- September 21, 2013 at 12:39 am
Hi there, so far I’ve been advised of the following topics to be ideal to choose from:
Preferred OBU topics: 8, 10, 16, 17 and 19
8) An analysis and evaluation of the business and financial performance of an organisation over a three year period.
10) A review of the effectiveness of the use of costing techniques within an organisation.
16) A critical evaluation of the financial and operational risk management within an organisation.
17) An assessment of the quality of the corporate governance within an organisation and the impact on an organisation’s key stakeholders.
19) 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.
Now here are the two popular opinions I have received so far:
a) Go for topic 8, as that’s a thorough financial analysis, portrays good skills and since its based on a company of your choice and their financial reports, there are least chances of plagiarism.
b) Don’t go for topic 8, as a lot of students submit on that already and the chances of passing that are lesser. With so many students submitting on that topic, the benchmark is higher as well and it’s hard to predict what the checker is expecting.
So since I’m already running out of time, I’d appreciate any possible advice on which topic to proceed with any why. They’re all the same to me as far as my interest in concerned. I’ve been talking to mentors and so far haven’t been able to get a single decent advice on this. Would appreciate your help a lot.
Thanks.September 21, 2013 at 9:29 am
If you can have information on each topic than select the one you are interested in. This is a misconception that topic 8 is a reason for failure. Reason for failure is quality of the report, references and structure. There is the same assessment criteria for all topics:
– Interpersonal Skills
You need to demonstrate them for each topic. So, remember if you have information on all topics, chose the one on which you and your mentor agree based on your interest. Then start making a quality RAP covering all objectives and assessment criteria in mind.
Thank You.September 21, 2013 at 1:45 pm
Alright thanks. Just one last question, about plagiarism. Is it true that information worked on in topic 8 is directly about financial reports of the companies and the information required in other topics are more or less general, that’s why plagiarism chances are more in other topics than in 8?September 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm
No, plagiarism chances are same in all because it depends on Control+C and Control+V in your RAP. If you write the things in your own words, understanding with different terminology then you will not have any problem of plagiarism There are websites available for plagiarism check, after your thesis you can check your RAP through these webs. Chances depends on your copy paste not topic.
Thank You.October 17, 2013 at 6:25 am
which site would you recommend to check plagiarism for university thesis? OBU in particular?November 26, 2015 at 12:54 pm
There is a new rule for topic 8 that says that Oxford Brookes University will release three recommended industry sectors from which students doing the RAP must choose a company from. Could someone please give me a link of where I can find these industry sectors? I can’t seem to find them?
And also what is the submission fee for the May 2016 submission?December 1, 2015 at 4:22 pm
The industry sectors for P32 are:
– pharmaceutical companies or those in biotechnology
– mobile telecommunications
– air transport
Personally I do not recommend doing a T15 on the latter (the cash management and working capital element of airline operations is VERY complex) and suggest that a T15 for any of these is NOT a soft option.
Other topics are unaffected so as always I recommend T17 on the basis that we have a proven track record for our students using the T17 forum and achieving great results.December 2, 2015 at 2:40 pm
Yes indeed, we agree with Trephena that topic 15 is a challenging topic for airlines! A good number do not give extensive information on their cash management and working capital strategies too.
We are guessing most students will stick to Topic 8. On that note, The Learning Luminarium has issued a booklet on the 3 industries for Topic 8. This shows (a) the ICB definitions of the industries, (b) what are the areas to look out for when analysing the industry and (c) what to look out for when selecting an industry benchmark.
You can find it linked it
We are confident that students will find it helpful!
The Learning LuminariumDecember 9, 2015 at 1:50 pm
Hi, is the same rules applies for topic 15 working capital management?..December 10, 2015 at 8:06 am
@vinessen – please see the Topic 15 forum for advice in this (put Topic 15 in the search facility and it should come up) and post any T15 queries there.
You really need to appreciate that T15 is not an easy topic and given the limited industry sector choice that OBU has prescribed for P32 none of these really lends itself well to T15 unless you happen to work in one of those sectors.
Students often forget that T15 is in 2 parts and Funding strategies are just as important as the working capital element. The pass rate is not brilliant however I understand that the P29 prize winner for the best RAP submitted worldwide was actually done on T15. It might be worth contacting OBU to see if they have any exemplars on T 15 and in particular asking if the P29 prize winner’s RAP is available as a guide to students about what should be covered.December 12, 2015 at 6:03 am
I want to know which companies can I choose from the approved sectors? I’m from Pakistan, should I choose GSK Pakistan or International or how should I proceed with my topic selection? ThanksDecember 12, 2015 at 11:18 am
please i will be submitting a RAP on T8 in P32- Specifically looking at the telecom industry.
which factors should i consider before choosing an appropriate companyDecember 12, 2015 at 12:16 pm
I am interested to do T15 (working capital management). I just want to know if there are any changes relating to this topic; more precisely i want to know if i can choose any organisations for T15.
thanksDecember 13, 2015 at 1:49 pm
@vineshr7 – you must choose a company within the prescribed industrial sectors. I suggest you read the post above by the Learning Luminarium and use the link to read their article as that may help you with your selection. I cannot recommend particular companies as it depends on what interests you and what data and information sources may be available to you.December 15, 2015 at 12:24 pm
Hi, does an automobile industry fit into this category?December 15, 2015 at 8:25 pm
Obviously not – how can an automobile company fall within being an airline, pharmaceutical / biotechnology company or mobile telecommunications????
Read the Learning Luminarium post above which explains the basics!December 17, 2015 at 10:31 pm
Hope you all are well, after a very long OT break, i am back.
First news for topic 8 and 15 lovers (the lovers of numbers & analysis) is:
“All students submitting a project on topic 8 or topic 15 in either May 2016 or November 2016 periods MUST use sector specific organisations, based on the Industry Classification Benchmark (ICB). For 2016 these sectors are:
· Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology
· Mobile telecommunications
These sectors will apply to students submitting for the first time or for students changing topic in both May 2016 (Period 32) and November 2016 (Period 33).
Hammad Ahmed Qureshi – BSc Hons. MentorDecember 18, 2015 at 9:36 pm
Main factors you need to consider for selecting a company for topic is:
Availability of information:
– You should ensure that enough secondary information is available on your company. This relate to published annual report, information related to atleast 1 competitor (mainly its annual report), enough media presence of your company to corroborate annual report for eliminating biased analysis and finding interesting points for your business analysis part through internet research. However, if you want, you can go for primary information source by visiting company and through their employee interviews which is not required by OBU.
– You must ensure you perform like with like comparison of your company. For example, you can compare McDonals and Burger King (as both are multinationals, operating globally) but you cannot compare a local burger chain with multinational McDonals (this also indicates that you can compare published accounts of McDonals for particular country’s operations with local burger chain). Also ensure that you cannot compare an elephant with baby elephant i.e. a market leader with a small new company. Ensure year ends of competitors are similar,if not then align their financial statements by adding or subtracting common and uncommon quarterly accounts and if still not possible then mention it under limitations of information and how did you overcome this.
You should ensure that you like the company and feel great in analysing it. In addition, if it is your relative’s company or a company where you work, avoid being biased in your analysis.
I also recommend to go through potential company’s financial statements for 3 or 4 years before selecting it, just to ensure that you are comfortable with fluctuation or trend in its performance. May be, if it is loss making, are you reading to analyse net loss margin? Or, application of Altman’s Z Score model if it is loss making from many years?
Hammad Ahmed Qureshi – OBU BSc Hons. RAP Mentor.December 24, 2015 at 5:30 pm
Since now we have to choose a company operating only within the specified industry. What if a company is diversified. The company I had chosen operates in mobile telecommunications but operates in several other related industries too.The mobile telecommunications sector alone generates around 58% operating profit and around 54% net sales, but it comprises only around 27% of total assets. I have tried to go with other companies operating in the industry, but most of them are widely diversified.
Any help would be appreciated much.
Thank youDecember 28, 2015 at 4:58 pm
Hi members, I need to get clarification on topic 8 and 15. The industries chosen for period 32 May 2016 and 33 (Nov 2016) include; Airlines, Pharmaceuticals and Biotechnology and Mobile telecommunications.
However, none of these are are listed in countrys stock exchange apart from only kenyan airways.
Please advise on the way forwardDecember 29, 2015 at 11:41 pm
First of all, it is not obligatory to select a company operating within your country. You may go for a foreign or global organisation.
One thing that you need to ensure for topic 8 & 15 is, your comparison with competitor must be like with like. You cannot compare a multinational company with a one operating locally. If you have Kenyan airways listed then only issue is your competitor analysis as you can get information on Kenyan airways.
The way forward is:
1. As Kenyan Airways is international organisation providing services for approx 62 destinations, you may compare it with South African Airways depending on your choice. It operates on almost same scale. Remember you need to highlight some limitations of comparison also such as destinations of airline may differ, fleet size etc which will impact their business & financial statements comparison.
2. Try and get annual report of another Kenyan based competitor for the years as per your topic. You may go to their office and request information, details, annual report etc. that you will be needing.
3. You may skip everything and do analysis of world’s top airline, Qatar Airways and in bench-marking compare it with Emirates Airline.
Same you can apply for other industries if you are facing similar problem.
Hammad Ahmed Qureshi – OBU RAP MENTOR.January 1, 2016 at 3:16 am
thank you for your important question. ofcourse many students are taking this issue very serious. but you guys do not need to worry. you can select companies from any country. If I give you my professional advise, select companies from UK, USA, or Georgia or Pakistan. You will find lot of public information free of cost, Basic thing you need secondary information from different sources such as annual reports, official websites, press releases, Govt Authorities, State Bank, Tax Authority, Chamber of Commerce/Regulators. they publish information on sector wise, such as textile sector, Airlines sector, Pharmaceuticals and telecommunications sector. you just be smart to link with your company performance.
If you need any further assistance, please feel free to ask. I luv to answer.
ALI FAROOQ – OBU Registered MentorJanuary 11, 2016 at 8:46 am
Hi Mr Hammad actually its my 2 nd attempt and i choose topic 8 for my project. so i choose 2 companies in the telecommunication sector in which one will be the comparator of my opted company for the project. the 2 companies have the same financial year so for my submission in may the audited financial account for 2015 will be published after february. as per the oxford pack if it is less than 90 days before the start of submission period i can do my analysis for 2012, 2013 and 2014 and overlook 2015?..can you confirm it plzzzzzzz thank youJanuary 11, 2016 at 1:40 pm
I just come to know that this is your second attempt. I pray You may success in your second attempt. I suggest you to follow examiner’s feedback and overcome issues in your RAP and SLS.
You have two options.
1) I agree with your understanding, you can use the previous three year’s result (annual reports from 2012 to 2014) if Company publishes its report within three months of beginning of submission date. Note: you should explain the reason and implications of
such limitations in part 2.
2) You may use updated data if you can manage your time and put proper efforts but OBU advised that you do not have to be used.
Hope the answer of the question.
Ali Farooq, OBU Registered MentorJanuary 11, 2016 at 11:20 pm
Hope you are well!
In info pack 2015-16 on page 28, 2nd last paragraph, it is written that ” For topic 8 and topic 15, you should ensure you are using the most current 3 years financial statements available at the start of the submission period”.
Your submission period starts on 1st May 2016. You are not required to analyse financial statements published between February-April 2016 i.e. 90 days. Any financial statements published before 1st February 2016 (90 days before start of submission period have to be used in your RAP). See page 42 of Info pack also.
If your organisation’s financials statements are published in February 2016, then you are not required to use them.
Hammad Ahmed Qureshi – OBU Registered Mentor.
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