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BUS8404 Research Methodology 4

Semester 1, 2014 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts

Contents on this page


Examiner: Ronel Erwee
Moderator: Jianming Yong

Other requisites

Recommended prior study: BUS8403 or MGT8403. 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 course is incorporated into the Doctor of Business Administration and Master of Business Research programs and is tailored to the dissertation theme or topic for each student. The course examiner uses the two assignments to ensure that the research student demonstrates greater insight into the conceptual frameworks of their discipline. Students craft a framework for their particular dissertation proposal to support the work that they are doing in BUS8402 and to prepare a more comprehensive basis for their literature review in their dissertation proposal and eventual dissertation.


This course has been designed to enhance and build upon the discipline knowledge gained in BUS8403. The course combines appropriate theoretical analysis with relevant applications in practice. The structure of the course provides a sound core of advanced knowledge combined with the opportunity to explore specialized discipline areas relevant to each student's proposed dissertation.


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

  1. demonstrate advanced level academic and professional literacy skills by analysing the major theoretical approaches and application within the discipline or disciplines relevant to their proposed dissertation
  2. develop the initial conceptual model for their study
  3. evaluate the foundations of the parent discipline or disciplines relevant to their proposed dissertation
  4. demonstrate ethical research and enquiry, and written communication skills by preparing and submitting two assignments.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Topics and their weightings will be determined for each student at the beginning of the semester of offer. Topics will reflect each student's proposed dissertation. 100.00

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. (

  • A list of text(s) and materials will be tailored to each student's proposed dissertation and supplied at the commencement of the semester.

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.
  • Leedy, PD & Ormrod, JE 2009, Practical research: planning and design, 9th edn, Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
  • Zikmund, WG, Babin, BJ, Carr, JC & Griffin, J 2010, Business research methods, 8th edn, South-Western/Cengage Learning, Mason, Ohio.
  • Fisher, C with Buglear, J, Lowry, D, Mutch, A & Tansley, C 2007, chapter 3 in Researching and writing a dissertation: a guidebook for business students, 2nd edn, Pearson Education, Harlow, England. pp. 119-50.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 70.00
Directed Study 65.00
Private Study 30.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
RESEARCH OBJECTIVE AND ISSUES 0 0 04 Mar 2014 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 1 - ESSAY 100 50 21 Apr 2014
ASSIGNMENT 2 - ESSAY 100 50 19 Jun 2014

  1. Guidelines and marking of the research activity to clarify your Research Objective and Issues are noted on the discussion board.

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:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  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.

  2. 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, e-mail and Internet access: 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 //