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Resubmissionguide2010

  1. 1. BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting Research and Analysis Project RE-SUBMISSION GUIDE March 2010
  2. 2. CONTENTS 1. How to use this guide Page 3 2. Eligibility Page 3 3. Conversion arrangements Page 4 4. Re-submission Rules Page 4 5. Re-submission Fees Page 5 6. Submission Period and Form Page 5 7. Determination of class of degree Page 6 8. Your Project Mentor Page 8 9. Your Project Page 8 10. The Research Project: why students fail Page 9 11. The Skills and Learning Statement: why students fail Page 12 12. Oxford Brookes University policies and procedures Page 17 13. Oxford Brookes University contact details Page 18Frequently Asked Questions Page 19APPENDIX 1 Period 19 Submission forms and Checklist Page 21APPENDIX 2 Resubmission statement Page 22 2
  3. 3. 1. How to use this guideIntroductionThe principal aim of the BSc degree programme is to widen access to Oxford BrookesUniversity (OBU) and enable ACCA students across the world the opportunity toobtain an OBU degree.The degree aims to enhance and extend knowledge and skills gained by ACCAstudents in their ACCA studies and so to improve student’s effectiveness asprofessional accountancy students and/or practitioners. The degree is awarded tostudents who are Oxford Brookes University registered students, who have passed allnine ACCA Fundamentals papers, completed the ACCA Professional Ethics Moduleand passed the Oxford Brookes University Research and Analysis Project.For full requirements and details of the degree see: http://www.accaglobal.com/students/bscSources of informationThis guide is intended for students who have failed their RAP and are re-submitting. Itshould be read in conjunction with the BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting Researchand Analysis Project Information pack. http://www.accaglobal.com/documents/bscinfopack.pdfThe Information Pack contains crucial project guidance. It really is impossible to passthe Research and Analysis Project unless sections 6 to 11 of this document and theAppendices are read and fully understood.Another excellent source of support are the study guides published by BPP andKaplan.Also, all students that fail are provided with marker and moderator comments andthese are designed to help students. Students should pay particular attention to thesecomments and seek to address them.2. Eligibility To be awarded the BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting you must: • Be eligible for the degree. This means you must be registered with Oxford Brookes University i.e. opted-in to the BSc degree scheme before passing any of the three ACCA Fundamentals papers, F7, F8 and F9. • Pass the three ACCA Fundamentals papers F7, F8 and F9 and pass other papers as required to successfully complete all nine Fundamentals level papers. 3
  4. 4. • Complete the ACCA Professional Ethics module before submitting a Research and Analysis Project to Oxford Brookes University. • Complete and pass the Oxford Brookes University Research and Analysis Project.The BSc degree must be completed within 10 years of your initial registration ontothe ACCA’s professional qualification otherwise your eligibility will be withdrawn.If this has expired in your case, we regret that you are no longer eligible to completethe degree with us.3. Conversion ArrangementsACCA exam conversion arrangementsOxford Brookes University will recognise any passes or exemptions from Part 1 andPart 2 exams in the ACCA Professional scheme that are converted to theFundamentals level of the ACCA Qualification, as contributions towards the award ofthe BSc degree, except for papers F7, F8 and F9 or equivalent.All students are required to sit and pass papers F7-F9.ACCA Professional Scheme exam passes before June 2000You will be subject to both the requirements of the transitional arrangements,published when the degree was introduced, and the requirements of these conversionarrangements. http://www.accaglobal.com/students/bsc/conversion/transitional4. Resubmission rulesThe following rules will apply to RAP resubmissions: • If you do not pass the RAP after a third submission, unfortunately you will no longer be eligible to complete the BSc (Hons) in Applied Accounting degree. • If you fail the Research Report, then you need only submit the revised Research Report and not the Skills and Learning Statement. • If you fail the Research Report on the first submission you will be awarded a grade C for any successful subsequent Research Report. • If you pass the Research Report at the first attempt, but are awarded a Fail grade in the Skills and Learning Statement you only need resubmit the Skills and Learning Statement. You cannot submit a revised Research Report in any further RAP submission. The Grade awarded in your Research Report will carry forward and become the Research and Analysis Project grade if you are subsequently successful in your Skills and Learning Statement. • If you fail the Research Report and the Skills and Learning Statement – then both of these sections must be resubmitted in full. 4
  5. 5. Please note: you must have successfully completed the Fundamentals level exampapers, F1–F9, and completed the Professional Ethics module before submitting aResearch and Analysis Project to Oxford Brookes University.5. Re-Submission fees • You are required to pay a project submission fee to Oxford Brookes University with any project submitted and use the current submission forms attached. • Resubmissions will always require the full current period project fee to be paid. • The Oxford Brookes University RAP submission fee for period 20 is £85; this may be subject to increase in subsequent submission periods. • The fee can be paid by cheque, bankers draft, postal order or credit card. Full details are available on the submission form.6. Submission period and formSubmission periodOxford Brookes University has two submission periods each year in May andNovember during which you may submit an OBU RAP. An OBU RAP that issubmitted after the end of a submission period will be returned unmarked to students,but it may be resubmitted in the following submission period.The next RAP submission period, and the dates on which RAP grades and BSc degreeresults will be dispatched, is as follows: Period 20 submissionLatest date to complete the Professional Ethics module 15th April 2010Earliest receipt of RAP by Oxford Brookes University 1st May 2010 Latest receipt of RAP by Oxford Brookes University 31st May 2010 Oxford Brookes University BSc Examination Board September 2010 RAP and BSc degree results despatched Wed 29th September 2010 5
  6. 6. Please note that projects must arrive at the ACCA Office in Oxford BrookesUniversity by the date of latest receipt.Students should make appropriate arrangements with postal services to ensure thattheir project arrives by the submission deadline.You should send your finished RAP together with your submission forms andassessment fee to: ACCA Office Oxford Brookes University Business School Wheatley Campus Wheatley Oxford OX33 1HX United KingdomSubmission formThe submission form for the latest period can be found in the related documentssection and downloaded from: www.accaglobal.com/students/bsc/submissionThere is a checklist to study before you send your project and the form – this is also inthe related documents section/APPENDIX 1.A RAP will not be accepted by Oxford Brookes University without the correctsubmission form. An OBU RAP that is submitted without the correct form will bereturned unmarked to you.7. Determination of class of degreeThe class of BSc degree will be based on both: • the ACCA average mark determined from the exam marks in the Fundamentals Skills papers (F4–F9) • The grade achieved for the Research and Analysis Project.The ACCA average mark will be calculated by taking the numerical average of themarks achieved in the Fundamentals Skills papers (F4–F9) that you have sat andpassed.Where the calculated average mark is not a whole number, the calculated average willbe rounded up or down accordingly. If you have been given an exemption from any ofthe three papers F4–F6, no mark is available and so will not be included in thecalculation of the ACCA average mark. 6
  7. 7. The class of degree for each combination of ACCA average mark and Research andAnalysis Project grade is shown below. Class of Degree Upper Lower ACCA average mark First Third Second Second 68 or more A, B, C - - - 67 A, B C - - 66 A B, C - - 60-65 - A, B, C - - 59 - A, B C - 58 - A B, C - 54-57 - - A, B, C - 53 - - A, B C 50-52 - - - A, B, CEXAMPLES • A student with an ACCA average mark of 69 and a grade B for the Project will be awarded the B Sc (Hons) in Applied Accounting with First Class Honours • A student with an ACCA average mark of 67 and a grade C for the Project will be awarded the B Sc (Hons) in Applied Accounting with Upper Second Class Honours • A student with an ACCA average mark of 59 and a grade B for the Project will be awarded the B Sc (Hons) in Applied Accounting with Upper Second Class Honours • A student with an ACCA average mark of 55 and a grade A for the Project will be awarded the B Sc (Hons) in Applied Accounting with Lower Second Class Honours • A student with an ACCA average mark of 53 and a grade C for the Project will be awarded the B Sc (Hons) in Applied Accounting with Third Class Honours.Additional transitional arrangements for degree classificationFollowing the introduction of the new exams in December 2007 and the revisedproject in 2008 the University has now clarified the transitional arrangements fordegree classification for those students who started their studies before the changeswere announced.These transitional arrangements for degree classification ensure students who startedthis programme under the previous regulations are treated fairly.New studentsStudents who opted in or registered with ACCA on or after 1 January 2007 will havetheir degree classified under the regulations set out above 7
  8. 8. Old studentsStudents who opted in before this date will have their degree classified either underthe old regulations or under the new regulations, whichever is the better.For clarification the old regulations for classification are as follows: • The Average Mark will be determined by the average of all Papers F1 to F9 or equivalent (except those that were credited, were internally assessed or converted from old papers prior to 2001) • Students will then have to achieve a Grade A, B or C overall in the project • The degree classification will then be calculated with reference to the old table:ACCA average mark Degree Classification66 or more First Class58 – 65 Second Class upper Division54 – 57 Second Class lower Division50-53 Third ClassBelow 49 Not eligibleThese transitional arrangements have been designed to achieve a balance between themaintenance of the standard of the degree and to ensure students opted in before 1January 2007 are treated fairly.They will be in force for a period of three years, up to and including Session 22 inMarch/April 2011 which, in addition to the information provided in 2007, will givestudents plenty of opportunities to pass the appropriate examinations and to submittheir project under the previous regulations.The ten year rule still applies, whereby students must complete the degree within 10years of first starting.If you have any comments or queries about this arrangements please contact theACCA office at Oxford Brookes University.8. Your Project MentorIf you passed your Skills and Learning Statement you do not have to meet yourmentor again. However, you may find it useful to meet with your mentor if: a) You decide to submit a different Research Report. b) You feel generally that you need help from your mentor.However, if your failed your Skills and Learning Statement then you do not need tohave three further meetings with your mentor but you do need to meet them at leastonce. This will help you to re-consider where you went wrong in your Skills andLearning Statement and you will need to get your submission form re-signed by yourmentor. 8
  9. 9. You do not have to physically meet with your mentor – you can use conferencingfacilities/Skype instead. Telephone calls and emails are not sufficient for presentationpurposes.You do not have to use the same mentor for a re-submission.9. Your projecta. Your project title • As a re-submission you can choose either to keep the same project title or to choose another topic title from the twenty approved project topic areas. • If you decide to change the company you are researching and analysing or the topic then the Research Report passes previously achieved will not be carried forward. • It is possible to also request for acceptance of a topic outside of the approved project topic areas, however where students went outside of the twenty published projects these often produced poor results. Therefore it is recommended that where students are re-submitting that they seek to remain within the published topics.b. Updating your project • Make sure that you read the marker and moderator feedback and that you attempt to respond to this feedback. • If you are re-submitting project 8 ‘The business and financial performance of an organisation over a three year period’ then you need to update your project to reflect the most recent financial statements. For companies where financial information is no longer available (for example the company has been privatised) then update with accessible information such as press releases and detail the reasoning behind this in your RAP. • When re-submitting your RAP you should include a statement of 500 words explaining how you have addressed the feedback provided by the marker and moderator and where you have made changes (see appendix 2).10. The Research Project: why students faila. The new RAP guidelines • Students should refer to the new Research and Analysis Project guidelines and marking criteria in order to avoid failing the project. The failure rate is still dominantly influenced by students resubmitting under the old guidelines http://www.accaglobal.com/students/bsc/rap 9
  10. 10. b. Insufficient word count • The RAP requires that the Research Report is 6500 words and that the Skills and Learning Statement is 2000 words. These word counts are meant to guide students and it is strongly recommended that they are adhered to. If your project it is only 4000 words you are unlikely to have sufficient detailed information in order to be able to pass. • From Period 20 there will be a minimum word-count requirement of 5,500 words for the Research Report and 1,800 words for the Skills and Learning Statement. RAP’s not reaching these word counts will fail.c. Weak referencing • Weak referencing continues to be a cause for failure. Students need to ensure they reference their work using the Harvard referencing system, thereby acknowledging the source of their information.For details of how to reference see:http://www.brookes.ac.uk/services/library/resources/harvard.docTo fail to do so is deemed to be plagiarism, a serious academic offence. From Period19 all students are required to keep an electronic copy of their submitted RAP and asample of these will be passed through the web-based tool Turnitin. Turnitin isdevised so that a text-matching tool allows academic staff to check students’ work forimproper use of sources or potential plagiarism by comparing it against continuouslyup-dated databases. For more information on plagiarism see: http:///www.brookes.ac.uk/library/skill/plagarismd. Research and analysis • Primary research is not a requirement; however, if it is undertaken then good practice should be implemented. • In relation to theories it is not sufficient to include the theory by itself, analysis needs to be included which relates the theory to research project. • Some students are under the misconception that particular topics are easier than other topics. This is not the case, there is no easy topic.Topic 8: The business and financial performance of an organisation over a three yearperiod. (Topic 8) continues to be the most popular topic amongst students. According to theInformation Pack (for link see below in ‘how to pass your RAP’) students must lookinto the company’s business environment and identify those actions taken by the 10
  11. 11. company, its competitors, government etc which have led to changes in thecompany’s business performance. A significant number of students that fail theproject do so because they did not recognise the need for the business context and theimplicit requirement from this that they need to include a comparator. The comparatorcan be that of a competitor business or industry averages. The external examinersuggested the following advice: ‘for a sound financial analysis report’ this should ‘put the analysis in the context ofthe industry or industries concerned, the relative risk of the industry, trends in theindustry where appropriate and the impacts of changes in the economic, political andregulatory environment. Due cognisance should be accorded to environmental factorsand sustainability in a arriving at conclusions and recommendations.’Topic 6: The key factors or indicators in the motivation of employees in anorganisationBelow is an extract of an article written for the Student Accountant by Al NeilsonOBU/ACCA marker and moderator.‘How do Markers apply the Assessment Criteria? the motivation topicLet us consider how markers interpret the RAP Assessment grid in assessing aspecific topic: “The key factors or indicators in the motivation of employees in anorganisation”. This is the second most popular topic, normally representing 10-11% ofall submissions.1. Understanding of Accountancy/ Business Models: The starting point is the grade descriptor, and for our purposes we will consider in allcases what markers are looking for in a grade A submission. The generic A gradedescriptor (see RAP Assessment Grid) is: “highly appropriate choice of theory/concepts; very clear relevance and shows evidence of wider reading”.This provides a general guideline; more specifically, markers will be looking forevidence of understanding of concepts, theories models etc.Understanding implies that you can define concepts, explain interpret and critiquetheories selected, and draw appropriate inferences from them. Thus a clear definitionof “motivation”, and explanations of “factors of motivation” (what motivatesemployees?) and “Indicators of motivation” (evidence that employees are motivated)must be provided. A range of relevant theories must be reviewed, and theirimplications considered. Explanations must demonstrate understanding, and be linkedappropriately to the organisation studied. Similarities and differences betweentheories should be explained ,for example between “content” theories –which focuson what motivates employees and “process” theories ,which focus on how employeesare motivated .Where there is little evidence of understanding of concepts /theories of motivation,incorrect interpretation of theories, and no discussion of factors or indicators ofmotivation, then the project will fail. 11
  12. 12. 2. Application of Accountancy/ Business Models:The generic A descriptor is: “insightful and critical application of models to theproject topic” .Application implies that the theories chosen can, and must be, relatedto the organisation studied.Markers expect to see theories used to design appropriate research tools aboutmotivation in the organisational context (e.g. in a questionnaire or suitable questionsfor interviews) which enable conclusions to be established. Any limitations to theapplication of theories should be discussed, and the theories chosen should be appliedin identifying /defining issues in the organisation studied.Markers fail projects where theories have not been used to design the researchinstruments, and are not used to identify key issues in the organisation studied.’e. Not including presentation slides • If students do not include copies of their presentation slides used in the presentation to the project mentor then they will fail their Skills and Learning Statement. The presentation needs to reflect the full findings of the project.f. Use of information technology • Students will fail if they do not include reasonable evidence that a spreadsheet has been used.11. The Skills and Learning Statement: why students faila. Submitting the old Key Skills Statement • The Skills and Learning Statement is still causing students problems with some students submitting the old Key Skills Statement. If students do so they will fail. • If you submitted Period 16 or before then you are required to submit a new Research Report and Skills and Learning Statement in line with the revised criteria.b. Failing the communication skills element • You will fail if you do not submit the PowerPoint presentation /slides of the presentation delivered to your mentor, or if you submit a presentation which lacks a coherent structure or does not relate to the findings of your research report. 12
  13. 13. c. Not answering the four specific questions required to meet the assessmentcriteria for the “self reflection” element of the SLS • The purpose of the Skills and Learning Statement is for students to show that they have developed the key ‘graduate’ skills of self-reflection and communication. • It is not sufficient to make a description of events without any element of reviewing and evaluating the process of completing the RAP, which is essential to meet the assessment criteria.Further to this the following is taken from an article written by Al NeilsonOBU/ACCA marker for the Student Accountant on preparing your Skills andLearning Statement and is useful to support your learning in this area:‘Careful reading of the guidance contained in the Information Pack on the ACCAwebsite should enable students to attain a pass in the SLS. However, there is alreadysufficient evidence to support the view that a significant number of students either donot understand the concept of “ self reflection “ or do not see why such importance isattached to it in the assessment process. The remaining part of this section willaddress these points and should help students to prepare a successful SLS.i. Understanding the concept of “self reflection” and its importance.There are a number of definitions of ‘reflection”, but applied in the context in which itis used in the SLS, all are concerned with: Thinking, considering, contemplating, meditating about your experience of engaging in and completing your research reportProducing a research report is a major task, and also a significant learningopportunity.The purpose of the SLS is to give you an opportunity to think about what you did andwhy, how you did it, what went well /not so well and why ,and what you would dodifferently if you have to write such a research report in the future. It is anopportunity for you to demonstrate that you have learned from the experience. This isimportant, as experience is a great teacher – IF you can develop the skills to learnfrom it.Failure to develop the requisite skills means that mistakes will be repeated- thelessons are not learned. Sometimes the phrase “reinventing the wheel” is used toindicate such a lack of learning from the experiences and work of others – but moreimportantly, it is all too possible to “reinvent the flat tyre” - that is, something whichdoes not work at all!! 13
  14. 14. The skills of “self reflection” imply a capacity to look at ourselves objectively andassess our strengths and weaknesses, our predispositions - at what we do and how wedo it- and to see where we can continue to develop and improve. It implies a capacityto review and evaluate what we do on a continuous basis, to judge what is good /lessgood, and to learn from our experiences.For example some people have a very strong “action orientation” – they want to start“doing things” immediately; others are much more thoughtful and reflective – theyspend a great deal of time before they act - or do things.Taken to extremes, both can cause major problems: doing before thinking (the “ready,fire, aim syndrome) causes major problems, while too much thought and too littleaction (the “paralysis by analysis” syndrome) can also be problematical. Too much ofeither orientation will not produce the best possible research report: an appropriatebalance between thought and action is required.Self reflection is an important graduate skill .It enables us to “learn how to learn”. In aworld characterised by rapid change, knowledge can become obsolete very quickly,and we need to develop skills which will equip us for lifelong learning. Completingthe SLS will assist you to develop those reflective skills which will stand you in goodstead throughout your professional career, and help you to become a thoughtful andreflective practitioner in the future.ii. Applying reflective skills to answering the four specific questionsAnswers to the four questions will be personally based, related to your own strengthsand weaknesses and your experience of conducting your research. You may find ithelpful to distinguish between three different types of “reflection.”The first is reflection as thinking about what you propose to do before you do it:reflection as “thinking before action” – or “look before you leap”. You may haveattempted some overall assessment of the task to be completed. This might haveincluded choice of topic and organisation, consideration of your interests, learning needs, resources required, problems of accessing information, your own strengths and weaknesses.This overall ‘helicopter approach’ can be a very useful precursor to the more detailedplanning and scheduling activities required to complement the initial overallassessment of the task requirements, constraints and your own capabilities andinterests.Second, there is reflection as “thinking in action” - that is while actually engaged incarrying out some aspect of producing your research report. This is sometimesreferred to as “thinking on your feet”. 14
  15. 15. For example, you will have to exercise this skill in meetings with your mentor - youwill have to respond to questions asked and issues raised as the meeting progresses.Or you may be using interviews as part of your information gathering approach andyou have to follow up responses to answers given by asking further probing questions.Similarly, when delivering your presentation, you may have to respond tounanticipated questions. These examples of reflection as thinking in action arise fromsome aspect of implementing your research approach – actually carrying out therequired tasks - which have themselves originated in your own prior assessment andplanning activities.Third is reflection as “thinking on action”; this is after the event /process has beencompleted. It involves looking backwards, and trying to make sense of whathappened and why and is concerned with the processes of reviewing and evaluatingwhat you did and attempting to learn the lessons from the experience.This is perhaps what is most commonly understood by reflection, but it is important toemphasise that the other aspects are also important. It is also important to remind youthat these processes are known to us all in everyday life- they are not strange orunusual experiences of themselves. What is unusual is that you are required to thinkin a serious and disciplined way about these processes applied to a specific context –that of conducting your research and analysis project – which is itself somewhatdifferent from your everyday tasks and activities.The point is that you will have had experiences when you have ‘reflected” that “ I didnot plan that very well” or “I could have answered that question better” or “if only Ihad……!!”It is precisely this aspect of reflection which leads to statements such as “hindsight istwenty-twenty vision” or “if only I knew then what I know now”.iii. Reflecting on the four QuestionsLet us now consider the four specific questions. 1. What did you learn from the meetings with your Project mentor including the presentation that you gave to your Project Mentor?Question 1 asks what you learned from meetings with your mentor, including thepresentation you gave: it will be of great help to you to keep notes of the meetingsheld with your mentor, and note any specific learning points.This can be used as evidence to demonstrate the learning acquired – one would expectto see some development in some of the skills areas over the course of the threemeetings, noting improvement over the period.Students failed on this because that did not link the presentation clearly to theirResearch Project findings. Students also fail because they do not reflect adequately onwhat went well or not so well, and are unable to illustrate what was learnt from theirexperiences 15
  16. 16. 2. How well do you think you have answered your research question?Question 2 relates to how well you think you answered your research questions.Some students misinterpret this, and relate the “questions “either to those raised indiscussions with the mentor, or those in their questionnaires /interviews with theirrespondents. This is wrong: the research questions are those related to the researchreport objectives and questions. In essence, it means to what extent you have met the objectives of your researchreport, and answered the questions your report was designed to answer. You thereforeneed to look again carefully at your conclusions and recommendations and judge howwell you think you have answered the research questions/met the research reportobjectives , and say why this is the case. This is reflecting on the completed report andhow well it has served its intended purpose. 3. How have you demonstrated you interpersonal and communication skills during the project work?Question 3 requires you to provide evidence of demonstrating your interpersonal andcommunication skills during your project work.Evidence can be drawn from a range of situations: from all interactions with yourmentor, with people from the organisation studied /respondents to interviews/questionnaires, from the audience present at your presentation.You will note that much of the material contained in the earlier key skills statementcan be relevant to all of the questions, but it must be tailored to answer the specificpurposes of the question set. For example, rather than outlining a theoretical model ofthe communication process, or the various types of questions and their uses, you mustshow how you have applied such knowledge to demonstrate the specific skill.Exactly the same is true in relation to what you have learned - rather than outlining ageneral statement about planning and its uses, you must be able to apply suchknowledge and understanding to a specific context and show how it has provideevidence of your learning and development. 4. How has undertaking the RAP helped in your accountancy students and/or current employment?Finally, Question 4 relates to how undertaking the RAP has helped you in youraccountancy studies, and /or current job. This question is generally quite wellanswered, perhaps because it seems to be easier for students to cite specific examplesabout what they have gained in terms of knowledge and understanding. They find iteasier to relate this to either current work roles or perhaps even future work roles-forexample, to future roles more managerial in nature.Generally, a good SLS answers the questions and provides evidence of considerablethought and deliberation given to what has been done, what has been achieved, and a 16
  17. 17. higher level of understanding of the experiences involved in the process of completingthe RAP.One final tip: it can be very helpful to students to keep a “learning diary” whenembarking on the RAP; taking note of key experiences, recording your thoughts/feelings, what was good /bad and why, what you might do differently and how thismight benefit you both in terms of your accountancy studies or current /futureemployment roles.In this way, you will be building up your SLS as you work on your research report,and important points and issues will be noted at the time. You will then be in a goodposition to finalise the SLS after your last mentor meeting, when the presentation hasbeen completed, and you are also making adjustments to your draft research reportprior to submission. This will strengthen your SLS, making it an integral part of theRAP experience ,rather than an element “bolted on “ after the report is completed.The approach outlined should help you to submit a SLS which satisfies theassessment criteria, and thus enable you to pass the Research and Analysis Project -you can not obtain the degree without passing both the research report and the SLS.Much more significantly, adopting a reflective approach to your professional practicewill benefit you throughout your future professional career, and equip you withimportant skills which enable you to manage your continued professionaldevelopment.’12. Oxford Brookes University policies and proceduresAcademic Appeals • You may not appeal against the academic judgment of an examiner. • All requests for review must go in writing to the Academic Registrar of the University.A summary of the procedures is given below but for more detail on the procedures seehttp://www.brookes.ac.uk/regulations/acadc213.htmDisciplinary proceduresAs a student who prepares and submits a Research and Analysis Project, you aresubject to the Oxford Brookes University academic regulations, including those oncheating. The details of the regulations can be viewed on the Oxford BrookesUniversity website given above. 17
  18. 18. 13. Oxford Brookes University contact detailsIf you have an enquiry concerning the BSc degree in general, or the Research andAnalysis Project please read the information above first. If you still have a query thenplease contact the ACCA office at: ACCA Office Oxford Brookes University Business School Wheatley Campus Wheatley Oxford OX33 1HX United Kingdom Email: acca@brookes.ac.uk tel: +44 (0) 1865 485702 fax:+44 (0) 1865 485802 18
  19. 19. Frequently Asked QuestionsHow do I get help in preparing for the project?Many ACCA providers also offer tuition for this project. There are also Project guidesto the Research and Analysis Project published by BPP and Kaplan.When do I submit the Project?There are two opportunities each year to submit the project, the months of May andNovember. The next submission deadlines are 31st May and 30th November.What is included in the Word Count?Appendices, contents pages, bibliography and the list of References do not form partof the word countHow important is the IT requirement?Extremely important: If you do not show evidence of using a spreadsheet you arealmost certain to fail.How important is it to reference properly?Along with IT, failure to reference properly is the most common reason for failing theproject. The references must be both in the text, in the correct format and in the Listof References. One reason for this is to avoid plagiarism. See Appendix 3, ‘A guideto citing and referencing for Business School students.’What is plagiarismPlagiarism occurs when you produce someone else’s work within your report withoutacknowledging the fact. Clearly if you fail to provide a reference for a sentence orparagraph that you took from another text then that is plagiarism. This is a seriousdisciplinary issue and may result in being permanently excluded from Oxford BrookesUniversity and action from the ACCA may result.If I want to do a different topic what do I do?We strongly recommend that you use one of the Approved Topics. If you feel you area special case then you must apply in writing to the ACCA Office at Oxford Brookesgiving a one-page outline of what you propose to do and the title of your project. Youwill only be successful in getting your title approved if it can be demonstrated that theproject is applied to a particular organisation.What happens after I submit the project?You will receive an acknowledgment by email. The timetables for projectsubmissions and despatch of results are given on the ACCA website.What happens if I have passed?You will receive a certificate, normally within 3 months of the results letter and youwill be invited to a graduation ceremony either at Oxford Brookes University inOxford or at a regional centre near you – currently offered at Malaysia or Singaporeand Kenya. Neither your mark sheet nor your project will be returned to you. 19
  20. 20. If I fail, do I get told why?You will get a limited amount of feedback on your mark sheet, which will indicatewhich areas you passed and which areas you failed.What are the most common reasons for failure?The most common reasons for failure are • Insufficient analysis of the information that the student researches, often because insufficient information of the right kind has been researched. • Not referencing the work properly • IT - in particular not including reasonable evidence that a spreadsheet has been used • Not including copies of the PowerPoint/overhead slides etc used in the presentation to the project mentor.If I fail do I have to start with a completely new topic?Not necessarily – it may be that you just have to remedy the deficiencies indicated inyour mark sheet. In that case you may resubmit an amended report. However pleasenote that if you fail and resubmit the same topic but with an attempt to rectify thedeficiencies, you will often have to hold three mentor meetings again. However thesemeetings may well take an abbreviated form.However, if your fail grade was purely for failing to include the presentation, thenthree further mentor meetings will not be necessary, although it is recommended thatyou meet at least once with your mentor.The Research and Analysis Project is in 2 parts – the Research Report and the Skillsand Learning Statement. If you pass one of these you do not have to resubmit thatpart.How many times can I submit the project?You may submit the project a maximum of three times. The standard fee mustaccompany every submission.If I analyse some published financial statements, do I have to include them withmy project?No, not the complete publication, but you should include a copy of the key financialstatements including those of your comparator as an Appendix. Note that theAppendices do not form part of the word count. However, the Appendix should belimited to eight sides.I intend to analyse some questionnaires – do I have to include them all in myproject?No, but you must include a copy of the questionnaire and a summary of the responsesas an Appendix. 20
  21. 21. APPENDIX 1 SUBMISSION FORM AND CHECKLIST The next period Submission Form will be available under “Related Documents” on the ACCA website. Research and Analysis Project Check List Please DO NOT include this form with your project – it is for your reference onlyHave you included a 500 word statement explaining how you have addressed your previous feedback if you areresubmitting?Have you completed the ACCA Professional Ethics Module? (accessed via myACCA)This is a compulsory module for EVERY student submitting a project to Oxford Brookes.Have you included a Reference List and cited it within the project correctly? (Seehttp://www.brookes.ac.uk/library/resources/harvard.doc for details)Is there evidence of a spreadsheet and/or IT within the project? (Spreadsheet formulae should be included)Have you included a print out summary of your presentation, including copies of your overhead/PowerPoint slides?(A disk will not be accepted)If you used a questionnaire as a means of gathering data, have you included your results as well as a samplequestionnaire in an Appendix?Have you included the relevant pages of the company’s Financial Statements (if necessary)? (Please do not submitthe entire document, copies of the relevant sections are adequate)If you have focused on topic 08, have you used a comparator for the ratios of another company or industrialaverages in your work?Have you answered the 4 specific questions required in the Skills and Learning Statement (SLS)?Have you bound your Research Report and Skills and Learning Statement as one document, with the project at thefront? (Please do not use ring binders or staples)Have you included a title page with your name and ACCA number written on it as well as the word count?Is your Research Report more than 5500 words and your SLS more than 1800 words? Any submission under thisword count is unlikely to pass.Have you included a £85 payment with your completed Submission Forms?(We cannot accept any project without the accompanying fee)Have you included a current email address on the Submission Forms so we are able to acknowledge receipt of yourproject? (Please note that you will not receive an acknowledgement if you do not provide an email address as we donot send these by post)Please do not include a CD / electronic version of your project, as these will be disposed of before the project is sentout for marking, however you must keep an electronic version of your project for the duration of the submissionperiod in case we require this. Each session we will ask a sample of students to provide this, which will thenbe passed through TURNITIN to ensure good academic practice.Are you an active member of ACCA? If your account has been suspended you will need to resolve this beforesubmitting a project to Oxford Brookes University.Please check that your name appears correctly on your ACCA records, as this will be the name that will appear onyour certificate should you be successful. Please note that you must inform Oxford Brookes University of any changes in address that take place after submission of your project, and before the results date. The University does not receive this information from ACCA and therefore it is a student’s responsibility to keep Oxford Brookes informed of their personal details. This can be done by emailing acca@brookes.ac.uk 21
  22. 22. APPENDIX 2 RESUBMISSION STATEMENTResearch and Analysis Project ResubmissionStatementYou MUST include this form with your resubmitted project unless you have changed youtopic/organisation - Please file at the front of your Research and Analysis Project.I can confirm that my project has been carried out in accordance with the April 2009information pack and the 2010 resubmission guide. YesFirst Name: Surname:ACCA number: Topic Number: Organisation:Previous period submitted:Please explain in 500 words how you have addressed the feedback on your marksheet and responded to the markers/ moderators comments:Signature: ..................................................................... Date: ..................... 22

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