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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

BUSI5H060: Theory into Practice (Level 5) (Fudan DBA)

Type Tied Level 5 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to N1A460


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To ensure that students are familiar with relevant and rigorous theories of business studies or finance.
  • To ensure that students are aware of neighbouring theories that they can take advantage of in terms of borrowing insights and/or research methods.
  • To develop the level of integration of students’ field knowledge.
  • To develop students’ ability to identify a suitable research topic, and generate theoretically relevant research questions that can be answered rigorously and scientifically.
  • To develop students’ ability to identify suitable research methods to answer their research questions.
  • To develop students’ ability to appreciate ethical issues in research.
  • To enable students’ research projects to make a potentially important contribution to both academic knowledge and the practical business world.


  • Logic and argumentation
  • Rigor and relevance in business or finance research theories, models and methods
  • Suitability of different analytical methodologies
  • Data structures
  • Data collection methods: Unstructured, semi structured and structured interviews; Questionnaire design; Experiment design; Survey data; Panel data; Finance databases, such as Datastream; Archival data
  • Research ethics

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of the relevant theoretical basis for their research topic
  • Understand contemporary developments in research methods in business or finance
  • Have an advanced understanding of research design issues in business or finance
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of key methodological considerations in business or finance research
  • Understand the time demands of different data collection methods as well as limitations on data availability in business or finance
  • Understand ethical challenges and other practical issues concerning research access and confidentiality
  • Devise/propose a research design incorporating appropriate research methodology
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Ability to skilfully conduct research in business or finance
  • Ability to critically assess existing research in business or finance
  • Ability to develop novel theory in business or finance
  • Ability to unify or synthesise theories relevant to business or finance
Key Skills:
  • Ability to make an initial formulation and articulation of a research problem
  • Ability to transform the research problem into a set of research questions
  • The ability to formulate, articulate and complete a scheme of research at doctoral level
  • Ability to design and execute data collection
  • Ability to design data coding
  • Ability to design the data analysis
  • Effective oral communication skills

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 two-day teaching block taking the students through all the relevant phases of research design.
  • By commenting on each other’s suggestions students will acquire both the capability and the attitude to critically evaluate and improve research designs.
  • Learning will also occur through tutor-supported learning groups.
  • The assessment of the module is by a combination of: an oral examination of the students on research design issues by an independent panel AND a 15,000 word written assignment based on an extensive literature review and field knowledge. The assessment is designed to test students' knowledge and understanding of the subject-matter and their ability to articulate a researchable issue.
  • The module is assessed on a pass/fail basis, with a pass required in both components.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops 2 Daily 8 16
Tutor-supported Learning Groups via webinars and other e-learning tools. With follow-up support as necessary using videoconferencing software. As required 54
Reading of current published journal articles (available from library) and Independent Study, research design 524
Individual supervision As required 6
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Oral Examination Component Weighting: N.A%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual oral examination on research design issues 30 mins N.A% same
Component: Written Assignment Component Weighting: N.A%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual written assignment based on an extensive literature review and field knowledge 15,000 words max N.A% same

Formative Assessment:

Group-based presentations and tutor feedback within workshops. Individual 2500 word assignment.

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