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Dissertation

The dissertation (ISE529) comprises a single piece of work. The work should be of a standard which manifests the student ability to undertake an applied research or theoretical research within the professional context of Logistics areas. The objective of this work is to enhance the competence of the students in conducting research and development relating to Logistics in their companies. Creative skills and innovative thinking in the application of advanced knowledge and theory learned in this programme to solve real industrial problem should be demonstrated.

The dissertation carries a weight equivalent to 9 credits or three taught subjects. It represents around 420 hours of student effort. Students will continue with their jobs while they work on their dissertations. The subject of the dissertation will preferably be related to the students' employment. The normal period for completion of a dissertation is 3 semesters. Students who are not able to complete their dissertations within the normal period may apply on the advice of the supervisor to extend the dissertation registration beyond the normal period but within the maximum period of 4 semesters.

Students registered for the Master of Science award will be advised to register for their dissertation after completion of all compulsory subjects. However, they will not be allowed to register for their dissertation if they have achieved a GPA of less than 2.5.

Students usually continue with their jobs while they work on their dissertations, the subject of the dissertation is preferably related to the student's employment. The dissertation should be an exposition of a student's own work and ideas. Where others have had an input (e.g. in a team situation) this should be clearly identified. Since the subject areas of dissertations are so diverse it is impossible to define a standard approach to content, but included, should be an introduction and definition of objectives, a literature survey, a review of the problem followed by a description of the student's approach to solving the problem, the results or findings, an intellectual analysis of the results or findings, and finally a logical review of the conclusions drawn.

Students are encouraged to initiate dissertation topics relating to their employment. However, students may take up campus based dissertations in cases of difficulty. A seminar will be given to the students to assist them writing a dissertation proposal. The purpose of the Dissertation Seminar is to enable participants to identify and define a problem for valid research, to develop their abilities to identify and evaluate appropriate research methods, and to provide a framework from which participants can begin their own research work. The content of some of the seminars will include research methods, research design, analysis of data, presentation of findings, and ethical and legal considerations. Staff members active in research will participate and interact with students in answering questions and leading discussion on major issues. Subsequent to the Dissertation Seminar, the student will prepare a dissertation proposal in a standard format using a synopsis form. Students are expected to submit their dissertation proposal to the Dissertation Coordinator for approval.

A dissertation proposal should consist of the following:

  • objectives
  • content which includes innovative features, challenge, academic value and applicability
  • methodology
  • scheduled programme of work
  • Description of facilities required and justification
  • expected completion date

Under normal circumstances, with the agreement of the supervisors, students may prepare for assessment after satisfactory progress. FOUR unbound copies of the dissertation shall be submitted, together with a Dissertation Submission Form to the academic supervisor and one copy shall be kept by the student one month prior to the end of the semester. After submission of the unbound copies of the dissertation the academic supervisor shall make arrangements with the assistance of the department on a mutually convenient time an place for an oral exam at which the other assessors will be present. The assessment panel will consist of three categories of member, namely, the supervisors (academic, professional and second academic supervisor if relevant), a second assessor who is a subject expert from the department, from another department in the University, or from industry, to be nominated by the academic supervisor and approved by the Dissertation Coordinator where approval authority has been delegated; and a moderator appointed by the Chairman or the Coordinator to provide quality control.

The amount of effort required by students in the dissertation should clearly be reflected in the quantity and quality of the final submission. In assessing the standard of dissertations supervisors will be seeking to ensure that the student has met with the aims of this part of the programme. The student and academic supervisor should contact each other from time to time to discuss progress against his agreed programme. The responsibility for arranging meetings between student and academic supervisor is shared by both parties. The academic supervisor will provide guidance to complement that available within the student's employing organisation and advise the student about the style of presentation of the dissertation. Academic and professional supervisors will liaise as circumstances require. The academic supervisor will be available for consultation on a regular basis both at the University and at the student's workplace according to circumstances. The role of the professional supervisor is to be able to assess the studentís effort in the workplace and assist in the conduct of the oral examination and provide assurance that the candidate's work has been independently done. Students should approach a prospective professional supervisor and explain their requirements and should obtain his agreement to act as professional supervisor. If the work for the dissertation forms part of a group endeavour within the student's organization, it is essential that the student's personal contribution can be identified and that the professional supervisor can speak for the part which the student has played. In cases where no suitable professional supervisor can be found, the Committee will appoint a second academic supervisor to take the place of the professional supervisor. If the dissertation topic is based in the student's workplace, visits to the student's place of work by the academic supervisor(s) will be necessary.

Approved subjects as a replacement for Dissertation

As an alternative to taking the dissertation, student may opt for 3 level 5 subjects in the list of electives which must include ISE550 or ISE552.


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