The University of Southampton

MANG6322 Foundations of Research in Accounting and Finance

Module Overview

There are two broad objectives to the module: • The first objective is to introduce students to academic research concerned with social sciences in general and accounting, finance and management research, in particular. The course will therefore enhance students’ knowledge of the research process and methodology and enable them to be aware of the problems associated with research. • The second main purpose is to prepare students for their dissertations. Guidance will be given as to how to proceed with their research, the choices available to them and an awareness of problems they may face.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The module aims to • introduce you to academic research concerned with social sciences in general and accounting and finance research in particular. The course will therefore enhance your knowledge of the research process and research methodology, and give you an awareness of the problems associated with research. • prepare you for your Master’s dissertation. Guidance will be given as to how to develop research topics, design your research project and undertake your research, making clear the choices available to you and problems that you may face.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of research methodologies;
  • Understand and critically analyse academic papers and research;
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Solve complex problems and written communication skills
  • Manage your own milestones and progress
  • Apply qualitative and quantitative skills
  • Apply bibliographical skills
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Prepare a research proposal with a rigorous methodology and appropriate research Methods;
  • Be able to pursue their own specialist areas individually but with guidance from a supervisor.


After an introductory lecture the module will focus on four research paradigms: positivistic, functionalist, interpretive and radical. Each paradigm will be presented and discussed in a two hour session each week. The sixth and seventh sessions will concentrate on designing a research project and the methods available to pursue empirical research.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module will involve 22 hours of contact time in 2 hour sessions over an 11 week period. The first seven weeks will comprise lectures, including examples of current research undertaken by the School’s staff, followed by discussion with all module participants. Between week seven and eight (over the Easter vacation) students will undertake a preliminary literature review for their dissertation and prepare a research proposal. The last four weeks will comprise small groups (probably three or four students) with each student presenting their dissertation proposals for discussion with a staff supervisor and the other group members. Supervisors will advise students of further reading to be undertaken and suggest research methods for their empirical research.

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Jill Collis and Roger Hussey (2014).  Business Research: A Practical Guide for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Students. 

John Gill and Phil Johnson (2010). Research Methods for Managers. 

Erica Hallebone and Jan Priest (2009). Business and Management Research–Paradigms and Practice. 

Bob Ryan, Robert William Scapens and Michael Theobald (2002). Research Method and Methodology in Finance and Accounting. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1200 words) 25%
Group presentation  (20 minutes) 25%
Research proposal  (2500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2500 words) 50%
Individual assignment 100%
Research proposal  (2500 words) 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework marks carried forward 25%
Dissertation proposal 50%
Essay 25%
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