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20 working days after deadline (L4, 5 and 7)
15 working days after deadline (L6)
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Unit title & code
BSS045-3 Specialist Project (Dissertation)
Assignment number and title
Assignment 2 Final Report
Weighting of assignment
Size or length of assessment
8,000 words (+/- 10%)
Unit learning outcomes
1. Demonstrate understanding of the research process in the context of your chosen business-related specialist project
2. To develop, plan and implement a valid and academically reliable research-based project
What am I required to do in this assignment?
You are required to produce an individual dissertation based on your own research. This must be a fully referenced, researched and academically valid and reliable (Specialist Project) dissertation (8,000 words).
The dissertation must develop the ideas from your proposal based on your further research, supervisor feedback and discussions. You cannot resubmit previously submitted work.
Detailed guidance on each section will be given week by week in class. The work must be your own and you must use the general structure to each section detailed within the Masterclass teaching.
Layout of the final Report (the dissertation)
The word count of the final report should be 8,000 words (+/- 10%). The layout of most projects should follow a standard structure:
• University header page (BREO template provided)
• Your name
• The date
• The name of the course
• The name of the department and University
• Any statements of confidentiality (page ii).
• Abstract (max 250 words) Not included in word count
• The stated aims and objectives
• What it looked at (the business problems)
• How it looked at it (research methods, concepts, models)
• What was found
• The limitations of the research
• What conclusions can be drawn, and recommendations made.
• List of Contents
• List of Figures and/or Tables (if applicable)
• Introduction (Max 1,000 words)
• The detailed aims and objectives
• Identification of the business problem
• What the report intends to achieve
• The conceptual/theoretical framework to be used
• Any definition of terms (if no Glossary)
• The general methodology to be used in the investigation
• Background history, if necessary
• Literature Review (Max 2,000 words)
• Methodology (Max 1,800 words)
• Findings/Analysis/Discussion (Max 2,000 words)
• Conclusions (Max 500 words)
• Reflection (Max 700 words) Please note this should be reflective not descriptive
Your reflection must be based on the process of your report development; what you have learned, your ability to relate theory to practice. How your skills have developed, your ability to relate the dissertation learning to your future career path.
• References (and Bibliography if appropriate)
What do I need to do to pass? (Threshold Expectations from UIF)
Submit your work through BREO by the deadline required
• To have received ethics committee approval
• Demonstrate sufficient understanding of the process of carrying out a research project by completing all the chapters of the dissertation
• Demonstrate appropriate understanding of your chosen project evidenced by literature review, data analysis and discussion
• Demonstrate the ability to develop, plan and implement an academically valid and reliable project by designing a robust research methodology and then carrying out and reporting on the research
• Evidence critical reasoning using Harvard style of referencing
Note (1): All students must have submitted, and had approved, an ethics form before they can start research. Research carried out / submitted without ethics approval will not be marked.
Note (2): Turnitin will be used for all submissions to check for plagiarism. We also reserve the right to initiate a viva voce examination if we have concerns regarding the originality of your submission. You need to be available for a viva if called following the submission of your work. Non-attendance counts as non-submission.
Note (3): all raw data must be included in your appendix
How do I produce high quality work that merits a good grade?
We will be filling this section in together in class on week 4: make sure you have downloaded/printed out the Assignment Brief and bring it to the session with you.
How does this assignment relate to what we are doing in scheduled sessions?
The unit is based on independent study, requiring you to be responsible for the management and direction of the research, project supervisors are assigned to oversee and guide you through the process. The proposed topic is agreed by yourself and respective supervisors and should relate to a specific Business Management issue as well as being of interest to you.
The supervisor-supervisee relationship is managed by you, and you are provided with the opportunity for 4-hour individual contact with your supervisor over the dissertation process. You drive the project with the supervisor acting as a support mechanism.
A one-hour master class is provided via the local tutor that addresses issues that are relevant to all students. Broadly topics covered may include:
? Identifying topics
? Literature Review
? Academic Writing
? Research Design
? Qualitative data analysis
? Quantitative Data Analysis
How will my assignment be marked?
Your assignment will be marked according to the threshold expectations and the criteria on the following page.
You can use them to evaluate your own work and consider your grade before you submit.
3rd Class – 40-49%
Lower 2nd – 50-59%
Upper 2nd – 60-69%
1st Class – 70%+
Depth of Research; Establishing the context
20% • Ethics approval granted
• The dissertation has all the required components as listed in the assignment brief.
• Ethics approval granted
• The dissertation has all the required components as listed in the assignment brief. In particular, the context is well-established, and the aim and objectives are mainly focused and critical • Ethics approval granted
• The dissertation has all the required components as listed in the assignment brief. There is a good context clearly explained with well-focused and critical aim / objectives which are used to support the project • Ethics approval granted
• The dissertation has all the required components as listed in the assignment brief and the context is developed to excellent standard that is in-depth and thorough. The aim and objectives are focused, critical and used as a project framework throughout project
Literature review and the full dissertation research process
• Sufficient understanding of the process of carrying out a research project is demonstrated by clearly completing all the chapters of the dissertation.
• A sound understanding of the process of carrying out a research project is demonstrated by clearly completing all the chapters of the dissertation. There is sound evidence of research and an appropriate use of empirical and academic (not third party) journals. The research is relevant to the aims / objectives and current and there is a sound attempt at data analysis. The discussion clearly looks to answer project objectives. • A good level of understanding of the process of carrying out a research project is demonstrated by clearly completing all the chapters of the dissertation. There is evidence of good research which is relevant to aim and objectives; it defines the topic well and accurately. The research makes good use of academic and empirical sources and there are clear attempts to critically review the literature in relation to the topic. There is good data analysis and clear links between data, research and LR. There is a good discussion that critically looks to answer the objectives in relation to data research and LR
• An excellent understanding of the process of carrying out a research project is demonstrated by clearly completing all the chapters of the dissertation. The research is well-articulated and critical and is focused on critically reviewing existing knowledge specifically in relation to the project topic. There is excellent data analysis and explicit and focused links between objectives, data and LR. The discussion is excellent, focused and critical and explicitly answers the objectives in relation to data research and LR
Methodology, findings, data analysis, conclusions. Have they met the original aim/objectives
30% • Ethics approval granted
• Some evidence of research design but methodology has significant flaws
• Clear evidence of individual research
• The data generated has interest but may be ad hoc or be irrelevant in places;
• The conclusions are weakly substantiated
• Ethics approval granted
• An attempt to a coherent research design with relevant methods
• Data generated is of reasonable quality and has reasonable validity and/or reliability
• Discussion links findings to LR
• Partially relevant conclusions are presented that are supported through evidence.
• Ethics approval granted
• Good, sensible research design and a logical choice of methods.
• Issues of reliability/validity well addressed.
• The data is useful, valid and reliable
• The discussion links results to LR and there is evidence of relevant methodological limitations / further research
• Conclusions meet objectives of dissertation • Ethics approval granted
• The research design is well—developed, insightful and thorough
• Data provided is valuable and insightful.
• The discussion links insightfully the results to the LR
• The discussion links results to LR and there is excellent understanding of relevant methodological limitations / further research
• Conclusions are original and answer well the objectives providing new insights
Harvard referencing, language, Reflection and Critical Thinking
• There is clear evidence of critical reasoning using Harvard style of referencing.
• Sources are largely appropriate (not internet sources) and there are clear attempts to format references correctly.
• There is a clear attempt to demonstrate learning from the research process through the use of the reflection. Clear linking of the dissertation process to your future career • There is clear, consistent and sound evidence of critical reasoning using Harvard style of referencing. Sources are of an appropriate quality, with clear evidence of engagement with the literature. Ideas are expressed in own words and accurately referenced.
• There is a soundly demonstrated understanding of the iterative nature of research through the use of the reflection. A sound effort to relate the learning to real life and your future professional career. • The evidence of critical reasoning using Harvard style of referencing is good and there is clearly a good understanding of the use of references to support the development and discussion of ideas and explore existing knowledge. The format and language are good.
• There is good reliable evidence of learning from mistakes and understanding the iterative nature of research through the use of the reflection. The Reflection connects theory and practice and the ability to link learning to own career.
• The evidence of critical reasoning using Harvard style of referencing is excellent with minimal mistakes. Excellent quality and appropriate references are used throughout and there is an excellent, well-designed format with a similarly high standard in the use of English language to critically explore ideas.
• The ability to learn and understanding the iterative process of research demonstrated to an excellent standard with strong application of theory to practice, and the ability to relate the dissertation to the professional career.