SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 45.00
ECTS Credit Points 22.50
Module Code MMN426599
Module Leader Daniel McGregor
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Finance and Accounting
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Summary of Content

This module will introduce students to research methods/methodology and apply that learning to a research problem. It will provide students with conceptual, analytical and practical tools required to critically evaluate accounting concepts and principles and their application in solutions to practical accounting problems. The module will require the application of qualitative and/or quantitative research strategies in the context of a single organisation or industry sector. The business research project requires that the student presents a written account of findings based on the collection and analysis of primary data, or the analysis of secondary data. Furthermore, students are expected to engage with relevant theoretical literature, methodological strategies and substantive knowledge relevant to their field of study.


The stages of the business research project; research design, data collection, data analysis and writing research report. Generating and clarifying a research question. The methods of planning a critical literature review - Qualitative and quantitative research strategies - Ethics in research - Validity, reliability and generalisability of research - Preparing a research proposal.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:1. Implement a research proposal in a systematic, organised manner.2. Engage with academic literature (theoretical, methodological and substantive) when undertaking, and writing up findings from an independent project.3. Deduce findings based on the analysis of data (primary and/or secondary) and/or systematic review of literature4. Present findings effectively in an accepted research format.5. Communicate how these research findings, relate to a wide body of academic knowledge.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The Business Research Project should be viewed as an independent piece of work with academic supervision. However, a 6-part seminar/workshop series will support students throughout the process (see syllabus). The Dissertation Co-ordinator will assign individual students to a supervisor who has relevant knowledge to the student's subject area. Students will then receive tutorial support on a one-to-one basis with their designated Supervisor. Students will have access to peer support throughout the module through electronic communication. In the trimester prior to commencing the Business Research Project, students will be encouraged to commence preparatory work. A prospective supervisor will be assigned at the earliest opportunity. This preparatory work could involve: developing a research proposal/plan; drafting a submission to the ethics approval committee; preparing for the field; and review literature to inform research questions and research design. There is no requirement for the student to undertake a programme of preparatory work in advance of the module; however, experience has shown that those students who are thoroughly prepared for the demands of a Business Research Project are invariably those who are most successful in executing the task. Thus, the Module Leader will maintain contact with students in the trimester prior to commencing the Business Research Project to encourage them to commence, and support them with, preparatory work. 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 first-time researchers, McGraw-Hill Educaton, UK. It is anticipated that students will determine subject specific sources (approved by the Project supervisor) for their projects and proposals. Additional Reading: Collis, J. and Hussey, R., 2013. Business research: A practical 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 writing a dissertation: an essential guide for business students, Pearson Education, UK. Jesson, J., Matheson, L. and Lacey, F.M., 2011. Doing your literature review: Traditional and systematic techniques, Sage, UK. Leedy, P. and Ormrod, J., 2010. Practical Research planning and design 9th edition Boston: Pearson Education International, UK. Mathews, B. and Ross, L., 2010. Research methods: A practical guide for the social sciences: Pearson Education Limited, UK. Phelps, R., Fisher, K. and Ellis, A., 2007. Organizing and managing your research: a practical 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 critical guide. Sage, UK. Remenyi, D., 2012. Case study research. Academic Publishing International, UK. Remenyi, D., 2012. Writing up your research: the quick guide series (No. 808.02 R383w), Academic Publishing International, 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

The Business Research Project provides an opportunity for students to manage time and data effectively, assume personal responsibility and exercise independent decision-making. More generally, as a postgraduate module, students will have gained competence in the following: Intellectual abilities and skills, i.e. those which are acquired through use of learning resources and immersion in research/study contexts. In particular, this will involve assessment of the merits of contrasting explanations, and critical interpretation of resources, but it will also involve the development of reasoned argument. Key skills, i.e. those acquired through HE level study. In particular, this will involve learning skills, but it will also involve numeracy, written skills, oral skills, observational skills, and skills in information management. Social skills, i.e. personal attributes that are fostered via advanced study in HE. In particular this will involve working independently, self-management, motivation, awareness of responsibilities, intellectual integrity, and adaptability.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Seminars (FT) 12.00
Lectures (FT) 6.00
Assessment (FT) 80.00
Independent Learning (FT) 352.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 02 n/a 75.00 45% Business Research Project 10,000 words
Course Work 01 n/a 25.00 45% Research Proposal 1,500 words