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: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Lynn Thurloway


Type of module:

Summary module description:

The MRC offers students an opportunity to develop and demonstrate skills that draw together both research skills and understanding of key  theoretical ideas of an organisational issue , problem or opportunity  in applied or academic project. 



• To develop programme members knowledge and understanding of key research skills required to undertake either a theoretical MBA Dissertation or an applied Integrated Business Project (IBR)

• To develop an understanding of the research process and research design and the need to reflect on and undertake effective planning when undertaking management based investigations

• To give programme members an awareness of the appropriate use of methodology, theory, data, use of literature and developing original research regardless of their choice of project structure

• To enable programme members to undertake a piece of original research in management and successfully report the approach, analysis and findings whether following the applied or theoretical route.

The Management Research Challenge (MRC) develops programme members’ knowledge, understanding and skills to enable them to undertake an in-depth investigation of a relevant management or business topic. The MRC comprises three core activities which are delivered over the course of the programme, one at each stage.


Stage 1 MRC Research Skills 1

The delivery in stage one is a 10-hour self-study on-line course that introduces members to the research process, simple data collection and basic statistics including descriptive statistics and correlation It also introduces the use of spread sheets or data bases to process and manipulate data. Members are encouraged to practice their skills both in the module and within their studies of other modules when reading or reviewing data.

Learning Outcomes (non-assessed)

• To develop a basic understanding of the research process

• To use information and data in a questioning manner to make decisions both in learning and management practice

• To understand and apply basic statistical terms and techniques


Stage 2 MRC Research Skills 2

The delivery in stage two is blended learning comprising of both self-studies supported by learning material and a supporting workshop. The hours for this stage are 30 hours comprising 20 hours independent learning, reflection and developing the proposal and 10 hours for the workshop and related preparation. This stage builds on the first stage and encourages members to start to consider opportunities for their own personal investigation. The focus of this stage is to develop a deeper understanding of the research process and the importance of planning and developing a good research strategy regardless of their approach. This stage also considers issues around sampling and the philosophies and the use of both qualitative methods and statistical analysis beyond descriptive statistics so that they have the knowledge and understanding to make informed decisions when choosing a topic and developing their plan. The differences between the Dissertation option and the IBR will also be introduced in order that members can reflect on which approach will be the most relevant to their own personal development objectives and the potential opportunities available within their own context. Members will be encouraged to start developing their proposals using the knowledge and skills that they have developed so far in preparation for the final stage of the programme.


Learning Outcomes

• To apply good research principles to the choice, planning and design of their investigation and justify the inputs including choice of topic, sampling approach and methodology

• To develop knowledge and understanding of methods in order to evaluate both qualitative and quantitative methods in order to support and justify the chosen methods for their own investigation.

Assessable learning outcomes:

General Assessable Outcomes

Demonstration of Mastery through

• The application of research techniques and development of the research process in undertaking the investigation, analysis and reporting of the outcomes

• Demonstration of the ability to apply learning from the MRC module appropriately and effectively

• Demonstration of the ability to be critical, evaluative and reflective in respect of applying knowledge and understanding gained within the overall programme and their personal research around the topic, including the use of wider reading, both in terms of appropriate theory and appropriate practitioner/commercial literature.

• Demonstration of the ability to collect and use evidence both (reading and fieldwork) to support the investigation, analysis and conclusions in a critical and evaluative manner.

• Application of appropriate methods, with justification, to their investigation and analysis.

• Demonstration capacity to critically reflect and review on the research process that they have applied and their own learning and development from the MRC experience.

Additional outcomes:


Demonstration of Mastery through

• A critical and in-depth review of current academic thinking that is appropriate to the topic and informs and underpins the final choice of topic, the empirical investigation and the analysis.

• 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.

Integrated Business Project

Demonstration of Mastery through

• An Integrated approach to the investigation recognising both the importance of context and of different subject perspectives. It is expected that at least two subject areas will inform the overall analysis and report.

• The use of relevant wider reading of the topic both in terms of the content and the options in order to build knowledge and understanding that can be drawn upon to make more informed and effective decisions and recommendations

• Evidence based approaches that draw on wider reading and data from the field and offer opportunities to reflect and justify

Outline content:

Programme members will be provided with core materials and a learning guide at stages one and two and a guide to support them through all three stages. Additionally, they will be supported by workshops and Blackboard. 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:

The approach for this module is based on blended learning, on-line material and workshops in the first instance.  Once the student has submitted a proposal they are allocated an academic supervisor who will  give tailored formative support in the form of guidance  based on a draft of the report and responses to specific questions and queries related to the research process.

NB The Executive Management Programme follow the same structure and process as described above with the exception that the self-study element of the module at stage one is supported by a one-day workshop. This means that they have 42 hours self-study and 8-hour workshop delivery. Pre and post workshop preparation are based on the self-study material which all participants have access to in order to support their own personal development of basic research skills.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 30
Project Supervision 30
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 100
    Other 30
    Carry-out research project 100
    Dissertation writing 110
Total hours by term 400 0 0
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
No examination

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Summative assessment comprises final project of 15,000 words.  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, an interim review of up to 15 pages of work to ensure the student is on the right path and ONE draft submission

Penalties for late submission:

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

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

Reassessment arrangements:

By resubmission of the Management Report Challenge normally within six months of submission. Programme members 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.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Required Text Book: £80.98

Last updated: 2 May 2019


Things to do now