
of
another
aut
hor's words verbatim, summarising or
paraphrasing another
person's argument
or line
of thinking, or use of a particularly apt phrase, without proper attribution.


Tips for avoiding 'unintentional' plagiarism:



Do
n't cut and paste from the web



Don't copy

notes from sources word for word
-

r
eword at the time you are readi ng the
material (this also helps your understanding)



Fully reference your notes as you go, including page numbers if applicable



Use several sources in your writing, this minimises the re
li ance on any one author
and
reduces the risk of accidentally leaving passages unreferenced.




15



Chapter 8 Appendices

Appendix A: Title Page Template


学校编码:
10
173

分类号


密级




学号:


UDC
























Thesis title


Author’s name



指导教师姓名
/
Supervisor







一级学科名称
/
Major







二级学科名称
/
Direction





论文答辩时间
/
Oral Defence Date















16


Appendix B: Declaration of Originality


东北财经大学研究生学位论文原创性声明


本人郑重声明:此处所提交的博士
/
硕士学位论文《

》,是本人在导师指导
下,在东北财经大学攻读博士
/
硕士学位期间独立进行研究所取得的成果。论文
中除已注明的部分外,不包含他人已发表或撰写过的研究成果,对本文的研究工
作做出重要贡献的个人和集体均已注明。本声明的法律结果将完全由本人承担。



作者签名:


日期:












东北财经大学研究生学位论文使用授权书


本论文作者完全了解学校关于保存、使用学位论文的规定,即按照学校要
求提交学位论文的印刷本和电子版本;同意学校保留论文的复印件和电子版本,
允许论文被查阅和借阅;本人授权东北财经大学可以将本学位论文的全部或部分
内容编入有关数据库进行检索,学校可以采用影印、缩印或其他复制手段保存或
汇编论文。


作者签名:


日期:
















导师签名:

日期:

















DECLARATION
OF
ORIGINALITY

“I,


, declare that this dissertation has been conducted
on my own

and has not been
submitted in any form for other purposes or degree at any University. Information derived from
17


the published and unpublis
hed work of others has been acknowledged in the text and is given in a
list of references.


I agree that the University has the right to
check

the

originality
of my work

and the
authorization of using the paper



SIGNATURE:





DATE:



Appendix C: Layout and Formatting Requirements


Page layout


Please lay out your text using 1.5 line spacing one side of the paper only. Your margi ns should
be a minimum of 3cm on the left and 2.5cm on the ri ght, top and bottom. Text sho
uld be left or
fully justified. Use a new paragraph for each substanti ve poi nt you make and leave a bl ank line
between paragraphs please. Include page numbers on every page and ensure they
correspond with the relevant entry in the table of contents.


Font

& formatting


For the body of the text, use a professional font in no less than 10pt and black in
color
. If using
Times New Roman, please use a minimum of 11pt for ease of reading. A judicial and
professional use of
color

is fine, but you shoul d avoid fu
ssy formatting. Ensure your emphases
(
e.g.
: bold or italics) are consistent throughout the text.



18


Headings and subsections


Please number your chapters and subsections including meaningful subj ect headings (as in
this handbook). This helps your reader t
o follow the fl ow of your argument and fi nd important
information quickly and should correspond to the list in your table of contents


Tables, figures and images


The object of a tabl e or diagram is to convey compl ex information quickly, accurately and w
ith
impact. Thi nk carefully about your choice of tabl e/ figure to ensure that the informati on withi n it
can be correctly interpreted. Do not use clip art or any other form of decorati ve image unless it
is essential to the analysis you are undertaking,
e.g.
: a screen shot to illustrate a specific
feature of an organization’s website.


Footnotes


Footnotes can be very useful devices for showing the breadth of your knowledge on your
subject but without cont ributing to an overly long main body of text. Please use footnotes only
when absol utely necessary


e.g.
: when you want to signal an important bu
t tangential issue
that would otherwise interrupt the follow of text as in the example given here1.

1
1
Footnotes, however, shoul d be used in preferen
ce to brackets (as these are even more
disruptive to the flow of text) as you can see from this example