BM7900: Postgraduate Study & Research Skills


Please note this module descriptor is indicative of the structure of this course and may be subject to change.

BM7900: Postgraduate Study & Research Skills

Module Title Postgraduate Study & Research Skills
Module Code BM7900
Module Tutor John Hepworth
School School of Business and Technology
CAT Points 30
Level of Study 7
Brief Description

This module incorporates CIPD 7IBI and LO1, 6 & 8 of 7SBL.


The module is primarily concerned with the development of study and research skills. 

The early module specifically seeks to develop and improve a range of definable skills that are pivotal to enable students to make the most of their formal programmes of study through the inclusion of key postgraduate study skills.  The module also provides opportunities for applied learning and continuous professional development, and requires critical reflection on theory and practice from an ethical and professional standpoint.  


The later stage of the module provides the opportunity for learners to demonstrate the ability to diagnose and investigate a live, complex business issue from an HR perspective, to locate the work within the body of contemporary knowledge, to collect and analyse data, to derive supportable conclusions and to make practical and actionable recommendations for change, improvement or enhancement of current practice. The applied nature of the report requires a critical evaluative approach, empirical investigation and analysis and a combination of academic research and business report writing skills. It requires reflection on the implications for professional practice from an ethical, professional and continuous professional development standpoint.

Indicative Syllabus
  1. Self-awareness, dimensions of personality and individual differences, time management, personal organising skills, stress management; principles of continuous professional development; professional and ethical approaches to self-management at work.
  2. Accessing and evaluating published research evidence, critical thinking, developing and justifying original arguments, referencing the work of others, effective essay and report-writing; effective revision and examination preparation
  3. Information-handling skills, commonly used IT applications and software packages, statistical techniques and the presentation of statistical data.
  4. Identify a suitable topic for the project. Potential sources might include critical incidents, significant external or internal influence, change management initiatives, risk assessment, internal or external diagnostic, and a chronic or acute problem. Plan and design a project that has strategic relevance and the potential to add value to the organisation.
  5. Knowledge of literature and contemporary HR practice; information search and retrieval; analysing sources of data; writing a critical literature review; academic referencing.
  6. Research methods: understanding different methods of data collection (for example interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, participant observation), the strengths and weaknesses of each and the circumstances in which they might be used; ethical considerations.
  7. Data analysis: the use and value of different analytical tools for interpreting data; systematic data analysis; identification and explanation of emerging patterns and how to deal with conflicting evidence; effective interpretation and presentation of data.
  8. Drawing reasoned conclusions from data collected and presented; production of realistic, timely and effectively justified recommendations and costed implementation plans; awareness of potential resistance to recommendations and how this might be overcome.
  9. Developing and presenting a report: the importance of clear aims, objectives and appropriate terms of reference; awareness of time management and project development; potential barriers and how they might be overcome; the structure and content of a management report; principal techniques of communication and persuasion appropriate to a business report; oral presentation skills.
  10. Developing the skills of critical reflection.
Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module, students will be able to:


  1. Manage themselves more effectively at work or in another professional context. (CIPD 7SBL1)
  2. Demonstrate competence in post graduate study skills (CIPD 7SBL8)
  3. Demonstrate enhanced IT proficiency (CIPD 7SBL6)
  4. Identify and justify a business issue that is of strategic relevance to the organisation. (CIPD 7IBI1)
  5. Critically analyse and discuss existing literature, contemporary HR policy and practice relevant to the chosen issue. (CIPD 7IBI2)
  6. Compare and contrast the relative merits of different research methods and their relevance to different situations. (CIPD 7IBI3)
  7. Undertake a systematic analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative information and present the results in a clear and consistent format. (CIPD 7IBI4)
  8. Draw realistic and appropriate conclusions and make recommendations based on costed options. (CIPD 7IBI5)
  9. Develop and present a persuasive business report. (CIPD 7IBI6)
  10. Write a reflective account of what has been learned during the project and how this can be applied in the future. (CIPD 7IBI7)
Learning and Teaching Activities Scheduled Contact Hours: 45
Independent Learning Hours: 255
Assessment (For further details see the Module Guide) 001: 5% Coursework: Individual, standard written: 500 words or equivalent
002: 15% Coursework: Individual, portfolio: 1500 words or equivalent
003: 80% Coursework: Individual, dissertation/major project: 7000 words or equivalent
Special Assessment Requirements

All elements of assessment must be passed in order to pass the module.

This statement must be included if any element of assessment is marked on a Satisfactory / Unsatisfactory basis.

Indicative Resources The current reading list can be found in the Module Guide, which your lecturer should make available via Moodle.

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