GRA 6278 Research Methods for MSc in Business, major Business Law, Tax and Accounting


GRA 6278 Research Methods for MSc in Business, major Business Law, Tax and Accounting

Responsible for the course
Jeff Downing

Department of Accounting - Auditing and Law

According to study plan

ECTS Credits

Language of instruction
Norwegian and english


Learning outcome
The students shall gain an understanding of research methods that are relevant for the main subject areas of the master programme in professional accountancy. The course will focus on training students to formulate a well-defined problem for discussion and to find a research design that is suitable for throwing light on the problem. The students shall also learn how to find and evaluate relevant information. The course will also discuss issues relating to research ethics.


All courses in the Masters programme will assume that students have fulfilled the admission requirements for the programme. In addition, courses in second, third and/or fourth semester can have spesific prerequisites and will assume that students have followed normal study progression. For double degree and exchange students, please note that equivalent courses are accepted.

Compulsory reading

Book extract:
Saunders, Mark. 2012. Research methods for business students. 6th ed. Pearson. chapter 3, p.70-124. is available electronically

-Selected papers, articles and textbook chapters; will be made available to the students via the lectures/It's learning.

Recommended reading
Boe, Erik. 2012. Grunnleggende juridisk metode : en introduksjon til rett og rettstenkning. 3. utg. Universitetsforlaget
Ghauri, Pervez N., Kjell Grønhaug. 2010. Research methods in business studies. 4th ed. Financial Times Prentice Hall
Stock, James H., Mark W. Watson. 2014. Introduction to econometrics. Updated 3rd ed. Pearson

Course outline
Philosophy of science
The research process
Formulating problems to be addressed
Research designs
Problems relating to research ethics
Data collection
Legal methods
Qualitative and quantitative data analysis
Advice on writing the master thesis
Literature search and evaluation of sources

Computer-based tools
Not applicable

Learning process and workload
A 6 ECTS credits course is equivalent to a workload of 160-180 hours.

The course consists of lectures. The lectures are organized in the form of ordinary lectures, seminars with student presentations, and practical exercises.

Even though attendance is not compulsory in all courses it is the student’s responsibility to
obtain information given in class that has not been published on it’s learning, homepages or in textbooks.

The course includes a 3-hour written exam (accounts for 65 % of the final letter grade), a presentation of a research article (counts for 25 % of the final letter grade) and a completed and approved work assignment organized by the library (accounts for 10 % of the final letter grade).

Note: Students do not write the research article they present. Rather, students are assigned to present a research article that already has been written.

Form of assessment Weight Group size
Presentation 25%
Work assignment by the library 10%
Written examination 3 hours 65% Individual

Specific information regarding student assessment will be provided in class. This information may be relevant to requirements for term papers or other hand-ins, and/or where class participation can be one of several components of the overall assessment. This is a course with continuous assessment (several exam components) and one final exam code. Each exam component is graded using points on a scale from 0-100. The final grade for the course is based on the aggregated mark of the course components. Each component is weighted as detailed in the course description. Students who fail to participate in one/some/all exam components will get a lower grade or may fail the course. You will find detailed information about the points system and the mapping scale in the student portal @bi.

Examination code(s)
GRA 62783 continuous assessment for the final letter grade in the course

Examination support materials
BI approved exam calculator
Bilingual dictionary

Permitted examination support materials for written examinations are detailed under examination information in the student portal @bi. The section on support materials and the use of calculators and dictionaries should be paid special attention to.

Re-sit examination
It is only possible to retake an examination when the course is next taught. The assessment in some courses is based on more than one exam code. Where this is the case, you may retake only the assessed components of one of these exam codes. All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee. Please note that you need to retake the latest version of the course with updated course literature and assessment. Please make sure that you have familiarised yourself with the latest course description.

Additional information
Academic honesty and trust are important to all of us as individuals, and represent values that are encouraged and promoted by the honor code system. This is a most significant university tradition. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the ideals of the honor code system, to which the faculty are also deeply committed.

Any violation of the honor code will be dealt with in accordance with BI’s procedures for cheating. These issues are a serious matter to everyone associated with the programs at BI and are at the heart of the honor code and academic integrity. If you have any questions about your responsibilities under the honor code, please ask.