MSC DISSERTATION WITH RESEARCH METHODS

SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MMN320416
Module Leader Claire MacRae
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Risk
Trimesters
  • B (January start)-C (May start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)-C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

UK Honours degree or equivalent.

Summary of Content

The purpose is to develop advanced skills related to a range of contemporary research methods needed for academic and practical research at a Masters level. Students should be able to critically evaluate new concepts, ideas and evidence from a range of sources and crucially, they will transfer their skills into practice. Emphasis is placed on written and oral presentation skills at advanced management level. The course will discuss methods of critical literature evaluation, developing research framework, producing the research proposal, data acquisition and analysis, preparing reports and presentations. It will guide students through the dissertation which will be an original piece of work of 12,000 words (excluding appendices) which will critically analyse, in detail, an aspect or topic within the appropriate field. The module is available in semester A for Distance Learning students only.

Syllabus

-360 1. What is Research? 2. Research Tools 3. The Research Problem 4. Critical Review of the Related Literature 5. Planning your Research Design 6. Research Proposals 7. Qualitative Research 8. Historical Research 9. The research report

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:1. Demonstrate advanced working knowledge of a range of key concepts and research methods available to researchers. 2. Identify and clearly formulate a research topic in the context of particular research area of study.3. Critically evaluate literature, select and utilise appropriate methodologies in the formulation of an individual research proposal for a Masters dissertation.4. Control, organize, communicate and analyse research findings in an efficient and effective manner.5. Apply the forgoing skill to the MSc research dissertation.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching and learning strategy will utilize lectures, group discussions and presentations from experts in individual fields to support the learning process. Conceptual and framework material will be produced with the lectures and students will be given directed reading of relevant journals and higher level textbooks to analyse prior to the sessions and ensure the process of deepening engagement. GCU Learn will be utilized as appropriate. The module has been designed for delivery in the following modes: -360 a) Lectures delivered on campus for full-time students. b) Distance learning using paper-based learning materials with tutor support and Web-access to library resources. Every student will receive a comprehensive study guide in the form of a module handbook. Feedback strategy - aims Students will be provided with feedback within three weeks of submission. The feedback that they receive is designed to: A: Facilitating the development of self-assessment; B: Encouraging dialogue; C: Clarifying good performance; D: Providing opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance; E: Delivering high quality information about individual learning; F: Encouraging positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem; G: Providing information to teachers that can be used to help shape the teaching. In order to achieve these aims, the following strategies will be adopted by this module: A: Facilitating the development of self-assessment The assessment requirements will be discussed in the introduction to the module. Students will be asked to reflect on the standard of their work (e.g. on coursework). B: Encouraging dialogue Students are encouraged to discuss their comments with lecturers, arrange meetings with academic advisors to review performance. C: Clarifying good performance Students will be provided with information about marking criteria. They will also be provided with examples of assessments to review in order to identify and clarify good performance (as per A). D: Providing opportunities to close the gap between current and desired performance Students may find it helpful to identify actions point based on the feedback they have received. E: Delivering high quality information about individual learning Feedback will be provided within 3 weeks of submission, covering strengths, weaknesses and corrective advice. F: Encouraging positive motivational beliefs and self-esteem Feedback will be designed to encourage and be constructive. G: Providing information to teachers that can be used to help shape the teaching Students, if they wish, may identify where they are having difficulties when they hand in their assignments.

Indicative Reading

See module handbook for details on all topics. Main textbook: Leedy, P. and Ormrod, J., (2010) Practical Research: Planning and Design , Pearson. Sounders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A., (2009) Research Methods for Business Students , Prentice Hall, Bryman, A. and Bell, E., Business Research Methods , (2011) Oxford University Press. Remenyi, D. (2012) Case Study Research: The quick guide, Academic Publishing International Remenyi, D. and Bannister, F. (1012) Writing up your research for a dissertation or thesis, Academic Publishing International The above reading list does not in any way exhaust the texts relevant to this subject. At the post-graduate level, the students should be able to research variety of relevant texts.

Transferrable Skills

In addition to the attainment of learning outcomes students will develop personal transferable skills in self-management, advanced writing, case study analysis, problem solving and critical thinking. They will seek to encapsulate clean, progressive conceptual approaches and thinking to research projects, while developing a mature, concise and academic style of writing. In addition, the students will be able to identify the threats to the validity of research and will develop the ability to scrutinise and evaluate data, research methods and research findings. On completion of this module students should be able to demonstrate an enhanced ability to: -360 1. Evaluate academic papers. -360 2. Produce written work of good academic standard. 3. Engage in two way oral communication in discussion with a peer group. 4. Evaluate and select from a range of methodological approaches and provide relevant justification. 5. Perform effectively in the areas of data and time management.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 60.00
Lectures (PT) 24.00
Independent Learning (PT) 412.00
Independent Learning (FT) 412.00
Custom Activity 1 (PT) 104.00
Lectures (FDL) 99.00
Custom Activity 1 (FT) 104.00
Assessment (FDL) 60.00
Independent Learning (FDL) 337.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Assessment (PT) 60.00
Custom Activity 1 (FDL) 104.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 75.00 45% Dissertation (12,000 words)
Coursework 1 n/a 25.00 45% Research proposal (2,000 words)