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ACE3099 : Agri-food Business Management and Marketing Dissertation

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Jeremy Phillipson
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 15.0


This module aims to develop the student’s ability to systematically conduct research and report the outcome of an in-depth investigation of a rural/agri-food business management and marketing topic by: 1) integrating and extending knowledge and skills gained throughout the undergraduate programme; and 2) encouraging students to work on their own initiative whilst being supported by the assessment processes and their respective supervisors.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students have the opportunity to carry out a research investigation on a topic of their choice relevant to rural/agri-food business management and marketing. They will, with advice from a member of academic staff carry out an in-depth investigation of agri-business management topic.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00Research Intro, Aims and Research Questions, Literature review and Methods
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:0080:00Dissertation
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities21:002:00Library - Finding and Managing Information
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities21:002:00Writing Development Centre - Literature review and Writing your Dissertation
Guided Independent StudySkills practice110:0010:00Microsoft Office, NVivo and SPSS practice, applied to subject topic
Guided Independent StudyProject work1120:00120:00Methodological development; Literature Review, Data collection
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00Learning from previous dissertations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops32:006:00Student presentation sessions.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops11:001:00Library - Finding and Managing Information
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00Writing Developing Centre
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Stats Support
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00Module leader optional drop in sessions for queries.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study124:0024:00Literature review/reading around
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision101:0010:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture and workshop materials provide a framework to help students think about their own research project (In relation to Skills Outcome #1,2,3,4). The semester 1 lecture materials and workshops are intended to help students set out their research aims, literature review and methods, with workshop sessions in semester 2 giving an opportunity for students to present their working ideas to peers and supervisory staff. Lecture materials in semester 2 are designed to give guidance on the writing and submission of the final dissertation (in relation to Intended Skills Outcome #1,2,3,4). Online drop in sessions are geared to providing 1 to 1 support to students on the progression of their dissertations, with specialised sessions focussed on survey design and data analysis.

Students will be appointed a supervisor on the basis of: Matching research/methodological interests of staff and students and/or; Matching students with their personal tutors. Dissertation supervisors are likely to be supervising several students. It is the responsibility of each student to discuss with their supervisors how best to proceed with supervisory meetings.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M2525% Individual essay setting out Introduction, Aims and Research Qs, Literature Review and Methods (max 5000 words)
Dissertation2M75Dissertation (max 12,000 wds) on an agri-food business/rural issue.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

There are 3 pieces of continuous assessment :

1) 1,500 research proposal [10%]
2) 3,000 literature review [15%]
3) 12,000 word final dissertation [75%].

Assessment 1) feeds into 2) and 1) and 2) feeds directly into 3), as these pieces of work form drafts of several chapters of 3) the final dissertation. These assessments have been formulated in line with the Intended Knowledge Outcomes of the module. Each piece of assessment is designed to prepare students for undertaking scholarly research (in relation to Intended Skills Outcome #1), educate students in developing a critical approach to evaluation of evidence (in relation to Skills Knowledge Outcome #2), demonstrate how to analyse results from collecting primary data (in relation to Intended Skills Outcome #3) and improve students’ overall ability to present and communicate original scholarly knowledge (in relation to Intended Skills Outcome #4).

Reading Lists