Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2014-2015 (archived)


Department: Business School (Business)


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 90 Availability Not available in 2014/15 Module Cap
Tied to N1A060
Tied to N1A260


  • Practising Business Research; Macro Perspectives on Business; Applied Behaviour Analysis OR Microperspectives on Business; Business Research: Functions and Disciplines; Business Research Methods; Rigour and Relevance in Business Research.


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To advance student skills, appropriate to the level of the module, in analysis and writing relevant to their field of study by facilitating the completion of a comprehensive research proposal on an approved subject that:
  • is based on extensive critical analysis of key bodies of literature and some use of primary source material;
  • shows awareness of the practical implications of the critical analysis;
  • shows awareness of interdisciplinary approaches to the subject;
  • preferably, though not necessarily, develops an interdisciplinary approach to some aspect of business and management that could potentially serve as a platform upon which to build a subsequent doctoral-level research proposal.


  • The research topic will have been chosen by the student in consultation with his/her appointed supervisors, and should be one that is suitable for research at doctoral level.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A detailed understanding, based upon primary research and secondary reading, of a defined topic in business and management studies;
  • An understanding of interdisciplinary methodologies relevant to the chosen topic of the research proposal being developed.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • ability to design and complete a research project that engages in original research into some aspect of business and management studies;
  • ability to analyse primary and secondary source material;
  • ability to use such material to construct and present a coherent and scholarly argument for a programme of research;
  • ability to engage with ethical dimensions of research design.
Key Skills:
  • Written Communication;
  • Planning and Organising;
  • Problem Solving and Analysis;
  • Using Initiative;
  • Self-discipline, time management and the ability to work autonomously;
  • Ability to present conclusions and recommendations in a clear, concise and orderly way.

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

  • The learning outcomes will be met through the production of an individual 15,000-word research proposal (to include a detailed examination of the literature in the field). This is the culmination of a series of regular meetings which students will have had with their supervisory team to provide support throughout the taught phase of the programme.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Regular supervisory meetings Approx 36 hours in total across the taught phase of the programme 36
Reading, analysis, and preparation of research proposal 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:

Feedback on progress in supervisory meetings

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