SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 60.00
ECTS Credit Points 30.00
Module Code MMN224938
Module Leader Pauline Bell
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Management
  • A (September start)-B (January start)-C (May start)
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Standard Programme Entry Requirements

Summary of Content

The module will introduce students to the key research methods and paradigms commonly utilised in their field of study and give them the opportunity to specialise in an area related to their programme by undertaking an in-depth research project. Students will develop a research project proposal outlining their plans to carry out an investigation of a business issue or problem relating to professional practice in their programme specialism. The project may involve investigating a business challenge for a single organisation or involve conducting a wider research study using primary and/or secondary data collected from a range of sources or organisations. In developing this proposal, students are required to demonstrate critical awareness of business/professional practice as well as relevant researh paradigms, approaches and techniques. The Project element of the module in particular offers students the opportunity to apply research methodologies to their chosen topic areas, to draw on internationally published academic literature and good practice and develop and interpret knowledge about management/professional practice in their area of study. The Project's subject matter involves the theoretical and evidential investigation of an aspect of business or professional practice, relating to topics covered in the student's programme of study. It requires students to demonstrate their ability to work independently. Each student will have a dedicated academic Supervisor who will support them throughout the project.


Prior to commencing the module students will attend a workshop in Trimester A (Trimester B for Jan starts) which will introduce them to the concept of a research project. In weeks 1-7 of their second trimester, students will have a series of Master Class/Lectures and Seminars. Lectures/Master Classes It is anticipated that the Master classes (2 hours) will be delivered by GSBS research leaders i.e Professors and Readers, who will be best placed to discuss research excellence and the 'real life' application of research methods. 1. Introduction (lecture): What makes a good research project? - What is academic research? - Introduction to the proposal - Aims and Objectives of a project 2. Master Class: Research Philosophy and Methodology 3. Master Class - Qualitative Research 1: Key Concepts and Best Practice Examples 4. Master Class - Qualitative Research 2: Key Analytical Approaches and Best Practice Examples 5. Master Class - Quantitative Research 1: Key Concepts and Best Practice Examples 6. Master Class - Quantitative Research 2: Key Analytical Approaches and Best Practice Examples 7. Master Class - Research Ethics and Processes -2784 Seminars Research in context - These 2 hour seminars will be based around the requirements of individual programmes (or a Suite of programmes) to provide context and further breadth/depth as required in relation to research design and analytical approaches. In addition, a bank of short online lectures will be created on a range of research methods, analyical approaches (eg NVivo, SPSS) and interviews with industry, which can be used by seminar tutors as required by each programme. Practical Workshops A series of research skills workshops (2 hours) will be scheduled to support students at key stages of the project: Trimester 1 -700 1. Research Questions, Aims and Objectives Trimester 2 (wk4 ) -700 2. How to write a good proposal Trimester 3 (from wk 8) -700 3. Literature Review 4. Research Methods 5. Data Analysis 6. Findings & Discussion 7. Conclusions -700 Supervision Students can expect to have contact with their supervisors five times during the course of the module at key points detailed below, normally via face-to-face meeting if studying on a full-time basis or, by virtual/online communication for part-time or distance learning students. Students will be expected to submit completed draft chapters to supervisors at least 3 working days before a scheduled meeting. Supervisors will be expected to provide feedback on one draft of each chapter of the Project as it progresses and feedback on one completed draft of the whole Project. Final complete drafts must be submitted to the supervisor at least two weeks prior to the Project submission deadline. -700 1. Proposal Feedback / Aims and Objectives 2. Literature Review 3. Methods Chapter 4. Findings & Discussion 5. Final meeting Monitoring of Student Progress It is required that supervisors keep a formal record of contact with students by completing a Project pro forma for this purpose. A copy of this form must be included in the final submission.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Plan a research project relevant to your programme context that outlines an appropriate research methodology and design to meet the specified aim and objectives of the project.2. Demonstrate an in-depth and critical understanding of academic literature, theories and concepts relevant to the research project. 3. Demonstrate that data has been collected in a strucutred manner, following appropriate procedures relating to research design and ethics. 4. Critically analyse, interpret and appraise the data collected to answer the research question (s).5. Develop conclusions that address the aim and objectives of the research project and provide recommendations that inform future research and/or practice.6. Sustain appropriate academic standards of writing and presentation that communicate, clearly and comprehensively, the research undertaken.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Students will be introduced to research methods and theories in a number of ways. Before commencing the module students will attend a workshop on developing research projects. During weeks 1-7 students will be expected to attend seminars and Master Classes. Weekly seminars will be based around the requirements of individual programmes to provide context and further breadth/depth as required in relation to research methods. Students will be required to present a poster early in the module, using the academic template provided, outlining their initial idea for the research project which will provide the opportunity for formative feedback from their peers and tutors. The poster presentation will also form the basis of supervisor allocation. Subsequent to this students will be required to submit a proposal (1000-1500 words), drawing on their poster and feedback, and outlining a project plan. The Masters Research Project should be viewed as an independent piece of work with academic supervision. Further support will be provided throughout the process via a series of 7 seminar and writing skills workshops developed and delivered in conjunction with the Learning Development Centre (LCD) (see syllabus). The Project Subject Co-ordinators will assign individual students to a supervisor who has relevant knowledge of the student's subject area. Students will have regular one-to-one tuturials with their designated Supervisor to support them in producing the project. It is anticipated that students will meet with their supervisors five times during the module (as detailed in the syllabus). The University's virtual learning environment, GCULearn, will be used to complement and support the face to face and independent learning elements of the module, enhancing student engagement and enriching the learning experience. GCULearn will host digital resources and key readings such as journal articles, digital book chapters, online lectures, web links and embedded video clips. It will also provide online access to relevant academic support materials such as GCU's Harvard Reference Guide and Academic Journal Guide. Embedded online tutorials on information and digital literacy skills (GCU's SMILE and SMIRK) will also enhance student learning.

Indicative Reading

Core Reading Bryman, A. and Bell, E., 2015. Business research methods. Oxford University Press, USA. Bell, J., 2014. Doing Your Research Project: A guide for frst-tme researchers. McGraw-Hill Educaton, UK. It is anticipated that students will determine subject specifc sources (approved by the Project supervisor) for their projects and proposals. Additional Reading Collis, J. and Hussey, R., 2013. Business research: A practcal guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students. Palgrave Macmillan, UK. Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Jackson, P.R., 2012. Management research. Sage, UK. Fisher, C., 2010. Researching and writng a dissertaton: an essental guide for business students. Pearson Educaton, UK. Jesson, J., Matheson, L. and Lacey, F.M., 2011. Doing your literature review: Traditonal and systematc techniques. Sage, UK. Leedy, P. and Ormrod, J., 2010. Practcal Research planning and design 9th editon Boston: Pearson Educaton Internatonal, UK. Mathews, B. and Ross, L., 2010. Research methods: A practcal guide for the social sciences: Pearson Educaton Limited, UK. Phelps, R., Fisher, K. and Ellis, A., 2007. Organizing and managing your research: a practcal guide for postgraduates. Sage, UK. Poter, S. ed., 2006. Doing postgraduate research. Sage, UK. Quinton, S. and Smallbone, T., 2006. Postgraduate research in business: a critcal guide. Sage, UK. Remenyi, D., 2012. Case study research. Academic Publishing Internatonal, UK. Remenyi, D., 2012. Writng up your research: the quick guide series (No. 808.02 R383w).: Academic Publishing Internatonal, UK. Saunders, M.L. and Thornhill, P., A.(2009). Research Methods for Business Students, Financial Times, UK. Wisker, G., 2007. The postgraduate research handbook: Succeed with your MA, MPhil, EdD and PhD. Palgrave Macmillan, UK.

Transferrable Skills

Students studying the module should further develop the following: Interpersonal talents Analytical and critical thought Creative thought Cognitive and intellectual talents Data analysis and synthesis Problem solving Independent learning and self management Time management Ethical conduct Reflective learning

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (FT) 200.00
Lectures (FT) 14.00
Seminars (FT) 14.00
Practicals (FT) 14.00
Independent Learning (FT) 353.00
Tutorials (FT) 5.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Dissertation Project n/a 80.00 45% Dissertation Project 12000 words
Proposal n/a 20.00 45% Proposal 1000-1500 words