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Dissertation Topic Ideas

 

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Management Dissertation Topic Ideas

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its role in organisational sustainability

In accordance with the stakeholder theory, companies engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities to fulfil their duty to the society and environment (Terouhid and Ries, 2016:912). In turn, the shareholder theory implies that the only real obligation of any business is to make profit (Wang et al., 2016:534). Although CSR does not lead to profit maximisation, most profit-oriented enterprises still invest heavily in infrastructure and networks. This project attempts to identify the real purpose of CSR and its role in organisational sustainability relying on primary quantitative data collected from 100 managers of large multinational corporations. On the basis of the produced empirical findings, relevant recommendations on how to add to organisational sustainability through CSR are formulated.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Wang, H., Tong, L., Takeuchi, R. and George, G. (2016) ‘Corporate Social Responsibility: An Overview and New Research Directions’, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 59(2), pp. 534-544.

Terouhid, S.A. and Ries, R. (2016) ‘Organisational sustainability excellence of construction firms – a framework’, Journal of Modelling in Management, Vol. 11(4), pp. 911-931.

Workplace diversity management using corporate culture in the information technology (IT) industry

During the recent globalisation era, the issue of workforce diversity has become of strategic importance to firms that operate on an international level. Recent studies indicate that diversity strongly correlates with organisational performance (Ntongho, 2016:524). However, managing diversity in the workplace is a challenging task and organisational culture is considered as an effective tool that helps companies take advantage of diversity. This study assesses and compares the effect of two large UK-based information technology (IT) companies’ culture on the overall tolerance to employee diversity in the workplace. Using predominantly quantitative research techniques, this project analyses the results of 100 survey questionnaires delivered to the enterprises’ full-time and part-time employees.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Ntongho, R.A. (2016) ‘Culture and corporate governance convergence’, International Journal of Law and Management, Vol. 58(5), pp. 523-544.

Davis, P.J., Frolova, Y. and Callahan, W. (2016) ‘Workplace diversity management in Australia: What do managers think and what are organisations doing?’, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, Vol. 35(2), pp. 81-98.

Examining the critical success factors of construction projects in Nigeria

In accordance with Karna and Junnonen (2016:2092), more than a half of all construction projects fail to meet their schedule, budget and quality objectives. This dissertation attempts to identify the most important factors that influence project success in the construction industry in Nigeria. The analysis of the primary data gathered from 100 managers of large construction organisations has demonstrated that the lack of executive commitment, changing stakeholder requirements and raw material price fluctuations are among the main barriers to the successful delivery of construction projects in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Karna, S. and Junnonen, J.M. (2016) ‘Benchmarking construction industry, company and project performance by participants’ evaluation’, Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 23(7), pp. 2092-2108.

Rostami, A. and Oduoza, C.F. (2017) ‘Key risks in construction projects in Italy: contractors’ perspective’, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 24(3), pp. 451-462.

The role of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation stimuli in employee performance in the hospitality industry

Employee motivation is considered as an important human resource management (HRM) construct, which explains individual behaviour in the workplace. From this perspective, companies should develop an effective HRM system in order to create powerful extrinsic and intrinsic motivation stimuli to ensure high levels of employee performance (Gkorezis and Kastritsi, 2017:101). Nevertheless, there is still no consensus on the role of these motives on employee performance in the hospitality industry. This study contributes to the existing HRM literature by collecting primary data from 100 hotel employees by means of self-administered questionnaires. In addition, 10 in-depth interviews with hotel managers were conducted to investigate the research issue from various standpoints.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Amin, M., Aldakhil, A.M., Wu, C., Rezaei, S. and Cobanoglu, C. (2017) ‘The structural relationship between TQM, employee satisfaction and hotel performance’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 29(4), pp. 1256-1278.

Gkorezis, P. and Kastritsi, A. (2017) ‘Employee expectations and intrinsic motivation: work-related boredom as a mediator’, Employee Relations, Vol. 39(1), pp. 100-111.

The use of reward management as an employee retention tool in the retail sector

Reward management can be viewed as a set of policies and strategies designed to reward employees fairly for the value which they bring to their employer (Prouska et al., 2016:1259). Using the retail sector as a background, this project attempts to identify the degree to which financial and non-financial rewards influence a level of workers’ morale and willingness to stay with their current employer. For this purpose, primary quantitative data is gathered from 100 workers of large retailer chains in the UK. On the basis of the produced outcomes, this study concludes on whether the traditional model of reward implemented by large retailers is sufficient to effectively retain their employees.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Stumpf, S.A., Tymon, W.G., Ehr, R.J. and van Dam, N. (2016) ‘Leading to intrinsically reward professionals for sustained engagement’, Leadership & Organisation Development Journal, Vol. 37(4), pp. 467-486.

Prouska, R., Psychogios, A.G. and Rexhepi, Y. (2016) ‘Rewarding employees in turbulent economies for improved organisational performance: Exploring SMEs in the South-Eastern European region’, Personnel Review, Vol. 45(6), pp. 1259-1280.

The effect of empowerment on employee job satisfaction

With the growing complexity of the business environment, employees are continuously provided with a wider range of responsibilities and duties. In accordance with Lee et al. (2016:1), managers tend to give their subordinates the instruments and resources necessary to make independent decisions in the workplace. However, the effect of employee empowerment on workers’ satisfaction with their job remains under-researched. This study adds to the understanding of this issue by establishing the relationship between employee empowerment and job satisfaction in the context of the service industry. 100 workers of service organisations participated in this project by filling out a self-administered questionnaire. On the basis of the acquired knowledge, the researcher formulates a set of recommendations as how to achieve a higher level of job satisfaction in the service sector.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Lee, G., Kim, P.B. and Perdue, R.R. (2016) ‘A longitudinal analysis of an accelerating effect of empowerment on job satisfaction: Customer-contact vs. non-customer-contact workers’, International Journal of Hospitality Management, Vol. 57(1), pp. 1-8.

Kong, H., Sun, N. and Yan, Q. (2016) ‘New generation, psychological empowerment: can empowerment lead to career competencies and career satisfaction?’, International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 28(11), pp. 2553-2569.

Marketing Dissertation Topic Ideas

The impact of social media on information search and post-purchase evaluation of alternatives

The emergence of social media has revolutionised the way in which consumers search for goods and services. Today, social media is actively used by market players to advertise their products and communicate with customers and potential purchasers (Varkaris and Neuhofer, 2017:102). However, little evidence is available on the link between social media and the process of information search and the evaluation of alternatives. This project attempts to bridge this gap by collecting primary data from 100 social media users who prefer making online purchases. Through interpreting the empirical results, the researcher formulates a set of recommendations as to how to use social media more effectively to stimulate consumer purchase intentions.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Varkaris, E. and Neuhofer, B. (2017) ‘The influence of social media on the consumers’ hotel decision journey’, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 8(1), pp. 101-118.

Song, S. and Yoo, M. (2016) ‘The role of social media during the pre-purchasing stage’, Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 7(1), pp. 84-99.

The moderating role of culture in the relationship between celebrity endorsement and consumer purchasing behaviour

Celebrity endorsement is a popular form of marketing strategy, which involves celebrities and well-known persons to advertise a product or service. According to McCormick (2016:41), consumers who identify themselves with a celebrity used in an advertising campaign buy advertised goods and services more actively. At the same time, the role of culture in this relationship is still under-researched. This project investigates the moderating role of culture in the relationship between celebrity endorsement and consumer purchase intentions in the UK and China. Primary quantitative data is gathered from 100 British and 100 Chinese consumers and processed graphically and statistically. The analysis findings indicate that cultural characteristics have a strong impact on consumer behaviour in both cultural backgrounds.

Suggested initial topic reading:

McCormick, K. (2016) ‘Celebrity endorsements: Influence of a product-endorser match on Millennials attitudes and purchase intentions’, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol. 32(1), pp. 39-45.

Jain, V. and Roy, S. (2016) ‘Understanding meaning transfer in celebrity endorsements: a qualitative exploration’, Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, Vol. 19(3), pp. 266-286.

Consumer loyalty in the retail industry: A case study of Sainsbury’s

This dissertation examines how large retailers build their customers’ brand loyalty at the example of Sainsbury’s, one of the largest chains of supermarkets in the UK (Murray et al., 2017:148). By collecting and analysing primary quantitative data from 100 Sainsbury’s customers, this study demonstrates that large retailers can significantly add to their customers’ brand loyalty through better customer experience, reward programmes and loyalty schemes. Practical recommendations as how to use these marketing instruments more effectively are formulated in the conclusion.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Dwivedi, A. and Merrilees, B. (2016) ‘Holistic consumer evaluation of retail corporate brands and impact on consumer loyalty intentions’, Australasian Marketing Journal, Vol. 24(1), pp. 69-78.

Murray, J., Elms, J. and Teller, C. (2017) ‘Examining the role of store design on consumers’ cross-sectional perceptions of retail brand loyalty’, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Vol. 38(1), pp. 147-156.

Leadership Dissertation Topic Ideas

Transactional and transformational leadership styles in the context of organisational change

The leader is a person who is capable of managing an organisation as well as the process of organisational change effectively and successfully (Feng et al., 2016:855). However, considering numerous leadership styles and approaches, the extent to which leaders can successfully manage organisational change varies (Luo et al., 2016:242). This project investigates the impact of two leadership styles, namely transactional and transformational on the extent to which the company can successfully complete the change implementation process. For this purpose, primary qualitative data is collected from large multinational companies’ managers and leaders and processed using content analysis methods. Based on the empirical findings, the researcher formulates a number of recommendations as how to better manage change using both leadership styles.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Feng, C., Huang, X. and Zhang, L. (2016) ‘A multilevel study of transformational leadership, dual organisational change and innovative behaviour in groups’, Journal of Organisational Change Management, Vol. 29(6), pp. 855-877.

Luo, W., Song, L.J., Gebert, D.R., Zhang, K. and Feng, Y. (2016) ‘How does leader communication style promote employees’ commitment at times of change?’, Journal of Organisational Change Management, Vol. 29(2), pp.242-262.

The relationship between leadership and employee motivation in the service industry

Employees have recently become one of the most important resources that lead to the development and maintenance of a competitive advantage (Akram et al., 2016:154). That is why the issue of employee motivation should be given close attention by both leaders and managers. This project attempts to establish the relationship between various leadership styles (i.e. transactional, transformational, autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire) and employee motivation in 10 service companies. 100 workers within these firms were surveyed to gather primary quantitative data and the analysis outcomes suggest that some leadership styles are more effective in generating employee motivation than others. On the basis of these findings, a set of recommendations is given to the organisations as how to improve their existing employee motivation rates.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Law, C.C. (2016) ‘Using bonus and awards for motivating project employees’, Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 24(7), pp. 4-7.

Akram, T., Lei, S. and Haider, M.J. (2016) ‘The impact of relational leadership on employee innovative work behaviour in IT industry of China’, Arab Economic and Business Journal, Vol. 11(2), pp. 153-161.

Gender differences in leadership and their effect on organisational performance

There has been a long debate about whether male leaders are more effective compared to female leaders. For instance, Ng et al. (2016:11) argued that males were more effective leaders since they were able to take faster strategic decisions and respond more promptly to external pressures. At the same time, Eagly and Heilman (2016:350) indicated that the gender advantage theory offered a simplistic and stereotypical view, which ignored the significance of contextual contingences. This project attempts to shed light on this issue by examining the extent to which gender differences impact leadership effectiveness and organisational performance in five large multinational corporations. The methodology relies on primary and secondary data collected from 10 male and female leaders and the companies’ financial reports, respectively.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Eagly, A.H. and Heilman, M.E. (2016) ‘Gender and leadership: Introduction to the special issue’, The Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 3(27), pp. 349-353.

Ng, T.W., Lam, S.S. and Feldman, D.C. (2016) ‘Organisational citizenship behaviour and counterproductive work behaviour: Do males and females differ?’, Journal of Vocational Behaviour, Vol. 93(1), pp. 11-32.

Finance Dissertation Topic Ideas

The effect of mandatory CSR spending on firm performance

Over the last two decades, both investors and policy makers underlined the significance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in company performance. This implies that businesses have to be more responsible for the effects of their activities on environment, employees and local communities. This is in line with the stakeholder theory which stipulates that the company’s mission is not only to make money and maximise shareholders’ wealth but also to address interests of all stakeholders involved including the society. This study examines whether and how the level of CSR expenditure affects financial and market performance of firms. Positive associations between earnings, share prices and CSR spending are expected.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Bhattacharyya, A. and Rahman, L. (2019) Mandatory CSR expenditure and firm performance, Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics, 15 (3), pp.1-10.

Yoon, B. and Chung, Y., (2018) The effects of corporate social responsibility on firm performance: A stakeholder approach. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management37, pp.89-96.

The impact of positive and negative information in CSR disclosures on firm performance

A large body of studies evidence that the majority of firms that report on corporate social responsibility (CSR) often tend to publish only good news and divert the readers from corporate failures and problems. Along with that, negative CSR news adversely influence attitude to company products and word-of-mouth. However, silencing problems might have a much greater negative effect if the truth is revealed. This entails a dilemma for firms: should they publish only positive information about the CSR activities or reveal actual information to elude stakeholders' disapproval? Using secondary data, the study examines how disclosure negative CSR information affects firm performance.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Jahn, J. and Bruhl, R. (2019) Can bad news be good? On the positive and negative effects of including moderately negative information in CSR disclosures, Journal of Business Research, 97 (30), pp. 117–128.

Chan, C. C. and Milne, M. J. (1999) Investor reactions to corporate environmental saints and sinners: An experimental analysis, Accounting and Business Research, 29(4), pp. 265–279.

How R&D expenditure explains stock prices

Explaining share price movements has been a topic of interest for both practitioners and academics. Fundamental analysis mainly analyses data connected with corporate performance indicators such as firm earnings, paid dividends, investment opportunities, capital structure and R&D expenditure. Innovative activities are one of the factors that may become a significant competitive advantage of the firm. Moreover, if they provide visible results, this is usually positively perceived by the market. The study explores how R&D expenditures and the number of patents are connected with stock market performance. The study employs secondary data on innovative activities of analysed firms and their financial statements.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Yu, G. J., and Hong, K. (2016) Patents and R&D expenditure in explaining stock price movements, Finance Research Letters, 19 (2), pp. 197–203.

Chen, S.S., Chen, Y.S., Liang, W.L. and Wang, Y., (2020) Public R&D spending and cross-sectional stock returns. Research Policy49(1), pp.1-15.

Accounting Dissertation Topic Ideas

Do common accounting standards affect firm value and market liquidity?

In 2002, the European Union (EU) introduced International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) for all firms traded on the major European stock exchanges starting from 2005. Since then, a majority of listed companies in more than 100 countries have implemented IFRS. The economic consequences of IFRS are twofold. First, IFRS adoption changed the precision of financial reports. Second, the implementation of IFRS created a network effect since most companies from various countries started making their financial reports under common standards. The study explores whether the IFRS adoption affected capitalisation of companies and overall market liquidity.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Gao, P., Jiang, X. and Zhang, G. (2018) Firm Value and Market Liquidity around the Adoption of Common Accounting Standards, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 68 (1), pp.1-14.

Sato, S. and Takeda, F., (2017) IFRS Adoption and Stock Prices of Japanese Firms in Governance System Transition. The International Journal of Accounting52(4), pp.319-337.

The effect of debt structure on earnings management in the banking sphere

Earnings quality is arguably one of the most interesting academic research topics. Literature claims that earnings management may be entailed by the agency problem in the interaction between managers and firm owners, whereas the debt applied to fund the firm activities would add creditors as a third party. Creditors may act as merely watchers of this conflict, but they also may become active actors if they see that managers’ actions affect firm liquidity and increase risk of insolvency. Thus, it is necessary to understand how the share of debt in total capital of the firm affects managers’ incentives to use earnings management methods.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Jin, J.Y., Kanagaretnam, K. and Liu, Y., (2018) Banks' funding structure and earnings quality. International Review of Financial Analysis59, pp.163-178.

Alzoubi, E.S.S., (2018) Audit quality, debt financing, and earnings management: Evidence from Jordan. Journal of International Accounting, Auditing and Taxation30, pp.69-84.

The relationship between audit expertise and earnings quality

The financial sector has experienced numerous severe crises in the recent decades. One of the reasons that led to these crises were opaque financial practices, fraud and earnings management procedures applied by managers of large companies to attain their own goal at the cost of firm value and financial stability of the entire financial system. Audit committees on board of directors are considered as one of the instruments capable to provide financial transparency and maintain control over managers. The study explores whether the actions of audit committees and characteristics of their members affected the quality of firm earnings and were able to prevent financial scandals.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Bilal, Chen, S. and Komal, B. (2018), Audit committee financial expertise and earnings quality: A meta-analysis, Journal of Business Research, 84 (2), pp. 253–270.

Sharma, V. D. and Kuang, C. (2014) Voluntary audit committee characteristics, incentives, and aggressive earnings management: Evidence from New Zealand, International Journal of Auditing, 18(1), pp. 76–89.

Economics Dissertation Topic Ideas

Disparities in regional unemployment patterns and their causes

While labour market performance is often considered only from a national perspective, most OECD countries experience substantial variations in employment outcomes at the sub-national level. On a national level, these differences are typically explained by different national labour market institutions, economic policies, and country specific shocks. As for regional specifics, these differences, in general, can be explained by the attractiveness of large cities, distinctions in average income level across regions, convenience of living conditions such as climate, level of environment pollution and opportunities for professional growth, among others. The study examines the employment pattern differences across regions of the country and attempts to explain the reasons behind their existence.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Marukawa, T. (2017), Regional unemployment disparities in China, Economic Systems, 41(2), pp. 203–214.

Galiani, S., Lamarche, C., Porto, A. and Sosa-Escudero, W. (2005) Persistence and Regional Disparities in Unemployment (Argentina 1980-1997), Regional Science and Urban Economics, 35 (4), pp. 375-394.

Is regional development connected with the penetration of the broadband internet?

Technological progress continues to serve as a crucial driver of economic growth. Access to high-speed broadband internet (BBI) has unlocked the door to unparalleled economic opportunities for both households and businesses due to a huge number of innovative products and services. While previous estimations of the effect of the BBI on growth evaluated the former as a binary variable, this assessment has evolved into a much more complicated issue of analysing the impact of the BBI and connected factors on particular regions and industries, including costs, infrastructure, speed of connection and platforms. The present study explores whether the BBI provides even opportunities for businesses across regions and what additional factors contribute the BBI – growth nexus.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Mack, E. A., and Wentz, E. (2017) Industry variations in the broadband business nexus, Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, 58 (2), pp. 51–62. 

Grubesic, T. H. and Mack, E. A. (2016) Broadband telecommunications and regional development, London: Routledge.

The influence of minimal wages and automation on employment of low-skilled workers

The rapid development of information technology and automation are considered a significant threat for low-skilled employees. While previously, low-skilled employees at least had a minimum wage guaranteed since their work had to be done, automation and robotisation opportunities create the situation when it is unprofitable for a business to hold low-skilled employees since manual jobs can be done by robots. It is estimated that many low-skilled jobs will be occupied by the robots or automated in the nearest future so that low-skilled workers will become unemployed. This process has already started and is expected to expand over time. This study is aimed at exploring how automation and the patterns of the minimum wages currently affect employment across different industries.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Lordan, G., and Neumark, D. (2018) People versus machines: The impact of minimum wages on automatable jobs, Labour Economics, 52 (3), pp. 40–53.

Meer, J. and West, J. (2016) Effects of the minimum wage on employment dynamics, Journal of Human Resources, 51 (2), pp. 500–522.

International Relations Dissertation Topic Ideas

What does the future hold for multilateralism in international relations?

The concept of multilateralism in international relations refers to the process of achieving common goals through alliances and other forms of collective actions. It is a means by which nation states can achieve their foreign policy interests while maintaining regional and global stability. The US government under President Trump has been actively undermining multilateralism through a foreign policy of unilateralism that seeks to pursue its own interest without regard for those of other countries. It has consequently attacked or withdrew from a range of multilateral agreements and institutions that have maintained global security since the Second World War as well as those that seek to address current issues. These include NATO, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the UN Human Rights Council, UNESCO and the Paris Accords on climate change. This paper will examine the effects of these attacks on multilateralism in relation to dealing with current and emerging global problems.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Stephen M Walt (2018) The Hell of Good Intentions: America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of US Primacy New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Preparing for the Next Global Economic and Financial Crisis

The Post War economic infrastructure was specifically engineered to ensure that the circumstances that led to the Great Depression of the 1930s would never re-occur. The current Trump government has been undermining this with the introduction of protectionist measures that undermines the orthodoxy of free trade. This is exemplified in the ongoing trade war with China. At the same time the UK’s imminent departure from the European Union raises the issue of whether other countries such as Italy and Greece may be tempted to follow this example. This will engender the world’s largest free market and the principles of the free movement of goods, services, people and capital that is seen to be essential for smooth economic relations and the global supply chains that are a key part of the global economy. This question therefore examines how prepared the global system is to deal with the next cyclical economic and financial crisis.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Steve Keen (2017) Can we Avoid another Financial Crisis? Cambridge: Polity Press

The Future of Responsibility to Protect

Responsibility to Protect or R2P is a United Nations policy that aims to make states responsible for preventing humanitarian crises such as ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity from taking place on its territory. It therefore reconfigures national sovereignty to be conditional on a state’s willingness to uphold international humanitarian and human rights law. Where states fail to do this the international community then has an obligation and right to intervene to prevent or stop mass atrocities. However R2P is perceived to have failed in Libya and Syria because intervening countries such as the US, UK, France and Russia placed their own national and security interests above humanitarian concerns. This question will examine how R2P can be made to fulfil its purpose in future humanitarian crises.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Pinar Gozen Ercan (2016) Debating the Future of the Responsibility to Protect: the Evolution of a Moral Norm London: Palgrave Macmillan

Politics Dissertation Topic Ideas

Does the 2019 General Election Represent a Realignment of British Politics?

The 2019 UK general election was historically unique in that large swathes of traditional Labour constituencies for the first time voted Conservative, thereby giving Boris Johnson a substantial majority. Early indications are that apart from Brexit, the personality of the Labour Party leader played a more important part in voting behaviour than other related factors such as voting for the party with the best policies, ideology, track record or the one most likely to make voters better off financially. Does this concentration on the personality of a party leader to the exclusion of virtually everything else represent a lasting change that could lead to a permanent realignment in British politics?

Suggested initial topic reading:

Marina Costa Lobo and John Curtice (Eds.) (2015) Personality Politics: The Role of Leader Evaluations in Democratic Elections Oxford: Oxford University Press  

Post Truth Politics in the UK Today

Post truth politics refers to a political culture in which political decisions are decided by the emotions rather than factual evidence. This has been evident in the USA where the public have been prepared to accept false political statements and narratives due to an emotional attachment to the often nativist or nationalistic ideals of the president and his party, who claims to be protecting them from a nebulous elite. In like manner post truth politics has been evident in the Brexit dilemma where disinformation has been used to instil a distrust in groups that are classed as the elite or establishment such as the EU and opposition parties. This question examines what the future holds for factual political debate in an era of ‘alternative facts.’  

Suggested initial topic reading:

Johan Farkas and Jannick Schou (2019) Post-Truth, Fake News and Democracy: Mapping the Politics of Falsehood Abingdon: Routledge

Should the UK change from first Past the Post to a Voting System based on Proportional Representation?

The UK’s first past the post voting system has always (apart from recent exceptions) had the advantage of providing a clear winner with a sufficient mandate to govern effectively. However it has also been criticized as not accurately reflecting the way the public voted as it allows parties to win majorities with a minority of the vote. It also wastes the votes of millions of voters who vote for the losing candidates in the country’s constituencies. This question will examine whether Proportional Representation is a better option as it gives a truer picture of the electorate’s voting patterns without resulting in millions of wasted votes.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Alan Renwick (2010) The Politics of Electoral Reform Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Law Dissertation Topic Ideas

Does the UK Need a Written Constitution

The UK is one of a few developed states to not have a written constitution. It’s written constitution while capable of flexibility when constitutional change is needed, has been criticized on the grounds that it is also easy for constitutional rights to be amended or removed. The imminent exit from the European Union will also remove one of the six sources of constitutional rights. The situation has also become highlighted due to the government’s use of constitutional convention to prorogue Parliament for political reasons. This question examines whether the time has come for constitutional change.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Vernon Bogdanor (2019) Beyond Brexit: towards a British Constitution London: I B Tauris

Does the UK need a jury waiver system whereby defendants can opt for being tried by a judge alone?

The right to be tried by one’s peers has been an important part of the English system of criminal law. However a significant number of Crown Court defendants who have been surveyed in the past have stated their preference for judge only trials. One reason is that judges are more likely to judge a case based on the evidence rather than personal bias. The other is that in some instances members of the public are unable to understand cases involving complex or technical issues. This question will examine the arguments for and against this proposal.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Bethel Erastus-Obilo (2009) Reason Curve, Jury Competence and the English Criminal Justice System: The Case for a 21st Century Approach Baton Rouge, Florida: Universal Publishers

What are the impacts and effects of the European Union Withdrawal Act 2018 (EUWA)?

The European Union Withdrawal Act 2018 (EUWA) makes provision for the way EU law will be implemented and applicable in the UK during the transition period after Brexit. The draft withdrawal agreement makes provision for amended or supplemented EU law to continue to apply in the UK until 31 December 2020, unless extended by one or two years. What will consolidated EU law consist of during this period, and what constitutional and legal effects will it have on the UK?

Suggested initial topic reading:

Marcello Sacco (2019) Brexit: a Way Forward Wilmington, Delaware: Vernon Press

Nursing Dissertation Topic Ideas

Addressing the physical health of patients with mental health conditions: evidence-based strategies for nurses

Mental health problems are common in society and are associated with a range of negative health effects, including physical health problems. The co-occurrence of mental and physical health problems can be a challenge to nursing practice. This paper intends to review the literature to identify evidence-based strategies nurses may implement for screening and management of physical health problems in patients with mental health conditions.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Van Hasselt, F. M., Oud, M. J. T., & Loonen, A. J. M. (2015). Practical recommendations for improvement of the physical health care of patients with severe mental illness. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica131(5), 387-396.

The role of online learning for the development of clinical skills in nurse education: a review of contemporary practice and evidence

A range of methods are employed in nurse undergraduate education to promote the development of clinical skills. The emergence of online technology and blended learning in the field has presented an opportunity to deliver content as capacity for practice opportunities has reduced in the UK. There is a need to ensure that these methods provide a significant positive impact on nurse clinical skill development to justify their use and potential expansion in education contexts. This review aims to appraise the evidence base on this issue to guide future use of online technology.

Suggested initial topic reading:

McCutcheon, K., Lohan, M., Traynor, M., & Martin, D. (2015). A systematic review evaluating the impact of online or blended learning vs. face‐to‐face learning of clinical skills in undergraduate nurse education. Journal of Advanced Nursing71(2), 255-270.

Promoting service user engagement in nurse research

The involvement of service users in research has been considered a key strategy to delivering person-centred services that meet the needs of the target population. However, there is little evidence to date that such involvement has been successful in nurse-led research. The aim of this review is to evaluate evidence of service user involvement in nursing research, with an aim to recommend the most feasible and effective strategies to promote successful engagement.

Suggested initial topic reading:

Shippee, N. D., Domecq Garces, J. P., Prutsky Lopez, G. J., Wang, Z., Elraiyah, T. A., Nabhan, M., & Erwin, P. J. (2015). Patient and service user engagement in research: a systematic review and synthesized framework. Health Expectations18(5), 1151-1166.

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