MAR8064 : Research and Commercial Skills

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aims of the first half of the module concern research skills: To introduce the underlying ideas and concepts associated with research methodologies, the ethics and philosophy of science. How research projects are to be managed. In parallel to provide basic information literary skills related to finding, assessing and presenting information, processing data and making judgements about data using basic statistical concepts and tools. Also using library and information services.

The aim of the second half of the module is to raise the students’ commercial awareness and equip them with the basics of key business, financial and management concepts, tools and techniques. In addition the module aims to help students appreciate the importance of interpersonal skills and how these can be enhanced. Health and Safety issues in the workplace are also introduced.

Outline Of Syllabus

Research Skills:

Research objectives; the role of the funding bodies and research organisations; research ethics; the research proposal and planning; research monitoring; report and thesis preparation and writing.

Information literacy; library and information services; information search; retrieval, analysis and presentation; electronic communication systems & information technology tools.

Statistics; data summary and data presentation. Basic concepts of probability. The rationale behind sampling, randomisation and sampling strategies. Discrete distributions; binomial and Poisson. Continuous distributions; normal and exponential. Estimation. The central limit theorem. Confidence intervals for means using the t-distribution. Approximate confidence intervals for proportions using a normal approximation. Hypothesis testing; basic ideas and concepts. Interrelationships between testing and confidence intervals. Tests on means and proportions. X2 goodness of fit tests. Analysis of contingency tables. Correlation and regression. Practical classes will be based on the statistical package MINITAB. Multiple regression analysis (MRA) & principle component analysis (PCA) using PRIMER software. Modelling and simulation software; brief introduction to Labview.

Commercial Awareness:

Management and Leadership, Interpersonal skills, Project Planning & Control, Business Model Canvass, Operations Management, Lean and Six Sigma, Business Strategy, Marketing, Human Resource Management, Essentials of Finance (P&L, Balance Sheet, Ratios etc), Costing and Investment Appraisal, Contracts and Legal Issues.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion18:008:00Coursework
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion13:003:00Examination
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00Commercial awareness
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00Including Tutorials (Research and Stats)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical16:006:00Computer classes
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops13:003:00Interpersonal skills workshop
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1107:00107:00General revision
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study127:0027:00Examination revision
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
MAR8076Commercial Awareness
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures are designed to assist students in the acquisition of a knowledge base that will facilitate understanding of concepts, methods tools and techniques.

Independent study involves:
1. study following lectures and practicals
2. study in preparation for the assessed coursework and exams, which provides an opportunity to bring together relevant knowledge and understanding and cognitive, research-related, and assessed key skills.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
PC Examination1801A63N/A
Exam Pairings
Module Code Module Title Semester Comment
MAR8076Commercial Awareness1N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report1M25Report on statistics, taking approximately 8 hours
Report1M12Group presentation.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The report on statistics (semester 1) provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and the possession of subject-specific, cognitive and key skills.

The group presentation allows students to both practice their presentations skills and work in a group to apply the course material to a chosen company.

The remaining material covered in the module is assessed via a comprehensive end of year three hour examination.

Reading Lists