Module purpose


The aim of this module is support students’ progression in business education; to develop core academic competencies and strategies and to develop independent learning. It will also equip you with the skills to be able to plan and conduct the study as well as the research.

The first part of the module will allow for personal development of core academic competencies and graduate attributes such as accessing and evaluating a range of information sources and will serve as a bespoke resource for independent learner development throughout the students’ programme of study.

The second part of the module will allow you to develop research skills leading to the production of a Masters level dissertation. It includes the principles of research design and of how methods of data collection and analysis relate to the design of a research investigation. Students will be encouraged to practice the design of research projects and the subsequent reporting of results.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module you should be able to:

1. Access and evaluate a range of information sources and scholarly material, and demonstrate competence in presenting information for assessment

1. Critically reflect on own core academic competencies and strategies to enhance own learning and study practice.

1. Identify and critically evaluate the previous literature in a field of study.

1. Plan a research project and justify different methodological approaches to research.

Indicative Module Content

First Semester – Study Skills

Introduction to university study; Finding, evaluating and referencing sources for assignments; Features and conventions of journal articles; Introduction to critical analysis; Writing for assessment; Learning from feedback; Self-reflection.

Second Semester – Research Skills

The nature and purpose of research; designing research aims and objectives; literature reviews; epistemology and ontology; ethical considerations; research strategies and methodologies; data collection, analysis and interpretation; validity, reliability and generalisability.

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Learning will be delivered through lectures and seminars where a range of learning tools will be utilised. Emphasis will be placed on developing academic skills appropriate for postgraduate study so that students can utilise these skills throughout the duration of their postgraduate programme of study.

These skills involve learning how to research, evaluate sources, reference appropriately, write for assessment, work in groups, present information, reflect on their own experiences; assess their competences and performances and set appropriate and challenging development objectives.

Learning Support Material

First Semester – Study Skills

Payne, E. and Whittaker, L. (2006), Developing Essential Study Skills. 2nd ed. Financial Times Prentice Hall

Supplementary texts:

Bailey, S. (2015), Academic Writing: A Handbook for International Students. 4th ed. Abingdon: Routledge

Bolton, G. and Delderfield, R. (2018), Reflective Practice: Writing and Professional Development. 5th ed. London: Sage

Burgmeier, A. and Boyd Zimmerman, C. (2012), Inside reading: the academic word list in context. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press

Cameron S. (2016), The MBA handbook: academic and professional skills for mastering management. 8th ed. Harlow: Pearson

Cottrell, S. (2017), Critical Thinking Skills: Developing Effective Analysis, Argument and Reflection. 3rd ed. London: Palgrave

Ford, N. (2012), The Essential Guide to Using the Web for Research. London: Sage

Godfrey, J. (2013), How to Use Your Reading in Your Essays. London: Palgrave Macmillan

Moon, J. A. (2004), A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and Practice. Abingdon: Routledge Falmer

Murray, N. (2008) Writing up your university assignments and research projects : a practical handbook. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Open University Press

Pears, R. and Shields G.J. (2016), Cite Them Right: The Essential Referencing Guide. 10thed. London: Palgrave

Swatridge, C. (2014), The Oxford Guide to effective argument and critical thinking. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Wallace, M. (2016), Critical reading and writing for postgraduates. 3rd ed. London: Sage.


Becker, L. M. (2015), Writing successful reports and dissertations. London: Sage

Wentz, E. (2014), How to Design, Write, and Present a Successful Dissertation. London: Sage

Websites – dictionary and thesaurus to help with definitions and understanding of vocabulary – most commonly used academic phrases for academic writing – information on critical thinking (what is it and how to do it) – information on all aspects of using English for academic purposes in higher education


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