Kevin O’Gorman is Professor of Management and Business History and Head of Business Management in the School of Languages and Management in Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. He trained in Glasgow, Salamanca and Rome as a philosopher, theologian and historian. His research interests have a dual focus: Origins, history and cultural practices of hospitality, and philosophical, ethical and cultural underpinnings of contemporary management practices. Using a wide range of methodological approaches he has published over 80 journal articles, books, chapters, and conference papers in business and management.

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The following table offers a suggested structure and approximate word counts for your MSc Dissertations. It is not set in stone and should be changed to suit your project and your institution.

Remember a key rule for success – Follow the advice of your supervisor!

It is important to understand that the table is offered here only as a set of non-specific suggestions for your (hopefully!) very specific project. All dissertations are different, and your supervisor is the best person to talk to about your specific institutional, school, or college requirements, which may vary quite significantly. Creating your own outline through discussion with your supervisor gives you both a sense of where you are in the process and what needs to be done, whilst also functioning as a reference point when completing smaller intermediary targets.



Section MSc Dissertation
Introduction 1500
Pre-theoretic overview 500
Why this is interesting? 100
Research Purpose 600
Aim and Objectives 300
Literature Review 3500
Historical Overview (of Theory) 500
Contemporary Review of Theory 2000
Context for Study 1000
Methodology 2000
Philosophy 500
Data Collection Technique 600
Sourcing and Selecting Data 200
Research Ethics 200
Data Analysis Tool(s) 500
Empirical Material 2500
Presentation of Data 750
Analysis 1000
Findings 750
Discussion 2500
Discussion 2000
Theory Development 500
Conclusion 2000
Reviewing the Aim and Objectives 500
Contribution – Theory 500
Contribution – Context
Contribution – Method
Contribution – Management Practice
Methodological Review 300
Limitations and Further Research 300
Overall Conclusion 400
Total 15000
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Picture by Dom Pates under CC license.