Research Report topics
This is a formal 7,500 word report on one of 20 set subjects selected from the following list:
- An analysis and evaluation of an organisation’s budgetary control system and its links with performance management and decision making
- An evaluation of how the introduction of a new technology can assist an organisation in achieving its business objectives
- An assessment of the potential impact of an aspect of impending legislation on the operations and financial position of an organisation
- Analyse and evaluate the business and financial performance of an organisation which has performed exceptionally poorly over a three-year period with a critical analysis of the reasons for its difficulties.
- Analyse and evaluate the business and financial performance of an organisation which has performed exceptionally well over a three-year period with a critical analysis of the reasons for its success.
- A critical review of key factors or indicators in the motivation of employees in an organisation
- A critical evaluation of the restructuring of an organisation’s operational activities and the effect on the organisation’s financial performance
- Analyse and evaluate the business and financial performance over a three year period of an organisation operating in a sector that has faced strategic and operational challenges with an emphasis on how management have addressed these challenges.
- A critical evaluation of the planning and implementation of an information system in an organisation.
- A review of the effectiveness of the use of costing techniques within an organisation
- An investigation into the financial and operational costs and benefits of the internal audit / internal review activities within an organisation
- An investigation into the possible effects of a proposed accounting standard on the financial statements and business activities of an organisation
- An evaluation of the contribution made by human resource activities to the attainment of business and financial objectives
- An appraisal of the business and financial objectives of a strategic investment decision made by an organisation and its impact on key stakeholders
- Analyse and evaluation how an organisation has managed the use of data to inform business performance and achieve strategic advantage. Consideration must be given to how the ethics of data use is managed.
- A critical evaluation of the financial and operational risk management within an organisation.
- Select an organisation that has been identified as having weak corporate governance structures within the past 5 years. Critically evaluate their corporate governance practices including an assessment of the origins of the corporate governance issue(s) and the organisation’s response.
- A review of the marketing strategy of an organisation and its effectiveness.
- An analysis and evaluation of the financial and operational consequences of a merger between two organisations or of the acquisition of one organisation by another.
- Select an organisation that has been identified as having weak social responsibility practices within the past 5 years. Critically evaluate their social responsibility practices, including an assessment of the origins of theproblem(s) and the organisation’s response and the impact of this on theorganisation’s key stakeholders.
For all topics other than 8 and 15, please also note the requirement to base your project on recent organisational activity or processes rather than historical events. (For this purpose ‘historical’ refers to activity that took place more than the three full calendar years preceding the start of the current submission period.) For example if you were proposing to submit a project in May 2019 for topic 19 the merger or acquisition would have to have taken place AFTER 1 JANUARY 2016
In addition to the Research & Analysis report you must also submit a 2,000 word (approx.) Skills and Learning Statement and Presentation slides (see below) at the same time.
Skills and Learning Statement
There are two elements to this. You work will not actually be graded for the SLS section but you will be assessed as either ‘competent’ or ‘non-competent.’
Firstly there is the actual written Skills and Learning Statement, a 2,000 word statement, based on answering 4 set questions (see the Information Pack for these) that revolve around how you yourself responded to the challenges of producing the RAP and what you learned from the whole process from start to finish and the skills you acquired. OBU stress that there are no right or wrong answers to these 4 questions but there are right or wrong approaches. This assessment criterion is called ‘Self-reflection’ and as the name implies, requires you to so some self-assessment and self-evaluation which if inadequate, would result in you being classified as ‘non-competent’.
The second element is the PowerPoint Presentation which is intended to focus on the main findings of your RAP and be delivered to your mentor in 15 minutes. The assessment criterion for this is ‘Communication Skills’ – essentially this means that the marker will be assessing whether your Presentation has been designed and used to present the information effectively to an audience within the time allotted.
Consequences of getting a Pass in the RAP and failure in the SLS and/or Presentation or vice versa
The three parts of the submission are independent. This means that if you pass either the RAP, the written SLS or the Presentation but fail one or more of the other parts then the part passed does not have to be resubmitted and the pass will be carried forward to your next resubmission. What this in effect means is that if you failed any part of the SLS section (even both parts) but were awarded a pass grade of C or above for your RAP, that actual grade will stand once you have passed the SLS. However any failure in the RAP part (whether in technical and professional skills or graduate skills) means that you will have to resubmit the whole RAP and you cannot be awarded any grade higher than a C.
Although failing the RAP or SLS (either the written part or the Presentation) first time will obviously be a disappointment, it really is not ‘the end of the world’ for, as mentioned above, you will have 2 further attempts to make good any deficiencies. Although the pass rates are around 55% currently (for all submissions), most students do go on to achieve a pass, either at their subsequent or third attempt. You are not obliged to resubmit at the next submission period, (although most students do), you can postpone your resubmission(s) until you feel ready or it is convenient for you provided that you have not exceeded the 10 year time limit.