Thematic Independent Studies

Module summary

Module code: RESE1031
Level: 6
Credits: 30
School: Business Faculty
Department: Systems Management and Strategy
Module Coordinator(s): Chunjia Han



The Module provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to cap off their degrees with a major project of self-directed study through investigation and critical evaluation of combining (1) academic knowledge gained from their degree studies and (2) a link to their future employability. Under the guidance of their personal tutor, students will design and develop two extended essays on the same or related topics, which draw on relevant literature and secondary data but will not involve primary research. Students will also defend one of their essays through a viva voce examination and submit a reflective commentary.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this Module a student will be able to:

1. Investigate and review academic literature to demonstrate awareness of different perspectives.
2. Formulate a research question which challenges or explores academic knowledge.
3. Critically examine and reflect upon theoretical practices based upon the world of work.
4. Locate appropriate secondary data to address the research question.
5. Analyse and re-interpret secondary data in order to formulate a relevant argument.
6. Construct an argument that critically addresses a research question in an informed manner.
7. Structure essays in a logical way which represents research and analysis.

Indicative content

Learning about oneself – one’s capabilities, confidence, life interests and career orientations. Select an appropriate research question with sufficient scope and challenge. Exercise personal initiative in undertaking the research process. Gain deep critical knowledge of a specific research area. Learning and practising skills / personal attributes of value in the world of work. Academic writing - analytical, critical and reflective. Harvard referencing and academic honesty. In order to provide insights and learning that correlate to one’s higher education studies. Learning / self-management in a range of situations (i.e., academic or work-related). Independent critical thinking. Managing information.

Teaching and learning activity

Although the principle learning method is supervised independent study, the Module is mainly delivered though bi-weekly tutorials, in which students meet with their supervisors as they progress through pre-determined deliverable and milestones. This helps to ensure that suitable topics and research questions are chosen, as well as suitable progress is being made. Feedback on the first essay and the preparation for the viva voce examination will focus the student's performance. The use of technology is integrated in various ways to support instruction and interaction between students / supervisors, as well as to enhance each student’s digital literacy.


Individual Panopto Presentation - 20% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3 & 6.
Outline Details - Outlines topic and generally introduces the literature in the field. 10 Minutes.

Research Essay - 80% weighting, 40% pass mark.
Learning Outcomes - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7.
Outline Details - Develops argument or position in relation to the topic presented in the Individual Panopto Presentation. The position should analyse and critique the literature or discipline. 6000 Words.

Students are required to pass all elements of summative assessment in order to pass the course.

Formative Assessment:

- Feedback on engagement with the Module on Moodle. Feedback/group discussion in tutorials on work uploaded to the wikis
- A formative assessment of a small essay (800 words) due on week 7, asking students to describe (1) the chosen research topic, (2) developed research question and (3) the significance of the research. This will help students to receive comments and suggestions about their topic, academic writing as well as literature review and referencing, and thus enable students to better prepare their summative assignments: the Panopto presentation and the final research essay.