BUSN20019 - Professional Project
Term 2 - 2017


All details in this unit profile for BUSN20019 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student). The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.

Overview

Researching business problems is an important part of professional practice and being a successful business manager and leader. This is a capstone unit that draws upon your area of specialisation and your wider knowledge of business environments both globally and locally. This unit aims to develop your skills in undertaking an independent professional research project. You will engage in conducting an applied research project in your chosen business discipline to identify challenges and develop possible solutions and recommendations. This unit requires independent research and autonomy in review and analysis of secondary sources related to your profession, development of research questions, analysis of data and information, and identification of solutions and recommendations. An important aspect of this unit is to develop insights and provide recommendations that may improve your profession and the roles normally undertaken in business and industry by people in your identified profession.

Details

Career Level Postgraduate
Credit Points 6
Student Contribution Band 3A
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

Pre-requisite: BUSN20016 Research in Business.

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Offerings

Term 2 - 2017
  • Brisbane
  • Distance
  • Melbourne
  • Sydney

Website

This unit has a website, within the Moodle system, which is available two weeks before the start of term. It is important that you visit your Moodle site throughout the term. Go to Moodle

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Postgraduate unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Assessment Overview

Assessment Task Weighting
1. Practical and Written Assessment 40%
2. Practical Assessment 60%

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Procedures for more details of interim results and final grades.

All University policies are available on the IMPortal.

You may wish to view these policies:

  • Grades and Results Procedure
  • Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework)
  • Review of Grade Procedure
  • Academic Misconduct Procedure
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – Domestic Students
  • Monitoring Academic Progress (MAP) Policy and Procedure – International Students
  • Refund and Excess Payments (Credit Balances) Policy and Procedure
  • Student Feedback – Compliments and Complaints Policy and Procedure
  • Acceptable Use of Information and Communications Technology Facilities and Devices Policy and Procedure

This list is not an exhaustive list of all University policies. The full list of University policies are available on the IMPortal.

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback Source Recommendation
Further course resources need to be developed Self reflection Course requires continuous development to ensure that it meets all student needs across the School.
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Develop an understanding of your profession and its role in business and industry
  2. Identify a problem or issue in your profession and/or the roles normally undertaken by such professionals in business or industry
  3. Articulate the research questions that address the issue thus identified
  4. Evaluate and analyse national and international literature and secondary data related to your research questions
  5. Develop appropriate solutions and recommendations to your applied research questions
  6. Communicate key findings and outline recommendations for your profession.

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 - Practical and Written Assessment
2 - Practical Assessment

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

  • Professional Level
  • Advanced Level
Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5 6
1. Knowledge  
2. Communication      
3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills        
4. Research    
5. Self-management
6. Ethical and Professional Responsibility        
7. Leadership            

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

  • Professional Level
  • Advanced Level
Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 - Practical and Written Assessment      
2 - Practical Assessment    

Textbook Information

There are no required textbooks. Note:

This is a supervised research-oriented unit. Extensive readings will be provided within the Moodle site at the commencement of the term. Additional readings will be made available during the progression of the term, as required.

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
  • CQUniversity Student Email
All submissions for this unit must use the American Psychological Association (APA) referencing style (details can be obtained here). For further information, see the Assessment Tasks below.
Unit CoordinatorOlav Muurlink (o.muurlink@cqu.edu.au)
Note: Check the Term-Specific section for any additional contact information provided by the teaching team
Week Begin Date Module/Topic Chapter Events and Submissions
Week 1 10-07-2017

Overview

This week's tutorial and lecture will be devoted to giving an overview of the unit, content, and assessment.

Read the unit profile, assessment tasks and familiarise yourself with the Moodle site. Focus on the section labelled Week 1 on the Moodle site.

Start exploring the datasets provided, and drafting research aims and questions.

All students: Familiarise yourself with the Moodle site.

On-campus students: Identify who your campus tutor is and familiarise yourself with the way in which you can get in contact with him/her - you can find all campus tutors' names and details on the Moodle page.

Attend lectures - valuable hints on how to proceed are given in these lectures.

Online students: Identify where (within Moodle) you can find the unit coordinator

Week 2 17-07-2017

Review of the research process, and understanding secondary data.


Engage with the recommended materials on key concepts in research in section labelled Week 2 on the Moodle site.

Compulsory activity for all students: Begin to draft a one page document summarising your research plan.

Week 3 24-07-2017

Choosing a topic, refining an approach.

Engage with the recommended materials on choosing a topic and refining your approach in section labelled Week 3 on the Moodle site.

Please also continue to develop your own reading list relevant to YOUR chosen topic.

If you have not done so yet, submit your one page research plan.

Remember to continually take notes and not leave all the writing to the last minute. Remember attending lectures for on-campus students is compulsory and strictly observed in this unit.

Week 4 31-07-2017

Search and research strategies for your chosen topic.

Engage with the recommended materials on literature reviews in section labelled Week 4 on the Moodle site.

Develop your own reading list relevant to YOUR chosen topic.

Discussion with campus tutor (engagement with the campus tutor is required as part of Assessment 1).

Week 5 07-08-2017

Refining the project; finding a 'research gap'; a research approach to business questions.

Engage with the recommended materials in section labelled Week 5 on the Moodle site.

An advanced draft of Assessment 1 should be completed by this week.

Vacation Week 14-08-2017

Use this week to progress your project.

Week 6 21-08-2017

Literature review 2: structuring your work and starting writing.

Engage with the recommended materials on writing and structuring literature reviews in section labelled Week 6 on the Moodle site.

Discussion with campus tutor if still required (remember engagement with the campus tutor is required as part of Assessment 1).

Assessment 1 due this week.

Week 7 28-08-2017

Secondary data analysis.

Engage with the recommended materials on secondary data analysis in section labelled Week 7 on the Moodle site.

Commence Assessment 2. Discussion with campus tutor or unit coordinator as required.
Week 8 04-09-2017

Secondary data analysis: writing a methods section.

Engage with the recommended materials in section labelled Week 8 on the Moodle site.

Discussion with campus tutor or unit coordinator as required.

Week 9 11-09-2017

Professional writing, including a review of referencing, plagiarism, bibliographies and executive summaries.

Engage with the recommended materials in section labelled Week 9 on the Moodle site.

Discussion with campus tutor or unit coordinator as required.

Week 10 18-09-2017

Findings and discussion sections.

Engage with the recommended materials on discussing research findings, in section labelled Week 10 on the Moodle site.

Discussion with campus tutor or unit coordinator as required.

Week 11 25-09-2017

Writing a conclusion and introduction.

Engage with the recommended materials in section labelled Week 11 on the Moodle site.

Discussion with campus tutor or unit coordinator as required. You should have an advanced draft of your Assessment 2 completed by this stage.

Week 12 02-10-2017

Finalising a professional project.

Engage with the recommended materials in section labelled Week 12 on the Moodle site.

Submission of Assessment 2 this week.

Project Report Due Friday (06 Oct 17) 11:45 AM AEST
Review/Exam Week 09-10-2017
Exam Week 16-10-2017

There is no exam in this subject.

1 Practical and Written Assessment

Assessment Title Project context and proposal
Task Description

Unit assessment overview: During this unit, you will complete an individual professional project that contains a number of cumulative components, and Assessment 2 will build on the components assembled in Assessment 1. You will be given significant feedback and feed-forward during and after Assessment 1, which you must use to develop Assessment 2.

In this unit, you will demonstrate a synthesis of the knowledge, learning, business research methodologies, and professional skills that you have acquired and practiced throughout your Masters course. In particular, this unit builds upon your previous work in the unit Research in Business, however, this time you will actually do a research project. The analysis component of the Professional Project will be based SOLELY on secondary data and it is important that you familiarise yourself early in the unit on the meaning of 'secondary data'. You will work independently (although within a structure) to plan, carry out and report on an investigation that addresses an issue or problem in business relevant to your future profession. This will be one of the following: marketing, accounting or management/human resource management. Throughout the term, your independent study will be supported by Moodle resources (particularly for external students) and interactions with a campus tutor/lecturer, who will provide guidance.

Assessment 1: Project context and proposal (40%)

This assessment will be completed in two steps.

Step 1, worth 15% of total unit marks.

This assignment requires you to submit, by the end of week 4, a single page project plan. This project plan will contain three components:

A] A ‘field of research’ which pertains to your understanding of your profession. This short statement will include how this field relates to the work of your profession and an industry.

B] A source of secondary data linked to their chosen field of research. Students will be required to either include a website with a link to a publicly available secondary data set, or a short description of how you will use publicly available sources as secondary data.

C] A research question or questions that can be answered with the secondary data set you identified, including a clear expression of the variables you will be using, and the relationships between these variables you plan to explore. Alternatively, a broader, but still clearly defined exploratory research aim will be acceptable.

D] The search terms you propose to use in Google Scholar to identify literature in the field of the research question.

E] You will be asked to pick five articles that arise from the result of your search that you will think be suitable sources to write a literature review in the area of your field of research. You will be asked to write two sentences that combine at least three of these sources (referenced correctly) and provide the (at least three) sources in a reference list.

Step 2, worth 25% of total unit marks.

For this assignment you will be asked to prepare a short literature review that places your project within the context of your profession and industry, and ends with a focused field of study or research aim, and at least one research question. You will be asked to clearly describe your research plan, including your proposed method of analysis.

Submission of the final Assignment 1 will be at end of week 6.

Assessment Due Date Word document; electronic submission via Moodle
Return Date to Students Results and feedback will be available in Moodle within 10 business days (2 weeks, excluding university vacation).
Weighting 40%
Assessment Criteria

As a Masters-level student, you are required to engage in research as per the Australia Quality Framework (AQF) guidelines. Two specific requirements need to be considered. Students need to demonstrate “a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in a discipline and/or area of professional practice", and demonstrate "knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to a field of work and/or learning”.

Each unit in your Masters program has a number of required weekly readings in terms of academic texts, journals and business publications that represent the appropriate body of knowledge and recent developments referred to by the AQF. In order to demonstrate the ability to engage in appropriate research, students should read and utilise these texts and journals and publications, and as a Masters student, demonstrate an ability to research beyond this minimum standard through additional texts, journals and studies that demonstrate an ability to engage in independent research. This is an advanced level course, and accrediting bodies are also looking for evidence of independent research, so the ability to conduct this project without continually relying on your tutors and lecturers is an important part of the learning process for this unit.

You should ensure that you understand the specific research that is required for each assessment piece and recognise that if you merely meet this minimum requirement, you will receive the minimum grade for demonstrated research.

Your attention is drawn to the University’s stated position on plagiarism. THE WORK OF OTHERS, WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE ASSIGNMENT MUST BE ATTRIBUTED TO ITS SOURCE. A full list of references must be submitted as part of the assessment.

Your assignment will be marked on the following eight criteria, with the weighting given on the Moodle site:

  • Professional presentation and accuracy of work
  • Quality and appropriateness of references, and accuracy of referencing
  • Feasibility of project within time-frame
  • Aim and objectives/research questions
  • Preliminary critical literature review
  • Organisation of the project
  • Written communication
  • Evidence of tutor/lecturer engagement
Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Develop an understanding of your profession and its role in business and industry

2. Identify a problem or issue in your profession and/or the roles normally undertaken by such professionals in business or industry

3. Articulate the research questions that address the issue thus identified

4. Evaluate and analyse national and international literature and secondary data related to your research questions

5. Develop appropriate solutions and recommendations to your applied research questions

6. Communicate key findings and outline recommendations for your profession.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

4. Research

5. Self-management



2 Practical Assessment

Assessment Title Project Report
Task Description

This is an individual, written assessment, to be completed in report format. You are required to write around 3,000 words (excluding title page, preliminaries, tables, figures, reference list and appendices). The report requires in-text referencing and a full reference list in APA style, with evidence that you have critically read and integrated a minimum of 20 suitable scholarly references.

The purpose of this assessment is to present the final report of the Professional Project you proposed in Assignment 1. This report should build upon your assessment 1 and it should address the campus tutor/lecturer or unit co-ordinator (for external students) feedback.

In order to successfully complete Assessment 2, you are required to carry out the investigation you have proposed in Assessment 1 and produce a professional research report that shows how you have followed through from finding a research question to answering that question and developing recommendations that arise from your findings.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (06-Oct-2017) 11:45 AM AEST
Word document; electronic submission via Moodle
Return Date to Students Results and feedback will be available in Moodle on certification day.
Weighting 60%
Assessment Criteria

As a Masters-level student, you are required to engage in research as per the Australia Quality Framework (AQF) guidelines. Two specific requirements need to be considered. Students need to demonstrate “a body of knowledge that includes the understanding of recent developments in a discipline and/or area of professional practice, and demonstrate "knowledge of research principles and methods applicable to a field of work and/or learning”.

Each unit in the MBA has a number of required weekly readings in terms of academic texts, journals and business publications that represent the appropriate body of knowledge and recent developments referred to by the AQF. In order to demonstrate the ability to engage in appropriate research, students should read and utilise these texts and journals and publications, and as a Masters student, indicate a willingness to research beyond this minimum standard through additional texts, journals and studies that demonstrate an ability to engage in independent research. This is an advanced level course, and accrediting bodies are also looking for evidence of independent research, so the ability to conduct this project without continually relying on your tutors and lecturers is an important part of the learning process for this unit.

Students should insure that they understand the specific research that is required for each assessment piece and recognise that if they meet this minimum requirement, you will receive the minimum grade for demonstrated research.

Your attention is drawn to the University’s stated position on plagiarism. THE WORK OF OTHERS, WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE ASSIGNMENT MUST BE ATTRIBUTED TO ITS SOURCE. A full list of references must be submitted as part of the assessment.

Your assignment will be marked on the following nine criteria, with the weighting given on the Moodle site:

  • Title, background, definitions;
  • Justification, aim and objectives/research questions
  • Quality and coherence of introduction and conclusion
  • Critical literature review
  • Methodology
  • Findings and analysis
  • Discussion
  • Written communication
  • Quality and appropriateness of references, and accuracy of referencing

Referencing Style American Psychological Association (APA)
Submission Online

Learning Outcomes Assessed
This section can be expanded to view the assessed learning outcomes

1. Develop an understanding of your profession and its role in business and industry

2. Identify a problem or issue in your profession and/or the roles normally undertaken by such professionals in business or industry

3. Articulate the research questions that address the issue thus identified

4. Evaluate and analyse national and international literature and secondary data related to your research questions

5. Develop appropriate solutions and recommendations to your applied research questions

6. Communicate key findings and outline recommendations for your profession.

Graduate Attributes
This section can be expanded to view the assessed graduate attributes

1. Knowledge

2. Communication

3. Cognitive, technical and creative skills

4. Research

5. Self-management




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