2. To self-manage research, including managing the supervisory process.
3. To understand how to identify and synthesise the relevant conceptual and methodological techniques from the degree programme, using a range of sources and data, applying them to them to a particular topic, case or organisation.
4. To show and review the results or the project, including drawing appropriate conclusions and recommendations, and assessing their impacts.
5. To understand the ethical request process and apply it appropriately to the research project.
To pass this module, you must achieve a final overall mark of at least 40%. Failure to achieve a pass after the second attempt will result in the student being withdrawn from the course.
Option 1: Dissertation
A dissertation is an academic document created as a consequence of a student carrying out a research project based on a 2,000 word proposal. It is an extended piece of academic writing of approximately 8,000 words on a topic of your own choice, which has to be related to the subject area of your degree programme. The fact that you choose the topic and focus of your research makes this piece of work very different from any of your other modules where your ability to choose what you write about is restricted in some way. It also differs significantly from other modules in the expectation that you take full responsibility for the whole of the work: its organisation, subject area and content, the production of the literature review, the design of the methodology, the research activities, the analysis of results, the discussion of consequences, etc.
A placement project is also an academic document created as a consequence of a student carrying out an integrated business research project. It is an extended piece of academic writing of approximately 8,000 words on a topic of your own choice, which has to be related to the context of your placement experience and fit the subject area of your degree programme. This option is therefore only available to students who carried out a placement in an organisation in their sandwich year. The only real difference between a dissertation and a placement project is that placement students who choose this option are required to contextualise their research study within the setting of their placement. This decision on what you do and how you do this will be influenced by how directly you intend to build from your work placement organisation and the experience you gained there.
1. You can choose an issue directly related to your work experience organisation and enjoy the benefit of your own access to information of the organisation to resource your work. This may involve the job role(s) you actually carried out there and the data and information you had access to at the time.
2. You may consider that the industry/sector setting of your placement experience may provide you with your focus for your placement project rather than a very specifically defined issue affecting your placement organisation. This choice may be suitable for you if you have less access to primary data related to the placement organisation because it may have been regarded as too sensitive for publication.
topic idea in time.
Dissertation students should upload their proposal on Moodle by midday on Monday 22nd November 2021. This counts as 20% of your total mark for this module. The maximum wordcount is 2,000 subject to the usual ±10% limit. See the module guide for further information. After receiving feedback on your proposal you should be in a good position to complete your introduction, literature review and methodology chapters.
This dissertation is submitted in partial fulfilment for the degree of… This placement project is submitted in partial fulfilment for the degree of If confidentiality is required the phrase ‘ln strictest confidence’ must be stipulated on the dissertation / placement project cover. You should also inform the dissertation / placement project module leader and your supervisor in writing. The maximum number of pages, including index, tables, diagrams and appendices should not exceed 250. Your work should be paginated in the bottom right hand corner of each page starting from the beginning of the contents pages with one sided printing throughout. Use Arial font throughout the work and note the following requirements:
Outline Literature Review (30%): A short review of literature relevant to your topic. The review should:
o Provide proof of scholarship
o Reflect your basic understanding of your topic
o Reflect your intellectual ability to construct critical arguments based on your reading of the relevant literature
Outline Methodology (25%): A well-reasoned methodological approach in terms of:
o The scope of the research
o The choice of a research philosophy, approach and strategy
o A basic understanding of methods and techniques to collect primary data (if appropriate).
For example, if a questionnaire survey is to be used, this should include a description of your population, how you intend to select your sample and how you will distribute your questionnaires.
o The techniques proposed to be used to analyse the collected data
o Any ethical concerns
Project Plan (10%). A short narrative providing an appreciation of your research’s feasibility within the time frame available to you. A schedule using a Gantt chart or similar graphical device showing activities to be undertaken at specific times. Note: This should not simply be copied and pasted from the sample Gantt chart provided but demonstrate personalisation and interpretation.
Completed ethics request form (5%) – signed by you but not by your supervisor; not included in the word count
The topic may have been poorly chosen. The objectives of the study are possibly poorly stated, but sit within a recognisable conceptual framework based on limited background reading which shows some evident gaps. Primary research and / or the use of other data sources may be insufficient. Though execution of may be adequate, methodology will be weak and the methodological decisions made will be less justified and / or have weaker links to objectives. If data collection reaches minimum
levels it may be flawed in other ways. Results and analyses may contain errors as well as omissions and the subsequent interpretation and discussion of the data collected is likely to be very poorly developed. The study may show that relevant material is not always distinguished from superfluous and irrelevant commentary. Conclusions may be repetitive or lack a clear focus and may not completely refer back to the stated objectives even though an attempt to do this has been made.
Weaknesses are apparent in both the organisation and presentation of the study.
The study may have been carried out in good faith but exhibits several of the following serious deficiencies: aim and objectives are poorly defined or lacking, little citation of relevant academic literature of a suitable standard, very little or no conceptual framework is apparent, methodology is inappropriate, not justified or misunderstood, data collection seriously inadequate or non-existent, poor description of results, analysis contains very serious errors or omissions, wrong interpretations,
very limited discussion, superficial ineffective conclusion, missing abstract, substandard presentation, likely to be below the word count.
This work shows few signs of being a proper concerted effort. There is an attempt to introduce the topic, describe methods, present and discuss results, and come to a conclusion. The study does not meet its own aim and objectives (which may be absent) and as a result it does not meet the learning outcomes of the module. Inclusion of a partially completed ethics form not signed by the supervisor. This work does not approach the demands of the assignment brief and does not achieve the learning outcomes.
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