REMRBAP-Rural Business Analysis Project

Module Provider: Real Estate and Planning
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Mrs Angela Cropley

Email: a.cropley@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module represents the student’s major piece of independent work towards completion of the MSc. The module aims to guide students through the typical steps taken to plan the inception or development of a rural enterprise (business or social enterprise), or to solve a specific rural land management or business problem.

With the approval and guidance of tutors, students are required to:-

• Identify an appropriate proposed enterprise, which should be based on a specific set of (real) circumstances familiar to the student;
• Undertake and complete a proposal for the work;
• Present the proposal to demonstrate its value to the organisation, the intellectual credibility and practical applicability of its methodology;
• Employ sound research methods to generate a 10,000 to 12,000 word business plan for the establishment or development of an enterprise, or report addressing a specific problem.

Aims:
The business plan/report will enable the student to apply their understanding of rural land and business management in a specific setting. The project therefore strengthens both their conceptual development and their capacity to apply their learning in an organisational setting.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
• Justify the commissioning of a business plan/report by presenting an intellectually credible rationale as to its value to the specific organisation in the given circumstances
• Identify areas of related academic learning, conduct a related literature search and develop an appropriate bibliography
• Create and plan appropriate research and project methodologies for constructing the business plan/report
• Collect, analyse, use and present appropriate primary and secondary data within the business plan/report
• Conduct detailed and accurate market analysis of the appropriate enterprise market sector
• Demonstrate an awareness of legal and regulatory restrictions of significance to the organisation.
• Demonstrate creativity in the design of appropriate solutions/development for the organisation.
• Understand management structure and staffing.
• Present accurate and relevant financial data.
• Present and interpret findings and develop sound conclusions.
• Demonstrate sound written presentational skills and referencing

Additional outcomes:
The attention to detail and nuance demanded in developing and executing a business plan/report supports intellectual and conceptual development, as well as strengthening experiential learning. A range of related skills will be improved through undertaking this largely self-directed project, such as: data gathering and information management, problem-solving and time management.

Outline content:
The focus of the project will be determined by the student, with guidance from the tutor.

The student chooses either an estate or enterprise based problem requiring a solution or identifies an opportunity which could be capitalised upon. An appropriate Project Proposal is then written to define an outline of how the project will be structured and executed. Feedback is given; the proposal is discussed and approved by a tutor.

Academic learning (in the area of management) must inform and be applied to each element of the project module. The student must demonstrate knowledge of any seminal articles, research, and contemporary thinking in the academic areas related to the project and employ benchmarking against other organisations with leading edge practice to inform the project.

The student must present the rationale for the project and demonstrate its value to the organisation in a Project Presentation (assessed as part of the Research Methods module) as if the student were gaining funding or management approval for it. A detailed methodology for the chosen project, justifying the research choices made by a general evaluation of the available options must be presented in the Research Methods module assignment.

Finally the student completes a 10,000- 12,000 word final Project Report which outlines its aims, defines its objectives, presents its rationale, defines its methodology, presents its evidence, comes to a conclusion and makes effective recommendations against a background of academic learning. The project must be well presented, accurately referenced and strongly and appropriately structured.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Students are provided with a project resource handbook on Blackboard which details what is required in each part of the module. Individual, subject specialist, tutors will be allocated and individual tutorial time provided.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Project Supervision 1 3 4
Guided independent study 92 300
       
Total hours by term 1.00 95.00 304.00
       
Total hours for module 400.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Project output other than dissertation 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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx
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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:
Not applicable

Requirements for a pass:
The pass-mark for this module is 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:
Reassessment will be by the same method as for the module's original assessment requirements, subject to variation by the Examination Board where appropriate.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 21 December 2016

Things to do now