Independent Research Project: Management/Marketing

The details
Essex Business School
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
15 September 2023


Requisites for this module
BE938, BE940



Key module for


Module description

This module seeks to bring together the knowledge and understanding you have gained during the Business Management, Management and Marketing, and Business Management and/with Modern Languages degree courses.

This module will enable you to apply and integrate your research skills by critically investigating a contemporary issue in business, management or marketing.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To enable you to develop a deep understanding of a business, marketing, or management issue of interest.

  • To analyse a range of literature, documentary evidence and/or other available primary source material, to demonstrate a critical understanding of the issues facing businesses and society in the world today.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Identify, plan, organise and pursue a research oriented project or study.

  2. Demonstrate the capacity to exercise a range of research and transferable skills and methods in order to produce a research-oriented dissertation.

  3. Analyse and reflect critically on theories and/or conceptual/analytical frameworks in addressing real-life management, marketing or business problems.

  4. Demonstrate a series of transferable skills including those related to accessing documentary evidence, academic literature and analysing data from primary sources.

  5. Demonstrate an ability to analyse, synthesise and critique knowledge from a variety of sources.

  6. Communicate effectively findings and analysis, and generate appropriate recommendations.

Skills for Your Professional Life (Transferable Skills) 

By the end of this module, students should have enhanced the following key professional and transferable skills: 

  1. Written Communication – through the preparation of a final report.

  2. Research Skills – through the retrieval, evaluation and synthesis of published academic research and commercial and professional literature.

  3. Critical Thinking – through the evaluation and critique of published academic, commercial and professional literature.

  4. Digital and Technical Fluency – through the use of internet and electronic database searches to obtain published academic research and commercial and professional literature; or, for example, through research into on-line communities.

  5. Innovation and Curiosity – through the development of a research question and awareness of the academic process.

  6. Data and Analytics – through the evaluation of published research.

  7. Personal Brand – through the development of all these skills to enhance your curriculum vitae.

  8. Commercial Awareness – through the evaluation and critique of professional and commercial literature.

Module information

In order to take this module, students must have achieved a 60 overall in the second year and a module mark of 60 in BE425 Research Methods in Management and Marketing.

This module is a two-term project where you will investigate a contemporary issue in business, management or marketing. There will be a particular emphasis on the data/evidence you use as part of this investigation and an expectation that there will be a systematic approach to data collection and analysis, i.e. the role of research methods and methodology is more explicit.

This module will rely on the knowledge and skills imparted in core and compulsory modules (including the Research Methods in Management and Marketing module) and reinforce the research-led environment that is a hallmark of Essex graduates.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • Lectures.
  • Supervisory meetings.
  • Independent study.

The Final Year Research Project is an independent, self-directed project which builds on earlier modules, in particular on research methods and skills. Lectures and meetings with your supervisor will provide guidance on the work process as well as the structure and format of the coursework assignments. Key information on the module and assignments will be made available on Moodle.

The module leader will also periodically email further guidance and reminders. Your supervisor is your primary contact and support during the process. Be sure to seek their advice during official meetings as well as academic support hours during term time. You, however, are ultimately responsible for the scheduling, development and completion of the project. To reiterate, this is an independent, self-directed project. 

The module consists of four lectures, two in the Autumn Term and two in the Spring Term. The Autumn Term lectures introduce the module and provide an overview of the research process. The Spring Term lecture includes, in particular, detailed advice on the structure and sections of the dissertation.

There will be altogether four supervisory meetings, two in each term. The Autumn Term supervisory sessions will be group meetings relating to the processes of conducting and completing the Final Year Project. The two spring term supervisory sessions will be individual, comprising of 30 minutes each with your supervisor. Your supervisor will also read and comment on one draft of the final dissertation.

Typically, meetings would be arranged for the following milestones:

  • Group meeting to discuss your topic and the development of your emerging research proposal.
  • Group meeting to discuss operationalising your proposal, and in particular looking ahead to your data collection and analysis activity.
  • Individual meeting to discuss progress with data analysis and the writing process.
  • Individual meeting to discuss the draft.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Research Proposal    20% 
Coursework   Project    80% 

Additional coursework information

  • Assignment 1 - 1500 word Research Proposal
    Assignment 2 - 8000 word Research Dissertation based on your independent, original research.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Beatrice Piccoli, email:
Dr Hanqun Song, email:
Dr Beatrice Piccoli & Dr Hanqun Song



External examiner

Dr Muhammad Asif Khan
University of Birmingham
Associate Professor of Human Resource Management & Organisational Behaviour
Available via Moodle
Of 32 hours, 28 (87.5%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
2 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Business School

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