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Unit information: Research Methods for Accounting, Finance and Management in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Research Methods for Accounting, Finance and Management
Unit code EFIMM0121
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Bryer
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Accounting and Finance
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


The aim of this unit is to introduce students to a broad range of ways in which they can conduct research in accounting, finance and management. The first part of the unit covers principles of conducting research, developing the literature review, identifying and accessing publically available data of various kinds (including qualitative), various methods (e.g. interviews, observations, focus groups, surveys) which might be mobilised in order to generate new data for analysis, and the ethical issues that arise in research and how to address them. The second part of the unit focuses on practical implementation of selected research methods. In the unit, students are exposed to research in various areas of accounting, finance and management and learn how to develop their own research project, with an emphasis on critical assessment of the existing literature, obtaining and organising data, analysing it with relevant methods and techniques and writing up the results in a formal fashion. The unit prepares students to do an MSc dissertation. The unit will also provide students with various transferrable skills.

Intended learning outcomes

Having successfully completed this unit students should be able to:

1. Describe and explain different research methodologies and methods
2. Understand how methods can address specific research questions within accounting, finance and management
3. Develop a critical understanding of methods used in accounting, finance and management
4. Develop practical skills in undertaking research
5. Demonstrate an appreciation of ethical issues in research.

Teaching details

25 hours contact time split between lectures and tutorials (typically 20 hours lectures, 5 hours of tutorials).

125 independent individual study time (including preparation for tutorials, coursework and exam.

Assessment Details

Summative assessment: one and a half hour written exam (50%) and individual coursework (50%).

The exam to consist of questions on general principles of conducting research in accounting, finance and management linked to specific research methodologies (ILOs 1, 2, 3, and 5).

The coursework to be based on an individual research task to be written up in a 2000 word report (ILOs 2, 3, 4, and 5).

Formative assessment: structured exercises in tutorials addressing practical matters such as interview design, or analysing written documents as well as tutorial discussion of selected research papers (ILOs 2, 3, 4, and 5). A hand-in exercise based on an exam type essay question (ILOs 1, 2, 3, and 5).

Reading and References

A textbook on research methods with academic research papers used to illustrate topics with selected parts of background references, such as:

  • Laurie, C., & Jensen, E.A. (2016). Doing Real Research: A Practical Guide to Social Research, Sage
  • Alvesson, M., and J. Sandberg. (2011) Generating Research Questions Through Problematization. Academy of Management Review 36(2), 247-271.
  • Chapman, C.S. (2012) Framing the Issue of Research Quality in a Context of Research Diversity, Accounting Horizons, 26(4), 821-831