It is a requirement of all MSc Programmes that participants undertake and successfully complete a major
Business Project. In some cases students may elect to undertake an MSc ‘Dissertation’ rather than a
Business Project, to reflect the research based nature of the work undertaken.
For the purpose of this document we refer to the MSc ‘Business Project’, but the information contained in
these guidelines applies equally to either iteration (Business Project or Dissertation).
The guidelines should be read in conjunction with the module specification and grading criteria for the
Business Project module for your course as follows:
You will also receive advice and guidance on the Business Project process from your Programme Director
and Business Project Supervisor, and in the Research Methods module or workshops for your course. In
addition, the following MSc courses also have course specific Business Project Guidelines which are
contained in the following appendix to this document:
Appendix 1 – BDM176 MSc HRM Course Specific Business Project Guidelines
(plus marking criteria, assessment & feedback forms p27) Page 15
Appendix 2 – BDM166 MSc BP Course Specific Business Project Guidelines
(plus marking criteria, assessment & feedback forms p27) Page 21
Appendix 3 – BDM181 MSc WPB Course Specific Business Project Guidelines
(plus marking criteria, assessment & feedback forms p27) Page 24
Appendix 4 – MSc HRM / BP / WPB Marking Criteria Page 27
Appendix 5 – BDM173 MSc IB and BDM167 MSc Entrepreneurship Course Specific Page 30
Business Project Guidelines
Appendix 6 – BDM178 MSc SIB Course Specific Business Project Guidelines Page 33
Appendix 7 – BDM170 MSc ISBA Course Specific Business Project Guidelines Page 36
Appendix 8 – BDM177 MSc SMM Course Specific Business Project Guidelines Page 49
What is the MSc Business Project?
The MSc Business Project is a focused investigation of specific issues or topics identified in the Research
Methods module or Workshop for your course. The Business Project is neither a PhD thesis nor an extended
essay. It need not generate a mass of 'primary' data or 'original theory’; however neither should it be entirely
derivative. It may incorporate some research methodology and include some empirical work, and should
demonstrate the student's own ability to develop ideas and lines of thought. Within these broad guidelines,
it is possible to envisage a variety of different sorts of work.
In most cases, it is expected that all the necessary information for your Business Project will be obtained
from secondary sources via the University Library, Internet, etc. Where a Business Project has a finance
focus, it is expected that the research will be based on published corporate/economic data. Appropriate
primary research, for example, telephone or face-to-face interviews, may also be carried out subject to ethical
approval, but the scale of such research must be realistic and able to be completed within the timescales
available for completion of the Business Project.
In some cases, students will be required to select a Business Project topic from a series of published
Business Project titles linked to the research interests of potential Supervisors. Exceptionally, the Business
Project may be carried out with a collaborating or sponsoring organisation, providing the scope and nature
of the assignment is judged appropriate by the Programme Director.
In summary, the purpose of the Business Project component of your course is two-fold:
To examine a topic in greater depth than is possible in the taught part of the course
To develop skills in:
o Defining a topic area
o Selecting appropriate methodologies
o Finding and managing relevant data
o Planning a complex piece of work
o Making a critical analysis and presenting a well-structured, lucid report with appropriate
More than any other element of the course, the Business Project provides you with the opportunity to study,
on your own initiative and in detail, a subject which is not only of particular interest, but which has the potential
to contribute powerfully to your personal development.
The Role of the Business Project Supervisor
Once you have identified a Business Project to work on, the Programme Director will allocate a supervisor
to you. Your supervisor will be a member of the teaching staff or an external member of staff employed
specifically to act as a Business Project supervisor, and will be broadly responsible for overseeing your work.
The specific role of the Supervisor is to:
Go through the process of ethical approval with you
To approve the Business Project Work Plan which sets key milestones for completion of your Business
Project including the schedule of proposed meetings, and the mechanism by which you will maintain
contact with your supervisor thought the duration of your Business Project
To approve the content of any questionnaire that you intend to issue and/or the proposed questions which
will form the basis of any interviews that you plan to conduct as part of your data collection/research
To provide general guidance and support on the approach taken by the student
To monitor progress against the agreed schedule as detailed in the Business Project work plan
To advise on structuring and writing the Business Project report
To assess the report together with a second internal examiner