Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)

Module COMP41760: Business Analytics Project

Department: Computer Science

COMP41760: Business Analytics Project

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Not available in 2018/19 Module Cap None.
Tied to G5K709


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide students with the opportunity to conduct an in-depth investigation at an advanced level of an issue which is applicable and relevant to business analytics. The positioning at the end of the programme is intended to promote integration of material covered in the other modules.
  • The business analytics research project should be underpinned by business analytics approach, methods and techniques covered in the other modules.
  • The business analytics research project should normally involve data collection and data analysis, but students could also choose to write a conceptual piece that draws upon academic literature or employ or improve an analytical model.


  • Students can choose to pursue a business analytics research project in two ways, either by working with a host organisation, or an issue-led investigation which is not focused on just one organisation but instead examines a specific business analytics issue.
  • The topic (which is formally approved by the Programme Directors on behalf of the Chair of the Board of Examiners) should be one that is suitable for in-depth investigation.
  • Projects of this nature will be based in a wide variety of organisations, including: profit-seeking companies in both manufacturing and the service sector; nationalised industries; public agencies and local authorities; non-profit seeking organisations; global multinationals; and owner-managed small firms.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • have a critical appreciation of how a business analytics research project is conducted;
  • have a critical appreciation of ethical issues in business analytics research;
  • be able to critically analyse a specific issue or area of business analytics in depth and to explore its significance in practice.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students should:
  • be able to conduct advanced literature searches to identify important literature and research questions in business analytics;
  • be able to know and use business analytics research methods;
  • be able to write an evaluative review of the relevant literature;
  • be able to conduct a Masters-level research project from beginning to end. This involves the following: identifying an interesting and practical research question at an appropriate advanced level; choosing a method for answering the question; conducting the research, including managing all aspects of the research project; interpreting the results; being able to identify and manage any ethical issues that might arise;
  • be able to critically apply knowledge and different forms of reasoning to form a discriminating analysis of issues currently being experienced in specific organisational and business contexts;
  • be able to produce a substantial piece of written work demonstrating critical analysis of a specific issue.
Key Skills:
  • Effective written communication
  • Planning, organising and time management
  • Problem solving and analysis
  • Using initiative
  • Making effective use of communication and information technology
  • Skills of self-organisation and motivation in managing time and activities in working to a deadline
  • Data visualisation

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

  • This module will be delivered jointly by the Department of Computer Science and the Business School
  • Learning outcomes are met through classroom-based workshops, supported by online resources. The workshops consist of a combination of taught input, computer practical sessions, groupwork, case studies and discussion. Online resources provide preparatory material for the workshops – typically consisting of directed reading and video content.
  • Additionally, students have individual meetings with their appointed supervisor, up to 8 but normally 5-6. These meetings enable the supervisor to monitor the student progress towards the achievement of the learning outcomes.
  • Students will receive formative feedback on a draft of one chapter of the project.
  • The summative assessment includes a 2500-word Research Proposal (20%), the purpose of which is to assist students in preparing for the Business Analytics Project (80%). This is a 15,000-word document that tests students’ acquisition of relevant subject-specific knowledge and skills and their ability to apply these, and appropriate key skills, in the context of a Masters-level research project.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops (a combination of taught input, group work, case studies and discussion) timetabled in blocks 6 Over a 3 day teaching block 4 hours 24
Individual supervision sessions Normally 5-6 4
Research, preparation, reading and writing up 572
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Business Analytics Project Component Weighting: 80%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Business Analytics Project 15000 words maximum 100%
Component: Research Proposal Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research Proposal 2500 words (maximum) 100%

Formative Assessment:

Students will receive formative feedback on a draft of one chapter of the business analytics project.

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