Chris Hart (2005) identifies three types of dissertation for a Masters degree. The ‘traditional dissertation’ is usually based on primary data collection to test a hypothesis or proposition or to fulfill a research aim. The ‘work-based dissertation’ is focused on an issue that is relevant to an organisation with the aim of making recommendations for change. The ‘literature review dissertation’ uses the literature to explore an issue or argument or the origins of an idea or to provide evidence for decision-making.
He suggests that a literature review dissertation has four, generic stages
Reference: Hart, Chris. Doing your masters dissertation. Sage, 2005.