Project Pack


Table of Contents


  1. Purpose of your project 3

  1. Requirements for submission of project 4

  1. Project Proposal 5

  1. Introduction to Requirements of Main Chapters of Dissertation 8

  1. Role of the Supervisor/Student 16

  1. General Tip & Pointers 18

  1. Declaration 19

  1. Plagiarism 20

  1. Requirements for your Dissertation 22

  1. Sponsor organisation Consent form 24

  1. Sample Dissertation Marking Scheme 25

purpose of your project

This project is to give you the opportunity to carry out a consultancy style project on behalf of a client organisation. The client can be your employer. The client organisation may be in the private, public or not for profit sectors.

It is important to approach a company of sufficient scale to carry out a project. Micro enterprises, i.e. less than 10 employees are more challenging from a project viewpoint simply because there is not enough for you to talk about! On the other hand large multi nationals may initially indicate support but pull out later in the process. So the choice of company / organisation is the first decision you must make.

Projects should be grounded in at least one of the subjects you are studying this year and the purpose is to develop your applied research skills in at least that subject. Remember your programme is in management so look at management related topics; marketing effectiveness, HRM procedures, international expansion, etc


Points to note:

  1. Word count. Project should be more focused meaning each word you write should maximise the value add to the project

  2. No requirement to have the document hard bound. (students may wish to have the document bound for their own use)

Requirements for Submission of Project

Students will be deducted marks in presentation if not complying

  1. Typed in double spacing, font size 12 Word count: 10,000 words +/- 10%

(b) Reproduced on one side only of white A4 paper

(c) To permit binding, the report should have a two-inch margin on the left-hand side. The top, bottom and right margins should be one inch. Everything except the page numbers must fall within the margins. Page numbers should be in the top right hand corner of each page

(d) Pages must be numbered consecutively throughout the text.

(e) Two spiral bound copies of the project need to be handed in. Both copies will be retained by the Institute. The spiral bound project should have a black back cover and a transparent front cover.

(f) The inside cover title page should be as follows;

Selection procedures in XYZ Ltd

Student’s Name

Submitted in partial fulfilment of requirements for the

Bachelor of Business (Honours) in Management

Institute of Technology, Carlow.

(g) Quotations of less than 1½ lines (15 words) are placed within inverted commas in the body of the text. Quotations of 16 words or more are placed in a separate, indented paragraph.

(h) Appendices are to be used when supplementary information or materials were used but not of direct importance to the project. Examples are covering letters used or questionnaires.

(i) Colour graphs are permitted in the main body of the text.

(j) Two spiral bound copies to be submitted 5pm on 30/3/18

Late submissions of your project will be subject to a penalty of 10% of your mark per day.

Key dates (as referenced during initial Dissertation meeting September 28th 2017):

Stage 1:

28th September 2017:

  • General Meeting takes place with entire group due to submit Dissertations this year

  • Dissertation process, expectations, project pack and key milestones of the project to be discussed

Stage 2:

12th October 2017:

  • Follow on meeting from initial meeting on September 28th

  • Mini proposal (1 page document) to be submitted

  • Information given re requirements and expectations for Industry Review chapter of Dissertation

  • Shortly after this meeting, individual Supervisors allocated to students

Stage 3:

9th November 2017:

  • Students submit Industry Review to Supervisor

  • General meeting takes place where information will be delivered re requirements and expectations for next chapter (i.e. Literature Review) of Dissertation

Stage 4:

1st January 2018:

  • Students submit Literature Review chapter to Supervisor

  • General meeting takes place where information will be delivered re requirements and expectations for next chapter (i.e. Methodology) of Dissertation

Stage 5:

1st February 2018:

  • Students submit Methodology chapter to Supervisor

  • General meeting takes place where information will be delivered re requirements and expectations for next chapter (i.e. Research Findings) of Dissertation

Stage 6:

1st March 2018:

  • Students submit Research Findings chapter to Supervisor

  • General meeting takes place where information will be delivered re requirements and expectations for final chapters (i.e. Analysis, Conclusions and Recommendations) of Dissertation

Stage 7:

30th March 2018:

  • Final submission of Dissertation to Life Long Learning Department

Project Proposal

Writing a Research Proposal

The information below is intended as a guide only. A research proposal basically lays out your ideas and intentions in a clear, concise manner. It also acts as a guide throughout your research, and helps keep you on course. The aim of the project is that the student will carry out research on behalf of a chosen company, and act in a consultancy capacity to identify solutions to a particular problem. A research proposal must be submitted prior to beginning the project. Each project topic will be agreed upon after consultation between the student, the supervisors and the host company.

The research proposal should include the following:

  • Title of project

  • Company

  • Letter from company confirming co-operation

  • Rationale for proposed research study: This should include an explanation of the topic of interest including background and relevance.

  • Proposed Literature review: sources that will be used in the literature review.

  • Proposed Methodology: an explanation of how you plan to research the topic of interest

What is a Research Proposal?

A research proposal is a short document (1 to 2 pages) that identifies and outlines the main components of your research. They are:

  • The purpose of your research

  • The intended client company (organisation)

  • An opening statement on the research problem

  • Brief description of intended methodology

  • Expected outcomes

The Purpose of Your Research

There are many reasons for doing a research-based project. Research is, after all, finding out something you don’t know. This project requires you to work with a client company / organisation and to identify a problem / issue to research. This should incorporate a number of the subject areas being studied. For instance if researching a marketing management problem the costings and HR implications should also be discussed or the implementation of a customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Your Client Company / Organisation

You will need to identify the client company for your work. You should be carrying out a piece of work of interest to them. This will require you to have some discussions with management to agree a piece of work and the level of access to the company that you will need to do this. Your client company should easily identify with what you are trying to do (whether they agree with it or not). Your research should try and persuade your readers to stand with you on your findings. It should contain adequate information without being unnecessary or boring. The purpose of research is not to rehash information that is easily available but to come up with something new or worthwhile for your client to think about. If your company wish to have the project withheld from the library they can complete the form at the end of this info pack.

Your research topic

Following on from above, the research is (hopefully) your own. You have to display your knowledge and points of view to be taken seriously. First and foremost, you must be extremely familiar with what you are setting out to do (hence the research proposal). The literature review will set out the theoretical framework for your research. The industry review will set out the business environment you are operating in. When you quote sources and references, use the information to propel your points of view rather than those of the sources. When it comes to the actual primary research you are in the role of a consultant. Your dealings with the company should be on a professional basis and your findings should be reported as a consultants report to them. The proposal should have a very brief introduction to the theory and the industry.

Methodology, Materials and Data

This section should outline how you plan to go about doing your research. Even at this early stage you should do some research yourself to see what would be feasible for the type of problem you are investigating in the client company, eg interviews, questionnaires, observation, etc.

Expected Outcomes

Perhaps you could be working towards a certain expected outcome that you intend to prove. If your research is of this nature, you might wish to include this in your proposal. For example “Individuals with broadband connections are more likely to buy goods or services online from XYZ Ltd”. Your expected outcomes form the basis for your starting point.

Is It Set In Stone?

No. The idea behind research is exploration, and delving into the unknown. If it is set in stone, we might as well not bother with research. Your proposal does not even have to be perfect. What we look for is your ability to lay out your ideas step-by-step, with clear intentions and objectives. Sometimes, these may be a bit fuzzy but that is why you have a mentor – to help you bash out ideas and whip and pull the proposal, and ultimately, your research work, into shape.

Introduction to the main Chapters of your Dissertation

The following sections deal with the detail and content that is required per chapter of your Dissertation. Each chapter will be discussed in detail giving you advice on how to proceed, the content required and how each chapter will be assessed showing the particular elements that are needed in order to achieve as high a mark as possible.

Chapter 1.

The Introduction/Executive Summary

This chapter is an overview of what is to come in the main contents of the Dissertation. It should give a brief overview of each of the chapter detailing the main area’s being discussed. It should tell the reader within this one to two page chapter, what Industry is being reviewed (Chapter 2,Industry Review), the type and main sources/authors of Literature reviewed (Chapter 3 Literature Review), how you went about performing the research (Chapter 4, Methodology), the key, high level, findings that were discovered during the primary research process (Chapter 5, Research Findings), detail at a high level the correlation that was found between the Primary Research and the Literature (Chapter 6, Analysis Chapter) and finally, again at a high level, the key conclusion and recommendation that you have made (Chapter 7, Conclusions and Recommendations)

Remember, this is the final chapter that you will write and cannot be completed until all other proceeding chapters have been concluded.

Chapter 2

The industry Review

These notes are brief pointers to the work to be carried out next on your project. The project is an independent study project and so these notes are pointing you in a direction and are not comprehensive guidelines. The purpose of this part of your Dissertation is to set the project in the context of the industry / sector in which your organisation is placed. These elements are applicable to profit and not for profit / governmental organizations. The industry review may be adapted for not for profit / governmental organizations but will still contain the majority of the sections.

Elements of your industry review

The industry review sets the context for the study you are carrying out. It should describe the marketplace / environment in which your organization is placed. This will obviously be slightly different for profit vs. not for profit / governmental organizations. However the majority will be the same irrespective of the profit motive of the organization. The following is the structure of the review. It is an important part of the project as it demonstrates the students’ knowledge of the models involved in the Strategic Management module. The emphasis in the PESTEL, Porters 5 Forces and SWOT analyses must be on the ANALYSIS. It should not be over descriptive. Remember, due to word count, normally, only two of these Environmental Analysis tools will be used.

1 Market / Sector Overview

    1. Market Definition

    2. Market size Leading Competitors / Market Segmentation / Market Share

  1. PESTEL Analysis

    1. Political

    2. Economic

    3. Socio / Cultural

    4. Technological

    5. Environmental

    6. Legal

3 Porters Five Forces Analysis

3.1 Buyer Power

3.2 Supplier Power

3.3 New Entrants

3.4 Substitutes

3.5 Rivalry

4 Your company / Organisation

5 SWOT Analysis

    1. Strengths

    2. Weaknesses

    3. Opportunities

    4. Threats

  1. Summary and Conclusion

What is the examiner looking for and how are the marks awarded for the Industry Review:

  1. Knowledgeable review of the Industry in question

  2. Quality review of the Company and how it fits in it marketplace

  1. Comprehensive Environmental Analysis utilizing the relevant tools available i.e. PESTEL, SWOT and Porters 5 Forces (where relevant)

***Remember, not all the tools will fit your particular industry and project and due to word count issues you may (and probably will) need to choose the best two out of the three available***

Chapter 2.

The Literature Review

The purpose of this part of your Dissertation is to review the Literature currently in existence relating to the business question you are researching.

The most common error made by students in a literature review is to produce a list of summaries of articles presented one after the other. The appropriate way to write a Literature review is as follows:

  1. Once you have identified the academic area that you are required to review, you then need to identify the key authors within that area and review their key works

  2. Gather the information from the key authors from their key bodies of work

  3. Examine this information and identify common themes that run through the various authors works – it is these common themes that will give you an indication of the area’s within your chosen topic that these authors thought to be most important

  4. A good tip is always look at the Bibliography section of any text you think useful and this will give you a pointer as to where that particular author was looking when writing that text book!

  5. Once you have identified the common themes, then review the Literature based on these common themes using a compare and contrast approach to what the various individual authors wrote and identify where the agreed and disagreed with each other.

Remember, it is these main themes that will form the basis of the questions you will ask and the areas you will address when gathering your Primary Research. The Primary Research and then Literature need to match up to some degree in order for you to be able to conduct a valid analysis of the data later in the Dissertation.

What is the examiner looking for and how are the marks awarded for the Literature Review:

  1. Depth, breath, and comprehensiveness of the Literature

  2. Variety of sources reviewed and also the ability to have picked the key authors in the area concerned

  3. Insightful Summaries utilized

  4. No factual errors and correct referencing

  5. Structure and relevance to research questions

Additional information on the Literature Review is available in Appendix 1 on Page 26 of this document.

Chapter 4.


This Chapter outlines how you intend to go about gathering the data that will be used in the Primary Research section of your Dissertation. It should include the following subject area’s:

  1. Statement of the research objectives/goals/questions

  2. Rationale for the research approach taken

  3. Outline of each instrument used to gather both primary and secondary data and details of any pilot studies undertaken

  4. Rationale for each data collection method used and some detail as to why others were omitted

  5. Details of the subject sample and sources of data used

  6. Limitations of the study undertaken

  7. Detail should also be given in regards to computer programs used to analyze any data that were collected

What is the examiner looking for and how are the marks awarded for the Methodology:

  1. Details of the Methodology

  2. Support/Rationale for the Methodology

  3. Sample size

  4. Suitability of interview themes/questionnaire themes

Chapter 5.

Research Findings

In this chapter of your Dissertation, you report on the results of your primary research process whether it’s from Questionnaire’s, Interviews, Focus Groups etc.

Remember, use the questions/themes that you identified in your Literature Review to generate the questions you will use in your interviews or questionnaire.

The information should be presented in paragraph format but essentially, could and should be complemented by suitable graphs, charts and diagrams. The phrase ‘a picture tells a thousand words’ is very relevant here as the use of graphs etc. will enhance the presentation of your results

You Need a Professional Writer To Work On Your Paper?