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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Business School : Business Studies

Undergraduate Course: Business Research Methods II: Applications and Analysis (CMSE10003)

Course Outline
SchoolBusiness School CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryBusiness research has been defined as the systematic gathering, recording and analysing of data about problems relating to businesses. This course, which follows on from Business Research Methods I, introduces further aspects of business research and demonstrates the fundamental role and importance it plays in making of appropriate business decisions. It provides an understanding of the philosophical building blocks of research design, outlines both qualitative and quantitative techniques for data collection and analysis and gives students the chance to collect and analyse data for themselves.
Course description This course is core to the undergraduate programmes in Business Studies single honours and combined degrees, and International Business degrees. The course is designed to fill a gap in the application and analysis of core business research skills, building on key skills acquired in year 2 in Business Research Methods I. Lectures present critical overviews of key concepts, processes and debates within the subject, relating theories to a wide range of current examples.


Introduction: Overview of the research process
Research approaches and philosophies
Conducting academic research
Qualitative methodologies and methods
Qualitative data analysis and interpretation
Survey design and data collection
Sampling and descriptive statistics
Further quantitative analysis and presenting results
Quantitative toolbox
Ethnographic research and exam overview

Student Learning Experience

The course aims to support students to develop the skills and capabilities to undertake independent research, including designing appropriate research strategies, selecting appropriate research methods (both qualitative and quantitative methods), analysing and interpreting data and presenting research results. The course is designed to be hands-on providing students with the opportunity to learn by conducting research and analysing data, in addition to understanding the theoretical underpinnings of business research decisions.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Business Research Methods I: Quantitative Techniques (CMSE08002) OR Business Research Methods I: Introduction to Data Analysis (BUST08033)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesA pass in Business Research Methods I: Introduction to Data Analysis (BUST08033) or equivalent.

Visiting students should have at least 3 Business Studies courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 169 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Overall assessment will be based upon:

Group Research Portfolio (3500 words): 35%
Peer Evaluation of group project 5%
Degree examination (two hours) 60%

The course assignment accounts for 40% of the final grade. 35% will be obtained by submitting a final group research report. 5% will be awarded through a peer evaluation process.

Feedback Generic feedback on your coursework, together with group mark, will be available on Learn. You are also strongly advised to look at your group feedback which will be available from in the UG Office (Room 1.11, Business School, 29 Buccleuch Place). Each student will be facilitated to take away a copy of the feedback form, but you will not be able to take away the original piece of coursework, as it may be required by the Board of Examiners.

Your examination marks will be posted on Learn (together with generic feedback and examination statistics) as soon as possible after the Boards of Examiners' meeting (normally early-mid June). During the summer months (i.e. mid/end June - end August), you may come into the Business Studies Office (Room 1.11, Business School, 29 Buccleuch Place) to look at your examination scripts. Note that you will not be able to remove any examination scripts from the UG Office as they may be required by the Board of Examiners.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the nature and scope of business research and its relevance to business practice.
  2. Understand and discuss critically of the relevant literature on business research.
  3. Describe the stages of the research process and be able to apply them and adapt them to a specific research context.
  4. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of various research approaches along with an awareness of both their contribution and limitations.
  5. Evaluate different research methods (qualitative and quantitative) and understand their benefits and limitations.
Reading List
Required Reading
Bryman, A and E Bell (2011), Business Research Methods, (3nd edition), Oxford University Press.

(Note: earlier editions of this book can also be used)

Also recommended:
Brymen, A (2014). Social Research Methods (4th Edition). Oxford University Press.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and A. Thornhill, (2007), Research Methods for Business Students, 5th Edition, Harlow, Prentice Hall. (Note: earlier editions of this book can also be used)

Easterby-Smith, M. Thorpe, R. and Jackson, P.R. (2008), Management Research, London Sage
(Note: other editions of this text can be used and other textbooks by the first author may also be useful.)

Goulding, C. (2002), Grounded theory: a practical guide for management, business and market researchers, London, Sage.

In addition the many and various books of David Silverman are a useful resource for descriptions and analysis of qualitative methods.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Cognitive Skills
On completion of this course you should be able to:
- Demonstrate that you can move beyond a simple description of business research techniques to the analysis and evaluation of business research using key concepts learned during the course
- Assess the relative strengths and weakness of different research methods to a given research context
- Demonstrate that you can make informed decisions regarding choice of research methods and can justify your decisions
- Demonstrate your ability to collate, analyse and synthesise data
- Arrive at conclusions and recommend a course of action based on the analysis of data.

Key Skills
On completion of the course you should be able to:
- Engage in critical discussions of business research issues through class discussion
- Debate and defend considered arguments
- Make informed and justified courses of action in the gathering and analysis of research data
- Utilise and source information from the library, internet and database sources
- Study independently and in groups and take responsibility for sourcing, reading and analysing related reference material for the course
- Develop "hands-on" experience of gathering and analysing both qualitative and quantitative data
- Use SPSS to code, transform and analyse survey data.

Subject-Specific Skills
On completion of this course you should be able to:
- Summarise and synthesize literature and secondary data sources to inform the research issues and identify specific research questions
- Identify an appropriate research design for a specific research problem
- Conduct qualitative research and analyse qualitative data
- Design and write a plan for the administration of a quantitative survey
- Build on your knowledge of quantitative tools and techniques gained in Business Research Methods I and use them to analyse quantitative data using SPSS
- Present research results in a professional way.
Additional Class Delivery Information 1 lecture per week and 5 tutorials/computer lab sessions
Course organiserDr Pauline Ferguson
Course secretaryMiss Carry Arnold
Tel: (0131 6)50 3826
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