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MRes Programme Handbook 2010 - 2011

School of Management and Languages

School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

School of Management and Languages MRES Social Sciences Programme Handbook 2010 - 2011


SUMMARY OF KEY INFORMATION............................ 2


WELCOME AND INTRODUCTION ............................... 3




KEY STAFF AND OFFICE LOCATIONS .................... 14


PROGRAMME OVERVIEW ........................................ 15



School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

PART A: SCHOOL INFORMATION 1. Summary of Key Information Key Contacts Programme Director

Dr Abigail Marks

Research Secretary

Caroline Murray Roseanna Barnes-Brett Leila Daher

School Administrative Officer (Postgraduate)

Stephanie Ashby

Postgraduate Secretary (Registry)

Jessica Forbes

School Postgraduate Office Postgraduate Secretaries

Key Office Locations School Postgraduate Office Esmée Fairbairn Building School of Management and Languages Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, EH14 4AS

School Office, Room 1.23 Mary Burton Building School of Management and Languages Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh, EH14 4AS

Tel: 0131 451 3284 Fax: 0131 451 8336 Email:

Tel: Fax:

0131 451 3863 0131 451 3296

Key Dates in Academic Year 2010 - 2011 Postgraduate Enrolment

Tuesday 7th September 2010

Semester 1 teaching starts September Edinburgh Holiday Semester 1 teaching finishes Semester 1 assessment

Monday 13th September 2010 Monday 20th September 2010 Friday 3rd December 2010 Monday 6th December – Friday 17th December 2010

Christmas Break

Monday 20th December 2010 – Friday 7th January 2011

Semester 2 teaching starts Semester 2 teaching finishes

Monday 10th January 2011 Friday 1st April 2011

Easter Break

Monday 4th April – 22nd April 2011

Semester 2 assessment Postgraduate Re-sit exams Graduation

Monday 25th April – Friday 20th May 2011 Monday 6th June – Friday 10th June 2011 November 2011 (To be confirmed by Registry)

School Postgraduate Website:


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

2. Welcome and Introduction 2.1

Welcome from the University Principal I am delighted to welcome you as a student of Heriot-Watt University. Heriot-Watt University has a well earned reputation as Scotland's most international and outward-looking University. With three campuses in Scotland (attended by a high percentage of students from across the world), our new Campus in Dubai, and Learning Partner institutions across the world, we have a vibrant and diverse learning culture which is unique and unmatched by other universities in the United Kingdom. We are keen to give our students the opportunity to develop an international dimension to their studies which will enhance their opportunities for future growth. Students at all our campus locations are an important part of our global community and I very much hope you enjoy your time with us. Professor Steve Chapman University Principal


Welcome from the Head of School Welcome to the School of Management and Languages. I speak for all members of staff within the School in congratulating you on your efforts so far in reaching this stage of your academic career. We will all endeavour to make your stay with us as interesting, challenging, enjoyable and rewarding as we possibly can. The School of Management and Languages has an international reputation as a major centre of research and is well networked with industry and government both within the UK and internationally. Students graduating in previous years of the programme have taken up various posts with an impressive list of companies and non-profit organisations. We hope that you will be joining them in pursuing such a career after successful completion of your programme. Our aim is to provide you with a suitable environment and innovative approach to learning the technical and analytical skills of a range of complex and challenging subjects as well as providing the opportunity and support to develop transferable skills, such as presentation skills, report writing and problem solving. I hope you fulfil your personal goals and objectives during your stay with us and that my colleagues and I are successful in achieving our aim. Professor Gillian Hogg Head of School


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

3. General Information about the School 3.1

School Overview The School of Management and Languages has over 2000 full-time students, and over 100 members of academic staff. The School operates from the Edinburgh campus, with bases at both the Scottish Borders Campus in Galashiels, and the Dubai campus. We offer a diverse portfolio of degree programmes across a broad range of subjects at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Within the School there are three departments: 1. Accountancy, Economics and Finance 2. Economics 3. Business Management


School Staff Contact details for all School of Management and Languages staff can be found in Appendix B at the end of Part B of this handbook. Staff details may also be viewed online at

3.2.1 Office Hours for Academic Staff Most academic staff set aside certain hours each week when students may visit them in their offices without appointment. “Office hours” are normally displayed on the lecturer’s door or noticeboard. Alternatively, students may make an appointment to see a member of staff at another mutually convenient time.


School Buildings Campus maps showing the location of academic buildings and student residences are available from University Main Reception, or online at The School of Management and Languages is located across three main buildings at the western edge of the campus next to the University Library: Esmée Fairbairn Research Centre Esmée Fairbairn is home to the School Postgraduate Office, the School Research Office, and also many of the staff involved in postgraduate teaching and administration. The building also houses a new computer study area for postgraduate and final year undergraduate students with 15 PCs, a wi-fi area and self-study space. During peak periods of the academic year (e.g. exam and re-sit periods) a booking service may be in operation. The building is open to students from 9.00am to 5.00pm daily from Monday to Friday. There is no access on weekends. Building abbreviation: EF


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

Henry Prais Building Henry Prais is home to the Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies. There is a PC lab in 1.20 and a self-study Language laboratory in 1.17. The building is open to students from 8.30am to 5.30pm daily from Monday to Friday; between 5.30pm and 11.00pm entry is obtained via the digital lock. On Saturdays and Sundays entry is via the digital lock, which allows access from 8.30am to 11.00pm. The code for the digital lock is given to students by the LINCS Departmental Office and should in no circumstance be divulged to anyone else. Any student using the building after 5.30pm or at weekends must sign the out-of-hours book in the entrance hall; this requirement also extends to those already in the building at 5.30pm. Building abbreviation:


Mary Burton Building Mary Burton is home to the Departments of Accountancy, Economics & Finance; and Management. Academic staff in these departments have their offices here. The School Office (MB 1.23) and the School Undergraduate Office (MB 1.27) are also located in Mary Burton. A new postgraduate computer lab opened in Mary Burton in September 2009. The lab is located in G.10 and is used for postgraduate teaching. It is also available for postgraduate student self-study. The lab gives access to a range of leading specialist logistics software packages as well the standard Microsoft Office Professional suite of programmes. Access to this lab is by keypad. The code can be obtained from the Postgraduate Office. In addition there are a further two PC labs on the ground floor, located in G.22 and G.51. Any student experiencing computer problems in the lab should email . When reporting any problems please include your full name and PC username. The Mary Burton building is open 8.00am – 10.00pm daily from Monday to Friday, and 10.00am – 5.00pm on weekends. During vacation periods opening hours may differ. Building abbreviation:


Postgraduate Centre A new purpose built postgraduate centre was opened in May 2009 for use by all of the campus 1,500 postgraduate students. The state of the art building is located to the north of the campus on Second Gait of Boundary Road North. The Centre will be used by a number of School of Management and Languages postgraduate programmes for lectures, tutorials, research meetings and presentations. As well as teaching rooms the centre has a café on the ground floor and a student social and working space on the top floor for the exclusive use by post graduate students. The building has no computing labs but has wi-fi coverage throughout.


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

Outside normal working hours entrance to the top floor student social and working area is by a security entry card system. A small charge is made for the entry cards (currently £5). To obtain a card please enquire at the PG Centre Office (just inside the main entrance) or contact the PG Centre Manager, Mr David Herrera ( Building abbreviation:


PC Labs There are a number of PC labs across the Heriot-Watt campus. A map indicating the locations of these labs can be found here:


Communications 3.4.1

Contact Details It is essential that the School and the University are kept informed of any changes to students’ contact details, particularly term-time and home addresses. It is the responsibility of the student to notify the School Postgraduate Office as soon as a change occurs. Change of Address forms are available from the Postgraduate Office. Completed forms must be returned to the Postgraduate Office for processing. Please note that it is particularly important to ensure address details are kept up to date.


E-mail New students will be issued with instructions on how to set up their e-mail account during enrolment. Returning students will have continued access to their e-mail. Please note that students’ Heriot-Watt e-mail addresses are used by academic and administrative staff to send important information throughout the year. Students must either check their HW e-mail regularly, or redirect it to the e-mail account they wish to access it from. More information regarding Heriot-Watt’s I.T. facilities and regulations can be found in Part B: 10.5


Postgraduate Noticeboard The Postgraduate Noticeboard is located at the main entrance to Esmée Fairbairn Building, just by the School Postgraduate Office.


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

Notices relating to classes (including timetables), tutorials, assessment, careers guidance, job opportunities, University clubs and societies, as well as social events are posted on the board. Students should ensure they check the noticeboard regularly.


Social Events A number of postgraduate social events are held throughout the year. The School Postgraduate Social Night will be held on Tuesday 21st September at City Night Club which is located in Edinburgh city centre. This is the first our social event and is always a great night to meet other postgraduate students. Tickets are available from the School Postgraduate Office at £5.00, which includes a buffet. The annual Inter-Masters Challenge will be held on Wednesday 20th October. This is an opportunity for you to be part of a team representing your programme in an organised quiz to win the prestigious Inter-Masters Challenge Trophy. The highlight of the social calendar is the SML Postgraduate Burns Supper, which usually takes place in late January or early February. This is an opportunity to celebrate the works of the Robert Burns, eat haggis and experience a real Scottish Ceilidh. This event is not to be missed, but be aware that tickets sell out fast. Further social event details will be announces over the year.


Mitigating Circumstances Policy In the course of the academic year many students will experience illness, personal problems, or unexpected events. The School will support students as fully as it can but, in order to do so, we must be aware of the circumstances students find themselves in. All students are therefore required to keep their Programme Director and mentor informed of any circumstances which may adversely affect their attendance or their performance in programme-related activities. In addition, students are encouraged to submit evidence of mitigating circumstances to the School as and when appropriate so that an official record can be kept. This should be done using a ‘Postgraduate Mitigating Circumstances form’, which can be obtained from the Postgraduate Office, accompanied by any supporting documentation (medical certificates, etc.). This form is also available online at: All forms and supporting documentation should be submitted to Jessica Forbes, room EF13


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

All information and supporting documentation submitted by students will be treated in the strictest confidence. The normal procedure is that this evidence will be considered by the Postgraduate Mitigating Circumstances Committee in May following the Semester 2 exam diet with a view to making recommendations to the MSc Progression Board (e.g. regarding late submission penalties, opportunities for resits, etc.). Please also see section 6.4.1. All evidence to be considered by the Mitigating Circumstances Committee must be submitted by students no later than one week after the date of their last exam. This applies to both the Semester 1 exam diet and the Semester 2 exam diet. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that the School is aware of any mitigating circumstances, of any aspects of their studies which have been affected by such circumstances, and to ensure that appropriate evidence is submitted.



The School operates a mentoring policy for all registered postgraduate students. 3.5.1

Aims and Objectives

Aims: To assign each postgraduate student entering the School of Management and Languages (the mentee) to a member of academic staff in the School of Management and Languages (the mentor) who can be consulted on all aspects of the University and who will provide a mechanism whereby the progress of each postgraduate student in the School of Management and Languages is monitored and remedial action taken where appropriate. Objectives: The mentees can expect that mentors will: 1. Normally provide the first point of contact when advice is required, whether of an academic or non-academic nature. 2. Be able to direct mentees to other sources of information and advice that are available centrally within the University. 3. Monitor each mentee’s academic progress. 4. Counsel mentees who fail a course and where possible ascertain the reasons for the failure. 5. Have an overview of the whole of each mentee’s University career and should be in a position to provide background information to other members of the University and to Examination Boards. 6. Give advice to the students where appropriate or required to their Personal Development Plan. The aims of this plan are: a) to provide opportunities for the development of student self-confidence in identifying their own competence and the transferability of the skills they have developed; and b) to provide opportunities for the development of guidance and information systems which enable students to monitor and record their own progress.


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011


Formal and Informal Meetings

Formal meetings All mentees will meet with their mentors formally: Full time postgraduate students Semester 1: Semester 2:

Weeks 2 to 3 following induction and course introductory lectures Weeks 2 to 3 following receipt of Semester 1 assessment

Informal meetings All mentees will have the opportunity to meet with their mentors/ course directors informally at other times by appointment. 3.5.3 Procedures 1. All students entering the School of Management and Languages will be assigned to a mentor by the Programme Director. For some courses the Programme Director will act as the mentor. 2. The Programme Directors will be responsible for informing postgraduate students who their mentor is. 3. The Programme Directors will inform mentees of the timing of meetings with mentors. 4. Mentors will be responsible for informing the Programme Director when a mentee fails to attend a formal meeting. 5. At each meeting, formal or informal, a record of the meeting will be made by the mentor and a copy of the record will be forwarded to the School of Management and Languages Postgraduate Office for inclusion in student records. Confidential information should not be included in the record of the meeting.

3.5.4 Duties of Mentors Mentors will be responsible for: 1. Organising an appointments system for formal meetings with mentees. 2. Taking a caring interest in their mentees. 3. Offering advice or directing mentees to support services better able to provide advice, on all aspects of the student’s life at the University. 4. Offering advice to mentees regarding their Personal Development Plan. 5. Monitoring the progress of each mentee, counselling any mentee who has failed a course, where possible ascertaining the reasons for the failure, taking appropriate follow-up action. 6. Making arrangements to see mentees informally when necessary. 7. Completing a record of formal and informal meetings with their mentees. A copy of the record should be forwarded to the School of Management and Languages Postgraduate Office.

3.5.5 Duties of Mentees All mentees should:


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

1. Make an appointment and attend formal meetings with their mentor at the agreed time. 2. Keep their mentor informed of any changes in their circumstances which may affect their academic progress. 3. Inform their mentor of any approved changes to their programme of study.

3.5.6 Duties of Programme Directors Programme Directors will be responsible for: 1. Where required allocating all mentees to their mentor, informing mentors and mentees and keeping an up to date record. 3.5.7


Monitoring of the Mentor Scheme The School Director of Learning and Teaching will be responsible for monitoring the mentor scheme and for reporting to the University Postgraduate Studies Committee on the operation of the scheme.

Student Feedback 3.6.1

Postgraduate Student-Staff Committee The School of Management and Languages Postgraduate Student–Staff Committee is a consultative body of student and staff representatives. It may discuss any matters that it considers relevant to the running of postgraduate degree programmes in the School, such as curricula, teaching and assessment methods. It is intended to provide a forum in which meaningful contributions can be made by students and staff alike. It is not competent, however, to deal with matters concerning individual students or members of staff, such as disciplinary matters, assessments, or appointments. The committee normally meets 1-2 times per semester. It is convened by the Director of Postgraduate Disciplines and has as its membership all MSc and MRES programme directors, relevant School administrators, and a student representative for each programme. Elections are held at the start of Semester 1 to appoint class representatives. For further information on the Postgraduate Student-Staff Committee, see


Course Evaluation At the end of each course you take you will be asked to complete a course evaluation questionnaire. Your views are important to us and the information gathered from these questionnaires is analysed by the School and the resulting information is then fed into the annual review of each programme.


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011


Academic Concerns The School of Management and Languages endeavours to foster good working relationships between students and staff. We recognise that in the course of the academic year students may have concerns regarding a programme or course. Within the School there is an agreed procedure for raising these matters so that they can be dealt with quickly and efficiently (see Figure 1 on following page).


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

Figure 1 Process for Raising an Academic Concern

Step 1

Raise concerns directly with the member of teaching staff concerned or Class Representative. If matter is unresolved

Step 2

Discuss concerns with course co-ordinator or mentor.

If matter is unresolved Step 3

Discuss concerns with Programme Director. If matter is unresolved Approach senior staff in this order:

Step 4

1. Director of Postgraduate Teaching Programmes 2. Head of Department 3. Head of School If matter is unresolved

Step 5

Inform HWUSA of your concerns


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

Step 1 Students should first raise their concerns directly with the member of teaching staff concerned (this may be a class teacher, tutor or lecturer). Students should not worry about raising any concern but, if a student feels uneasy doing this, they can contact their class representative who can raise the matter on their behalf. Step 2 If the matter is not resolved, the next step is for students to discuss their concerns with their mentor and, if they have not already done so, with the course co-ordinator (see Part A, section 6 of this handbook for course coordinator details). Step 3 If the matter remains unresolved, students should approach their Programme Director. Students should also inform their class representative if they have not already done so. Class representatives are members of the Postgraduate Student-Staff Liaison committee (PGSSLC). The members of this committee work to resolve any matter that it considers relevant to the running of the postgraduate degree courses in the School of Management and Languages, such as curricula, teaching and assessment methods. Committee members are able to bring student concerns to the attention of senior staff on your behalf. Please note, however, the committee does not consider individual cases, including individual appeals of assessment grades. Step 4 If the matter remains unresolved, students are able to approach senior staff directly in the order given in Figure 1. Step 5 If a student still feels that the matter is unresolved, they are able to raise their concerns through HWUSA. There is a sabbatical officer offering full time representation for Education and Welfare matters and they can be e-mailed at Please note that HWUSA will ask students if they have raised their concerns through the established procedures before they address any issues.


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011


Key staff and office locations

4.1 Programme Director Dr Abigail Marks MB 1.34 Mary Burton Building School of Management and Languages Heriot Watt University Edinburgh, EH14 4AS Tel:

+44 131 451 3610


MRES Dissertation Supervisor Dr Laura Galloway MB 1.42 Mary Burton Building School of Management and Languages Heriot Watt University Edinburgh, EH14 4AS Tel:

+44 131 451 8286


SML Research Secretary Caroline Murray EF 19 EsmĂŠe Fairburn Building School of Management and Languages Heriot Watt University Edinburgh, EH14 4AS Tel:

+44 131 451 4207



SML Postgraduate Administration Team Postgraduate Role



Postgraduate Secretary (SML Postgraduate Office)

EF 11

Roseanna Barnes-Brett Leila Daher

Postgraduate Secretary (Registry)

EF 13

Jessica Forbes

School Postgraduate Administrator (Postgraduate)

EF 12

Stephanie Ashby



School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

The School Postgraduate Office is located immediately on the left as you enter the Esmée Fairbairn Building in Room EF 11. Postgraduate Secretaries Roseanna Barnes-Brett and Leila Daher are located within the Postgraduate Office and assist with any student’s initial enquiries. The Postgraduate Office is responsible for: • • • •

Certification Letters Change of Course Change of Address Transcripts (issuing of)

Contact: Tel: Fax: E-mail:

+44(0) 131 451 3284 +44(0) 131 451 8336

Opening Hours: The Postgraduate Office is open 9.00am – 12.30pm and 2.00 – 4.30pm. Stephanie Ashby is the School Postgraduate Administrator. She is responsible for postgraduate matters not listed above. Her contact details are: EF 12: Esmée Fairbairn Building Tel: +44(0) 131 451 3285 E-mail: Jessica Forbes is the Postgraduate Secretary for matters related to the Registry. Her contact details are: EF 13: Esmée Fairbairn Building Tel: +44(0) 131 451 4202 E-mail:


Programme Overview Heriot-Watt University reserves the right to update materials from time to time and will ensure that advance notification concerning changes to materials is provided to students on the relevant section of the University website. It is the responsibility of students to check the website, particularly if they are returning to studies after a period during which their studies have been in abeyance.


Programme Handbook This programme handbook is for your reference and should provide the information you require. Please read the handbook carefully prior to the start of the MRES programme. Should you have any queries which are not answered here, please contact the School Postgraduate Office who will be able to help.


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

The rules and regulations governing the Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma in Research Methodology in the Social Sciences and the MRES in the Social Sciences are set out and should be read thoroughly. Should any amendments be necessary, you will be notified as soon as possible.


Programme Aims and Objectives The programme provides training in the philosophy and techniques of social research. It aims to equip students with the skills they need to undertake independent quantitative and qualitative research while, through the dissertation, students are given the opportunity to develop practical, intellectual and critical skills in an area of their own interest. For those intending to go on to complete a PhD in Business/ Management/Accountancy or Modern Studies, the programme provides the necessary skills, as above, plus the support and training required to guide the students through the initial stages of their doctoral research. Assessment Assessment takes the form of research assignments or extended essays for each individual taught course plus a 12,000-word dissertation on an agreed topic relevant to the programme for those that are undertaking the MRES Degree. The dissertation co-ordinator for the MRES is Dr Laura Galloway.


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011


Programme Structure and Delivery


Programme Structure

The programme has three elements: A. Five courses that comprise generic postgraduate research training; B. Three courses that comprise SML discipline-specific postgraduate research training (four courses of your choice, two in each semester from our existing master’s programmes that are relevant to you specific area of research) C. A dissertation in social research.

A. School research training: 1st Semester

D41PH Research Philosophy and Design

15 Credits

1st Semester

D41QA Qualitative Research Techniques

15 Credits

2nd Semester

D41QB Quantitative Research Techniques

15 Credits

2nd Semester

D41SI Strategic Issues in Research

15 Credits

2nd Semester

C11BU2 Business Research Methods

15 Credits

Please note that the following courses commence on Tuesday 21st Sep 2010 D41PH Research Philosophy and Design: 9.15 – 12.15pm in EC201 D41QA Qualitative Research Techniques: 1.15 – 4.15pm in William Arrol 232.


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

B. Courses Available: Please consult with your mentor or PhD supervisor before choosing your course. Please note these are example courses. The full set of options should be available when registering. International Accounting Standards


Inventory & production management

Financial Analysis

Organisation Behaviour & Human Resource Management

Design and Operation of Logistics Systems

Financial Markets

Competitive Strategy

Distribution Centre Design and Management

Corporate Finance

Strategic Issues in Human Resource Management

Green Logistics

Corporate Governance

Retail Marketing 1: Understanding the fashion consumer

Strategic Project Management

International Accounting Theory

Retail Marketing 2: Fashion brand management

Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Comparative Financial Reporting

Strategic Retail Management

Quality Management and Performance Improvement

International Managerial Accounting

Fashion Buying and Merchandising Management

Project Control

International Banking 2

Fashion Marketing Communications

Strategic Change

International Finance and Trade 2

Retail Logistics

Project Procurement and Contract Management

Emerging Financial Markets

Retail Operations

Project finance, accounting and control


Logistics & Supply Chain Strategy

Cultures, Identities and Citizenship in Europe


Freight Transport

Governance, Democracy and Political Transition in Europe

Operations Management & Ethical Manufacturing

Global purchasing and supply

Complementary Studies I and II

Please read section 6.3 for more information about the delivery of Postgraduate taught courses in the School of Management and Languages.


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

C. Dissertation A dissertation of at least 12,000 words in length must be submitted by all students taking the Masters in Research Degree. Students intending to continue to PhD can use the dissertation to clarify their research question, review appropriate literature, explain and defend their research methods, and analyse and describe their preliminary findings. For students completing their studies with the Masters in Research the dissertation will report on a completed piece of independent and original research.


Programme Qualifications: Masters, Diploma and Certificate • Completion of element (a), the four school research training courses, leads to the award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Research Methodology in the Social Sciences • Completion of element (a) plus element (b), the school based courses, leads to the award of a Diploma in Research Methodology in the Social Sciences •

Completion of elements (a) and (b) plus (c) the dissertation, will lead to the award of a Masters in Research (MRES) in the Social Sciences.

The full programme structure document is available online at: Please note that this document may subject to change over the course of the academic year.


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011


Course Information Course refers to a unit of study which spans a semester. An overall grade is awarded for each course at the end of the semester in which the course was studied. Students are expected to put in a total effort of 150 hours for each course. These 150 hours includes all lectures, tutorials, computing labs, workshops, background reading, writing up notes, coursework, revision and examination for the course. Each course will be assessed in one of three ways: • • •

by coursework; by examination; by a combination of both coursework and examination

At the end of each course an overall grade is awarded: Overall mark of approximately 70% or more Overall mark of approximately 60% to 69% Overall mark of approximately 50% to 59% Overall mark of approximately 40% to 49% Minimum requirement for the award of credit points Performance below the minimum acceptable level for the award of credit points (FAIL)



Timetable Timetables will be made available at the beginning of each semester and students will be advised of the location of their lectures. Timetables are also available online at


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011


Assessment 6.4.1

Coursework Course staff will advise students of the format of any coursework set (e.g. essay, group project, oral presentation), the due date for submission of the coursework and the date set for returning the marked coursework. All work must be well presented, word-processed and should include a cover sheet with the following information clearly marked: ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ ƒ

YOUR PROGRAMME (MRES) Title of coursework/project Student’s name and enrolment number Date Course Title and Course Code Lecturer’s name

Any variation in the procedure outlined below will be notified to students by the Programme Director.

Submission Procedure Coursework must be submitted to the School Office in Mary Burton Building (MB 1.23). Students must complete a Coursework Submission Form and have it signed and receipted by a member of staff in the School Office. Students should retain the receipt and a copy of their coursework until it has been marked. The office is open at the following times: Monday - Thursday Friday

9.30am - 12.30pm 9.30am - 12.30pm

& &

1.30pm - 4.45pm 1.30pm - 4.30pm

Coursework will not be accepted outside these hours.

Late Submission Coursework submitted after the due date must also be submitted to the School Office. A Late Coursework Submission Form must be completed and submitted with the coursework. Students should retain the receipt. A second copy of the Late Coursework Submission Form and any medical certificates or supporting documentation should be submitted to Jessica Forbes in room EF13. Coursework submitted after the due date for submission but prior to the date set for return of the coursework will be marked. However, it will be subject to a penalty deduction of 30% of the awarded mark. All Late Coursework Submission Forms will be reviewed by the Postgraduate Mitigating Circumstances Committee along with any medical certificates and supporting documentation. The Committee will have discretion to waive the penalty and reinstate the full mark or reduce the penalty in the light of circumstances. The Committee has absolute discretion in this matter and prior opinions will not be available in any circumstances.


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

Coursework not submitted by the date set for the return of marked coursework will not be marked. The following is a guide to the types of reasons considered acceptable or unacceptable with regard to late submission of coursework: Acceptable reasons • significant medical problems • significant problems of a personal nature (e.g. family emergency) • compassionate grounds (e.g. family bereavement) • major computer problems (e.g. failure of university IT systems, such as network or server failure) N.B. In all cases students must provide suitable documentary evidence to support such reasons.

Unacceptable reasons • minor computer problems (e.g. lost /damaged files, printer breakdown) • unverifiable travel difficulties • running out of time • other assignments due • temporary lack of availability of key resources required for the completion of the work N.B. It is students’ responsibility to ensure they plan and manage their workload in order to complete and submit coursework by the deadline set.

Non-submission Non-submission of coursework must also be intimated to the School Office. Students will be asked to complete a form and supply any medical certificates or supporting documentation for non-submission.

Return of Coursework When the coursework has been marked, you will be given a Coursework Feedback Form indicating its grading against various criteria and written comments. Your coursework itself may be retained for inspection by the External Examiner and returned only after the Examination Board meeting in May. Any grades given to you prior to their meetings should be considered as provisional and subject to confirmation by this Board.


Examinations Examination Diets Full-time students in attendance at the University are entered automatically, without fee, for the examinations of courses in which they are registered.


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

Postgraduate programmes within the School of Management and Languages have two main diets of examinations: Semester 1 assessment Semester 2 assessment

6th December– 17th December 2010 26th April 2011 – 20th May 2011


June 2011 (To Be Confirmed)

The Programme Director will inform students of the exact dates, times, and locations for all exams in due course. The resit diet normally takes place in the first half of June. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to ensure they have the correct times and locations for the exams they are sitting.


Reassessment Students may resit up to three courses. The courses in which students are required to be reassessed will be determined by the relevant Exam Board. In the case of courses examined by a combination of examination and coursework, the reassessment will be based on the regulations in the Course Descriptor.


MRES Dissertation To obtain the MRES degree, students must successfully complete a dissertation. Students will be advised that they have successfully completed the diploma stage of the programme and can then proceed to the dissertation stage. To be able to proceed to the dissertation a student must have successfully passed all the taught courses with an average mark of 50%. This decision to proceed will be made at a Progression Board, which will be held after the Semester 2 examinations in May. Students will receive specific detailed information on the format, structure and sourcing of ideas for dissertation projects as well the requirements for preparing, writing and submitting their dissertations during the taught programme. Specific training in research methods as well as detailed assistance with choosing and defining topics will be given usually through Semester 2. During Semester 1 all students will receive a separate booklet detailing the structure, formatting and style to be adopted in their dissertation as well as wider helpful guidance on completing a dissertation. The aim of the MRES dissertation is to enable students to undertake independent research into a topic that is relevant to the practical pursuit of their subject. While students are not required to make a new and significant contribution to knowledge in the area chosen, they are expected to show evidence of independent enquiry and investigation. The general learning outcomes of the dissertation course are as follows:


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

Understanding, Knowledge and Subject-Specific Skills • • •

To demonstrate a critical awareness of the relevance of current theory to the practical concerns of practitioners; To show a solid understanding of specific issues and problems facing practitioners ; To display an ability to resolve and understand such problems through the application of appropriate theoretical frameworks.

Cognitive skills, Core skills and Professional Awareness • • • • • •


To reflect critically on the relationship between theory and practice; To gather and sort data from a variety of written and electronic sources; To review, organise and evaluate evidence and reflect and comment critically on it; To present a clear and coherent argument on a specialised topic To use information gathered from a wide variety of appropriate sources to support and substantiate claims; To work independently to a set deadline.

Supervision Arrangements Students will be allocated an academic supervisor who will provide students with general guidance and support in completing their dissertation. Wherever possible the academic supervisor will have a detailed knowledge of the topic area but, due to the need to balance academic supervisor workloads, this will not always be possible. As all academic supervisors have extensive knowledge of the research process, this will not disadvantage any student. The supervisor will agree an overall schedule of work with students and will establish how frequently meetings will be required. General policy is that the student will have up to five meetings with their supervisor through the dissertation period. The supervisor will keep a written record of all meetings, normally using the “Record of Supervision Meeting” form which can be found at Where supervision is carried out remotely (e.g. by email), evidence of supervision will take the form of email correspondence between supervisor and supervisee. Supervisors are asked to aim to reply to any correspondence relating to dissertations (including e-mail correspondence) and to return comments on submitted work within a week of receipt. Students should recognise that academic staff may be away for extended periods whilst attending conferences, undertaking other academic duties, their own research or due to holidays. Students are responsible for making themselves aware of when their academic supervisors will be away from the University. Supervisors will only use Heriot-Watt e-mail accounts for correspondence with students. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure their e-mail account is available to meet all necessary file transfers. At all times it is the


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

responsibility of the student to maintain adequate contact with their supervisor and to keep their supervisor informed of their progress. During the writing process students can expect supervisors to normally read up to two draft chapters, once. Supervisors are not required to read successive drafts of the same part. Students whose dissertations attract a mark in the 40-49% range (grade D) may be required to resubmit their dissertation. In such cases students will receive feedback on the specific areas to be improved but will not receive any additional supervision. Neither will supervisors be required to read any further chapters. Resubmitted dissertations will receive up to a maximum of grade C or 55%. Students requiring to resubmit their dissertation will be required to pay an additional fee to the University (currently £120).


Schedule for Preparation and Submission Preparation for the dissertation will normally take place during the second Semester. The summer semester will be the time when intensive research, data collection, analysis and writing will take place. Students will be advised by their Programme Director of the specific stages and milestones in taking their initial ideas and forming these into research questions and methods of investigation. Once the subject area has been agreed and a supervisor allocated, the student will complete a formal Dissertation Proposal form. This form is available online at Whilst the emphasis within a specific topic may change, students should not change their topic without the permission from their supervisor.


Ethics At the proposal stage students should also read the School’s Policy on Ethical Aspects of Research for Postgraduate Dissertations ( and confirm this policy by ticking the appropriate box on the Dissertation Proposal Form. Students and supervisors will also be required to complete a University “Application to School Ethics Committee for Ethical Approval for a Research Project”. Students will also have to obtain approval under the Disclosure Scotland procedures if research will involve students interacting with individuals or groups under the age of 18 or other designated vulnerable or at risk individuals or groups


Overview of a Dissertation Length The dissertation should normally be between 12,000 and 15,000 words in length, although those dissertations dealing with numerical analysis may be permitted a lower level. The Programme Director or academic supervisor will provide you with specific guidance. Students whose dissertations vary by a margin of 10% will be required to re-submit their work and to express themselves within the stipulated limits. Appendices


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

are not included in the word count but should not be excessively long. The word count should be on the title page.


Order of Parts: The dissertation should observe the following order of parts (although all may not apply in each dissertation. 1.

Title page (containing: title, student’s name, year of graduation, supervisor’s name, word count and the following wording: “Dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MRES at Heriot-Watt University”.) 2. Abstract (a summary of the main arguments and conclusion, not to exceed one page) 3. Dedication or Epigraph (optional) 4. Table of contents 5. List of illustrations (plates, figures, maps and tables, in that order) 6. List of Abbreviations 7. Acknowledgements (of all help received during the preparation of the dissertation) 8. Text (including introduction) 9. Conclusion 10. Bibliography 11. Appendices (only relevant supporting information)


Submission deadlines and requests for extensions The deadline for the submission of the dissertation will be advised by the Programme Director. The normal time for the submission will be in the last week of August. In order to manage the intake of dissertations at the School Office, each programme will be allocated a separate date and time during that week for dissertations to be submitted. Students will be advised of the submission date no later than the end of Semester 1. If students wish to graduate at the November graduation ceremony, they must submit their dissertation during this period in August. This deadline must be strictly observed. Dissertations which are submitted late will suffer a penalty of 30% of the mark awarded in line with the Late Submissions policy detailed in section 6.4.1 above. In exceptional personal circumstances a request may be made to the Director of Postgraduate Disciplines for an extension to the normal submission date. This should be done using the ‘Request for Extension to Dissertation form’ which can be obtained from the Postgraduate Office or found online at: All such requests must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. It is essential that requests are made in a timely fashion and should not normally be made less than two weeks in advance of the normal submission deadline. For a list of acceptable extenuating circumstances see section 6.4.1. above. It should be noted that students who are granted an extension to the MRES dissertation submission date


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

will not normally be able to graduate at the November ceremony and will normally be required to pay a writing-up fee (currently ÂŁ120). It is the responsibility of students to ensure that they schedule their work in such a way that they are able to submit by the deadline. The time required for final checks, proof-reading, printing and binding should not be underestimated. Students will usually provide a minimum of two bound copies of their dissertation as well as an electronic copy on a CD. Submitted dissertations may be checked for evidence of plagiarism using TurnitIn. All copies of the dissertation must be submitted to the School Office and not to their academic supervisor. Students must also complete a Dissertation Submission Form and have it signed and receipted by a member of staff in the School Office. Students should retain the receipt and a copy of their coursework until it has been marked. Submitted copies of the dissertations can not normally be returned to students. Students undertaking company sponsored projects will be expected to provide an additional copy of their dissertation for the company; this is in addition to the minimum two copies. Students who have been required to resubmit their dissertation will normally be expected to do so by 30 November (see section 6.6.1 above).


Costs Students need to be aware that with the exception of projects supported by companies they will receive no financial support for expenses incurred in obtaining data for their dissertations from the University. In planning their dissertations, students need to be aware that the University cannot provide travel, data processing, mailing, telephone or specific requests for specialist reports. Where students are undertaking a company supported project either obtained by the University or themselves, they will not usually be paid, although they may be able to claim travel and accommodation costs where prior agreement with the company has been obtained. The student has the responsibility to ensure that any expenditure has been approved before it is incurred.


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011


Resources 6.7.1

Relevant Journals The selected journals listed on the following page are recommended for browsing and reading. These lists are not exhaustive but are representative of the most useful journals in the field. Course lecturers will provide reading lists which may contain articles from other journals specific to the course topics. A full list of journals is available at 1

E = available in electronic format from the library website


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011




International Journal of Project Management



Project Management Journal



PM Network


Project Manager Today




Long Range Planning



Strategic Management Journal



Strategic Change


Business Strategy Review





Academy of Management Journal



Academy of Management Review



Administrative Science Quarterly



British Journal of Management



California Management Review


Harvard Business Review


Journal of Management Studies



Management Science



Scandinavian Journal of Management



Sloan Management Review


OTHER RELEVANT JOURNALS Business Process Management Journal Engineering Management Journal (IEEE) European Journal of Marketing European Journal of Operational Research Human Resource Management Journal International Journal of Human Resource Management International Journal of Information Management International Journal of Logistics: Research & Applications International Journal of Operations & Production Management Journal of Management in Engineering (ASCE) Journal of Marketing Management Journal of the Operational Research Society Measuring Business Excellence Organization Studies Personnel Review Service Industries Journal


AVAILABILITY 1 E E E E E – E – E E – – – E E –

School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011

6.7.2 Additional Reading Bryman, A. & Bell, E., (2003) Business Research Methods, Oxford: Oxford University Press Bryman. A (2000) Social Research Methods, Oxford: Oxford: University Press Collis, J. & Hussey, R. (2003) Business Research, London: Palgrave Dawson, C., (2002) Practical Research Methods, Oxford: How To Books Easterby Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Lowe, A. (2002), Management Research: an introduction, London: Sage Gill, J. & Johnson, P. (2002) Research Methods for Managers, London: Paul Chapman Gay, L. & Diehl, P. (1992) Research Methods for Business and Management, New York: Maxwell Macmillan International Hart, C. (2005) Doing a Literature Review, London: Sage Hart, C. (2003) Doing Your Masters Dissertation, London: Sage Kaplan, D. (ed.) (2004) The SAGE handbook of Quantitative Methodology for the Social Sciences, London: Sage Maylor, H. and Blackmon, K. (2005) Researching Business and Management, London: Palgrave Murray, R. (2000) How to write a thesis, Milton Keynes: Open University Press Phillips, E.M. & Pugh, D.S. (2000), How to get a PhD, Milton Keynes: Open University Press Potter, S., (ed.) (2002) Doing Postgraduate Research, London: Sage Remyeni, D., Williams, B., Money, A. and Swartz, B. (1998) Doing Research in Business and Management, London: Sage Saunders, M., Lewis, P & Thornhill, A. (2002) Research Methods for Business Students, London:FT/Prentice Hall Seale, C. et al. (eds) (2004) Qualitative Research Practice, London: Sage You might also be interested in the following: Furedi, F. (2004) Where have all the intellectuals gone?, London: Continuum Nieminen, M. (2004) ‘Changing academic research environments and innovative research’ in C.M.Allwood and B.R. Marin (eds) Creative Knowledge Environments, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar


School of Management and Languages: MRES Social Sciences Handbook 2010 - 2011


School Referencing Policy Referencing sources of information is an important aspect of all academic work and a key criterion in the assessment of coursework. In order to further aide our students to submit correctly cited academic work, SML has adopted the Harvard Style as its standard mode of referencing. All assessed coursework should adhere to this style of referencing. Heriot Watt's Library has produced a comprehensive guide to the Harvard Style, which can be accessed here: The Library also runs a series of Workshops designed to help all students maximise their academic potential and get the most out of the University's extensive resources. It is strongly recommended to all SML students that they utilise the excellent Learning and Teaching support services provided by the Library. If you are in doubt about how to compile your reference list or cite sources of information in the body of your written work, you may want to look at some learned journals in the library or ask an academic member of staff for advice.


VISION Course materials will be made available through the University’s virtual learning environment called VISION ( Students can access VISION through any web browser using their PC username and password provided to them at enrolment.


All students are required to familiarise themselves with both Part A and Part B of the Postgraduate Handbook. Part B of the Handbook is produced by the University and is shared by every programme within the School of Management and Languages. This section contains important information about rules and regulations of Heriot Watt, including examination and assessment procedures in addition to information about Student Services and life on campus.


MRES Social Sciences Programme Handbook  

MRES Social Sciences Programme Handbook