CQUniversity Unit Profile
BUSN20021 Business Research Project
Business Research Project
All details in this unit profile for BUSN20021 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information

Overview

Researching business problems is an important part of professional practice and being a successful business manager and leader. Business Research Project is an independent 12cp research unit that draws upon your area of specialisation and knowledge of research methods. You will conduct independent research in an appropriate area of relevance to your specific Masters Course. This unit requires independence and autonomy in review and analysis of literature and secondary data sources. You will identify the topic, review existing literature, develop the research questions, define the methodology, collect and analyse the data, and write up the final business project, culminating in conclusions that highlight your answer to your research questions and recommendations for practice and future research.

Details

Career Level: Postgraduate
Unit Level: Level 9
Credit Points: 12
Student Contribution Band: 10
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.25

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

BUSN20016 Research in Business and 72 credit points of relevant unit work specific to their cognate discipline. As this unit involves integrating the majority of the content of a course in a research context, it is recommended students will undertake this research task having completed the majority of their course.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 2 - 2021

Online

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 12-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 25 hours of study per week, making a total of 300 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Research Proposal
Weighting: 40%
2. Research Assignment
Weighting: 60%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from Course committee, Heads of Course

Feedback

The previously available BUSN20019 (Professional Project), which allowed students to complete a small independent research project, will be discontinued in 2021. As such, this unit will become the sole opportunity for students to experience an independent research project (e.g. if they consider a research Masters or PhD).

Recommendation

More structure and learning material should be provided on the Moodle site to complement students' independent study. Proven material from the discontinued BUSN20019 can be used as a basis for this.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Apply methodological knowledge to identify a research problem in your cognate area and design a feasible qualitative and/or quantitative study, including the development of answerable research questions, collection of data, analysis and interpretation of findings
  2. Identify and critically review contemporary literature relevant to your research questions
  3. Apply research skills to successfully complete the designed study in a systematic and ethical manner
  4. Synthesise literature and findings to develop critical discussion and appropriate conclusions
  5. Apply high-level written communication skills and an awareness of professional writing styles to the production of research proposal and research report.
Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Research Proposal - 40%
2 - Research Assignment - 60%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Knowledge
2 - Communication
3 - Cognitive, technical and creative skills
4 - Research
5 - Self-management
6 - Ethical and Professional Responsibility
7 - Leadership

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Research Proposal - 40%
2 - Research Assignment - 60%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

There are no required textbooks.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: American Psychological Association 7th Edition (APA 7th edition)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Azad Rahman Unit Coordinator
a.rahman2@cqu.edu.au
Olav Muurlink Unit Coordinator
o.muurlink@cqu.edu.au
Stephanie Macht Unit Coordinator
s.macht@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Module 1 - Overview Begin Date: 12 Jul 2021

Module/Topic

IMPORTANT: The Modules in this unit are not strictly week-by-week topics. This unit requires independent study and autonomy in completing a small research project - it is expected that you use self-directed learning and identify the areas that you need to focus on in any given week. This may require you to read ahead to later Modules, or go back and revisit earlier Modules.


Module 1 focuses on providing the foundational overview of research projects, as well as the requirements of and assessments in this unit.

Chapter

There is no prescribed reading in this unit - some recommended reading for each Module is available in Moodle, but it is important you start to identify your own reading materials for your own chosen research project.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Work through the materials in Moodle that relate to Module 1.


In Week 1, you should hit the ground running and start to identify a suitable research project.

Module 2 – Data and Literature Begin Date: 19 Jul 2021

Module/Topic

Module 2 focuses on more detailed understanding of the research project options for this unit by exploring the concepts of data and literature.

Chapter

There is no prescribed reading in this unit - some recommended reading for each Module is available in Moodle, but it is important you start to identify your own reading materials for your own chosen research project.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Work through the materials in Moodle that relate to Module 2.


In Week 2, you should continue to scope and focus a suitable research project.

Module 3 – Refining and Proposing Research Projects Begin Date: 26 Jul 2021

Module/Topic

Module 3 focuses on ways to refine research projects to make them manageable and feasible; the Module also focuses on the research proposal as a key document in research projects.

Chapter

There is no prescribed reading in this unit - some recommended reading for each Module is available in Moodle, but it is important you continue to identify your own reading materials for your own chosen research project.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Work through the materials in Moodle that relate to Module 3.


In Week 3, you should be able to finish choosing a suitable research project and start working on it.

Module 4 – The Narrative Literature Review Begin Date: 02 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Module 4 focuses on the narrative literature review, including: searching for literature, structuring a literature review chapter, and developing a critical literature review that is strongly grounded in the extant literature.

Chapter

There is no prescribed reading in this unit - some recommended reading for each Module is available in Moodle, but it is important you continue to identify your own reading materials for your own chosen research project.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Work through the materials in Moodle that relate to Module 4.


In Week 4, you should start to write a preliminary literature review (for your resarch proposal).

Module 5 – Methodology Begin Date: 09 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Module 5 provides an overview of the methodology components of research proposals.

Chapter

There is no prescribed reading in this unit - some recommended reading for each Module is available in Moodle, but it is important you continue to identify your own reading materials for your own chosen research project.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Work through the materials in Moodle that relate to Module 5.


In Week 5, you should continue writing your research proposal and get it ready for submission.


Project Proposal Due: Week 5 Friday (13 Aug 2021) 11:59 pm AEST
Vacation Week Begin Date: 16 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Use this week to progress your project.

Chapter

Events and Submissions/Topic

Module 6 – Data Collection, Data Preparation, and Data Analysis Begin Date: 23 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Module 6 focuses on the processes of collecting data, preparing data for analysis, and analysing data.

Chapter

There is no prescribed reading in this unit - some recommended reading for each Module is available in Moodle, but it is important you continue to identify your own reading materials for your own chosen research project.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Work through the materials in Moodle that relate to Module 6.


In Weeks 6 to 9, you should collect the data, analyse the data, and compare your findings to the literature. You should continue reviewing literature to ensure complete review in your final report, and you should write your methodology, findings and discussion chapters.

Module 7 – Results/Findings and Discussion Begin Date: 30 Aug 2021

Module/Topic

Module 7 focuses on the writing up of findings and discussion chapters of final reports.

Chapter

There is no prescribed reading in this unit - some recommended reading for each Module is available in Moodle, but it is important you continue to identify your own reading materials for your own chosen research project.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Work through the materials in Moodle that relate to Module 7.


In Weeks 6 to 9, you should collect the data, analyse the data, and compare your findings to the literature. You should continue reviewing literature to ensure complete review in your final report, and you should write your methodology, findings and discussion chapters.

Module 8 - Final Reports and Research Methodology Begin Date: 06 Sep 2021

Module/Topic

Module 8 focuses on the structure and content of final research reports, with a particular focus on the contents of the methodology chapter.

Chapter

There is no prescribed reading in this unit - some recommended reading for each Module is available in Moodle, but it is important you continue to identify your own reading materials for your own chosen research project.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Work through the materials in Moodle that relate to Module 8.


In Weeks 6 to 9, you should collect the data, analyse the data, and compare your findings to the literature. You should continue reviewing literature to ensure complete review in your final report, and you should write your methodology, findings and discussion chapters.

Module 9 - Conclusion and Introduction Begin Date: 13 Sep 2021

Module/Topic

Module 9 focuses on the introduction and conclusion chapters of a research report.

Chapter

There is no prescribed reading in this unit - some recommended reading for each Module is available in Moodle, but it is important you continue to identify your own reading materials for your own chosen research project.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Work through the materials in Moodle that relate to Module 9.


In Weeks 6 to 9, you should collect the data, analyse the data, and compare your findings to the literature. You should continue reviewing literature to ensure complete review in your final report, and you should write your methodology, findings and discussion chapters.

Module 10 - Finalising a Research Project (and Report) Begin Date: 20 Sep 2021

Module/Topic

Module 10 focuses on the final stages of completing a research project and research report.

Chapter

There is no prescribed reading in this unit - some recommended reading for each Module is available in Moodle, but it is important you continue to identify your own reading materials for your own chosen research project.

Events and Submissions/Topic

Work through the materials in Moodle that relate to Module 10.


In Week 10, you should polish your methodology, findings and discussion chapters, and commence work on your conclusion and introduction.

Module 11 – Publishing from your Project Begin Date: 27 Sep 2021

Module/Topic

Module 11 provides an overview of what would happen next if you chose to publish your project findings. Good projects, which address a real gap in existing knowledge, may be publishable. If this is something you are interested in, please discuss with your tutor as early as possible.

Chapter

There is no prescribed reading in this unit - some recommended reading for each Module is available in Moodle, but it is important you continue to identify your own reading materials for your own chosen research project.

Events and Submissions/Topic

In Week 11, you should polish all your chapters and start to get ready to finish your report.

Module 12 – Research Higher Degrees and Research as a Career Choice Begin Date: 04 Oct 2021

Module/Topic

Module 12 provides an insight into research as a career, alongside the options of making this happen (usually via a Research Higher Degree, such as a Masters of Research or a PhD).

Chapter

There is no prescribed reading in this unit - some recommended reading for each Module is available in Moodle, but it is important you continue to identify your own reading materials for your own chosen research project.

Events and Submissions/Topic

In Week 12, you should finish your report.


Final Project Report Due: Week 12 Friday (8 Oct 2021) 11:59 pm AEST
Assessment Tasks

1 Research Proposal

Assessment Title
Project Proposal

Task Description

Unit assessment overview:

During this unit, you will work independently (although within a structure) to plan, carry out and report on an individually chosen research project. You will demonstrate a synthesis of the knowledge, learning, business research methodologies, and skills that you have acquired and practiced throughout your ENTIRE Masters course. In particular, this unit builds upon your previous work in the unit Research in Business (BUSN20016). However, this time you will actually do a research project. You have the freedom to choose a project related to your personal interest, as long as this A) relates to the specific Master course, which you are studying now, and B) does not require the collection of primary data.

There are two cumulative assessments: a research proposal and a final research report. The key to success in this unit is twofold: (1) to choose a suitable and feasible project (that does not require primary data) early in the term, and (2) to remain on track with this suitable and feasible project throughout the remainder of the term.

When choosing a project, you have two options: You can either do a project with real publicly available secondary data OR you can choose to do a systematic literature review, SLR for short (Please note: a systematic literature review is a specific approach to reviewing the literature, which treats literature as secondary data, and it requires a very methodical and systematic approach – details are in Moodle).


Assessment 1: Project Proposal (40%)

The proposal is an individual assessment, to be written in professional report format and submitted through Turnitin; it contains the following:

  • Preliminaries: Title page (with a clear project title), executive summary, table of contents
  • Introduction: This chapter will contain background/context of the research; problem statement; aim research questions.
  • Literature review: A preliminary narrative literature review that demonstrates your ability to critically review literature and theory relevant to your project.
  • Research methodology: If you choose option 1 (real publicly available secondary data), this section needs to present a clear outline of the data source(s) you will use, as well as a detailed description of how you will collect and analyse the data; you should attempt to also explain why your chosen approaches to data collection and analysis will be suitable for your project. If you choose option 2 (systematic literature review), this section needs to present a clear outline of the search terms and search parameters, as well as the analysis approach(es) you will use to complete the SLR; you should attempt to also explain why your chosen approaches to data collection and analysis will be suitable for your project. Justification of approaches taken and use of correct terminology are required for both options.
  • Gantt chart: Prepare a Gantt chart that demonstrates a realistic understanding of the various research activities, and their time duration, you need to carry out in order to complete your project.
  • Conclusion: A brief conclusion that summarises the proposal and provides an indication of the project's likely contributions.
  • Reference list. All sources, which you have used in the text of your project proposal, need to be referenced correctly in the text AND within a reference list at the end of your proposal. You are required to use a MINIMUM of 20 suitable peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles.

Note: The required length for this report is 2,000 to 2,500 words, excluding preliminaries, reference list and appendices. Appendices are optional and should be used for supplementary material only. You must use a common font (e.g. Arial or Times New Roman) with font size 11 or 12, as well as appropriate margins and spacing.


Assessment Due Date

Week 5 Friday (13 Aug 2021) 11:59 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Results and feedback will be available in Moodle approximately within 10 business days.


Weighting
40%

Assessment Criteria

As a Masters-level student, you are required to engage in research as per the Australia Quality Framework (AQF) guidelines. Two specific requirements need to be considered. Students need to demonstrate “a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in a discipline and/or area of professional practice", and demonstrate "knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to a field of work and/or learning”.

Each unit in your Masters program has a number of required weekly readings in terms of academic texts, journals and business publications that represent the appropriate body of knowledge and recent developments referred to by the AQF. In order to demonstrate the ability to engage in appropriate research, students should read and utilise these texts and journals and publications, and as a Masters student, demonstrate an ability to research beyond this minimum standard through additional texts, journals and studies that demonstrate an ability to engage in independent research.

This is an advanced level unit, and accrediting bodies are also looking for evidence of independent research, so the ability to conduct this project without continually relying on your tutors and lecturers is an important part of the learning process for this unit.

You should ensure that you understand the specific research that is required for each assessment piece and recognise that if you merely meet this minimum requirement, you will receive the minimum grade for demonstrated research. Your attention is drawn to the University’s stated position on plagiarism. THE WORK OF OTHERS, WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE ASSIGNMENT MUST BE ATTRIBUTED TO ITS SOURCE. A full list of references must be submitted as part of the assessment. Your assignment will be marked on the following criteria; detailed marking rubrics are available in Moodle:

  • Background, problem statement and research question(s) (20%)
  • Preliminary critical narrative literature review (20%)
  • Proposed research methodology (30%)
  • Gantt chart (10%)
  • Quality and appropriateness of references, and accuracy of referencing (10%)
  • Professional written communication (10%)

Late submission and academic misconduct penalties will be applied in accordance with the university policies.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Word document to be submitted via Moodle.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Apply methodological knowledge to identify a research problem in your cognate area and design a feasible qualitative and/or quantitative study, including the development of answerable research questions, collection of data, analysis and interpretation of findings
  • Identify and critically review contemporary literature relevant to your research questions
  • Apply high-level written communication skills and an awareness of professional writing styles to the production of research proposal and research report.


Graduate Attributes
  • Knowledge
  • Communication
  • Cognitive, technical and creative skills
  • Research
  • Self-management
  • Ethical and Professional Responsibility

2 Research Assignment

Assessment Title
Final Project Report

Task Description

Assessment 2:

This is an individual, written assessment, to be completed in professional report format and submitted via Turnitin. The report requires intext referencing and a full reference list in APA style, with evidence that you have critically read and integrated a minimum of 30 suitable scholarly references. The purpose of this assessment is to present the final report of the Research Project you proposed in Assignment 1. This report should build upon the feedback you received on your Assessment 1.

In order to successfully complete Assessment 2, you are required to carry out the investigation you have proposed in Assessment 1 and produce a professional research report that shows that you have followed through from finding a research question to answering that question and developing recommendations that arise from your findings. The report will follow the typical structure of a research report and will need to include the following:

  • Preliminaries: Title page (with a clear project title), executive summary, table of contents.
  • Introduction, including: background, problem statement, aim and research question(s), overview of the remainder of the report.
  • Critical narrative literature review.
  • Research methodology: If you chose option 1 (real publicly available secondary data), this includes: transparent presentation of data source(s), and how you collected and analysed the data. If you chose option 2 (SLR), this includes: transparent presentation of search parameters and search terms, as well as transparent presentation of how you collected and analysed the data. Justification of approaches taken and use of correct terminology are required for both options.
  • Findings from your analysis.
  • Discussion of findings in light of your narrative literature review.
  • Conclusion, including: answering your research question(s), outlining the contributions of the project, recommendations for practice, recommendations for further research, and limitations.
  • Reference list: All sources, which you have used in the text of your project report, need to be referenced correctly in the text AND within a reference list at the end of your report. You are required to use a MINIMUM of 30 suitable peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles.

Note: The required length for this report is 6,000 to 7,000 words, excluding preliminaries, reference list and appendices. Appendices are optional and should be used for supplementary material only. You must use common font (e.g. Arial or Times New Roman) with font size 11 or 12, as well as appropriate margins and spacing.


Assessment Due Date

Week 12 Friday (8 Oct 2021) 11:59 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Results and feedback will be available in Moodle on certification day.


Weighting
60%

Assessment Criteria

As a Masters-level student, you are required to engage in research as per the Australia Quality Framework (AQF) guidelines. Two specific requirements need to be considered. Students need to demonstrate “a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in a discipline and/or area of professional practice", and demonstrate "knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to a field of work and/or learning”.

Each unit in your Masters program has a number of required weekly readings in terms of academic texts, journals and business publications that represent the appropriate body of knowledge and recent developments referred to by the AQF. In order to demonstrate the ability to engage in appropriate research, students should read and utilise these texts and journals and publications, and as a Masters student, demonstrate an ability to research beyond this minimum standard through additional texts, journals and studies that demonstrate an ability to engage in independent research.

This is an advanced level unit, and accrediting bodies are also looking for evidence of independent research, so the ability to conduct this project without continually relying on your tutors and lecturers is an important part of the learning process for this unit.

You should ensure that you understand the specific research that is required for each assessment piece and recognise that if you merely meet this minimum requirement, you will receive the minimum grade for demonstrated research. Your attention is drawn to the University’s stated position on plagiarism. THE WORK OF OTHERS, WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE ASSIGNMENT MUST BE ATTRIBUTED TO ITS SOURCE. A full list of references must be submitted as part of the assessment. Your assignment will be marked on the following criteria; detailed marking rubrics are available in Moodle:

  • Introduction (5%)
  • Critical narrative literature review (15%)
  • Research methodology (15%)
  • Findings from your analysis (20%)
  • Discussion of findings in light of narrative literature review (20%)
  • Conclusion (5%)
  • Professional written communication (10%)
  • Quality and appropriateness of references, and accuracy of referencing (10%)

Late submission and academic misconduct penalties will be applied in accordance with the university policies.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
Word document to be submitted via Moodle.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Identify and critically review contemporary literature relevant to your research questions
  • Apply research skills to successfully complete the designed study in a systematic and ethical manner
  • Synthesise literature and findings to develop critical discussion and appropriate conclusions
  • Apply high-level written communication skills and an awareness of professional writing styles to the production of research proposal and research report.


Graduate Attributes
  • Knowledge
  • Communication
  • Cognitive, technical and creative skills
  • Research
  • Self-management
  • Ethical and Professional Responsibility

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?