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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2022/2023

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Management and Marketing

BUSI4T360: Individual Research Project

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2021/22


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To provide students with an opportunity to conduct an in-depth pilot investigation for their doctoral research, building on the knowledge and skills acquired during the previous modules.
  • To facilitate students’ understanding of how to manage and implement research projects.
  • To develop students’ doctoral-level research skills in relation to developing innovative, rigorous, and relevant research questions.
  • To develop students’ critical understanding of decision-making during the research process and the implications of decisions taken.
  • To develop students’ self-management and time management skills.


  • During this module, students select a research topic that fits within the remit of their subject area. The topic will be approved by the student’s supervisory team and ratified by the PhD Programme Lead.
  • The Individual Research Project is of the scope of a Masters dissertation and is a pilot study for their doctoral research. It should therefore have sufficient focus, allowing the student to review the relevant literature critically and in sufficient depth and to apply empirical research methods taught in previous modules. It should normally incorporate an empirical element, although an advanced systematic literature review and theory development or meta-analytical approaches may be appropriate.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Critical understanding of the research process and decision-making during this process
  • Critical understanding of ethical implications and challenges during the research process
  • Critical understanding of key steps and decision points in comprehensive research projects
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to develop innovative, rigorous, and relevant research questions
  • Ability to evaluate strengths and opportunities of different research designs
  • Ability to implement research ideas, including hypothesis development and testing where appropriate, by critically evaluating and applying appropriate research designs
  • Ability to communicate academic concepts, verbally and in writing
  • Ability to conduct data collection, data management, and data analysis in line with the current standards for doctoral-level research
  • Ability to communicate research results in writing
Key Skills:
  • Advanced academic reading and writing
  • Self-management and time management in research projects
  • Ability to delineate and communicate research contributions, including the theoretical and managerial implications

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

  • The module delivery focuses on supervision meetings, normally up to 6 in total.
  • The assessments are designed for students to apply their skills from the previous module for the design and implementation of empirical research projects.
  • The summative assessment of the module is designed to facilitate students’ understanding of the full research process, from idea development to data collection, and analysis to the final write-up.
  • Comprehensive reading and self-study materials will be provided online.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Supervision Meetings 6 As required 1 hour 6
Preparation and Reading 594
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written Report 10000 words 100% Same

Formative Assessment:

Research proposal of no more than 1,000 words (excl. references).

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