1.0 Introduction
Choosing a great topic for your graduate, master or doctoral dissertation may feel like one of the biggest pressures yet. The students generally spend months and perhaps years on this research project, and completion of their PhD or master’s degree is contingent upon their success. While choosing a topic for the dissertation, one should always choose a topic he or she loves, the advisor finds interesting and is knowledgeable about, helpful in his or her career path, establishes his or her niche in the chosen field and last but not the least importantly, a manageable topic. All these factors, if considered while choosing a dissertation topic, will make the task much easier and interesting. To help inspire you to create a 1st class finance dissertation. This article provides suggestions of topics on which to base your research on.

2.0 Microfinance
Microfinance got huge attention from individuals, small to large international development organisations as well as non government organisations in recent times and effort has been made to increase interest in microfinance throughout the banking and corporate sector. The United Kingdom national committee developed out of that partnership between the all-party group, non-government organisations, corporate and DFID and the year 2005 was recognised as year of microcredit. The following are some topics that you could base your finance dissertation on:

  • The Rapid development of international micro-finance.
  • Micro-finance in the UK banking industry.
  • The demand for collective investment schemes in the UK; A strategic analysis, discussion and recommendations.
  • Constraints to the development of a fully-fledged microfinance market in the UK.
  • The awareness of microfinance in developing economies and its impact.
  • How important it is access to credit and other financial services to growth and investment?
  • Partnership between the public and private sectors is crucial: Is it true?
  • Access to financial services, in particular for the poor, including through microfinance and microcredit: An empirical study in Euro zone.
  • Financial innovation in Europe and Asia: A comparative study.
  • Financial viability of selected financial products available in the local market.

3.0 Retail and Commercial Banking
Although their relative importance is on the decline, retail and commercial banks are still the most important financial intermediaries in the banking industry. Both the retail and commercial banks have played a crucial role in reaching rural and semi-urban populations and provided much needed financial services to the mass population. Possible topics to study for your finance dissertation are:

  • Forces for change in European Retail Banking; Analysis and implications for local commercial banks.
  • Recent developments in the asset-liability management framework of banks in UK: A comparative study.
  • The treatment of off-balance sheet activities in the UK banking industry.
  • Asset liability management in commercial banking: Theoretical and practical aspects.
  • What is an optimal capital structure for a retail bank?
  • The relationship with equity price and performance for the banking industry in the UK.
  • Boosting agricultural productivity through credit flow: role of retail and commercial banks.
  • Retail banking alternate delivery channels: nature, scope, analysis and future prospects for UK Banks.
  • Financial services to the rural population: a study on the role of retail banks in the UK.
  • The evolution of commercial banking: Changes and preferences

4.0 Financing in emerging market
With stronger fundamentals and better scope for investments, the financing in emerging markets such as Russia, China, India and Brazil has increased significantly in recent times. All the major organisations across the world are trying to develop their footprints in those markets to get a share of the emerging pie and expand their scope of business. Possible areas of research for your finance dissertation include:

  • Are emerging markets cheap?
  • UK Investors’ attitudes and perceptions towards investing in emerging markets.
  • The evolution and implementation of investment banking in emerging markets.
  • Financial stability in the banking system in emerging countries.
  • Stock price synchronicity and analyst coverage in emerging markets.
  • Market efficiency in emerging markets.
  • How can European financial supervision cater for cross-border issues?
  • An analysis of the current restructuring process in the banking sector of an emerging economy.
  • What is the potential impact of foreign direct investment on emerging economies?
  • Foreign direct investment in Asian economies.

5.0 Alternative investment
Volatility in the financial markets is prompting more and more investors to buy up alternative investments such as mutual funds, funds of funds, hedge funds, private equity and so on. Recent studies have confirmed the fact that increasing numbers of investors are opting to buy into the sector due to its huge return and comparatively less volatile nature of market. Your finance dissertation could be based on the following topics:

  • Hedge Funds: The investing alternative for institutional investors and the advent on the retail market.
  • Private equity market and the various investors in the UK.
  • The Growth of hedge funds: The reasons for a sustained progress and its effects on the UK investments market.
  • An evaluation of the role and performance of UK capital markets as an alternative source to bank finance.
  • Analysing the UK Investor behaviour in the Local Equity Market during the past 10 years.
  • The growing popularity of index and mutual funds.
  • The powers of regulatory intervention and enforcement in alternative investment.
  • Hedge funds: return enhancers, risk diversifiers, or both?
  • The costs of investing in mutual funds relative to mutual fund returns.
  • Private equity investment: future scope in European region.

6.0 Internet Banking
Internet Banking offers consumers and business alike the ease of managing banking and financial tasks from home. Online banking has become a lifeline for those who cannot leave the house, or live in rural areas where access to banks can be limited. In digital banking, customers have a range of needs that internet banks have fulfilled to guarantee customer loyalty. This is a very relevant area to base your finance dissertation on, and topics could include:

  • Future developments in Internet banking in the UK.
  • The evolution and implementation of relationship banking.
  • Internet banking serves the masses.
  • Internet banking services across the UK vary widely: a comparative study.
  • Ethical issues in the banking industry.
  • Security in electronic banking transactions.
  • The marketing of internet banking services in the UK banking industry: Analysis, discussion and recommendations.
  • The economic and financial implications of online banking.
  • The role of Internet banking and society.
  • Digital innovation in the banking industry in Europe and the UK: A comparative study.

7.0 CSR of Banking Industry
Corporate Social Responsibility has become an integral part of corporate management strategy for banking industry participants in recent times. The banks are not only under pressure from the shareholders but also from other stakeholders such as suppliers, customers, brokers and so on to become more and more responsible in dealing with social issues in its day to day operations. Topics of Corporate Social Responsibility of the banking industry that may be used for a finance dissertation are:

  • The importance and significance of Corporate Social Responsibility for investment banks in the UK.
  • Ethical issues in the banking industry in UK.
  • Recent developments in CSR activities by the banking industry participants in the UK.
  • A case study of social responsible banking.
  • Bank regimes and practices in CSR.
  • CSR is now less a choice and more of a necessity for businesses to flourish.
  • CSR has become a commercial imperative, a differentiator for the city and analysts to judge the progressive nature of an organisation.
  • Guidance and reporting on a wide range of CSR issues in banking industry.
  • Terrorism financing and financial institutions.
  • An analysis of the retirement plans provided by local banks.

8.0 Risk management
The Federal Reserve System has established a banking risk framework that consists of six risk factors: credit, market, operational, liquidity, legal, and reputation risks. All of the above mentioned factors are the integral part of any financial institution’s risk management policies and the compliance mechanism which ultimately has a significant impact of the cusses of the institution. Risk management topics for finance dissertations could include:

  • Liquidity risk management: UK banking industry.
  • An evaluation and analysis of the risk/return profile of selected UK banks.
  • Operational risk; business continuity plans in the UK Banking Industry.
  • Risk management aspects of international banking activities in Europe: nature, scope and analysis.
  • Foreign exchange risk management within financial institutions in the UK
  • The liability management of two local leading banks in the UK in the past five years: A comparative analysis.
  • Financial aspects of the EU’s stability and growth pact: What future?
  • Advantages of using options for the management of risk in the banking industry.
  • A stress testing approach towards evaluating credit risk of a financial institution.
  • Case study on growth, liquidity, turnover, risk and return of a financial institution: Analysis and discussion

9.0 Accounting Standards
With the growing importance of maintaining a standard approach in accounting practices across EU nations and other countries of the world, the emerging accounting standards have raised a number of questions on existing practices across various organisations. It is interesting to see how these emerging standards get adopted by various organisations across the world. Several topics for your finance dissertation could be:

  • Does the current accounting standard live up to its objectives?
  • International accounting standards: What is convergence and whether there is any likelihood of convergence between the EU and the US?
  • The changes brought to Auditor-client relationships in the UK due to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
  • What are the practical implications to all organisations of implementing the International Financial Reporting Standards in the UK?
  • Audit Committees and agency problems with the combined code.
  • An investigation into outsourcing accounting overseas from the US perspective.
  • An investigation into outsourcing accounting overseas from the UK perspective.
  • The balanced scorecard: “The Holy Grail” for legal firms?
  • Reporting on sustainability: what is the standard?
  • The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002: is it capable of preventing future accounting scandals?
  • The increasing demand for disclosure of social and environmental information: Implications for big organisations.

10.0 Education, Perception and gender bias in Accounting
The awareness of accounting practices is an important issue being dealt with in organisations around the world. The perception around the accounting practices and various biases need to be investigated and controlled to make the practices more dynamic and responsible for society in general. Accounting topics for your finance dissertation are suggested below:

  • Women and accountancy: are they good partners?
  • Accounting education: Time for a change or continue?
  • Accounting education: A comparison of EU and UK organisations.
  • Accounting education: A comparison of Asian and European organisations.
  • Accounting education: Does ethics get enough attention?
  • Investigating the effects of gender on women’s experiences with the accounting profession in the UK.
  • Accounting as art: Representation, truth and annual reports.
  • Perceptions of risk in the audit industry in the UK.
  • Does securing assets or causing insecurities among employees impact internal control?
  • Do internal controls have an impact on employees? A case study within the banking industry.

11.0 Ethics in accounting
The increasing number of scandals in recent times has raised several questions regarding ethical practices in accounting. The issue not only requires further studies to understand the existing practices and the scope of improvement, but also a culture of adapting the ethical practices within the organisations serving citizens of the nations. Ethics is quite an important subject in modern society, and would be a good topic for your finance dissertation.

  • Effective ways to teach ethics to university accounting students.
  • Ethical guidance: is adequate support available?
  • Audit risk: rhetoric of rationality?
  • Banking on Ethics: An Insight into ethics and the banking profession.
  • The effect of auditor’s liability on the accounting profession and organisations in UK.
  • Does accounting for the brand matter?
  • Engaging contradiction: An expansion of Corporate Social Responsibility discourse.
  • Accounting, ethics and the links missing between them: a case study in the UK.
  • Sustainability reporting and the public sector in the UK.
  • Is independence of an auditor just a perception or a reality?
  • The teaching of ethics to accounting students: An unnecessary and difficult goal?
  • Accounting ethics, education and professional legitimacy in the banking industry.

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