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ACE3099 : Agri-food Business Management and Marketing Dissertation

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Jeremy Phillipson
  • Owning School: Natural and Environmental Sciences
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 15.0


This module aims to develop the student’s ability to systematically conduct research and report the outcome of an in-depth investigation of a rural/agri-food business management and marketing topic by: 1) integrating and extending knowledge and skills gained throughout the undergraduate programme; and 2) encouraging students to work on their own initiative whilst being supported by the assessment processes and their respective supervisors.

Outline Of Syllabus

Students have the opportunity to carry out a research investigation on a topic of their choice relevant to rural/agri-food business management and marketing. They will, with advice from a member of academic staff carry out an in-depth investigation of agri-business management topic.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1120:00120:00Preparation of dissertation report
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion136:0036:00Preparation for literature review and research proposal
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice32:006:00Managing information and Presentations
Guided Independent StudySkills practice140:0040:00Microsoft Office, NVivo and SPSS practice, applied to subject topic
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching62:0012:00Tutorials
Guided Independent StudyProject work150:0050:00eg research lit review, data collection and analysis
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision101:0010:00student tutor meetings
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study102:0020:00Writing-up notes from each lecture & tutorial.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide a framework to help students think about their own research project (In relation to Skills Outcome #1,2,3,4). It is vital that students identify their dissertation topic by teaching week 7 of the semester. The first five lectures are intended to help students draft their project plan and literature review with seminars in semester 2 giving an opportunity for students to present their working ideas to peers and supervisory staff. Two lectures at the beginning of semester 2 are designed to give guidance on the submission of the progress report and final dissertation (In relation to Intended Skills Outcome #1,2,3,4).
Computer practicals will all students to practice data manipulation.

Students will be appointed a supervisor on the basis of:
• Matching research interests of staff and students and/or
• Matching students with their personal tutors.
Dissertation supervisors are likely to be supervising several students. It is the responsibility of each student to discuss with their supervisors how best to proceed with supervisory meetings.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M15Individual literature review (max 3,000 words) in preparation for the complete dissertation.
Dissertation2M75Dissertation (max 12,000 wds) on an agri-food business/rural issue.
Research proposal1M10Individual research proposal. (max 1500 words)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

There are 3 pieces of continuous assessment :

1) 1,500 research proposal [10%]
2) 3,000 literature review [15%]
3) 12,000 word final dissertation [75%].

Assessment 1) feeds into 2) and 1) and 2) feeds directly into 3), as these pieces of work form drafts of several chapters of 3) the final dissertation. These assessments have been formulated in line with the Intended Knowledge Outcomes of the module. Each piece of assessment is designed to prepare students for undertaking scholarly research (in relation to Intended Skills Outcome #1), educate students in developing a critical approach to evaluation of evidence (in relation to Skills Knowledge Outcome #2), demonstrate how to analyse results from collecting primary data (in relation to Intended Skills Outcome #3) and improve students’ overall ability to present and communicate original scholarly knowledge (in relation to Intended Skills Outcome #4).

Reading Lists