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BUS8402 Research Methodology 2

Semester 1, 2013 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business and Law
School or Department : Faculty of Business and Law
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Joseph Mula
Moderator: Karen Miller

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


The purpose of this course is to develop the research design ability of students to enable them to create and present a research proposal. Developing a research paper and writing a proposal are essential skills to enable the communication to peers of the validity and originality of a researcher’s work. Searching literature databases, managing bibliographies and research writing are essential skills that need to be developed to enable research to be conducted. This course provides a solid base for such learning.


This course is designed to provide students with the capability to develop a research proposal and prepare and present the proposal, building research design skills. The course will assist students to develop research paper and proposal writing skills. It will also build presentation skills. Successful completion of this course requires undertaking assignments, participation in class activities, and acceptance of the research proposal. To facilitate interaction and communications between peers, supervisors and course team members, students will be introduced to and use some education technologies including e-Portfolio and virtual classroom. Thus students will require unfettered access to the Internet with a headset and web-cam, particularly off-campus students.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. understand the research sequence and roles played by candidates and supervisors
  2. frame a research project that is theoretically sound and able to be completed within the timeframe
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the literature, research design and methodology by writing a proposal at the level appropriate for the enrolled program (ie Master, PhD or DBA)
  4. demonstrate presentation skills by making presentations of a proposal.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to course 5.00
2. Refining your study 5.00
3. Research skills toolbox 10.00
4. Initial proposal development 10.00
5. Mini-presentation of initial proposal 5.00
6. Proposal – introduction 10.00
7. Proposal – literature review 10.00
8. Proposal – research design and methodology 10.00
9. Finalising draft proposal 10.00
10. Mock presentation and feedback 5.00
11. Presentation, completion and submission of final proposal 15.00
12. Preparation of draft paper 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • There is no textbook for this course. All materials are contained on the StudyDesk for the course. Selected readings will be used throughout the course in place of a textbook. These will be identified for each module on the StudyDesk.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Fisher, C 2010, Researching and writing a dissertation, 2nd edn, Pearson Education, Harlow, England.
  • Ghauri, P & Grønhaug, K 2010, Research methods in business studies, 4th edn, Financial Times Prentice Hall, Harlow, England.
  • Punch, K 2006, Developing effective research proposals, 2nd edn, Sage Publications, London.
  • Smith, M 2003, Research methods in accounting, Sage Publications, London.
  • Yin, RK 2009, Case study research design and methods, 4th edn, Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California.
  • Additional resources: Students are strongly encouraged to access the Faculty of Business & Law PhD Students Online Community at
  • The text books are useful references that can be found in the USQ Library. Copies of specific chapters from these texts as well as articles referred to for activities can also be found in DiReCt (click link Course Readings – DiReCt in the Useful Links block at top-left corner of course StudyDesk).
  • This website presents a tutorial on qualitative research methods

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 69.00
Directed Study 48.00
Private Study 48.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASST 1 - INITIAL PROPOSAL 100 10 20 Mar 2013
ASST 2 - DRAFT PROPOSAL 100 30 17 Apr 2013
ASST 3 - FINAL PROPOSAL 100 50 19 Jun 2013
PARTICIPATION 100 10 19 Jun 2013

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all activities (such as lectures, tutorials, laboratories and practical work) scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Assignments: (i) The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the examiner. (ii) Students must retain a copy of each assignment submitted for assessment. This must be produced within 24 hours if required by the examiner. (iii) The examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. Applications for extensions should be in writing and must include supporting documentary evidence. Extensions are only granted in unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances. The examiner shall consider all documentary evidence (including statement from a doctor, employer, counsellor or independent member of the community as appropriate) accompanying an application for extension and decide on the outcome. Length of extensions: Up to one week's extension (five working days) may be granted if a signed statement with supporting documentation is sent with the assignment, proving that an unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstance caused the delay, for example unusual and unpredictable work or family commitments. If the signed statement and supporting documentation does not show that unforeseen and uncontrollable circumstances were present for the days claimed, then the normal reduction in marks for a late assignment of 5% per working day will apply. Extensions beyond one week are not allowed unless express permission is obtained from the examiner. Extensions beyond one week are only granted in extreme circumstance because model answers may be distributed after this time. If you are likely to require an extension for a longer period than one week, you must contact the examiner for advice. In most cases, you will be required to complete an alternative make-up assignment. However, make-up assignments are only granted if you have passed all other pieces of assessment for the course. Medical extensions: In the case of an application for extension for medical reasons, the documentation should include a statement from a doctor stating: the date the medical condition began or changed; how the condition affected the student's ability to study; when it became apparent that the student could not submit the assignment. As a rule, you will be granted an extension for the number of working days covered on a medical certificate. In the case of a medical extension, you do not need to contact the examiner unless you require an extension of longer than one week. Extensions for family/personal reasons: In the case of an application for extension for family/personal reasons, the documentation should include a statement from a doctor, counsellor or independent member of the community stating: the date the student's personal circumstances began or changed; how the circumstances affected the student's ability to complete the assignment; when it became apparent that the student could not complete the assignment. In the case of an extension for family/personal reasons you must contact the examiner before the due date to discuss the reason for the extension and to negotiate the length of an extension if granted. Extensions for employment-related reasons: In the case of an application for extension for employment-related reasons, the documentation should include a statement from the student's employer stating: the date the student's employment began or the conditions of employment changed; how this prevents the student from completing the assignment. In the case of an extension for employment-related reasons you must contact the examiner before the due date to discuss the reason for the extension and to negotiate the length of an extension if granted.

  2. Text books: Please note that it is the responsibility of the student to acquire a copy of the text book as soon as their enrolment in the course has been confirmed. Extensions will not be granted on the basis of the student not having a copy of the text, if the text is available from the USQ bookshop.

  3. Referencing in assignments: Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

Other requirements

  1. Computer and Internet access: Students undertaking this course must have unfetted access to a personal computer and the Internet both during working hours and out of working hours. Appropriate software including Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access) needs to be loaded on the computer being used for the course. In addition, as discussions and presentations will be undertaken using the Internet, students are required to have a web camera and headset (or microphone and speakers) to facilitate interaction. Other software and applications will be identified on the course website