module specification

MC7P76 - Business Research Project (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Business Research Project
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 40
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 400
8 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
392 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Business Research Report (10,000 +10% words) excluding figures, table of contents, reference list and appendices)
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module is an integral component and distinguishing characteristic of the MA marketing course, where students will produce a postgraduateempirical research-based report. It builds on the module Marketing Research in Practice, where students will have identified a suitable topic for research and produced a research proposal. This module seeks to bring general and specialist areas of the course together and enable students to undertake a research on a contemporary topic in depth with the aim of making an effective and practical recommendations on the basis of the research carried out.The business research project experience encourages students to further develop their research, analytical and reporting skills. The work is the student's ownresponsibility from design to doing the research and analysis.

The business research project is a sizable piece of work (10,000 words+ 10%) excluding figures, table of contents, reference list and appendices, with a logical structure. Each student will have completed a research proposal prior to commencing the module which should form the basis of the research project. Each students will agree a topic for the project with the module leader, who will then allocate the student a supervisor.

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

The module aims and learning outcomes have been formulated in relation to these QAA benchmark statements.

The module aims are to:
• Enable students gain an in-depth knowledge of the marketing literature in the area chosen.
• Undertake high-quality empirical research on current and contemporary issue within their chosen organisation, sector or industry.
• Provide students with the opportunity to synthesise, integrate and develop their learning from core/pathway modules to explore their topic fully and further direct their research.
• Enable students to communicate in a report form the purpose, method, findings and recommendations of the research in an accessible, engaging and professional manner.
• Enable students adopt a scholarly approach to research, writing and problem solving.
• Create originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret marketing knowledge in a rapidly changing marketing environment.


Students will undertake a rigorous research project into a defined marketing/business issue and report on it to a professional and postgraduate standard.The university provides an academic supervisor for tutorial input to the business research project. Appreciating the dynamics of the student-supervisor relationship is essential to facilitate effective supervision. Supervisors are allocated before the beginning of the supervision period.  Course leaders seek to match up the interests of staff with the topics chosen by students. The research proposal is the basis on which these decisions are made.  The research proposal written by the student explains the problem under investigation and the research plan which is proposed for solving the problem.

Learning and teaching

The business research project supervisor provides each student with the necessary critical input to support the student through the research and writing process and to ensure completion. In preparing for and during student- supervisor meetings, students will need to reflect on what they have achieved and set future objectives. Reflection is proven to enhance skills and knowledge development. A written record of the purpose and outcome of each meeting should be signed and kept by both parties. A pro-forma for recording these meetings is included in the business research project Handbook. Students can reasonably expect to obtain eight hours of tutorial guidance from their supervisor. Additional support is provided through workshops at the beginning of the supervision process and WebLearn dedicated site. Students are responsible for managing their research project.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate command of a business research problem and knowledge of
research methods.
2. Write a supervised business research project in which they demonstrate their ability to work as independent learners, and act autonomously in planning and
            implementing tasks at a professional level.
3. Deal with complex subject-specific topic both systematically and creatively, make sound
judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions
            clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
4. Demonstrate a critical awareness of ethical issues in carrying out research and
            solving business/marketing problems.
5. Develop a critical awareness and deep interest in subject-specific area and
            combine knowledge and analysis acquired in core/pathway modules to critically
            explore their topic.
6. Develop a high level of academic writing and communication skills.
7. Demonstrate self-awareness and critical thinking in their choice of industry in whichto build their career.

Assessment strategy

Business research projects are assessed using a structured strategy implemented through a detailed marking sheets made available early on to students, with guidance on specific expectations regarding research project structure, where the marking sheet is also used by the first and second markers in assessing each business research project and providing detailed feedback.  Further information will be provided on the module handbook.

Constructive alignment of assessment strategy to learning outcomes and skill development
Assessment strategy Learning Outcomes Skill Development

Assessment strategy Learning Outcomes Skill Development
Business Research Project 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 Academic reading (P,A); researching (P,A); analysing data (P,A); application of knowledge (P,A); critical thinking and writing (P,A); problem solving and decision making (P,A);skills collation of relevant data and the synthesis of information to make meaningful analysis (P,A);referencing and numeric skills (P,A); digital literacy and IT skills (P,A); note making(P); critical judgement regarding the quality and validity of data and the analysis of information (P,A);taking calculated risks (I,P,A);completing tasks and projects (I,P,A); self-discipline (I,P).



Students will be provided with a comprehensive Business Research Project Handbook and are advised to consider a range of research texts, journal articles and websites, and identify those that best meet their particular requirements.

Suggested research texts

- Bryman, A (2016) Social Research Methods. 5th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2015) Business Research Methods. 4th edition. Oxford:
Oxford University Press. 
-Creswell, J.W. and Clark, V.P.(2011) Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research, 2nd Edition, SAGE.
- Collis, J. & Hussey, R. (2013) Business research: a practical guide for undergraduates and postgraduate students. 4th Edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Crotty, M. (1998) The Foundations of Social Research, SAGE.
- Cottrell, S. (2014). Dissertations and Project Reports: a step by step guide.
Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
-Denscombe, M. (2010) Ground rules for social research: guidelines for good practice.  2nd ed. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill, Open University Press.
-Fisher, C. (2010) Researching and Writing a Dissertation: An Essential Guide for Business Students, 3rd edition, Harlow, Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
-Hair, J.F., Black, Jr.W.C.,Babin, B.J. and Anderson, R.E. (2013) Multivariate Data Analysis: A Global Perspective, 7th Edition, Pearson Prentice Hall.
-Hart, C. (2005) Doing your masters dissertation: realizing your potential as a social scientist.  London: SAGE.
-Malhotra, N. K. (2010) Marketing Research: An Applied Orientation: Global, 6th Edition, Pearson Education.
-Morgan, D. L. (2014) Integrating Qualitative and Quantitative Methods, a pragmatic approach,SAGE.
-Ormston, R. et al. (2014) Qualitative research practice: a guide for social science students and researchers.  2nd ed. Los Angeles: SAGE
-Ridley, D. (2012) The Literature Review, a step-by-step guide for students,  London, Sage.
•Quinlan, Christina (2011). Business Research Methods, UK: Cengage Learning EMEA.
-Saunders M.N.K, Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2012) Research Methods for Business Students, 6th Edition, Pearson Education.
-Wallace, M. and Wray, A. (2011), Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduates, 2nd Edition, London, SAGE.
-Yin, R.(2013) Case study research: Design and methods, 5thEdition,  SAGE.

Academic Journals
Qualitative Research Methods: An International Journal (Emerald)
Journal of Marketing Research
Journal of Consumer Research
The International Journal of Market Research
Journal of Brand Management
Journal of Product and Brand Management
Journal of Marketing Management
European Journal of Marketing
Journal of Services Marketing
Journal of Consumer Marketing
International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management

Industry/ Country reports

Keynote, Mintel Marketing Intelligence, business insight, ESOMAR, GMID (Euromonitor)

Please note that during the semester, other books, articles and other resources would be recommended as need be.