Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 5 Credits 90 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.
Tied to M.A. Research Methods (Economics)
Tied to N1A060


  • Practising Business Research; Macro Perspectives on Business; Micro Perspectives on Business; Business Research: Functions and Disciplines; Business Research Methods; Rigour and Relevance in Business Research.


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To prepare students to produce a thesis at Doctoral level, expanding and enhancing their research and writing skills. This module takes place after six taught modules and before students progress to the thesis stage of the DBA.


  • By this stage in the programme, students are well on their way to writing a concise and clear research proposal that forms the basis of the transfer to the thesis stage. This module id therfore sdesigned to help students bring together previous work and lay the basis for the doctoral itself.
  • The module centres primarily around the thesis, with particular emphasis on planning, structure and content. The module then proceeds to examine writing for publication and the challenges faced in communicated research outputs to both academic and practitioner audiences. Finally, the module concludes by discussing the examination of work at doctoral level, with input from senior members of faculty with considerable experience as both internal and external examiners.
  • Throughout the module, students also receive training in presentation skills (oral. written) and are continually chanllenged within a supportive and collegiate environment on the conceptual and empirical framneworks underpinning their own research projects.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should have: a detailed knowledge of a specific area within business and management, based on a wide-ranging, critical study of the relevant literature;
  • the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the disciline;
  • a critical appreciation of the nature and significance of intellectual property rights in relation to scientific research, publication and exploitation;
  • gained familiarity with the doctoral assessment process and the role of the external examiner;
  • further enhancement their acquisition of the advanced skills needed to plan, implement, report, and manage a comprehensive programme of research during the thesis stage of the DBA, including: the ability to work autonomously and to take responsibility for their own learning; a detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry; the ability to decide on appropriate methods of enquiry for the investigation of particular issues within their specialist area; the ability to undertake independent investigation within a defined area and to communicate their ideas and conclusions in a clear, concise and orderly way; the ability to confront ethical issues with due respect.
Subject-specific Skills:
    Key Skills:

      Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

      • The learning outcomes will be met through a combination of lectures; individual supervision; guided reading; literature search; and the formulation and writing of an individual 15,000-word researcg proposal at doctoral level (to include a detailed examination of the literature in the field) which forms the summative assessment of the module.

      Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

      Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
      Lectures 24 hours in total 24
      Other: individual supervision 12 hours in total 12
      Preparation and Reading 864
      Total 900

      Summative Assessment

      Component: Written Research Proposal Component Weighting: 100%
      Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
      written research proposal 15,000 words max. 100%

      Formative Assessment:

      Presentation of a draft Graduate Discussion Paper.

      Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University