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    Intended for students enrolling in Seminar on Dissertation, this syllabus contains information specific to the course. It is a definitive record of the course's primary characteristics and the learning outcomes that a typical student can reasonably be expected to achieve if they take full advantage of the available learning opportunities. This document also serves as a reference for academic and support staff, internal and external examiners, and for future course monitoring and review.


    Course Title

    Seminar on Dissertation

    Subject Area


    Course Code

    DSRT 98001

    Course Level






    Methods of Delivery


    Expected Length

    7.0 Weeks

    Class Meetings

    To be determined


    To be determined


    Computer Software: Any computer software that aids learning.


    Text 1: WPYD

    Title: Writing a Proposal for Your Dissertation—Guidelines and Examples

    Author(s): Steven R. Terrell

    Year Published: 2022

    ISBN: 9781462550234


    This course offers comprehensive guidance on developing and composing a dissertation proposal prospectus centered on organizational-based research. Students will refine their writing, project planning, and research methodology expertise through various activities throughout the course.


    Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to:

    • Describe the research process.

    • Outline the elements of a thesis/dissertation.

    • Use library resources to develop their proposal.

    • Effectively work with their academic advisor and graduate committee.

    • Develop and follow an appropriate timeline for their thesis/dissertation completion.

    • Reduce/eliminate barriers that interfere with the development of a high-quality thesis/dissertation proposal.

    • Follow the APA style in preparing the thesis/dissertation proposal.

    • Select a research topic of importance to the profession.

    • Write a narrative that presents a compelling need for their study.

    • Develop a clear and concise purpose statement delineated by research objectives.

    • Identify and explain an appropriate theory base for their research.

    • Develop a conceptual model relevant to their research.

    • Prepare a comprehensive review of the empirical literature related to their topic.

    • Describe in detail the procedures to be used for their study.

    • Prepare for the successful defense of their thesis/dissertation proposal.

    • Prepare a complete IRB submission for their research project.

  • WEEK 1

    Module 1

    Developing the Problem Statement for Your Dissertation Proposal

    Reference(s): WPYD Ch1

    Module 2

    Writing Purpose Statements, Research Questions, and Hypotheses

    Reference(s): WPYD Ch2

    WEEK 2

    Module 3

    Writing the Review of Literature for Your Dissertation Proposal

    Reference(s): WPYD Ch3

    Module 4

    The First Part of Your Dissertation Research Method

    Reference(s): WPYD Ch4

    WEEK 3

    Module 5

    Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods

    Reference(s): WPYD Ch5-6

    Module 6

    Mixed Methods Research Designs

    Reference(s): WPYD Ch7

    WEEK 4

    Module 7

    Dissertation Prospectus Writing

    Reference(s): N/A

    Module 8

    Dissertation Prospectus Writing

    Reference(s): N/A

    WEEK 5

    Module 9

    Dissertation Prospectus Writing

    Reference(s): N/A

    Module 10

    Dissertation Prospectus Writing

    Reference(s): N/A

    WEEK 6

    Module 11

    Dissertation Prospectus Writing

    Reference(s): N/A

    Module 12

    Dissertation Prospectus Writing

    Reference(s): N/A

    WEEK 7

    Module 13


    Reference(s): N/A

    Module 14


    Reference(s): N/A


    WEIGHT: 10.0%

    DEADLINE: 23:59 (GMT+0) on Sunday of Week 7

    All students must participate actively in discussions, class exercises, activities, simulations, and group work. Regular attendance, preparation, and participation in class discussions (online and in discussion forums) are required—good attendance results in more opportunities to engage in quality participation and earn a higher participation grade.

    Class participation and discussion indicate that students have read the assigned readings. Grades will not be based on the number of posts submitted or comments made in a class but on the overall contribution to the discussion. Students are encouraged to exchange contact information and support one another if a class is missed. They must contact the course instructor if concerned about attendance or need additional information on any assignment. If a student cannot attend three or more classes, they may be asked to complete additional assignments to complete a course.


    WEIGHT: 10.0%

    DEADLINE: 23:59 (GMT+0) on Sunday of Week 7

    General Information

    This must be 20-24 pages (approximately five thousand to six thousand words) not including references, title page, and appendix. The purpose of this assessment is to determine the level of comprehension and mastery of the material covered over seven weeks, focusing on the practical aspects of the course. The deadline to submit this assessment is always on Sunday at 23:59 (GMT+0) of Week 7. The grade is stored in the online grade book. As only one attempt per piece of coursework is allowed, it is highly recommended that students review all course materials and complete some test preparation tasks before attempting the graded assessment.


    This task allows students to develop a substantive prospectus of their dissertation topic with notes on further research or information they need to finalize decisions and/or begin writing. The prospectus should include a clearly stated topic and possible research questions; a summary of the literature that informs and shapes your understanding of the topic and your approach to studying it; a proposed research design, including methodology, data collection, and data analysis procedures; and, the significance of this topic for the area of research and its potential implications.


    Please be sure to review the following important information about the University Policies and Procedures.

    All students must participate in all classroom activities, attend classes regularly, and prepare before classes for classroom activities that require advance preparation. Students need to fully appreciate that good attendance results in more opportunities to engage in quality participation, which, in turn, results in a more thorough acquisition of subject knowledge and higher participation grades.

    Participation in classroom discussions indicates that students have read the assigned readings. Grades will not be based on the number of posts submitted or comments made in the classroom but on the overall quality of contributions to discussions.

    If a student is unable to attend 3 or more classes, he/she may be asked to complete additional assignments to complete the course.

    Mode of Attendance

    For the portion of the course that takes place over Microsoft Teams:

    Students are required to arrive on time and engage appropriately with their fellow students, their teacher(s) and course materials. They must attend with a functional web camera and microphone, have the latest version of Microsoft Teams installed on their computers, avoid attending via a mobile phone or web browser, and have all necessary materials to hand. Also, their cameras must be always switched on, except for occasions when privacy becomes a necessity. In addition, they must be appropriately attired, attend in an environment that will not distract them, their fellow students or their teacher(s), especially avoiding attending while in a vehicle, whether moving or stationary.

    For the on-campus portion of the course:

    The mandatory on-campus session meets as per the AUS Campus schedule. Good attendance is required to earn credits and pass the course. Students cannot arrive late or leave early. Students traveling from afar must plan accordingly, giving themselves plenty of time to arrive by the start of class. No exceptions can be granted.

    Classroom Expectations

    Classes start and end on time, with late entry or reentry allowed only under exceptional circumstances. All phones and electronic devices must be turned off.


    The expectation is that students read assigned materials prior to class. Class discussions are based on their reading of these materials and their reflections on what they have learned and how these relate to their experiences. Assignments are intended to encourage students’ exploration, reflection on and synthesis of assigned topics and course discussions.

    Assessments are listed in the course syllabus and are due by the stipulated deadlines.

    No assessment will be accepted after the day following the day it is due. If an assessment submission is one day late late, it will receive an automatic reduction in grade of one letter, for example, from an A to a B. After that, no late work will be accepted, and the student will receive an F grade for the assessment.

    Submission of late papers must be approved in advance. Late final papers will not be accepted.


    Students are responsible for understanding the University Policies and how to use sources responsibly. Violations of academic integrity are taken very seriously. Students are asked to visit the course RESM 50011: Fundamentals of Graduate Research Reading and Writing to review important information on academic citation and referencing rules.


    The University is committed to providing an accessible academic community. The Disability Services (DS) is responsible for providing accommodations to students with disabilities. Students must request accommodations or adjustments through the DS. Instructors cannot grant accommodation requests without prior DS approval. It is imperative to be in touch with the DSS as soon as possible to avoid delays in the provision of an accommodation.

    The University takes student privacy seriously. Any medical documentation should be provided directly to the DS if a substantial accommodation is required. If a student misses any classes due to a short-term illness, he/she should notify his/her instructor but to avoid the inclusion of a doctor's note. Course staff will not request, accept, or review doctor's notes or other medical documentation. For more information, email


    Students may not post, publish, sell, or otherwise publicly distribute course materials without the written permission of the course instructor. Such materials include, but are not limited to, the following: lecture notes, lecture slides, video, or audio recordings, assignments, problem sets, examinations, other students’ work, and answer keys. Students who sell, post, publish, or distribute course materials without written permission, whether for the purposes of soliciting answers or otherwise, may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including a requirement to withdraw. Furthermore, students may not make video or audio recordings of class sessions for their own use without written permission from the instructor.


    It is never appropriate to use materials prepared for previous courses by students or faculty. Students should not use previously completed case write-ups, or summaries of readings.


    Additional information can be found on the course website.

    Please note: the syllabus may be modified prior to and during a course, including updates to assignments and additional material.