ICM329-Research Study

Module Provider: ICMA Centre
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2022/3

Module Convenor: Prof Charles Sutcliffe
Email: c.sutcliffe@icmacentre.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Students choose a finance question that is of interest to them, and produce a Research Study which addresses their question. The Research Study starts in the middle of the Autumn term. This gives students plenty of time to complete their Research Study, and the flexibility to phase it to fit in with other demands on their time. The Research Study usually involves the analysis of data. At the start, each student is allocated an academic supervisor who offers advice on their Research Study. Student assessment is based solely on the quality of their Research Study, which is submitted at the end of June.


The aim of the research project is to allow students to define and execute a piece of research in finance on a topic of their choice, with direction from an academic supervisor.

Assessable learning outcomes:

Successful completion of the research project requires students to define and execute a piece of research in finance.

Students will improve their report-writing skills, learning how to structure their study, and how to place their findings in the wider context.

Additional outcomes:

The self-directed nature of study for this module should encourage students to be resourceful in their search for relevant literature and data, and to manage the various stages involved effectively, leading to timely submission of the finished piece.


Outline content:

Research projects can be based on any area of finance. They may take one of a variety of forms, but usually involve an empirical analysis.

Global context:

The range of possible research questions is global.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

An initial lecture will be held at the beginning of the Autumn term to explain the objectives and required format of the research project. Students will then be asked to submit a formal proposal and will be allocated an academic supervisor, who will offer feedback and constructive comment on the proposal. Work will then commence on the project. The hand-in date is 30th June.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Project Supervision 2 2
Guided independent study:      
    Carry-out research project 98 98
Total hours by term 100 0 100
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

The word limit is 8,000 words, and the hand-in date is 30th June

Formative assessment methods:

Meetings with the supervisor.

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here: https://www.reading.ac.uk/cqsd/-/media/project/functions/cqsd/documents/cqsd-old-site-documents/penaltiesforlatesubmissionpgflexible.pdf

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;

  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: https://www.reading.ac.uk/cqsd/-/media/project/functions/cqsd/documents/cqsd-old-site-documents/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf

You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission of a research project.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 22 March 2023


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