BUSN20019 - Professional Project
Term 1 - 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 1 - 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.

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 06-03-2017

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 developing your own reading list relevant to YOUR chosen topic.

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 co-ordinator

Week 2 13-03-2017

Professions and the Professional


Engage with the recommended materials on the nature of a 'profession' in section labelled Week 2 on the Moodle site.

Develop your own reading list relevant to YOUR chosen topic.

Compulsory activity for on-campus students: Send an email to your campus tutor informing him/her of the topic you want to address. This should include a clear title and a brief (ONE paragraph) overview of your project idea.

Compulsory activity for online students: send your email to the unit co-ordinator.

You are required to do this between Monday and Friday of week 3. You need the tutor's approval before you can progress your project - approval is part of Assessment 1.

Week 3 20-03-2017

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, email campus tutor (on-campus students) or unit co-ordinator (online students only) with your project idea.

Discussion with campus tutor (engagement with the campus tutor is required as part of Assessment 1). Remember to continually take notes and not leave all the writing to the last minute. Remember attending lectures for on-campus students is compulsory.

Week 4 27-03-2017

Literature review 1: planning your project and beginning the literature search

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 03-04-2017

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

Engage with the recommended materials on refining your project and locating a 'research gap' in section labelled Week 5 on the Moodle site.

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

Vacation Week 10-04-2017

Use this week to progress your project.

Week 6 17-04-2017

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.

Project context and proposal Due Friday (21 Apr 17) 11:45 AM AEST
Week 7 24-04-2017

Secondary data, how to find it and how to analyse it

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

Commence Assessment 2. Discussion with campus tutor as required
Week 8 01-05-2017

Feedback and professional development

Engage with the recommended materials on feedback and professional development in section labelled Week 8 on the Moodle site.

Discussion with campus tutor as required.

Week 9 08-05-2017

Professional writing, including referencing, bibliographies and executive summaries

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

Discussion with campus tutor as required.

Week 10 15-05-2017

Discussing your results

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

Discussion with campus tutor as required.

Week 11 22-05-2017

Writing a conclusion - and introduction

Engage with the recommended materials on writing introductions and conclusions, in section labelled Week 11 on the Moodle site.

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

Week 12 29-05-2017

Professional networking

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

Submission of Assessment 2 this week.

Project Report Due Friday (02 Jun 17) 11:45 AM AEST
Review/Exam Week 05-06-2017
Exam Week 12-06-2017

There is no exam in this subject.

1 Practical and Written Assessment

Assessment Title Project context and proposal
Task Description

Unit assessment: You will complete an individual professional project that contains two cumulative components (i.e. Assessment 1 will be the basis of Assessment 2). You must use any feedback provided from assessment 1 to improve your work for 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 but the Professional Project will be based SOLELY on secondary sources of information. You will work independently to plan, carry out and report on an investigation that addresses a significant issue or problem in business relevant to your future profession (this will be one of the following: marketing, HR, accounting or management). Throughout the term, your independent study will be complemented by a series of webinars (particularly for external students) and interactions with a campus tutor/lecturer, who will provide guidance.

Assessment 1: Project context and proposal (40%)

This is an individual, written assessment, to be completed in report format. The required length of the report is 1,250 to 1,750 words (excluding title page, preliminaries, tables, figures, reference list and appendices). In-text referencing and a full reference list, provided in APA style, are required.

The purpose of this assessment is to provide the contextual background to YOUR future profession, alongside a proposal detailing the topic of YOUR professional project.

In order to successfully complete assessment 1, you are required to reflect upon your course (program) of study and the ‘profession’ that is associated with this course. This requires you to explore the notion of ‘profession’ in general, alongside your future career pathways and the specific profession, towards which you are studying. In particular, you are required to write a report including the following:

1. Project context (500 – 750 words; at least 5 high-quality academic and/or practitioner references): Identify and explore YOUR future profession (marketing, HR, accounting or management)

  • Produce a critical review of your understanding of what it means to ‘become a professional’ in YOUR future profession.

2. Project proposal (750 – 1,000 words; at least 10 high-quality academic, peer-reviewed journal articles): Identify a problem or issue – this must be CRUCIALLY relevant to your profession – which your professional project will address, and write the following:

  • Clear and concise working title for your project;
  • Background and definition of the issue/problem, including a justification why this issue/problem is crucially relevant to your profession;
  • Your project’s proposed aim and objectives/research questions;
  • A preliminary critical literature review on this issue/problem, particularly highlighting any gaps in the literature;
  • An overview of how you will be proceeding with your project, including secondary information sources, approaches to analyse them, major milestones and a Gantt chart schedule.

3. In addition, you are required to attach evidence that you have discussed your proposed topic with your campus tutor (or, if you are an external student, your unit co-ordinator) and that the campus tutor (or unit co-ordinator, for external students) has approved the topic prior to the vacation week.

Assessment Due Date Week 6 Friday (21-Apr-2017) 11:45 AM AEST
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 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 eight criteria, with the weighting given on the Moodle site:

  • Project context
  • Title, background, definition, justification
  • Aim and objectives/research questions
  • Preliminary critical literature review
  • Organisation of the project
  • Written communication
  • Evidence of tutor/lecturer engagement
  • 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

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 between 3,000 and 4,000 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.

The purpose of this assessment is to present the final report of your Professional Project. 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 to write a project report addressing the following:

  • Project title;
  • Introduction to your profession (very brief) and to the project report;
  • Background and definition of the issue/problem, including a justification why the issue/problem is crucially relevant to your profession;
  • Your project’s aim and objectives/research questions;
  • A more detailed critical and well-structured literature review;
  • A detailed discussion of how you carried out your project (commensurate with a ‘Methodology’ chapter);
  • Findings from your secondary information analysis;
  • Discussion of findings in light of previously reviewed literature;
  • Conclusion – this may address recommendations for (soon-to-be) professionals, possible areas of further research, and limitations of your project.

Since this assessment is written in report format, it needs to be presented in professional layout, including: title page, executive summary, table of contents, and full reference list (at least 20 high-quality academic, peer-reviewed journal articles, properly referenced). Figures, tables and other appendices are optional and should only be used if required.

Assessment Due Date Week 12 Friday (02-Jun-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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