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Module Code - Title:


Year Last Offered:


Hours Per Week:













Grading Type:


Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

The core aim of the module is to facilitate students deriving a defensible research position. That encompasses reviewing and critically evaluating academic literature in their chosen area, identifying research gaps/omissions, and possibly probing unprobed relationships between existing theories. It also encompasses explicit defense of this research position through presentation of a written report that declares the research position and explains its derivation from the literature. This module is linked to Module ID number: 2511 (Dissertation 2). It is M graded, pending the completion of that module.


Students will be required to progress research work, with the guidance of their supervisor, through a number of milestones through: 1. Identifying an appropriate area of research; 2. An iterative literature review towards a cohesive, critical summary of the area; 3. Derivation of a refined research question/position. 4. A report on this research question and its basis in the form of a 8,000-word technical report.

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

On completion of this module the students should be able to: 1. Locate, and interpret suitable academic archives and/or anciliary, trustworthy sources of information; 2. Aggregate the literature into a unified, cohesive summary of the start-of-the-art in a specific area; 3. Generate a reasonable research position/question, through an objective, critical review of that literature; 4. Express that research question clearly and concisely; 5. Construct a coherent argument for that position/question, based on the review performed; 6. Modify the research position/question adopted, in the light of comment/advice received.

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

On completion of this module the student should be able to: 1. Exhibit habits of good time-management; 2. Demonstrate a high level of self-motivation and drive; 3. Acknowledge the subtleties and inconsistencies across different articles; 3. Accept different perspectives with respect to their summary of the literature and their derived research question, to the degree that they can adapt their position or reasonably argue for their initial position; 4. Accommodate those different perspectives in their review.

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)


How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

This module is 1:1 with the student's supervisor, where guidance meetings are held on a regular basis. At these meeting the supervisor will guide the student's initial readings (Knowledge), but hand responsibility for a comprehensive review over to the student as the module progresses (Proactive). The student will be responsible for aggregating the literature into a comprehensive whole (Responsibility) and for deriving a research position from that whole (Creative). Finally the student will be asked to defend the review and position it, both verbally and in a textual report (Articulate). The process, as presented above, seems quite linear. But it is likely that many of these activities will involve iterative refinement, based on the meetings. Indeed, it is likely that later activities in the process may also result in revisiting earlier activities in the process.

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Prime Texts:

Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2016) Research Methods for Business Students , Pearson Education

Other Relevant Texts:

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:

Semester - Year to be First Offered:

Module Leader: