MMM098-Introduction to Thesis Literature Review

Module Provider: International Business and Strategy
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Peter Scott


Summary module description:
This compulsory module will provide students with an overview and understanding of the role of the literature review in the doctoral thesis; the practicalities of constructing a literature review (surveying the literature; structuring the review; what should and should not be included and so forth); and the requirements for a good literature review (a critical and analytical approach, applied to both arguments and methodology, which demonstrates the need for the thesis research, the viability of the project, and the suitability of the proposed methodology). Students should gain an understanding of these issues both in relation to thesis research in general and their specific requirements.

The module aims to provide students in the Business School with an understanding of all the issues involved in researching, preparing, and writing a literature review for their thesis, together with the specific techniques and resources involved.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to demonstrate a critical understanding of:
-Surveying the literature
-Structuring a literature review
-The requirements of a good literature review
-The importance of a critical/analytical approach
-The relevance and use of theoretical and empirical evidence.

They will also be able to demonstrate their ability to produce a draft preliminary outline literature review for their thesis.

Additional outcomes:
This module will prepare students for their first year of thesis research, guiding them through the requirements of the thesis, the role and importance of the literature review, and how to develop their thesis to the point where they have a clear research question and proposed methodology.

Outline content:
The module addresses these issues through five weekly lectures and two longer (three hour) workshops.

1)The thesis literature review: an overview

2)The literature review search process

3)Being critical and analytical

4)Reviewing unpublished documents

5)Writing up the lit. review

6) Workshop A (presentations by the first half of the student cohort)

7)Workshop B (presentations by the second half of the student cohort)

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module comprises interactive lectures where students are encouraged to discuss their research topics in relation to the various elements of the literature review process under discussion. Students are expected to read key texts and make an active contribution to the lectures. They are also required to look at a completed University of Reading thesis, which has similarities to their in terms of topic and/or methodology and be able to discuss how the thesis in question has addressed the methodological issues involved in reviewing the literature. Students are also expected to engage in a significant amount of self-directed reflective work, which will result in the production of an outline literature review document of around 4,000 words, which will be marked jointly by the module convenor and the supervisor. Substantial feedback will be provided to each student.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Seminars 9
Guided independent study 181
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A minimum mark of 50%

Reassessment arrangements:
By assessment only in August/September.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 21 December 2016

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