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Assessment Brief 2020/2021 

A: Assessment Details

Module Title 

Preparing for Research Consultancy

Module Code 

BU7406 (2021/2 – MCA – JAN)

Module Leader 

Prof. Kelvin Leong

Component Number 

Assessment 1

Assessment Type, Word Count & Weighting 

Research Proposal; 3,000 words (+/- 10%); 100%

Submission Deadline 

24 Feb 2022

Submission Instructions 

Online Submission via Turnitin Link

Feedback Return Date 

31 Mar 2022

B: Learning Outcomes

1. Apply appropriate research methods to ‘real world’ problems and evaluate the choice of the methods  selected. 

2. Demonstrate critical reflection on the research process and implications for future study. 3. Select and justify an appropriate project for management research, including its context and significance  in management praxis. 

4. Demonstrate the application of knowledge and skills to plan a substantial research‐based project. 5. Assess and evaluate potential ethical and practical challenges to conducting a research-based project.


C: Assessment Task

Students are required to produce an individually-assessed research proposal which develops a strong  research scope, justification and methodology to the management research in action project (3,000 +/- 10%) [L0. 1-5] 

The proposal should include the following; 


Initial literature review  

Outlined methodology 

Proposed plan of work, via a Gantt Chart


D: Specific Criteria/Guidance

Please see Pg. 5-6 for full marking criteria.

Faculty of Business & Management  Assessment Brief 2020/2021 

Section 1 (25%) 

Introduction – critical commentary about the context about the research. This section should include: • Title of the proposed dissertation 

  • Background context 
  • Research question 
  • Research aim(s) and objectives of the study 
  • Research justification – why is this management research worth doing?  

Section 2 (30%) 

Initial literature review – This is not a list of article summaries but should be structured under themes  and headings. It serves a number of purposes, including: 

  • To chart what is already known about the topic: signalling that you have positioned your work in  a broad body of literature and are aware of the main works and ideas of relevance to your research To define the research problem that underpins your research question 
  • To illustrate some of the different theoretical and methodological approaches to your topic To help you develop a framework for your analysis 
  • To help you interpret your findings 

Section 3 (30%) 

Outlined methodology – Details of, and rationale for methodological paradigm & research design e.g.  how you will design questions, pilot etc. This section should include: 

  • Critical analysis and decision of research population & sampling method  • Evaluation of specific empirical research methods with rationale  
  • Alignment of the research topic / question 
  • Evaluation and consideration of methods of data analysis  
  • Critical assessment and consideration of research standards (e.g. validity, reliability &  generalizability / or equivalence of qualitative research standards)  

Section 4 (15%) 

Proposed plan of work, via a Gantt chart – Evidence of understanding of key deliverables. Identification of  specific tasks, timelines, and deliverables from each of the tasks (using Gantt chart).  

* Ethical Approval 

Ethics form needs to be completed when in the module BU7407. 

Obtaining ethical approval requires you to demonstrate that you have considered and assessed the  ethical risks associated with your project and have a plan in place to negate these or reduce them to an  acceptable level. 

You should use the template that is available on the module website. You should also consult the notes of  guidance for completing the form. 

  1. This form comprises an element of the marks awarded for this assignment.

Assessment Brief 2020/2021 

Guidance on how to go about preparing your proposal is included on the module website. You are also  encouraged to discuss both your completed proposal and your ethics form with your supervisor prior to  submission. 

The assessment criteria for this assignment is provided on the marking scheme / rubric below. Please be noted that the weightings does not equate to the word count.


E: Key Resources

Following are some of the key readings as a starting point. Wider readings around the subject will benefit  in depth analyses of the issues. 

1. Bryman, A. and E. Bell (Latest Ed) Business Research Methods, Oxford, Oxford University Press. 2. Bell, J. & Waters, S. (2018) Doing your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers (7th  Edition) Mc Graw Hill Education  

3. Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Jackson, R.P. (2015) Management Research. (5th Edition)  London, SAGE  

4. Fink, A. (2019). Conducting Research Literature Reviews: from the Internet to Paper. (5th ed.).  London, UK: Sage. 

5. Fisher, C. (2010). Researching & Writing a Dissertation: A Guidebook for Business Students (3rd  Edition) Harlow, UK: FT Prentice Hall  

6. Gill, J. & Johnson, P. (2014) Research Methods for Managers (4th Edition) London, UK: SAGE  7. Gray, D. E. (2016) Doing Research in the Business World, SAGE 

8. Hart, C. (2018). Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science Research Imagination. 2nd  Edition, London, UK: Sage. 

9. Hart, C. (2001) Doing a Literature Search: a Comprehensive Guide for the Social Sciences. London,  UK: SAGE.  

10. Jankowicz, A. D. (2005) Business Research Projects for Students (4th Edition) Andover, UK:  Thomson Learning  

11. Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2019) Research Methods for Business Students (8th  Edition) Pearson


F: Submission Guidance

You must submit assessments in Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint or PDF format. The file must be no larger than 40MB. 

Your writing is expected to conform to Standard English in terms of spelling, syntax and grammar. You must include your Assessment Number (J Number) in the header or footer.

Assessment Brief 2020/2021 

Include your word count at the end of the assignment or the front cover. 

Set up your page for A4 paper in portrait style. 

The font size must be a minimum of point 12 Calibri (or equivalent) for the body of the assessment and  footnotes must be 2 points smaller. 

Line spacing in the body of the assessment must be 1.5 lines. 

Number the pages consecutively. 

Students should submit work before 12 noon on the deadline date electronically via Moodle. Please follow  the ‘Turnitin submission’ link on the module space and follow the on-screen instructions, paying particular  attention to any specific instructions for each assignment.  

You must submit your work with the following details written on the first page: 

Title of your work 

Module title and code 

Module Leader and Seminar Tutor (if relevant) 

Number of words 

Your student assessment number (J Number) 

Student work that does not have this information on will not be identifiable after marking has taken place  and risks being recorded as a non-submission.


G: Academic Integrity and Penalties

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are familiar with all of the information contained in this brief as failure to  do this may impact on your achievement. 

Please refer to the various Assessment Guidance below for detailed information on: 

Academic Integrity  

APA Reference Guide 

Excess Word Count Penalties 

Mitigating Circumstances 


Late Work Penalties


H: Rubrics and Criteria 

Please see below



Module Title: 

Preparing For Research Consultancy 

Level: 7


Assessment Title: 

Research Proposal 

Weighted: 75% – 3,000 words

Criteria and  



Highly Exceptional  Work

80 – 90% 



70 – 79% 

Excellent Work

60 – 69% 

Very Good  

Quality Work

50 – 59%  

Good Quality  


40 – 49% 

Acceptable work  with some good  aspects

20 – 39% 

Work does not  





Work fails to meet  the assessment  criteria

Identify the macro  and micro  


contexts for the  dissertation and  the objectives of  the research (25%)

The organizational  context and current  issues identified are  exceptionally  

justified and  

insightful. Factual  data are well used  to iterate the  

business scenario  that leads to  


framed and original  research objectives.

The organizational  context and  

current issues  

identified are  


grounded. Factual  data are well used  to iterate the  

business scenario  that leads to  


framed and  

original research  question, aims  

and objectives.



context and  

current issues  


unambiguously  identified,  

scoped and  


leading to  

strongly framed  research  


The organizational  context and  

current issues are  clearly identified  and scoped,  

leading to the  

identification of  

appropriate and  clearly expressed  research question,  aims and  


The organizational  context and  

current issues are  sufficiently  

identified and  

expressed, but  

lacks clarity in  

some areas,  

leading to an  

adequate but  

somewhat loose  identification of  

research question,  aims and  


The organizational  context and current  issues are partially  

identified, leading to  a question, aims  

and objectives that  are potentially  

viable but may be  somewhat  

inappropriate or  


The organizational  context and current  issues are not  

identified leading to  no clear research  question, aims or  objectives.

The organizational  context and current  issues are not 

identified at all and  there is no clear  

research question,  aims or objectives.

Critically review  and synthesize the  relevant literature  on the subject  

area in order to  

conceptualise the  project (30%)


application and  

critique of concepts  with evidence of  

breadth and depth  of literature  

reviewed and  

integrated, pointing  toward a strong  

literature base for  the dissertation  



application and  

critique of  

concepts with  

evidence of  

breadth and depth  of literature  

reviewed and  


pointing toward a  strong literature  base for the  



An extensive  

range of  

literature is  


Good analysis  and integration  of concepts,  

models and  

theories with  


critical content.

There is an  

adequate range of  literature  


Analysis and  

integration of  

concepts, models  and theories have  an adequate  

critical focus.

There is a  

sufficient range of  literature  

considered, and  some attempt at  analysis and  

integration, but  

lacking in critical  focus towards a  clear conceptual  framework to  

underpin the  


There is sufficient  focus and range of  literature  

considered. There  is a weak attempt of  analysis or  

integration of  

concepts, models  and theories that  might lead to  

placing the study in  a clear area of  


There is an  

insufficient focus  

and range of  


considered. There  is no analysis or  

attempt of the  

integration of  

concepts, models  and theories that  

might lead to  

placing the study in  a clear area of  


There is no range or  focus of literature  considered, with a  complete lack of  

integration of  

concepts, models  and theories that  might lead to  

placing the study in  a clear area of  


Critical evaluation  of the  

appropriateness of  the methods  


and breadth/depth  of reading (30%)

as 90-100% & 

Exceptional , well referenced research  both in breadth &  depth.

as 80-90% & 

Outstanding well referenced  

research both in  breadth & depth.

as 60-69 & 

Extensive, well referenced  

research both in  breadth & depth.

There is a range  in breadth or  

depth of well 






and fully  

compliant with  



There is a good  range of reading,  beyond core and  basic texts and  


reasonably wide  reference to  

current research.  Sources are  



according to  



There is a range of  reading, beyond  

core and basic texts  and including some  reference to current  

research. Sources  appropriately  


according to  



The range of  

reading is limited to  core and basic  

texts. Sources are not always explicitly  or accurately  



resourcing and/or  sources  



Evaluation of the  challenges faced  in data collection  and analysis, with  

due regard to  

ethical and  



including resource  assessment (15%) 

as 90-100% & 

Exceptional use and  evaluation of  

possibilities and  

limitations of the  

methodologies used  by the student. 

Insightful and highly  reflexive  

understanding of a  range of ethical and  practical issues of  business research.

As 80-90% & 

Outstanding use  and evaluation of  possibilities and  limitations of the  methodologies  

used by the  


Insightful and  


understanding of  a range of ethical  and practical  

issues of business  research.

as 60-69 & 


use and  

evaluation of  

possibilities and  limitations of the  methodologies  used by the  



understanding of  a range of  

ethical and  

practical issues  of business  


Critical use and  interpretation of  methodologies  

and methods  

applicable to the  student’s own  



understanding of  a range of ethical  and practical  

considerations of  business  


Comprehensive  understanding of  how established  techniques of  

research and  

enquiry are used  to create and  


knowledge in the  discipline.  

Understanding of  some ethical and  practical  

implications of  


A practical  

understanding of  

how established  

techniques of  

research and  

enquiry are used to  create and interpret  knowledge in the  discipline.  

Acknowledgement  of some ethical and  practical challenges  of business  

research methods.

Some demonstrated  understanding of  

methodologies used  but these may have  been applied  

ineffectively. Limited  acknowledgement  of ethical and  

practical issues.

Very limited  

understanding of  


which are used  

inappropriately or  erroneously. Ethical  and practical issues  are poorly explored.