Literature review, conceptual frame and methodology


Module Pre-requisites: None
Web-link to Module Specification:
2. Learning and Teaching Strategy
The module is delivered via one 3 hour participative session and class discussions per
week, over 10 weeks. To complete the module successfully you must also allocate a
substantial amount of independent study time.
3. Module Communications
The Module Tutor’s contact details are provided at the top of this page. You must
check your University of Bolton email address and the ‘Moodle’ area dedicated to
this module regularly as many module communications are channelled through these
Your Module Tutor will normally aim to respond to your email messages within 2
working days of receipt; however responses will be longer in holiday periods.
4. Module Description
This module directly precedes the dissertation and will enable you to develop a
research proposal, a more fully developed version of which will form the first three
chapters of your dissertation. You will develop feasible research objectives and an
understanding of the research context (towards Chapter One of your dissertation); an
appropriate conceptual/analytical framework to analyse your data following a critical
review of the appropriate literature (towards chapter Two of your dissertation).
This module will allow you to make informed decisions about which research
philosophies, strategies and methods are suitable for your research. The subjects of
reliability, validity and research ethics will be explored and a combination of methods
to form a critically robust research design (towards Chapter Three of your dissertation)
will emerge.
5. Learning Outcomes and Assessment
Learning Outcomes
LO1: Produce feasible objectives and an
understanding of the significance of the research
Assessment 1
LO2: Produce a critical appraisal of relevant literature
synthesised into an appropriate conceptual framework. Assessment 2
LO3: Demonstrate a firm grasp of differences between
research philosophies and the justification of that
Assessment 2
LO4: Produce a critically informed research design
with the appropriate combination of methods; sample
sizes and selection criteria.
Assessment 2
6. Assessment Deadlines
7. Assignment feedback
Feedback on items of assessment can be formal (such as on a signed feedback form)
or informal (such as advice from a tutor in a tutorial). Feedback is therefore not just
your grade or the comments written on your feedback form, it is advice you get from
your tutor and sometimes your peers about how your work is progressing, how well
you have done, what further actions you might take.
Assessment item
Due Date
1 Introduction to the research proposal 25/03/2018 40%
2 Literature review, conceptual frame and methodology 20/06/2018 60%
We recognise the value of prompt feedback on work submitted. Other than in
exceptional circumstances (such as might be caused by staff illness), you can expect
your assignment work to be marked and feedback provided not less than three
working weeks from the date of submission. However, please note that such
feedback will be provisional and unconfirmed until the Assessment Board has met and
may therefore be subject to change.
8. Module Calendar
Theory Topic
1 03/03/2018 Introduction – Research Studies & Skills
2 10/03/2018 Objectives – Research Topic
3 17/03/2018 Critically Reviewing the Literature
4 24/03/2018 Research Philosophies, ethics and approaches
5 28/04/2018 Research Design – Research strategies
6 04/05/2018 Selecting samples – Collecting Data
7 05/05/2018 Analysing quantitative data
8 19/05/2017 Analysing qualitative data
9 26/05/2018 Writing and presenting your report
10 02/06/2018 Revision
NB: Please note that this module calendar may be subject to change.
9. Formative Assessment
Formative assessment is an important aid to learning. It is designed to provide you
with feedback on your progress and inform development. It can be used to identify
any areas which would benefit from extra attention on your part, or extra support from
your tutor. It does not contribute to the overall formal assessment for the module.
Formative assessment is provided in this module 3 times:
? on the feasibility of the proposed research
? appropriateness of the conceptual frame and coverage of appropriate literature
? research methods
Informative assessment is provided in this module through:
– Induction – Introductory
– Group activities and discussion
– Group & Individual feedback on assessment drafts
– IT and research skills workshops
9. Indicative Reading:
Saunders, M., Thornhill, A. and Lewis, P. (2012) Research Methods for Business
Students, 4th Edition, Harlow: FT Prentice Hall, 6th edition
Bell, J. (2005) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in
Education, Health and Social Science, 4th Edition, Open University Press,
Cassel, C. and Symon, G. (2004) Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in
Organizational Research, Sage, London
Fisher, F. (2007) Researching and Writing a Dissertation: for Business Students 2nd
Edition, FT Prentice Hall, Harlow
Hair, J.F., Money, A.H., Samouel, P. and Page, M. (2007) Research Methods for
Business, John Wiley, Chichester.
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A., (2009) Research Methods for Business
Students, FT Prentice Hall, 5th edition
Past examples of dissertations/research proposals are available at:
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2009) Research Methods for Business
Students, Pearson Education (4th Ed) is available via the e-books collection at:
Lancaster, G.A. (2005) Research Methods in Management: A Concise Introduction to
Research in Management & Business Consultancy, Elsevier Science is available via the ebooks
collection at:
Collis J. and Hussey, R. (2003) Business Research – a practical guide for undergraduate
and postgraduate students (2nd Ed) Palgrave Macmillan is available via the e-books
collection at:
Fisher, C. Buglear, J. Lowry, D. Mutch, A and Tansley, C. (2004) Researching & Writing
a Dissertation for Business Students, Pearson Education is available via the e-books
collection at:
11. Guidelines for the Preparation and Submission of Assignments:
1. Assignments should be word-processed in Arial 12 point font, be double-spaced,
on A4 size paper. Writing should appear on only one side of the paper, be fully
justified and with each page being numbered in the footer, numbering to be
2. There should be a title page detailing the programme, module title, assignment
title, student number, marking Tutor and date of submission. Do not put your
name on the assignment. It is good practice to put your student number in the
top left hand side of the header of each page, and the date of submission in the
top right.
3. If there is a word count limit for your programme please include the following text:
Word Count: You are expected to revise and edit your assignment to remain
within +/- 10% of the indicative word length outlined. In order to ensure that word
counts can easily be checked you should include a note of the word count as
identified by your word processing package. A deduction should be made from
this figure for all tables, figures, quotations, appendices and references which DO
NOT count towards the overall word limit.
Students who exceed a specified indicative word length for a written assignment
will be subject to the following penalty system:
? Up to 10% over the specified indicative word length= no penalty
? 10 – 20% over the specified indicative word length = 5 marks subtracted
(However if the assignment would normally gain a pass mark, then the final mark
will be not be less than 40%).
? More than 20% over the indicative word length = maximum 40%.
Assignments shorter than the indicative word length will not have marks
deducted (even if these are more than 10% short). However, it is likely to be an
exceptional piece of work that covers the assignment requirements fully in much
less than the set word count, less 10%.
4. All written work must be referenced using the Harvard System, full details of
which are available from the UOB Library website.
5. Unless notified by your Module Tutor, electronic copies of assignments, saved as
a Word document, should be uploaded to the Moodle area for this module. Your
Tutor will explain the process. If you experience problems uploading your
assignment to the designated area, then you must forward an electronic copy as
an attached to your Module Tutor, by the due deadline. The time you send the
email with your assignment as an attachment, will evidence the time the
assessment was submitted
Please note when you submit your assignment to the Moodle area for this
module, it will automatically be checked for evidence of plagiarism as part of the
Submission of assessments may be done on or before the published submission
date. Assignments not available at this time will be considered as “late” unless an
extension has been previously agreed, with the Programme Leader for your
Students who fail to submit assessments by the specified date (without an
extension being granted or without accepted Mitigating Circumstances) will be
subject to the following penalties:
? Up to 7 calendar days late = 10 marks subtracted but if the assignment would
normally gain a pass mark, then the final mark to be no lower than 40%.
? Up to 10 calendar days late = 20 marks subtracted but if the assignment would
normally gain a pass mark, then the final mark to be no lower than 40%.
? More than 10 calendar days late = 1 mark will be awarded only.
Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that the assignment is submitted in
the format/s specified in the Module Guide or on the Assessment Brief.
6. In the case of exceptional and unforeseen circumstances, an extension of up to 7
days after the assessment submission deadline may be granted by your
Programme Leader, following firstly discussing the problem with the Module
Tutor. You should complete an Extension Request Form available from your
Tutor and attach documentary evidence of your circumstances, prior to the
published submission deadline.
Requests for extensions for periods longer than 7 days must be made using the
Mitigating Circumstances procedures*.
*Please note that the failure of data storage systems is not considered to be a
valid reason for mitigating circumstances. It is therefore important that you keep
multiple copies of your work on different storage devices before submitting it.
Please see your Programme Handbook for further details.

13. Assessment
Assessment Number 1: Essay (40%)
Assessment Title: Introduction to the research proposal
Assessment Length: 1000 words
Submission Deadline: 25/03/2018
Assignment Brief:
For this assignment, students are asked to produce a two-page research proposal
that follows the actual guidelines, formatting requirements and instructions that
students have learned during the first half of the semester. This assignment will
give you a chance to start formulating your ideas (topic, thesis, methodology and
research design) for the long version research proposal that is due at the end of
the semester. You will also have the opportunity to get some early feedback and
advice in terms of the project’s scope, design, and possible resources.
The assignment can therefore function as an exercise in creating a “mock”
proposal, which will help prepare you for future grant (or scholarship) applications
or for the final thesis of your program. In both cases, the assignment will allow you
to hit the ground running on the key learning objectives of this course, as well as
get a head start on your final assignment.
In the meantime, you can expect to include the following information in your
completed assignment:
• For thesis, major research essay or project: provide a well-structured outline of
your research design, including research question, context, objectives,
methodology and contribution to the advancement of knowledge.
• Description of any relevant work experience, community involvement or other
extracurricular activity.
• Bibliography (full details for all sources cited)
The assignment MUST be submitted into Turnitin.
Assessment Number 2: Essay (60%)
Assessment Title: Literature review, conceptual frame and
Assessment Length: 4000 words
Submission Deadline: 20/06/2018
Assignment Brief:
For this assignment, you will revise, extend and elaborate upon the short proposal
you wrote for Assignment 1, in order to create a fully developed research proposal
on the topic of your choice. If you are completing a thesis, extended essay or
project as part of your academic program, you can tackle this assignment as a first
attempt at a thesis/project proposal.
Your research proposal should contain the following sections:
• Introduction: Introduce your topic and study, including thesis statement and
research questions;
• Background: what got you interested in this topic, why is it worth investigating,
what interest or impact will the research have, and what theoretical framework do
you intend to apply to your research, analysis and discussion?
• Mini-Literature Review: what bodies of literature and key texts will you include
in your final literature review? Don’t forget to include literature on your method(s),
as well as on the subject of your planned research;
• Research Methodology: be as specific as possible – methods, how you will
apply them, how the data will be collected, how it will be analysed, your projected
timeline, etc. If you’re planning on conducting human research, be sure to include
a description of your plans for securing ethics approval.
The assignment MUST be submitted into Turnitin.
Secondary Research Level HE7 – It is expected that the Reference List will
contain between fifteen to twenty sources. As a MINIMUM the Reference List
should include four refereed academic journals and five academic books.
Specific Assessment Criteria:
First class: This piece of work shows evidence of wider research with reference
to a number of differing academic viewpoints. The essay has recognised relevantly
and discussed in detail, all the required external environmental factors which affect
the management operation of mega events. Several reasoned and logical
arguments have been developed well and supported by a wide range of
appropriately researched literature. Reference to two or more academic models is
clear, relevant and informative. Presentation is of a high standard, and in the
appropriate essay style. The high number of appropriate sources has been
referenced accurately and to a high standard.
Second class: A clear and informative piece of work with evidence of wider
research and discussion. The essay has correctly recognised and discussed, all
the required external environmental factors which affect the management
operation of mega events. Some reasoned arguments have been developed and
supported by a good number of sources. Reference to two academic models is
clear. Presentation is of a good standard, in the appropriate essay style. A good
number of appropriate sources have been referenced well, with most complying
with the Harvard style.
Third class: A reasonable attempt has been made at researching the essay but
greater in depth discussion and academic debate is required. The essay has
recognised the external environmental factors which affect the management
operation of mega events, however mostly the discussion is superficial and lacking
in any depth. Reference to two academic models has been attempted.
Presentation of the essay is limited, and only the minimum of 5 sources has been
provided, with at least one academic text and two academic journals included.
Fail: Students who do not meet the requirements of a third class grade will not
successfully complete the assessment activity.
Please also see Section 13 for General Assessment criteria.
Submission Instructions:
See Section 10 Guidelines for the Preparation and Submission of written coursework,
which will give you details on how to submit your work electronically. You are required
to submit only electronic copies of your written assessments, unless your Module
Tutor advises you otherwise.
? Do not cut and paste phrases or paragraphs from published sources. You
should seek to use your own words to explain concepts and theory.
? If you wish to refer to specific quotes from published sources then you must use
full Harvard presentation. See BISSTO for clear guidance.
? Do not share work with other students.

Sample Solution