module specification

MN7P95 - Business Research Project (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
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
392.5 hours Guided independent study
7.5 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 90%   Business Research Report (8-9,000 words)
Coursework 10%   Research summary (equivalent to 1,000 words)
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Not applicable -
Summer studies North Not applicable -

Module summary

This module is the essential integrative and concluding module for the MBA course and involves all MBA and MBA pathway students.  It seeks to bring general and specialist areas of the course together and enable students to undertake a research project which investigates an organisational or a sector issue with the aim of making ethical and socially responsible recommendations for the future of the organisation or sector. The module also enables students to communicate the aims, process, findings and recommendations of the research in accessible and engaging formats suitable for diverse audiences.

The full report of the research project will be between 8,000-9,000 words in length.  In addition students will produce a summary of the aims, process, findings and recommendations of the research suitable for communicating with a business audience (1,000 words equivalency). This will be in a medium of the student’s own choice, and could be, for example, an article, a website, a video, a poster or a brochure. Each student will have completed a research proposal prior to commencing the module which should form the basis of the research project.  The project will be agreed by the module leader and the student will then be assigned a supervisor.

Module aims

This module builds on the module Management Learning and Research, where students will have identified a suitable topic for research and produced a research proposal. Students are expected to demonstrate understanding the significance of an organisational or sector issue, awareness of the importance of rigorous investigative techniques, standards of data collection and analysis in business decision making through undertaking independent research. They will  produce a postgraduate research-based report and a summary of the research suitable for a business audience.

  1. To undertake, with the necessary supervision, an independent  research project based on an agreed proposal into an organisational or sector issue with the aim of making ethical and socially responsible recommendations for the future of the organisation or sector 
  2. To foster a critical awareness and deep interest in a business topic and to combine knowledge and analyses acquired in core MBA modules to explore that topic fully
  3. To enable students to communicate the purpose, method, findings and recommendations of the research in an accessible, engaging and  professional manner both as a report and in summary form


Students will undertake a rigorous research project into a defined business issue and  report on it to a professional and postgraduate standard.

Learning and teaching

Students will be provided with a supervisor to support them through the process of undertaking and reporting on a piece of defined independent research.

The final full report will include a reflective statement of personal learning and the contribution made to the student’s professional development

Digital literacy development

The learning,  teaching and assessment strategy for this module will enable students to develop their capabilities in digital literacy and information handling appropriate to professional/master’s level study as outlined in the Open University Digital and Information Literacy Framework (DILF: available to view at  )

Learning outcomes

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

  1. Undertake and report on independent and evidence informed research under supervision
  2. Communicate complex ideas and analyses in their area of research to a professional standard   for diverse audiences
  3. Analyse and evaluate aspects of a business issue in a defined context
  4. Make ethical and socially responsible recommendations appropriate to the future of an organisation or sector


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. Students are also advised to refer to reading lists for individual modules including Management Learning and Research  to support their particular research topic.

Suggested research texts.

Bryman, A (2012). Social Research Methods. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bryman,  A. and Bell, E. (2015). Business Research Methods. 4th edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Collis, J. and Hussey, R. (2009). Business Research: a practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students.  3rd edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Cottrell, S. (2005). Critical Thinking Skills. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Cottrell, S. (2014). Dissertations and Project Reports: a step by step guide. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Davies, M and Hughes, N. (2014). Doing a Successful Research Project. 2nd edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan
Gill, J. and Johnson, P (2009). Research methods for managers.  London; Sage
Kuiper. S (2009). Contemporary Business Report Writing. South Western Mason Ohio
Markham. C (2007). Practical Management Consultancy. Surrey:   CCH
Newton R (2010). The Management Consultant; Mastering the Art of Consultancy. Harlow England; Financial Times/Prentice Hall
Quinlan, C. Babin, B. Carr, J. Griffin, M. and Zikmund, W.G. (2015). Business Research Methods. Andover: Cengage Learning.  (available as an e-resource through the library
Saunders M, Lewis P and Thornhill, A  (2012). Research Methods for Business Students. FT/ Prentice Hall
Van Der Velde M et al (2004). Guide to Research Methods. Oxford:  Blackwell .
Wilkinson, E. and  Weitkamp, (2016). Creative Research Communication: theory and practice. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Wisker, G. (2008). The Postgraduate Research Handbook. 2nd edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

In addition to the recommended texts it is expected that students will consult the appropriate journals in their own specialist area. These provide examples of the ways different research designs have been applied in empirical research. Examples of these journals are Action Research; Organizational Research Methods; Qualitative Research; International Journal of Management Research and so on

Suggested online resources

Chartered Association of Business Schools (2015). Ethics Guide 2015: advice and guidance. Available at