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Assignment Briefs 05-17-2024

Demonstrate an understanding of the academic theory relevant to the project (COI)

Module Title: Applied Business Project

Module Code: SG6015

Level 6

Term 2

Academic Year 2023/24

SG6015 Applied Business Project

ASSESSMENT INFORMATION

Learning Outcomes Evidenced by this project:

Knowledge

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the academic theory relevant to the project (COI)
  2. Appreciate the complexity and relevance of ethical issues when researching and managing a project (IC)

Thinking skills

  1. Evaluate findings, draw appropriate conclusions from analysis of the data and make recommendations and/or develop solutions for problems identified (IC)

Subject-based practical skills

  1. Develop professional employability skills to meet the needs of the project and career aspirations (EE)
  2. Reflect on skills developed in undertaking a report which may include commercial awareness, problem-solving and analytical skills, planning and organization skills meeting deadlines,  research and information literacy skills, use of IT and academic writing skills (IC/COI/DP)
  3. Frame a project topic that takes due account of student’s resources, capabilities and interests.(COI)
  4. Identify, evaluate and discuss the limitations of research methods and other barriers to completion of a satisfactory project. (IC/COI)

Skills for life and work (general skills)

  1. Demonstrate the capacity to collect, analyses and interpret a range of data. (DP/COI)
  2. Communicate in a clear and structured manner. (DP/COI)

Submission procedure:

The submission of the applied project will be 100% electronic.

Return of feedback and marked work:          

Feedback on electronic assessments will be provided on Turnitin directly to the student. Students can also make an appointment with the Module Leader or Tutor (or during dedicated Student Hours) to receive oral feedback on their submission.

Assessment Introduction

Part 1: Research Individual Report (weighting 80%)

Students are required to conduct an independent research project under the supervision of an academic member of staff. The project should be 4000 words and counts for 20 credits. The nature of the research should be applied rather than theoretical. To achieve this, students must evaluate the literature on their chosen topic, formulate a valid (applied) research question and objectives, design an appropriate research methodology, collect relevant primary and/or secondary data, analyse the findings, and develop conclusions and recommendations based on their analysis.

You do not need to submit a formal proposal for the dissertation module, but you should have some indication of the project that you are seeking to undertake, you will be allocated a project supervisor from Week 4 (W/C February 19th, 2024) onwards.

All research projects involving primary research using human participants in the Royal Docks School of Business and Law must first seek approval from our School Research Ethics Committee. When students have been allocated a supervisor, they will work with their supervisor to develop their research ethics application and submit it for consideration. All research ethics applications will be submitted via the SG6015 Moodle site, the deadline for ethical approval will be Wednesday, March 13th, 2024 at 16.00.

Students who fail the applied project at the first attempt must re-submit their work during the re-sit period for a capped mark of 40% (students should inquire as to when their re-submission is due with their supervisor to confirm what the next available opportunity is). Students who fail the project on the first attempt are entitled to only one remedial hour with their supervisor to discuss the reason for their failure, they are not entitled to another full set of supervision. 

Details of the task

The report should be structured as follows:

Title

The title of your applied business project is important. Students can choose a provisional title for their proposal and use a working title for their applied business project as they conduct their research. The title should as much as possible encapsulate the topic and approach taken to the research. The students are advised to obtain their supervisor’s approval of your chosen research topic.

Abstract 

The Abstract is typically 200 words long and is not included in the 4000-word count for the applied business project. It should provide the reader with an overview of the focus of the research project, the theory incorporated into the project, the methodological approach and data collection, key findings, conclusions, and recommendations of the project. The abstract should not contain academic references and is intended to provide a short summary for the reader of the work. Students should invest time into this section, as it is often the very first paragraph an examiner will read.

Table of Contents

A Table of Contents is essential for the applied business project and is used by examiners to navigate the various sections of the project.  A Table of Contents can be quite simply added using Microsoft Word®, and students should familiarise themselves with how to use this function. The Table of Contents is not included in the overall word count for the research project.

Introduction

The Introduction section should be 250-words in length approximately. It sets the scene for the entire project and introduces the topic. Here, the student will set out the main reasons why their chosen topic is worth researching as well as your research questions (eg: “To critically evaluate…”, “To investigate…”, “To determine…” etc.) and objectives that should be relevant to the research question and phrased in appropriate Level 6 language.  Also, the problem identification needs to be justified and supported with relevant literature.  In this chapter, students should also introduce the structure of the applied project and provide readers with an overview of the contents of each section.

Critical Literature Review

The Critical Literature Review is approximately 1,000 words. It involves critically evaluating academic research on the chosen topic to understand key perspectives, debates, and gaps in the literature. Students should read widely, then synthesise sources under relevant themes. "Critical evaluation" means engaging intellectually with different viewpoints from experts to determine the current state of knowledge. There may be different opinions or unexplored aspects to analyse. The goal is to assess the academic conversation in order to formulate a research question that can contribute new insights. Students should analyse the existing literature to identify gaps and opportunities for further research. This review establishes the academic foundation for the project by positioning it within existing knowledge and areas needing further investigation.

Research Methodology

The Research Methodology should be 200-words in length approximately. In this section the student should re-state the research question and objectives for the benefit of the reader, having completed the literature review the focus of the research project should be made clear. Students should explain the research methods used and provide rationale and justification for the research design of the study. They should explain how they have collected their data, and the sampling strategy they adopted for the work. Students should also explain how they have conducted their analysis and interpretation of the data they have generated during the inquiry, and the ways they have ensured the trustworthiness, reliability and validity of their data and analysis.

In this chapter, students should also discuss the limitations of their research, and any challenges they may have encountered in the research process (access to interviewees, survey response rates, etc.). Students can use a single methodology (EG: Questionnaires/Depth Interviews) or use multiple data collection approaches as part of either a case study or mixed methods study. Primary and/or secondary data collection approaches are acceptable for the project. The nature of the topic and the methodology must also be considered in how much data the student will collect, and consultation with the supervisor is vital prior to the data collection phase of the project. Students collecting secondary data as part of a case study or other secondary data project should agree an appropriate level of data collection with their supervisors.

Data Analysis

The Data Analysis chapter should be 1,500-words in length approximately. This chapter accounts for 35% of the marks and is a vitally important chapter for the applied research project. In this section, the student must analyse the data collected and identify key patterns from the analysis. Students should read their data with their research question and objectives in mind and ensure that the analysis adequately helps to address the overall aims of the research project. In this chapter, students should also compare and contrast their findings with previous studies for consistency and evaluate the significance of their findings. It is also useful if students formulate a clear thesis (argument) from their analysis of the data collected in this section.

Conclusion

The Conclusion should be 250-words in length approximately. In this section, students should reflect upon their research question and objectives, and the answers they have developed from the findings of their research project. Crucially, students must show how they have addressed the research question and objectives they originally formulated for the research project.

Recommendations

The Recommendations should be 300-words in length approximately. It should consider what recommendations would be made on the basis of the findings of the study and the answer to the research question/objectives posed. Students should make recommendations for management practice, wider society (if applicable) and importantly for future research projects, which may be particularly helpful for students undertaking research projects in future cohorts. Students should also critically reflect upon their findings and consider their implications.

Bibliography and Appendices

The bibliography of sources should include all sources cited in your research project as well as all sources which helped to formulate the approach to the topic, this is not included in the overall word count. All references should be cited using “Cite Them Right” (See:

https://www.citethemrightonline.com), and the project should all conform to this referencing standard. All references cited in the Bibliography must be in alphabetical order. Students can also include an Appendices which should include a sample of the questionnaire used, interview guides, sample interview transcripts (a minimum of three), or any other secondary documentation referred to in the project.

Part 2: Reflective Essay (weighting 20%)

(Word Count: 500 words)

The final 500-word reflective essay involves self-assessing the skills you have developed through this project and during your overall learning journey at UEL. With the tight word limit, you will need to focus the reflection narrowly to provide sufficient depth without wasting words. The essay should be organised as one cohesive narrative without any headings apart from a title. As a self-directed exercise, aim to critically reflect on your personal growth, highlight transferable skills gained from conducting the research project, and identify how this experience has prepared you for graduate employment and future goals. The key is to demonstrate insightful reflection within the constraints of the word count.

Introduction: (100 words)

Use this section to briefly outline your process of conducting the research project. Avoid focusing too heavily on your role as a student. Rather than explaining the concept of reflection, spend words delving into your reflective insights from the project experience.

Main body: (300 words)

Do not repeat information given in the introduction. Keep a focus on answering the question: What skills you have developed during your study at UEL and this research project that will prepare you for your future employment?

Conclusion and recommendations: (100 words).

Your conclusion should briefly summarise the purpose of the essay and then explain how the developed skills will enhance their future career opportunities.

The marking scheme for the SG6015 Applied Business Research is as follows:

Component

Weighting

Introduction

Identification of a valid topic, research question and objectives framed to an appropriate standard with academic rationale developed, clear industry contextualisation of the research topic

 

10%

Critical Literature Review

Depth and breadth of literature search, engagement with seminal authors and papers, evidence of a critical approach toward the scholarly literature

 

20%

Research Methodology

Evaluation of research philosophies and perspectives. Justification of methodological approach, sampling strategy, data analysis and reliability and validity measures as applicable

10%

Data Analysis and Interpretation

Evidence of rigor in data analysis and interpretation procedures, identification of key patterns and themes in the research data, integration of academic theory into explanation of findings

25%

Conclusions and Recommendations

Research question and objectives addressed with implications to theoretical and managerial concepts considered. Recommendations provided for theory, practice, and future research

 

10%

Organisation, presentation, and references.

Well-structured and ordered project with correct use of grammar and syntax. In-text citation and bibliography conforming to “Cite Them Right” 

 

5%

Reflective Practice and Learning Application

Well-structured self-assessment of the skills you have developed throughout this project, as well as during your overall learning journey at UEL.

 

 

20%

Examples of Good Practice

We have examples of previous applied research projects at undergraduate level available in the library catalogue, you can find these by searching “Business Dissertation” in the library catalogue.

We have developed a database of postgraduate examples of good practice from each academic subject group at the Royal Docks School of Business and Law which is being added to each year. These are available through the library and our institutional open access repository service (ROAR). We currently have examples of previous dissertations in International Business Management, Marketing, Human Resource Management, Finance, Economics and Risk available through this repository for students to browse, read and download. Further examples of recent dissertations will be added in February 2024, and the database will continue to be expanded. While these are postgraduate submissions, they can give you some insight into the types of projects that students have previously attempted at this level.

https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/86qw7

Project Instructions

Structure

You have been asked to produce a Business Applied Project. It should contain the following:

  • Title Page, including the given title in full.
  • Word count; excluding abstract, appendices and reference list
  • Abstract (No more than 200-words and not included in the overall word count)
  • Contents Page
  • Introduction (250-words)
  • Literature Review (1,000-words)
  • Research Methodology (200-words)
  • Data Analysis (1,500-words)
  • Conclusion (250-words)
  • Recommendations (300-words)
  • Reflective Report – (500-words)
  • Appendices, which should be numbered.
  • Make sure you refer your reader to them as required.

Presentation

Your work should be word processed in accordance with the following:

  • Font style, Lucida Sans, font size 12
  • 1.5 line spacing
  • The page orientation should be ‘portrait’
  • Margins on both sides of the page should be no less than 2.5 cm
  • Pages must be numbered
  • Your name should not appear on the script
  • Your student number must be included on every page

Skills Advice

Refer to your material provided in your skills modules to make sure that you have conformed to academic conventions. Pay particular attention to:

  • Your introduction
  • Your conclusion
  • The use of headings and/or signpost words
  • Paragraph structure

Do refer to Info skills at: https://libguides.uel.ac.uk/home

Referencing

The university expects students to use Harvard referencing system as specified in the book Cite them Right.

  • Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2022) Cite them right: The essential referencing guide. London: Bloomsbury.
  • Refer to https://libguides.uel.ac.uk/citethemright for further advice and a link to an online version of Cite them Right
  • You should be careful to include citations within your work as well as a reference list at the end.

Word Count

Your word count should not include your abstract, contents, reference list or appendices. You should provide your word count at the end of your report.  Exceeding the word count by more than 10% will result in a penalty of 10% of your marks for your work. If your work is significantly shorter, then you will probably have failed to provide the level of detail required.

Submission

Students should download the appropriate front sheet for “SG6015 – Applied Business Project” on Moodle and upload their assessment through Turnitin. The material that you submit to Turnitin will be marked.  The deadline applies so you are advised not to submit after 16.00, because it could take some time for your submission to upload, and the delay could cause the work to be received after 15.59 (UK GMT).  A late submission will be subject to penalties.

Please be aware that the Turnitin site will advise you that late submissions are accepted. This is only for the purposes of allowing students who are claiming extenuation to submit their work.

Please read the material in the submission folder and make sure that you attach the feedback sheet as requested and save the document using the format for the name of the document as specified.

Assessment criteria

This assessment is weighted at 100% of the overall grade for SG6015 – Applied Business Project. The marking scheme has seven key criteria which are explained overleaf.

Academic Viva

While a viva voce (which means in Latin “with living voice”) is not an academic requirement of taught undergraduate modules in United Kingdom Higher Education, the Royal Docks School of Business and Law, University of East London reserves the right to hold an oral examination with any student should the supervisor deem this necessary.

REASSESSMENT ARRANGEMENTS

If you fail the assessment (i.e., received a mark between 0% and 39%) you have a chance to re-submit an improved version of your work for a capped module pass mark of 40%. If you did not submit for assessment, you also have a chance to submit your work for a capped module pass mark of 40%. Reassessment will take place in June 2024 (date to be confirmed).

LATE SUBMISSIONS

You should aim to submit all coursework by the deadline set.  Meeting deadlines is an essential employability skill, and an expectation for your course. 

UEL does permit students to submit coursework up to 24 hours after the deadline.  Work submitted within 24 hours of the deadline will be subject to a fixed penalty of 5% of the total marks available (as opposed to marks obtained). 

Please note that if you submit both before the deadline and during the 24-hour late period, then the second submission will be marked and 5% deducted.

This rule only applies to coursework.  It does not apply to examinations, presentations, performances, practical assessments or viva voce examinations.  If you miss these for a genuine reason, then you will need to apply for extenuating circumstances, or accept that you will receive a zero mark.

Extenuating Circumstances are circumstances which:

  • impair your examination performance or prevent you from attending examinations or other types of assessment, or
  • prevent you from submitting coursework or other assessed work by the scheduled deadline date, or within 24 hours of the deadline date.

Such circumstances rarely occur and would normally be:

  • unforeseeable - in that you could have no prior knowledge of the event concerned, and
  • unpreventable - in that you could do nothing reasonably in your power to prevent such an event, and
  • expected to have a serious impact on performance.

You can make an application for extenuating circumstances by following this link.

RETURN OF WORK AND FEEDBACK

Formal results are ONLY available in UEL Direct, and will be published within 8 working days of the Board, where results are formally confirmed. Any other results are provisional/indicative but not approved.

You will receive feedback throughout your course through the following:

X

one-to-one or individualised (i.e. tutorials, conversations with supervisors, or individualised comments on assignments)

X

generic feedback (i.e. use of rubrics, ‘Quickmarks’ in Turnitin or standardised forms)

 

peer feedback (i.e. feedback from other students)

X

informal feedback (i.e. through in-class discussions or online forums)

 

self-evaluation (i.e. online checklists or reflective submissions)

X

Other: Feedback on draft work (i.e. work-in-progress NOT full or final draft). Draft/formative work for feedback should be received no later than two weeks before the deadline for submission.

 

 

Feedback and students’ marks should be provided within 15 working days of the due date for summative work (i.e. work that counts towards the final course grade) and formative work (i.e. work that is developmental and designed to help you improve).

Whilst feedback will be given on draft/formative work, it shouldn’t be assumed that every aspect will be identified.

ONLINE SYSTEM FAILURES

If you experience a problem submitting your work online, you should notify your lecturer/tutor by email immediately.

Deadlines are not extended unless there are significant systems problems.  If UEL finds that the issue with the system was significant, you will receive an email notifying you of the issue and that you have been given a 24 hour extension. If you don’t receive any email that specifically states you have been given an extension, then the original deadline has not been changed.

Best advice: Don’t wait until the last minute to submit your assessments electronically. 

SG6015 –Applied Business Project

 

Comments

Max Mark

Actual Mark

Introduction

Identification of a valid topic, research question and objectives framed to an appropriate standard with academic rationale developed, clear industry contextualisation of the research topic.

 

 

10%

 

Critical Literature Review

Depth and breadth of literature search, engagement with seminal authors and papers, evidence of a critical approach toward the scholarly literature

 

 

20%

 

Research Methodology

Evaluation of research philosophies and perspectives. Justification of methodological approach, sampling strategy, data analysis and reliability and validity measures as applicable

 

 

10%

 

Data Analysis and Interpretation

Evidence of rigor in data analysis and interpretation procedures, identification of key patterns and themes in the research data, integration of academic theory into explanation of findings

 

25%

 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Research question and objectives addressed with implications to theoretical and managerial concepts considered. Recommendations provided for theory, practice, and future research.

 

 

10%

 

Organisation, presentation, and references.

Well-structured and ordered dissertation with correct use of grammar and syntax. In-text citation and bibliography conforming to “Cite Them Right” 

 

 

5%

 

Reflective Practice and Learning Application

Well-structured self-assessment of the skills you have developed throughout this project, as well as during your overall learning journey at UEL.

 

 

20%

 

Total

 

 

100%

      

General Comments:

Agreed Mark:

Overview of SG6015 Applied Business Project

The SG6015 Applied Business Project is a pivotal component in many advanced business programs, serving as a capstone course that enables students to apply their accumulated knowledge and skills to real-world business challenges. This project is designed to provide a comprehensive learning experience that synthesizes various elements of the business curriculum. By engaging in this project, students are expected to transition from theoretical understanding to practical application, honing their ability to navigate and solve complex business problems.

A key objective of the SG6015 Applied Business Project is to foster practical application. Throughout their studies, students acquire a vast array of theoretical knowledge in areas such as marketing, finance, operations, and strategic management. The capstone project requires them to integrate and apply this knowledge in a real business context. This not only reinforces their learning but also demonstrates their readiness to tackle actual business issues. Problem-solving is another critical focus of the project. Students are typically tasked with identifying and addressing a significant business challenge. This process involves conducting thorough research, analyzing data, and developing viable solutions. By engaging in this rigorous problem-solving exercise, students enhance their analytical skills and learn to develop strategic recommendations that can have a tangible impact on business operations.

Research skills are also a major component of the SG6015 Applied Business Project. Students must conduct extensive primary and secondary research to gather relevant data and insights. This may involve market analysis, financial modeling, and stakeholder interviews, among other methods. The ability to conduct and utilize research effectively is crucial for making informed business decisions, and this project helps students refine these essential skills. Furthermore, the project often emphasizes collaboration and communication. Students typically work in teams, simulating the collaborative environment of the business world. They must effectively communicate their findings and recommendations through written reports and presentations. This aspect of the project helps students develop their teamwork and communication skills, which are vital for professional success.

The SG6015 Applied Business Project is an integral part of business education, providing a platform for students to apply their academic learning in practical settings. Through this project, students enhance their problem-solving, research, collaboration, and communication skills, preparing them for the complexities and demands of the business world

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