MBA project

Sunderland Business School

Master of Business Administration

PGBM161 MBA Project

Academic Year
2020 /21 (October 2020 cohort)

Module Leader
Dr. John Dixon-Dawson

St. Peters Campus, Reg Vardy Building, Room 103A
Tel: – 0191 515 3128

Email: – [email protected]

Welcome to the Module

Dear Student,
Welcome to PGBM163 – MBA Project. I hope that you will find this guide useful and that it answers many of the questions that may be in your mind.
This module acts as a capstone for your programme of study and enables you to critically examine a suitable topic of your choice by completing a research project into an organisation or industry sector with which you are familiar.
Before you begin your project, you will complete a series of critical skills/ personal competence and research methods workshops, all designed to help you to succeed with your research project. There are further details of these workshops later in this guide.
I hope you enjoy the module and take every opportunity to engage with the materials and activities on offer. It is important that you read both widely and deeply to develop your own personal competences as well as your research knowledge, skills and experience.
Good luck.
John

Teaching and Supervision Staff

Module Leader: Dr. John Dixon-Dawson
Email: [email protected]

Office: Reg Vardy Building Room 103A

Research Methods and Personal Competence Workshops: Ms. Iris Ren
Email: [email protected]

Project Supervisors:
Your Supervisor will support you through the project phase of your studies. The scheduled dates for meeting your Tutor should be mutually agreed between yourself and your Tutor. It is your responsibility to make and maintain contact with your Tutor. The Supervisor is there to support you not to do the work for you. Make use of their expertise in the subject area. They are a very experienced team and will support you in your studies.

Your Module

TITLE: MBA Project

CODE: PGBM161

CREDITS: 60

LEVEL: 7/MASTERS

FACULTY: BUSINESS, LAW AND TOURISM

MODULE BOARD: MARKETING, MANAGEMENT AND STRATEGY

PRE-REQUISITES: NONE

CO-REQUISITES: NONE

LEARNING HOURS: 600 hours, the exact nature of which is specified in the module guide

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Upon successful completion of this module, students will have demonstrated;

Knowledge

K1. An understanding of specific substantive problems or issues within an organisation or business sector placing them into a strategic context within the research investigation.
K2. A critical understanding of valid research questions via a review of the academic literature; a critical review of the activities and operations of the organisation/sector and the environment in which it operates.
K3. A clear understanding of different research methodologies and their limitations and be able to critically explain when one might be more appropriate than another in the context of the chosen research topic.
K4. That the project findings have been logically derived and that the conclusions/solutions and recommendations are fully supported by the evidence presented.
K5. That the recommendations for strategic change in the organisation/business sector investigated are capable of implementation
K6. How the personal and organisational learning that has taken place has affected the development of your skills and competences during the completion of your programme of study.

Skills

S1. The necessary skills to design and undertake appropriate qualitative and / or quantitative research as necessary to analyse your chosen organisation/business problem or task.
S2. How to interpret record and analyse data relating to the research topic.

CONTENT SYNOPSIS

Final Project
Utilising an applied business research approach, students will choose the format of the final project:
Business Dissertation
Applied Corporate Project
Route Specialism – Applied Corporate Project or Business Dissertation

The chosen project will include:
A clear abstract.
A clear account of the organisation/business sector being investigated.
A review of relevant academic literature and derivation of valid research questions both from the literature and the organisation/business sector issues.
A review of the methodological issues concerning the research question including critical evaluation of alternative research methodologies and their limitations.
A review of the research method adopted and data collection techniques including interviews, observations, and participant observation and their implications and limitations.
Interpretation and analysis of qualitative, and if appropriate quantitative data, using appropriate statistical and computational techniques.
A clear presentation of empirical findings and implications for the activities and operation of the organisation/business sector.

The workshops will reflect and develop the lecture content to enable a dissertation/project proposal to be developed during the initial phase of the module and working with the academic supervisor, the student will identify the key issues to be analysed within the main body of the dissertation or project. The proposal is a purely formative element to enable the student to begin the investigation phase. The supervision process will involve a series of one-to-one meetings during which the academic supervisor will:
· Aid the student with the strategic context in which the project is being set as well as determining the scope of the literature review to be undertaken by the student.
· Help the student to clarify the research methodologies that will be used by the student in gathering data/ intelligence for the project.
· Discuss with the student the findings arising in the project and help the student to reflect upon the conclusions and recommendations of the project.
· Review with the student any final issues before submission.

Developing Leading and Management Competence
Part of the formal teaching will include the delivery of practice-based workshops covering critical skills, research practice skills and employability, this will support the self-reflection element of the assessment to enable the student to demonstrate personal development and mastery of postgraduate skills.
The reflection will encompass an evidence-based approach to experiential learning opportunities embedded or available to students during the course of the programme. These can take the form of a study visit; company visits, guest speakers; interaction with professional bodies the MBA challenge events.
The overarching style will be critical self-reflection on the part of the student examining their personal development. This element will also show evidence of reflection on the personal and organisational learning as a result of undertaking the project and how that learning relates to the programme as a whole.

TEACHING AND LEARNING METHODS:

Scheduled activities

Independent study

Placement

Total hours

Hours

Detail

Hours

Detail

Hours

Detail

20

Research Methods Workshops

20

Developing Leading and Management Competence Workshops

551

Directed study

591

9

Supervision

9

Total

600

ASSESSMENT METHODS

Required For KIS return to HESA

Seq.

Element

% of module assessment weighting

Summary

Pass Mark

LO

Written exam – central timetable

(% of the element)

Written exam – local timetable

(% of the element)

Coursework

(% of the element)

Practical

(% of the element)

%

Type

%

Type

%

Type

%

Type

001

Project/Dissertation

100%

All

100

All

100

Assessment

Each Project is assessed internally by two members of staff. A sample of work is also sent to the Programme External Examiner.
Students will be required to submit one written report of approximately 12000 words (this is for guidance only). The main project will contain a literature review, methodology, data analysis and recommendations. The issue of how recommendations for change could be implemented given the studies undertaken and will be based on prior experience of the organisation or business sector which has been investigated. Within the recommendations an outline plan detailing the timescales, management interventions and resources that would need to be available to implement the recommendations will be included.

Note:

As part of the development of the dissertation/project, the student will be required to complete a research proposal which the academic supervisor will confirm as appropriate and provide feedback to enable the student to continue with the project. This element will be formative to support the student in preparation for the main phase of the research.

The critical self-reflection element of the final report, supported by evidence, will take the form of a critical reflection upon the development of skills and competences derived from the experience of undertaking the programme of study, the added value activities and the final project. This element of the assessment will be approximately 2,000 words (for guidance only).

My Module Resources List Link

https://moduleresources.sunderland.ac.uk/#/list/16695

Relevant journals will be consulted by the students depending upon the area of study and chosen topic.
The module will draw upon a range of printed and electronic sources suitable to reflect on the contemporary issues of the subject material. Some texts are regarded as key to understanding the development of the subject and may not therefore be the current edition of a particular text but the reading list will be reviewed annually to ensure its relevance and appropriateness.

PROGRAMMES USING THIS MODULE AS CORE/OPTION:

MBA (Core)
MBA (Finance) (Core)
MBA (Marketing) (Core)
MBA (HR Management) (Core)
MBA (Supply Chain Management) (Core)
MBA (Enterprise and Innovation) (Core)
MBA (Hospitality Management) (Core)
MBA (Cybersecurity) (Core)
MBA Final Stage (Core)

Is the programme delivered On Campus or off campus:
On and off campus

College(s)

Various Approved Colleges

Work based learning: Yes

Professional Accreditation: Yes

MODULE LEADER

Dr. John Dixon-Dawson, Reg Vardy Building, Room 103a, Tel: (0191) 515 3128
Email: [email protected]

LEAD DELIVERER

John Dixon-Dawson

JACS CODE: N100

Schedule of Learning

The module consists of two elements:

· Semester 1: Developing, Leading and Management Competence sessions
· Semester 2: Research Methods.

You are expected to not only engage with the full range of learning materials and attend the workshop sessions, but also undertake additional reading and independent study to widen your knowledge and understanding of the course material. You will be expected to demonstrate this in your final project.
Developing and leading management competence
Week 1 (wc 26th Oct.): Welcome and introduction to the module
Week 2 (wc 2nd Nov.): Global mindsets and skills
Week 3 (wc 9th Nov.): Discussing the concept of global mindsets
Week 4 (wc 16th Nov.): Professional Identity
Week 5 (wc 23rd Nov.): Presenting our professional selves: An alternative CV
Week 6 (wc 30th Nov.): Exploring professional identity in a business environment
Week 7 (wc 7th Dec.): Reflecting on your experience and evidencing knowledge, skills, and experience
Week 8 (wc 4th Jan.): Identifying your professional self
Week 9 (wc 11th Jan.): Pitching your professional self
Week 10 (wc 18th Jan.): Researching possible links between your professional practice and your project topic and looking ahead to semester 2.
Research Methods
The Semester 2 workshops will focus on the various elements of research methods. There will be 10×2 hour workshops to provide you with a sound understanding of the importance of the research process and its significance for the development of an effective project. The topics to be covered will consider the following although the exact allocation of time on a topic will be determined in the workshop outlines.
· Introduction to Business Research
Introducing you to the importance of business research in a changing business environment and helping you to identify the fundamentals of a valid research proposal.
· Literature Review and Identification of Research Objectives
Helping you to understand the importance of a robust and critical literature review in shaping your knowledge and approach towards identifying and addressing research questions.
· Qualitative Research Methods
Helping you to identify and evaluate the different stages involved within a qualitative research process i.e. project planning, sampling, data collection, data analysis etc. You should also be able to identify different qualitative research tools [projective techniques, brand mapping, word association etc.] available to a researcher to optimise research outcomes.
· Quantitative Research Methods
Helping you to identify and evaluate the different stages involved within a quantitative research process i.e. determining sample size, sampling and non-sampling error, data collection, data analysis etc. Aiding you also to identify different statistical methods [studies involving means, studies involving proportions] available to a researcher to optimise research outcomes.
· Analysing Data and Writing Recommendations
Helping you to consider the various ways of analysing primary and secondary empirical data that you collect as part of your research and analyse it by linking it with existing literature. Helping you to understand how recommendations for your dissertation can be derived from your analysis and findings.
Throughout the taught element of the module it is expected that all students will prepare and actively participate in the module. You are expected to attend all module workshops and engage with the weekly Canvas activities.

Assessment

You are required to submit (via Canvas) one written research project of approximately 12,000 words (for guidance only). The project will be a critical review of a topic of your choice (subject to the agreement of your Supervisor). Part of the report will be a critical self-reflection on the development of your skills and competences during your studies, the added value activities, and the final research project. It is essential that you fully engage with all aspects of the module and build an evidence base which you can draw upon when writing your project.

The submission date of the research project is September 2021 (date TBC).

You are required to submit your work through the module Canvas site. You must submit your report through the Turnitin process and include a copy of the Turnitin report with your submission. Your project should include a cover page detailing your full name (not informal names adopted in English), your course, student number, the project title and module number. Work should be presented in word processed form using Ariel font size 12 and 1.5 line spacing.

The last submission of the assignment prior to the submission date will be deemed to be the final submission for assessment purposes. All work submitted must adhere to the University Policy on ‘Cheating, Collusion and Plagiarism’.

Research Proposal

A research proposal which will outline the approach you are going to take in your research. Although the proposal is not an element of summative assessment by developing a proposal to discuss with your Supervisor you will be able to focus your thinking and obtain feedback on the approach you are considering. Students should complete their work in the format of the template attached and should ensure that this is completed in conjunction with the early meetings with the designated supervisory Tutor who will be asked to sign off before submission.
If for any reason your dissertation/project proposal must change during the course of the subsequent research period, then this proposal must be updated and agreed with your supervisor to reflect new objectives and new subject and strategic interventions. The proposal and feedback sheet should be submitted with the final submission to ensure that we can assess the new intentions of the dissertation appropriately.

The aim of the proposal is to ensure that you become clear at an early stage of the boundaries of your study such that you can work as effectively and efficiently as possible. The selection and focus of the dissertation can be one of the most difficult early decisions you make but it is important that you make this as soon as possible. It will allow you to focus on the literature and direct it toward the research objectives effectively. Your reading and research will be more precise and targeted. It will also allow you to think clearly about the desired and valuable business performance outcomes that can be derived from the dissertation. The philosophy of a MBA is to develop leaders who are able to propose improvement and change that can have a significant impact on an organisation or a business sector e.g. banking, manufacturing etc.

The research proposal will review your ability to achieve the following:

1. To identify a suitable strategic project for an organisation or sector and select a project that could if designed and implemented well be of strategic importance (not just operational) with a significant impact on results. For example, in reducing costs opening up new markets, introducing a new product or service, enhancing skills capability and knowledge, improving quality and or service, redesigning internal business operations etc. This is not an exhaustive list.
2. To define and locate the main academic ideas, theories and business practices evolving from these ideas in a critical literature review. This should cover the main subject area (e.g. service quality) and thereafter briefly review the main ideas: the main ideas and business practices and key areas of possible contention where there are alternative issues either in the nature of the idea or methods of implementation etc. This review should aim to locate some of the primary sources / authors you believe it necessary to review. This will not at this stage be exhaustive as your study is at an early stage in its development.
3. From this you will be required to specify the objectives of the dissertation as clearly as possible. These should be presented as outcomes to be achieved for the dissertation in terms of what business improvement or change the dissertation seeks to implement. The reason and rationale in terms of the sector/ organisation need to be covered under 1 above. You should avoid hypotheses and statements that reflect ‘what’ you are going to do in terms of say investigation or information review. These are not objectives.
4. Finally, you will be asked to identify some appropriate ways that you could investigate:
· The subject you have selected to ensure that the objectives are met and that information is collected from both primary and secondary sources to ensure that the study can be completed in appropriate depth to achieve masters learning outcomes. These methods should aim to reflect the real methods that can be introduced rather than the theory.
· Any limitations to data collection can be stated but the methods should reflect the realities of such things as sample size and availability, validity of the methods against the objectives, reliability of data and a blend of primary and secondary sources. As with point 2 above at this stage this aspect will not be complete and you can update and comment in more depth in the final submission of the full project.

Project Structure (for guidance)

The format of your project may well vary dependent on the topic of your research and discussions with your Supervisor will be extremely helpful in this aspect of the decision-making process. It is likely that your report will be made up of several key sections.

Executive summary
Statement of originality and authenticity (see section 13 of this handbook)
Title page
Contents
Lists of figures and tables
Chapter 1: Introduction and context of the study
Chapter 2: Literature review
Chapter 3: Methodology
Chapter 4: Presentation of research findings
Chapter 5: Discussion of findings
Chapter 6: Conclusion and recommendations
Chapter 7: Reflections on developing your personal competence
Reference list
Appendix (to include evidence to support reflections)

For further guidance;
There should be an Executive Summary (approximately 200 words) at the beginning which should review what has been covered and the main outcome proposed.

Chapter 1, Introduction, and context of the study. This should cover a strategic overview developing and enhancing the first section of the proposal covering the rationale for the project and its importance to an organisation or business sector. This may be expressed in terms of sustaining competitive position or improving that position. This section might usefully consider the subject from the threats, opportunities, and business contextual factors. It should avoid too broad a scope. This might discuss improvement to internal business processes: customer care, service quality, improvement in skills and or organisation of resources etc. It might include better service delivery, marketing strategies or identification of new markets and or products or services to the external business environment. These are illustrative only. (Approximately 500 words)

Chapter 2, Literature Review The work will include a robust and critical literature review. The main purpose is to establish the important areas of research and enquiry such that the project objectives can be achieved. It serves an important purpose in expanding the body of knowledge that we have with which to understand current performance and as a secondary base to build better informed practices for the future. It should review both the academic literature and the empirical practices that organisations operate. Your ability to shape the ideas and practices is one of the key skills. It is not just a question of presenting other authors ideas without comment. The better marks are to be achieved whereby you identify areas of difference and consensus and from these works draw a strong conclusion as to what is important in managing the particular area under review. The outcome is likely to have not much more than 4-6 key ideas and principles in the conclusions and will be framed around the question ‘what makes this a successful strategic business practice- and how can it be managed effectively in practice’. These will be the areas you will further examine in your research. This needs to be written in logical and coherent chapters that flow together. It should be clear as to what is being covered and it should avoid extending into too many areas otherwise critical depth is lost. The number of primary sources will vary. We expect a good range of relevant and contemporary sources but the treatment of them is more important than shear number. (Approximately 2000 words).

Chapter 3 Methodology The project must include a critical review of both primary and secondary research methods that are possible but more importantly those deployed in the project from the perspective of such things as selecting valid and reliable sources of information against the objectives. Discussion of sample sizes and drawing reliable conclusions). It should address specific tools used (interviews, questionnaires, case studies etc.) and the various strengths of these and how they can be best designed and used for the designated project. (Approximately 2000 words)

Chapter 4 Presentation of Research findings There must be a strong section which presents and discusses the research findings from both primary and secondary sources but emphasising new material collected specifically for the project. This section is important as this is the area where you engage with new and original material that you have collected and the skills deployed here are definitive in terms of the scope final assessment grade together with the recommendations. Data must be presented systematically and structured clearly around tables – if appropriate- or in terms of outcomes against the areas identified from the literature and linked back to project objectives. (Approximately 2000 words)

Chapter 5 Discussion of Findings Having presented the data descriptively you will be expected to interrogate the findings by asking questions of your information such as: what is significant here, where is there key agreements between participants /sources what are the main areas of disagreement, how does this information reflect the outcomes (confirm or deny) from the literature review etc. What does this say about important ideas to shape policy /strategy and its implementation. (Approximately 2000 words)

Chapter 6 Conclusion and Recommendations You will need a conclusion which draws together the findings from your research and the literature review and start to feedback and comment on the possibilities that now arise in terms of meeting the objectives. It should shape the agenda and start to define what it is you now think can be done. It should summarise main points and decide what stance you are taking with respect to the practice /policies under review. It should flow naturally from the earlier work. This section should not introduce new ideas or new debates even if you have discovered new information! If this is the case earlier chapters need reworking. (Approximately 1000 words)

Recommendations should follow the conclusions. At this stage you move away from a research stance and adopt a leadership stance. Here you will advocate a possible direction for the organisation or sector. It can be specific as to future strategy and policy or it might offer an alternative view and scenario depending on particular future contexts. It should be carefully presented in management terms. Imagine you are presenting to a body of interested organisational managers with different levels of commitment to what you are proposing! It should clearly state what issue / opportunity is being addressed and the impact desired. It should state what should be done and it should say something on the implementation around; resources, barriers, risk, timescales, and organisation of the changes. It should not overly direct to further work or decisions otherwise the project is likely to be overly ‘contextual ‘and general and not solution driven. Again, no new ideas should be introduced here and it should be clear how the recommendations can be derived from the foregoing work. (Approximately 500 words)

Chapter 7 Reflections on developing your personal competence. This chapter provides the opportunity for you to reflect on your programme experience and the learning which has impacted on the development of your professional identity. Drawing on evidence you have collated throughout the module you are to write a reflective commentary which addresses the following: what were your initial motivations for undertaking a MBA and what were the central components of your professional identity during semester 1? What did you learn about yourself as a developing business professional and how that learning will shape your future professional self? (Approximately 2000 words)

The dissertation/project should be approximately 12000 words. However, the exact make-up of the sections may vary. It is unlikely you will be able to meet the learning outcomes in terms of depth and range of analysis in a study of less than 12000 words.

The remainder of the dissertation/project should comprise your research proposal (final) and the reference list and appendices which evidence content in the main body of your report. Appendices should be carefully selected. They should be referenced in the main body of the study and should clearly relate to and provide further important reference for the reader. They should not be included if they have no central bearing on the study or simply a catalogue of all organisational information you can find.

Please treat all word guides flexibly as different projects will emphasise different priorities and weightings so these are indicative.

The following section give you some suggested reading. The module will draw upon a range of printed and electronic sources suitable to reflect on the contemporary issues of the subject material. Some texts are regarded as key to understanding the development of the subject and may not therefore be the current edition of a particular text but the reading list will be reviewed annually to ensure its relevance and appropriateness

Suggested Reading
The following is an indicative reading list for the module which can also be accessed through the MyModuleReseources link in Canvas.
Bassot, B. (2016) The Reflective Journal. London: Palgrave.
Bolton, G. (2018) Reflective practice: writing and professional development. 5th edition. London: SAGE.
Bell, E., Bryman, A. & Harley, B. (2019) Business Research Methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bradbury, H., Kilminster, S, Zukas, M. & Frost, N. (2010) Beyond Reflective Practice: new approaches to professional lifelong learning. London: Routledge.
Collis, J. & Hussey, R. (2017) Business Research: a practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students. 4th edition. London: Palgrave.
Denscombe, M. (2010) Ground rules for social research: guidelines for good practice. 2nd edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Denscombe, M. (2017) The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects. 6th edition. London: Open University Press.
Maylor, H. (2010) Project Management. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall.
Maylor, H. (2017) Researching Business and Management. London: Palgrave.
Saunders, M, & Lewis, P. (2018) Doing research in business and management: an essential guide to planning your project. 2nd edition. Harlow: Pearson.
Saunders, M.N.K., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2019) Research methods for Business students. 8th edition. Harlow: Pearson.
Watson, G. & Reissner, S. (eds) (2014) Developing Skills for Business Leadership, 2nd edition. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Williams, K., Woolliams, M. and Spiro, J. (2012) Reflective writing. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.
In addition, it is expected that relevant journals will be consulted by students depending upon the area of study and chosen topic.
Research Proposal Template

This template will help you to focus your mind on how you want to approach your project. It also provides a basis for both your research and discussions with your Supervisor.

Candidate Name

Student Number

Name of Supervisor

Proposed Title

Agreed date of

proposal submission

Project Background

Rationale for selection – importance

and potential impact on the

strategic position of an organisation

or business sector. Word guide approx. 500

Literature Review

Identify the key aspects of the business
literature to underpin the study. This
review should cover the main ideas
and business practice that will be
considered. It should show a sample
of some of the key sources and identify
key critical issues that might arise.
Word guide approx. 750

Objectives

Identify 3/4 objective outcomes for the project in terms of what the study seeks to achieve for
the organisation or business sector. These
objectives should reflect outputs (not tasks)
to be completed and should emphasise the
areas for improvement to business
performance that the project will concentrate on.

Methodology

Produce a brief statement as to what you consider
are the main methods of primary and secondary
research that are likely to be most useful to achieve the project outcomes. Word guide approx. 300 words

Time plan

Highlight key activities (milestones) for
the proposed project and the resources
required.

Research Ethics Principles
When considering the methodological approach to your submission it is important that you consider the ethics of your approach. It is crucial that you consider the following principles:
· How your research should be designed, reviewed and undertaken according to the highest possible standards. It should comply with University Governance, Professional Codes of Practice and the law.
· Research with human participants must protect their dignity, rights, safety and well-being.
· Participants must be completely informed about the purposes, methods and intended uses of the research. They must be informed about what participation will involve and the risks and benefits fully explained. Any research proposing deviation from this principle may be approved but only in very specific contexts in which the lack of complete information is justified by the benefits of the research. Participants must consent to participate in the research having been fully informed about what participation will involve. Participation must be voluntary. The use of incentives to encourage participation is acceptable but these must be appropriate.
· Participants must be allowed to withdraw themselves from participation at any time and for any reason without disadvantage.
· Information and data obtained about participants must be confidential. Anonymity should be maintained wherever possible. All information held about the participants must be processed, retained, stored, and disposed of in accordance with the law.
· The research must protect the dignity, rights, safety and well-being of the research workers who should completely understand the risks and benefits of the research.
· The research must protect the reputation, safety and well-being of the University of Sunderland.

The issue of research ethics and data collection must be discussed with your Supervisor and their advice considered and observed. Details of the Research Ethics Review process are found on the University website and by following the link below.

https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/more/research/governance-integrity/ethics/

You must discuss the Ethics approval process with your Supervisor at the earliest opportunity as approval is required before data can be collected.

Statement of Originality and Authenticity
I confirm that the work I am submitting is an original and authentic piece of work compiled by myself that satisfies the University rules and regulations with respect to Plagiarism and Collusion. I further confirm that I have fully referenced and acknowledged all material incorporated as secondary resources in accordance with the Harvard System.
I also clarify that I have taken a copy of the submission, which I will retain until after the Programme Assessment Board has published the results, and which I will make available on request in pursuance of any appropriate aspect of the marking and moderation of the work within the University Regulations.
Name
Registration Number
Programme of Study
Signed………………………………..
Please note that work will not be assessed without the inclusion of this declaration by the student.

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Generic Assessment Criteria – Postgraduate -These should be related to the level at which you are working and related to the assessment criteria for the module

Grade

Relevance

Knowledge

Analysis

Argument and Structure

Critical Evaluation

Presentation

Reference to Literature

Pass

86 –
100%

The work examined is exemplary and provides clear evidence of a complete grasp of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. There is also ample excellent evidence showing that all the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are fully satisfied. At this level it is expected that the work will be exemplary in all the categories cited above. It will demonstrate a particularly compelling evaluation, originality, and elegance of argument, interpretation or discourse.

76-
85%

The work examined is outstanding and demonstrates comprehensive knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. There is also excellent evidence showing that all the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that level are fully satisfied. At this level it is expected that the work will be outstanding in the majority of the categories cited above or by demonstrating particularly compelling evaluation and elegance of argument, interpretation or discourse.

70 – 75%

The work examined is excellent and is evidence of comprehensive knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. There is also excellent evidence showing that all the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that level are satisfied At this level it is expected that the work will be excellent in the majority of the categories cited above or by demonstrating particularly compelling evaluation and elegance of argument, interpretation or discourse.

60 – 69%

Directly relevant to the requirements of the assessment

A substantial knowledge of relevant material, showing a clear grasp of themes, questions and issues therein

Comprehensive
analysis – clear and orderly presentation

Well supported, focussed argument which is clear and logically structured.

Contains distinctive or independent thinking; and begins to formulate an independent position in relation to theory and/or practice.

Well written, with standard spelling and grammar, in a readable style with acceptable format

Critical appraisal of up-to-date and/or appropriate literature. Recognition of different perspectives. Very good use of a wide range of sophisticated source material.

50 – 59%

Some attempt to address the requirements of the assessment: may drift away from this in less focused passages

Adequate knowledge of a fair range of relevant material, with intermittent evidence of an appreciation of its significance

Significant analytical treatment which has a clear
purpose

Generally coherent and logically structured, using an appropriate mode of argument and/or theoretical mode(s)

May contain some distinctive or independent thinking; may begin to formulate an independent position in relation to theory and/or practice.

Competently written, with only minor lapses from standard grammar, with acceptable format

Uses a good variety of literature which includes recent texts and/or appropriate literature, including a substantive amount beyond library texts.
Competent use of source material.

40 –
49%

Some correlation with the requirements of the assessment but there is a significant degree of irrelevance

Basic understanding of the subject but addressing a limited range of material

Some analytical treatment, but may be prone to description, or to narrative, which lacks clear analytical purpose

Some attempt to construct a coherent argument, but may suffer loss of focus and consistency, with issues at stake stated only vaguely, or theoretical mode(s) couched in simplistic terms

Sound work which expresses a coherent position only in broad terms and in uncritical conformity to one or more standard views of the topic

A simple basic style but with significant deficiencies in expression or format that may pose obstacles for the reader

Evidence of use of appropriate literature which goes beyond that referred to by the tutor. Frequently only uses a single source to support a point. Weak use of quotation

Fail

35 – 39%

Relevance to the requirements of the assessment may be very intermittent, and may be reduced to its vaguest and least challenging terms

A limited understanding of a narrow range of material

Largely descriptive or narrative, with little evidence of analysis

A basic argument is evident, but mainly supported by assertion and there may be a lack of clarity and coherence

Some evidence of a view starting to be formed but mainly derivative.

Numerous
deficiencies in expression and presentation; the writer may achieve
clarity (if at all) only by using a simplistic or repetitious style

Barely adequate use of literature. Over reliance on material provided by the tutor.

The evidence provided shows that the majority of the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied.

15-29%

The work examined is unacceptable and provides little evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. The evidence shows that few of the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied. The work will be weak in several of the indicators.

0-14%

The work examined is unacceptable and provides almost no evidence of the knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to the Level of the qualification. The evidence fails to show that any of the learning outcomes and responsibilities appropriate to that Level are satisfied. The work will be weak in the majority or all of the indicators.

21

21

22

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