module specification

MN7084 - Research Methods for Global Business (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Research Methods for Global Business
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
155 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Research article critique
Oral Examination 10%   Proposal Presentation
Coursework 70%   Research Proposal (3000 words)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module enables the student to bring together different areas of the course, allowing the student to reflect on their learning across the course, to inform a focussed research project.

The student research project shall be based on global business issues. The research project will reflect the analytical and technical depth of the taught modules in the course.

Students will submit a research proposal (3000 words) that will focus on global business issues emerging from the MSc International Trade & Finance or MSc CSR & Sustainability course. Each student will agree a topic for the project/ dissertation with the module leader, who will then allocate the student a supervisor.

The module aims to introduce students to the different skills necessary for effective research and project writing, including research techniques and requisite standards of data collection and analysis.

The aims of the module are:
To provide students with the research and other practical skills necessary to undertake successful research and project writing on the subject of global business.
1. To formulate a coherent research proposal with appropriate aims and objectives and a realistic plan of execution.
2. To develop thorough analysis and synthesis of theory and practice in relation to the chosen topic.
3. To foster a critical awareness and deep interest in a global business issue and combine knowledge and analysis acquired in core modules to explore that topic fully.
4. To enable students to produce a research project and to provide an opportunity for critical self-reflection, studying and research skills and knowledge.


The research project will comprise a piece of original research, undertaken independently as part of the MSc International Trade & Finance or MSc CSR & Sustainability course.

• Introduction to the application of research techniques to trade, banking and finance or CSR & Sustainability issues in the context of the global economy. LO 1
• The research topic will be sufficiently focused to facilitate in-depth study.  A particular issue or problem relating to trade, banking and finance or CSR &Sustainability shall be identified as research question/s for investigation. LO 1, 2
• Secondary and primary data research methods will be analysed and evaluated.
• Secondary research: Literature searching, framing a literature search, database research and references and citations. LO 2
• Primary research: the difficulties in distinguishing quantity and quality. Natural and social science methods. Benefits and limitations of the distinctions. LO 3
• Research design: Quantification and the use of data and analytical methods in research.
• Interpreting and presenting statistical data, geographical and other bounded representations of data will be covered. LO 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will be delivered by a team that represents the range of core subject areas on the course. These involve a series of seminars and practical sessions given by researchers and practitioners from the Business School, and from possible relevant selected external organisations.

These sessions will help the students understand the relation between theory and practice and will enable them to reflect upon and develop the issues being researched in their research project. Students will also need to use some of the 'directed learning’ allocation of hours for individual preparation of research tasks.

Training sessions in SPSS [for quantitative data analysis] and Nvivo [qualitative data analysis] will be provided. Both of these software programmes are available to all students at no extra charge.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Devise a carefully considered research proposal.
2. Critique a number of research articles that will lead to a better understanding of research methodologies.
3. Critically examine and identify appropriate research methods to conduct a detailed investigation in the subject.
4. Critically evaluate complex ideas and analyses in their area of research through written exposition that will lead to collection of data for the dissertation.

Assessment strategy

Assessment will consist of students critiquing research articles [one quantitative and one qualitative], doing a formal presentation of their research ideas and finally writing a 3,000 word research proposal. The proposal will form the basis of a dissertation.

Final feedback consists of a completed pro forma that will be emailed to students addressing various aspects of their research proposal.


Core Texts:

Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2015) Business Research Methods, [3rd Edition], Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2015) Research Methods for Business Students. [6th Edition], Pearson Education.

Other Texts:

Creswell, J. (2014) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. Sage.

Denzin, N. and Lincoln, Y. (2017) The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Research. Sage.

Dowson, C. (2009) Introduction to Research Methods – a practical guide for anyone undertaking a research project. [4th Edition]. How to Books Ltd.

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Jackson, P. (2015) Management & Business Research. [5th Edition]. Sage.

Kumar, R. (2014) Research Methodology – a step by step guide for beginners. Sage.

Riley, M., Wood, R. C., Clark, M., Wilkie, E. and Szivas, E. (2000) Researching and Writing Dissertations in Business and Management. Cengage Learning EMEA.

Academic Journal Articles (accessible electronically)

Kinnear, P. and Gray, C. (2000) ‘SPSS for Windows Made Simple: Release 10: Also suitable for SPSS Release 11’ Psychology Press, Taylor and Francis Group. Updated online at

Marshall, G. and Brennan, P. (2008) ‘The process of undertaking a quantitative dissertation for a taught MSc: Personal insights gained from supporting and examining students in the UK and Ireland’ Radiography, Volume 14, Issue 1, February 2008, Pages 63-68.

Partridge, B. (2002) ‘Thesis and dissertation writing: an examination of published advice and actual practice ’English for Specific Purposes, Volume 21, Issue 2, 2002, Pages 125-143.

Yang, Z. (2006). ‘A review of research methodologies in international business’. International Business Review Volume 15, Issue 6, December 2006, Pages 601–617.

Other relevant resources:

Qualitative Research in Financial Markets

Electronic data sources such as Bloomberg and Bankscope

EViews 7 User’s Guide (1994–2009) Quantitative Micro Software, LLC, USA

NBS, Network for Business, available on line: and
Software such as SPSS and EViews 8.0 (February 2013)