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Research Methodology in Business Administration B69, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Research Methodology in Business Administration B69

This syllabus is valid: 2018-08-20 and until further notice

Course code: 2FE032

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Business Administration: First cycle, has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Business Administration

Revised by: Rector of Umeå School of Business and Economics, 2018-05-31


The overarching aim of this course is to acquire a basic knowledge of scientific paradigms and research methods. Further, the aim is to develop the student’s ability to first, plan and in written form report a scientific study, and second, to evaluate and use scientific as well as other reports.

The course begins with a discussion on the process of knowledge creation, with an emphasis on the production of scientific knowledge. Important building blocks in this process are frames of reference, scientific ideals, problem formulation, scientific approaches and methods for data collection and analysis.

Particular emphasis is placed on the importance of a well thought-out choice of topic, problematisation, and a careful specification of the problem statement (research question). To this general scientific approach, research design and different types of research strategies are addressed. Further, the possibilities and limitations of quantitative and qualitative methods are discussed. Methods for sampling and data collection are scrutinized, among other things based on the possibilities of accessing information.

The course also includes activities that develops the student’s ability to find information in databases, to use different types of information in an appropriate manner, and to evaluate this information and the sources according to relevant criteria.

Expected learning outcomes

After completing this course, the student should be able to:
  • describe the main scientific ideals, and explain how different values and perspectives influence the process of knowledge creation
  • describe the different characteristics of qualitative and quantitative methods and evaluate the suitability of different methods to solve different types of research questions
  • independently search, critically evaluate and use different types of information
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research ethics, and what is plagiarism
  • argue for the formulation of a particular problem (research question), scientific strategies and methodological choices, and analyze an empirical and theoretical material
  • critically examine other scientific studies from different perspectives
  • Within a given timeframe plan and design a scientific study, analyze data and discuss its results
  • communicate central concepts for the course in English, both orally and in writing

Required Knowledge

Courses in Business Administration at basic level (A-level) and intermediate level (B-level) a minimum of 45 credits.  Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B.

Form of instruction

The learning is supported by lectures, seminars and supervision during this course. Attendance is obligatory for activities that are part of the examination. All teaching will be in English.


Examination modes

The module is examined through seminars and written assignments where the student in groups implement the phases of a research process, and an individual written exam. A passing grade is required on each part of the course. All examinations will be in English.

The following grading system is used:
Pass with distinction (Väl godkänd, VG, 75% or more),
Pass (Godkänd, G, 50% or more)
and Fail (Underkänd U, less than 50%).
Grades on the course are awarded when the student has passed all examinations and compulsory course elements. The course is given and examined in English.

To receive the grade Pass with distinction (VG) in the 30 credits course consisting of four modules of the same size, the student must have achieved Pass with distinction (VG) in at least three out of four modules. In shorter courses for example 7,5 credit courses, 15 credit courses or 22,5 credits courses Pass with distinction (VG) is given when the student has achieved at least 75% of the total weighted points.
A student who does not pass at the time of the written examination will be offered an opportunity to sit a further examination within two months. Beyond that, additional examination opportunities normally arise every academic year, one week prior to the start of the autumn term. If required by specific circumstances, the Director of Studies may decide on other forms of examination

In case of failure on seminar participation or individual and group assignments, compensating assignments must be completed in accordance with instructions given, no later than two weeks after the completion of the module. Mandatory assignments (seminars, written assignments, cases, computer assignments etc.) that have not been handed in within stipulated time must be done the next time the course is offered. If the form of examination does not permit repetition other forms of re-examination may be used.
When a student has failed an examination on two occasions, he or she has a right to have another grading teacher. A written request for an alternative examiner should be handed to the director of studies no later than two weeks before the next examination opportunity.
A student who has passed an examination can not redo the examination to get a higher grade.
If a student fails to present a photo ID at the occasion of a written exam in an exam room will not be allowed to take the exam.
Disciplinary action may be taken against students who uses unauthorized help aids or in some other way tries to mislead on a test or when another type of task is being evaluated. Rules and regulations concerning the production of academic texts and correct referencing will be applicable to all written assignments. (see instructions in the thesis manual, Thesis Writing in Business Administration). Urkund records may be used for control. In addtion, Umeå University rules and regulations  for education and research applies:
Educational activities are designed to facilitate students towards achieving expected learning outcomes and can explain, supplement and provide contrast to the course literature and other relevant course materials.

Other regulations

Academic credit transfers are according to the University credit transfer regulations.
The course is recomended for students within the master prgram in Business administration the have not studied resesch methods before witnint he frame of there bachelor degree. The course is also available to exchangestudents within the formal exchange agreements.


Valid from: 2018 week 34

Course literature

Business research : a practical guide for undergraduate & postgraduate students
Collis Jill, Hussey Roger
4th edition. : Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan : 2014. : xxiii, 351 pages :
ISBN: 0230301835 (pbk.)
Search the University Library catalogue

Additional readings may be presented at the beginning of the module.

Course reference literature

Umeå School of Business, Economics and Statistics USBE. Thesis writing in Business Administration. Thesis manual. (latest edition)
USBE Företagsekonomi :

Walkenbach John
Excel 2016 Bible [Elektronisk resurs]
Wiley :