NBS8520 : MBA Individual Project

Semester 2 Credit Value: 5
Semester 3 Credit Value: 45
ECTS Credits: 25.0


This is a compulsory module designed to allow the students to demonstrate their understanding of a wide range of materials covered on the programme. The module includes three parts:

(1) Compulsory introductory research methods lectures that students must attend and utilise to develop a research proposal.
(2) Students will attend further compulsory research methods lectures and workshops to develop their proposals and their research skills.
(3) Students will be allocated an academic tutor and receive academic supervision to support independent study and to complete their Individual Project report.

The Individual Project can take the form of either an Individual Research Project on an approved topic of interest to the student, a Corporate Consultancy Project based on a corporate project sourced by NUBS, or an Entrepreneurial Business Plan for an idea identified by the student.

All projects will utilise research skills to answer a research question derived from the academic literature.

In the case of Individual Research Projects the identification of the topic and the development of the research question is by the student, subject to approval by the academic tutor.

For Corporate Consultancy Projects the topic is usually established by the external organisation but the precise scope and research questions will be developed by the student, in consultation with the external organisation and subject to approval by the academic tutor. A limited number of corporate projects may be available for MBA students and acceptance of any student to undertake a Corporate Consultancy Project will be at the discretion of the MBA Director.

For an Entrepreneurial Business Plan, the idea will have been identified by the student (typically during earlier modules on entrepreneurship) but its suitability for development as a Business Plan of sufficient complexity to justify it as the focus of the Individual Project will be subject to approval by the academic tutor or module leader

The module aims to:

• Provide the opportunity for students to undertake independent research in which they apply appropriate tools of analysis.

• Enable students to sharpen critical and analytical skills in gathering and interpreting information, and identify significant issues/themes and themselves.

• Enable students to further enhance and develop subject-specific knowledge through conducting desk research and/or empirical works.

• Enable students to relate academic issues and concepts to real-world problems.

• Further enhance interpersonal and transferable skills through oral/written communication, negotiation, problem solving, time management, and self-motivation and creativity.

Outline Of Syllabus

The compulsory lectures will include the following topics:

Introduction to MBA Individual Project and business research
Using research to solve business problems and develop recommendations
The role of literature in business research and formulating a research topic
Qualitative research
Quantitative research
Developing a research proposal
Research ethics and risk
Writing your Individual Project Report

Compulsory research methods workshops will include:
Introduction to qualitative analysis
Introduction to quantitative analysis

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture103:0030:00Research Methods Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching22:004:00Workshops on qualitative and quantitative tools
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1461:00461:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision51:005:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The research methods workshops will provide students with essential research skills for carrying out independent research projects. The academic supervision will continuously support students and provide relevant guidance. The Individual Project is therefore an independent piece of work that will be supported through the academic tutorial system.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M10Research Proposal (3000 words)
Report3M90Individual Project Report - 12,000 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

An in-depth Project Report allows the student to demonstrate their ability to undertake independent research.

All students will produce a final written Project Report on the independent research conducted, grounded in relevant academic literature.

For the Individual Research Project and Corporate Consultancy Project routes, the grounding in academic literature is expected to follow the form and standards required for a traditional Masters dissertation.

In the case of the Entrepreneurial Business Plan, and notwithstanding that the audience for business plans per se do not normally require the plan to be grounded in academic literature, the final report will be expected to locate the plan in relation to appropriate academic literature, for example on why similar sorts of entrepreneurial schemes succeed and fail, and to demonstrate how the plan has taken account of such issues.

Unless agreed otherwise in advance by the academic tutor or module leader, all final reports will include an Executive Summary and Recommendations. These two sections will be clearly derived from the research conducted and written for a non-academic audience.

Resit is by resubmission of a revised report.

Reading Lists