Research Analysis Skills for Academic Research

Module description

The module prepares you for independent research in international management. It will introduce you to the structured way of doing research, from the formulation of initial research questions, review and synthesis of literature, data collection and analysis based on the appropriate research method and finally reporting the findings of your research. The module examines the principles of research design before progressing to a more detailed treatment of data collection and analysis associated with methods like questionnaires, interviews, focus groups and computer experimentation. The module prepares for the Term2/3 module BEMM251 (Dissertations in International Management; 30 credits), which is a programme of independent research on a topic chosen by you.

Full module specification

Module title:Research Analysis Skills for Academic Research
Module code:BEMM174
Module level:M
Academic year:2018/9
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Nav Mustafee - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:



MSc. IM (12 months) – To be offered to students enrolled in the 12-month programme


BEMM116 Principles of International Business Management (Term 1; Compulsory) – necessary as the dissertation is in business and management and a fundamental understanding of this field of study is required to formulate research questions.

Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

To prepare you for independent research in international management the following aims have been outlined:

  • To develop your skills in formulating appropriate research questions, developing a research agenda and planning a research programme.
  • Develop your’ appreciation for existing research and critique
  • Introduce you to the main qualitative and quantitative research methods and impart relevant skills for data analysis.
  • Equip you to undertake programmes of independent research utilising secondary sources of data (including literature reviews and synthesis)
  • Equip you to design, with minimal supervision and guidance, programmes of primary empirical research, taking into consideration issues of research ethics, data generation, data analysis and reporting of findings.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. articulate the current issues associated with different methodological and practical approaches to research problems associated with international management.
  • 2. Identify library and online resources for undertaking independent research in international management.
  • 3. critically evaluate the application of a wide range of alternative techniques, methods and data sources in the investigation of specialised research goals in international management.
  • 4. appraise in detail the merits of data analysis software packages and their particular functions for independent research in international management.
  • 5. identify, assess and action a full range of ethical issues arising from research in international management.
  • 6. planning for conducting a research programme and communicating the research proposal by a fixed deadline.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 7. demonstrate an awareness of research methods in business and management.
  • 8. apply a range of qualitative and quantitative methods in business and management research.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 9. effectively use citation and full-text databases for online research
  • 10. design questionnaires and analyse questionnaire data.
  • 11. plan and structure interviews and analyse interview data.
  • 12. structure focus group and analyse and interpret focus group data.
  • 13. analyse qualitative and quantitative data.
  • 14. engage in critical evaluation and narration of logical, systematic and supported arguments.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Lectures222 our lectures
Workshops155 x 1 hour workshops, 5 x 2 hours workshops in computer lab

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Feedback from workshops (including workshops based in computer labs)feedback provided during the workshops2, 9-14Verbal feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Critique of Literature (student to select two papers)401,000 words2, 6, 9, 14Written feedback
Research Proposal (including Research Design) - topic to be chosen by student602,000 words1-14Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Critique of Literature (student to selecet two papers)Critique of Literature (students to select two papers)2, 6, 9, 14Reassessment Period
Research Proposal (including Rsearch Design) - topic to be chosen by studentReflections on the Research Process (with reference to research beign undertaken in Term3)1-14Reassessment Period

Re-assessment notes

  • Critique of Literature - 1500 words (40%)

 Reflections on the Research Process (with reference to research being undertaken in Term 3) – 1500 words (60%)

 Please note that the second summative assessment (‘research proposal including research design’) will not be re-assessed. The reason being that, the students would have already engaged in the research process and dissertation write-up (they start this in Term 2) and therefore an assignment reflecting on the research process will be more appropriate.

Syllabus plan




Introduction to Dissertation


Identifying a Dissertation Topic and Research Questions


Literature Review and Synthesis


Research Paradigms and Research Design


Qualitative Research Methods - 1


Qualitative Research Methods - 2


Quantitative Research Methods - 1


Quantitative Research Methods - 2


Computer Modelling and Simulation


Research Ethics


Bringing it all Together! Dissertation Write-up


Online Literature Search

(Full text - Exeter Journal Gateway, EBSCOhost, Scholar; Citation databases - ISI Web of Knowledge, Scopus; grey literature; University catalogue, e-books)



Critique of Literature (papers to be made available in advance)



Questionnaire Design


Basic Statistics for Questionnaire Analysis


Quantitative Data Analysis using SPSS


Interview Design and Analysis


Focus Groups


Qualitative data analysis using NVivo


Experimentation using Computer Simulation


UOE Research Ethics Form

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Dissertation Series (chapters 1-12), University of Exeter Business School Resource

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • Brian White and Stephen Rayner (2015). Dissertation Skills: For Business and Management Students, 2nd edition. ISBN-10: 1408081776; ISBN-13: 978-1408081778. (login using UOE credentials)


  • Berman Reva Brown (2006). Doing Your Dissertation in Business and Management: The Reality of Researching and Writing. SAGE. ISBN: 9781412903516; Online ISBN: 9781849209069. (login using UOE credentials)

Indicative learning resources - Other resources


  • Boris Blumberg, Donald Cooper and Pamela Schindler (2014). Business Research Methods, 4th edition. McGraw-Hill. ISBN- 10: 0077157486; ISBN-13: 978-0077157487.Link to catalogue:

Origin date


Last revision date