MNM3MRC-Management Research Challenge

Module Provider: Leadership, Organisations and Behaviour
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Dr Ana Graca


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The Management Research Challenge (MRC) is a major project that offers students the opportunity to demonstrate practical business research skills in identifying a significant organisational issue, problem or gap in management knowledge, design an appropriate data collection and analysis process,  and present supported recommendations for practice or contribution to knowledge.  


  • Develop knowledge and understanding of key research skills for a management based investigation; 

  • Prepare, implement and evaluate an appropriate research process that investigates a relevant business issue, management question or gap in knowledge;  

  • Demonstrate awareness of appropriate use of methodology, theory, data, and critical use of literature; 

  • Undertake a piece of original research in management and present findings and recommendations in line with the type of project chosen; 

  • Integrate and consolidate learning from relevant MBA subject areas and apply this to a real business problem or gap in knowledge 



Outline Content and Structure for the Management Research Challenge  

Stage 2 MRC Research Skills 1 


Preparation for the management challenge begins in the second stage of the programme. Delivery in stage two is blended learning comprising of both self-study with learning material and a workshop. Students will get to know a range of evidence-based management sources that will help them formulate a problem and focused question and conduct an evidence-based investigation.  

The objectives in this stage are to: 

  • Introduce the investigation process as a foundation for the Management Research Challenge; 

  • Consider the value of evidence for management, learning and research; 

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to gather evidence from current thinking; 

  • Identify, define and scope a significant problem or issue and focused question that can be addressed through structured and rigorous investigation; 


Stage 3 MRC Research Skills 2 


Stage 3 applies learning from the previous stages in order to develop and undertake an investigation. Delivery in this stage comprises mainly independent study, submission of a project proposal and workshops and clinics. Once a proposal is submitted, students are allocated a supervisor 


The objectives in this stage are to: 

  • Demonstrate an understanding of relevant investigative approaches and the ability to select and justify the chosen approach. 

  • Prepare and submit a 1,000-word proposal outlining their plan for the investigation  



Assessable learning outcomes:

Students will demonstrate mastery by: 


  • justifying research techniques and research process in undertaking the investigation, analysis and reporting of the outcomes; 


  • being critical, evaluative and reflective in respect of applying knowledge and understanding gained within the overall programme; 


  • conducting personal research around the topic, including the use of wider reading in terms of appropriate theory and appropriate practitioner/commercial literature; 


  • collecting and using evidence (from reading and fieldwork) to support the investigation, analysis and conclusions in a critical and evaluative mann er; 


  • reflecting on the research process and personal learning objectives. 



Brief description of teaching and learning methods: 


Summative assessment is through the formal submission of a 15,000 word report w hich includes discussion of the topic, analysis, conclusion and recommendations and personal reflection. Students may choose between two types of Management Research Challenge: 


  1. Applied Project option: 


This takes an applied, problem solving approach which considers issues within busines s and management in an integrated way. The research question in an applied project will be driven by a real topic, issue, problem or phenomenon within an organisation or an industry. It recognises that problems and opportunities in practice have multiple drivers and factors that influence the way they both manifest and impact. Wider reading of relevant theory and practitioner literature offers an opportunity to develop knowledge and understanding from different perspectives a round the problem or opportunity and support overall analysis of fieldwork data in order to make informed decisions and recommendations. 


Applied projects may take two forms. In most locations, students may select an individual business project (IBP) or a group project (Capstone). 



Additional outcomes:

Additional learning outcomes 

Students will demonstrate mastery through: 

  • integrating the investigation through the appropriate selection subject perspectives and current thinking in industry and management/practice;  

  • presenting and justifying informed and effective decisions and recommendations based on the research; 

  • (Group option) - evidence of cohesion and collaboration in preparation and execution of the project and reflection on process. 


  1. The dissertation option  


This gives students the opportunity to develop an investigation which is more academic. It is a theory driven approach which will require students to demonstrate that they can define the topic clearly in order to develop a deep analysis of related theory and academic literature in order to build arguments and justification for the research question through the engagement with the literature. Typically, the outcomes from an analysis of the literature are used to form a foundation for their empirical research in an appropriate business or management setting. Recommendations in a dissertation are also intended to be practical and relevant to management practice, but are made in terms of a contribution to knowledge. 


Additional learning outcomes (dissertation)  

Students will demonstrate mastery through: 

  • critical reviewing the current academic thinking that informs and underpins the choice of topic, the empirical investigation and the analysis. 

  • presenting conclusions and recommendations that are grounded in the theory and appropriate evidence from the fieldwork. 

  • Reflection of learning from engagement with the theory as well as the practice of the MRC.

Outline content:

Students will be provided with core materials, workshops, clinics and a learning guide on Canvas in stages 2 and 3.  In stage three, on submission of a proposal, they will be assigned a supervisor who will support them on a one to one basis in terms of further development of their proposal, the project and the writing up process. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 4 8
Tutorials 8
Project Supervision 24
Supervised time in studio/workshop 4 8
Work-based learning 10
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 20 60
    Advance preparation for classes 6 8
    Other 24
    Carry-out research project 100
    Dissertation writing 110
    Reflection 6
Total hours by term 0
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Capstone Option – Group Integrated Business Project + Individual Reflection

Method Percentage
Written assignment, inlcuding essay 20%
Dissertation 80%

No examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Summative assessment comprises final project of 15,000 words for individual applied project or dissertation. Group (Capstone) applied projects comprise final group project of 15,000 words plus individual reflection of 2,000 per student.  The submission date will be determined by each individual programme schedule as there are multiple points for submission. 


Formative assessment methods:

The proposal is formatively assessed and is a pass /resubmit format.  Formative assessment is undertaken during the development of the project in the form of responses to questions, and key check-in points with the supervisor when the student receives feedback from the supervisor on MRC chapters.  

Penalties for late submission:

These are in accordance with the mode of study arrangements laid out in the Programme Specification.  

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: 


Assessment requirements for a pass:
A minimum mark of 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission of the Management Research Challenge normally within six months of ratified decision. Students only have the right to be reassessed once and in line with normal practice the resit mark will be capped at 50% if they are successful. 


Any members submitting as part of a group Capstone project who fail to secure a combined overall pass mark will be required to undertake an individual evaluative 5000 word assignment, capped at 50%. 

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 4 April 2020


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