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 relevant information in the literature and in databases. The course will also discuss issues relating to research ethics. During the course the students shall decide on a topic for their master thesis and must prepare and submit a hand-in project for their thesis.

By means of joint literature and citation searches the students shall acquire knowledge about various search methods for obtaining information.

A bachelor degree qualifying for admission to the master programme. .

Compulsory reading

-Selected papers, articles and textbook chapters; will be made available to the students via the lectures/It's learning.
Saunders, Mark. 2012. Research methods for business students. 6th ed. Pearson. chapter 3, p.70-124. is available electronically

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. 2015. 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

Computer-based tools
The students will be given the opportunity to learn about statistics tools.

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.

In order to pass the course the student must have submitted a thesis registration form for the master thesis. The thesis registration form must as a minimum include a well-defined and operational research question, a tentative outline of the master thesis, a discussion of relevant methods that can be used to analyze the research question, and a review of relevant literature/references.

The course also includes a 3-hour written exam (counts for 90 % of the final letter grade) and completed and approved work assignment organized by the library (counts for 10 % of the final letter grade).

Further detailed information on the evaluation will be given in class. This may be information on requirements to term papers or other hand-in assignments, and/or class participation when this is included in the evaluation.

Examination code(s)
GRA 62781 thesis registration for the master thesis (pass/ fail).
GRA 62782 for the final letter grade in the course

Examination support materials
BI-approved calculator. Bilingual dictionary.

Examination support materials at written examiniations are explained under examination information in the student portal @bi. Please note use of calculator and dictionary in the section on support materials.

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.
Where this is not the case, all of the assessed components of the course must be retaken.
All retaken examinations will incur an additional fee.

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.