MSc Business Analysis and Strategic Management

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Professional Analytical Skills

Unit code BMAN73652
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Alliance Manchester Business School
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course will enhance students’ understanding of, and ability to implement, different research designs and research methods, enabling them to conduct a systematic piece of research both for this unit and their client-facing reports/dissertations in the summer.


BMAN73652 Programme Req: BMAN73652 is only available as a core unit to students on MSc Business Analysis & Strategic Management


This unit provides students with a holistic overview of business and management research with specific emphasis on undertaking strategy analysis and management consultancy projects. It strikes a balance between philosophical reflection and theoretical understanding of research methodologies, on the one hand, and the practical aspects of designing and conducting empirical research, on the other.

Learning outcomes

Understand the main methodologies used in research in their area and be aware of the strengths and weaknesses associated with different research techniques, and the production, meaning and use of data;

Understand the particular challenges as well as opportunities associated with research in international and comparative business;

Understand various ways to think about the relationship between theory, context and data;

Understand the key steps in carrying out a research project and select a proper
methodological approach;

Be able to utilise major qualitative and quantitative methods and software tools that are used to collect and analyse secondary research data;

Be able to read and critically evaluate published research;

Develop a project specification (research problem and methodology) and formulate a realistic plan for the MSc dissertation project;

Present your research to academic and professional audiences in written and oral formats



Assessment methods

This course unit is assessed by coursework only. ALL students are required to do TWO PIECES of coursework. The procedure and requirements will be fully explained in lecture 1.

• Group Presentation (20%) based on reflective analysis.

• Coursework (80%) an individual, 2500-word assignment based on a research project.

Feedback methods

Informal advice and discussion during a lecture, seminar, workshop or lab

Responses to student emails and questions from a member of staff including feedback provided to a group via an online discussion forum

Written and/or verbal comments on assessed or non-assessed coursework

Written and/or verbal comments after students have given a group or individual presentation

Recommended reading

•             Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A., (2012). Research Methods for Business Students 6th ed., Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
•             Bryman, Alan and Emma Bell (2011), Business Research methods (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. (ISBN-10: 0199583404; ISBN-13: 978-0199583409)
•             Biggam, John (2011), Succeeding with Your Master's Dissertation - a Step-by-Step Handbook (2nd ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill. (ISBN: 0335242251).
Recommended readings:
•             Azorín, J. M., & Cameron, R. (2010). The application of mixed methods in organisational research: A literature review. Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods, 8(2), 95-105.
•             Biggam, John (2011), Succeeding with your master's dissertation - a step-by-step handbook (2nd ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill.
•             Chalmers, A. F. (2013). What is this thing called science?. Hackett Publishing.
•             Easterby-Smith, M., 2015. Management and Business Research 5th ed., London: Sage Publications Ltd.
•             Edwards, P.K., O'Mahoney, J. and Vincent, S. (eds), 2014. Studying Organizations Using Critical Realism: A Practical Guide, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
•             Hassett, M. E., & Paavilainen-Mantymaki, E. (Eds.). (2013)

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 110

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
William II-Kuk Kang Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Informal contact methods

Office hours

Drop in surgeries (extra help for students on material they may be struggling with)

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