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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23
No such Code for pgprog: N1A460

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI4M915: Practising Business Research (Fudan DBA)

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to N1A460


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The overall aim of the module is to provide students with a core set of skills needed for commencing a programme of doctoral-level research, and to offer students guidance in the development of their own research projects.


  • The nature of business and management research
  • Systematic literature review
  • Action research workshop
  • Business research ethics
  • Referencing and bibliographic skills

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module students should:
  • have a specialist knowledge and understanding of the nature of advanced business and finance research;
  • have a specialist knowledge and understanding of a wide ranging technical vocabulary encompassing both the social sciences generally and business, management and finance in particular;
  • a critical awareness combined implications of rigour and relevance for the conduct of doctoral research within business, finance and management;
  • have a critical appreciation of the nature, uses and application of qualitative and/or quantitative research;
  • be able to understand the requirements for designing a research project in business and management at an advanced level.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to critically evaluate business and finance theories
  • Ability to critically evaluate different business and finance research practices
  • Ability to learn and work independently in this area, exercising critical judgement and discrimination in the resolution of complex problematic situations
  • Ability to have practised problem solving and analytical skills in a complex specialised context
  • Ability to use various literature database and data organisation
Key Skills:
  • Ability to make an initial formulation and articulation of a potential scheme of research
  • Ability to understand and resolve the problems and issues in undertaking doctoral research
  • Effective written communication
  • Advanced skills of self-awareness and time management

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

  • The module will be delivered in a workshop format over an intensive three-day teaching block. Workshops will comprise a balanced mix of lecture- and seminar-type delivery combined with small group discussions and other activities as appropriate to the nature of the material.
  • Learning will also occur through tutor-supported, as well as self-supported learning groups. In addition, guided reading will address key topics. This range of methods will ensure that students will acquire the advanced skills and knowledge to enable them to develop a thorough understanding of this specialist field of study.
  • The assessment of the module, by individual written assignment, is designed to test students' knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter and their ability to articulate a researchable issue.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshop 3 Daily 8 hrs 24
Tutor-supported Learning Groups via webinars and other e-learning tools. With follow-up support as necessary using videoconferencing software. 16
Self-supported Learning group (self-organised by students, monitored by Fudan Office) 10
Preparation & Reading (reading list provided consisting of current published articles relevant to module content, available within library) 100
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment 3,000 words max 100% same

Formative Assessment:

Work prepared by students for seminars; answers to questions either discussed during a seminar, or posted on DUO. Individual 1000-word assignment with individual feedback provided.

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