ACCT5997 Seminar in Research Methodology - 2018

Subject Code
Study Level
Commencing Term
Semester 1
Total Units of Credit (UOC)
Delivery Mode
On Campus

1. Course Details

Summary of Course

The key topics covered are:
  • Characteristics of Science, Sources of Research Questions, The Outcome of Research, Theoretical Frameworks, Hypothesis Development
  • Experimental Designs
  • Qualitative Research • Overview of Audit Judgement Research-Theory and Methods
  • Design Issues Affecting Validity
  • Developing Research Instruments
  • How Research Progresses
  • Introduction to Surveys
  • Analysis of Data
  • Ethics in the Conduct of Research

Teaching Times and Locations

Please note that teaching times and locations are subject to change. Students are strongly advised to refer to the Class Timetable website for the most up-to-date teaching times and locations.

View course timetable

Course Policies & Support

Course Aims and Relationship to Other Courses

The general aim of this course is to consider the nature of scientific research and to review principal research methods that are used in current accounting research. The subject is part of a suite of four subjects (see also Current Developments in Accounting Research – Financial; Managerial and Auditing).

2. Staff Contact Details

Position Title Name Email Location Phone Consultation Times
Lecturer-in-ChargeProfGary MonroeQUAD 3085+61 2 9385 6443Before class 11.30 – 12.30 (or by appointment)
LecturerAProfJane BaxterRoom 3106, Quadrangle building - Ref E15 +61 2 9385 5912By appointment

3. Learning and Teaching Activities

Approach to Learning and Teaching in the Course

At university, the focus is your self-directed search for knowledge. Seminars and course materials are provided to help you learn. You are therefore required to attend all seminars and read all required readings in order to fully grasp and appreciate the concepts of Seminar in Research Methods.

Questions will be posed and there will be lots of opportunities to ask questions and participate in the discussion of the material. Opportunities for practice in the design of research studies will occur.

The teaching staff have put a great deal of thought into the development and presentation of this course so students may experience a flexible but directed learning approach to Seminar in Research Methods.

Learning Activities and Teaching Strategies

​Instruction in this course consists of 3 three hour seminars each week. Methods of presentation may include lectures, discussion of materials and student presentations. It should be emphasised that attendance at classes is a necessary but not sufficient condition for adequate examination preparation. All students should study the materials prescribed and participate in class discussions.

Students are also expected to attend and participate in research seminars in the School of Accounting’s Seminar Series Program. Attendance at these seminars will expose students to current accounting research.

Each seminar will comprise a short lecture and class discussion. A short homework assignment is due for most classes. Students are expected to prepare solutions to these assignments and bring their solutions to the relevant class. These assignments are designed to help you understand the related topic and to develop practical research skills. The class discussion will focus on these short homework assignments.

One of the major assignments is a literature review leading to the development of research questions or hypotheses This assignment is designed to teach you how to conduct a literature review for a research topic, critically evaluate prior research and develop a research question and hypotheses.

One of the major assignments is a data analysis assignment. You will be given some hypothetical data and some hypotheses and you will be required to analyse the data in a way that tests they hypotheses and write up the results of your analysis in a style similar to an empirical research article.

You will make an oral presentation at the end of the course. The presentation will be for a research study that you have designed. You will need to explain the objective of the study, the research question(s) addressed in the study, the contribution of your study to the academic literature, your hypotheses and your research design. The assignment is designed to facilitate your understanding of the material covered in the course and how the concepts covered in the course would be applied to designing a research study. The assignment will also assist in the development of your oral presentation skills.

5. Course Resources

No textbook is prescribed for this course. Specific readings have been selected for each topic and are available on the course website.

The website for this course is on Moodle.

6. Course Evaluation & Development

Each year feedback is sought from students and other stakeholders about the courses offered in the School and continual improvements are made based on this feedback. UNSW's myExperience survey is one of the ways in which student evaluative feedback is gathered. In this course, we will seek your feedback through myExperience responses.

7. Course Schedule

Class 1: 19 Feb



Characteristics of Science, Sources of Research Questions, Types of Research, Research Ethics - Gary Monroe

Gordon, T.P. and Porter, J.C. 2009. “Reading and Understanding Academic Research in Accounting: A Guide for Students”, Global Perspectives on Accounting Education, Vol.6, pp. 25-45.

Monroe, G.S. 2009. “Dos and Don’ts of Publishing”.

Kinney, W.R. 1986. “Empirical Accounting Research for PhD Students”, The Accounting Review, Vol.56, No.2, pp.338-350.

Note: Students may find the statistical theory used to illustrate some of the points a little advanced at this point in the course. It is possible to understand the points being made in the paper without fully appreciating the statistical arguments that underlie them.

Bonner, S.E. 2008. Judgment and Decision Making in Accounting. Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River: NJ. Chapter 1.

Neuman, W.L. 20011. Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches 6th Edition, Pearson, Boston: MA. Pages 25 - 54.

University of New South Wales Research Code of Conduct.

Publishing in AMJ – Parts 1 – 7. This is a series of commissioned papers about how to write a journal article. Although it refers to the Academy of Management Journal, the points raised and issues addressed are relevant to accounting journals. These will be helpful in writing up assignment 1, your research proposal and your thesis so I suggest you re-read them throughout your degree.



One Page Assignment (to be completed before class): What is empirical accounting research? Illustrate your answer with an example of a factor (independent variable) that is related to variation in an accounting related issue (dependent variable). What ethical issues arise in this illustration (don’t limit yourself to issues relating to research participants)?

Class 2: 20 Feb



Developing a Reasonable Issue; Research Questions, Hypotheses and Models; Motivation of Research - Gary Monroe

Chow, C. W. and Harrison, P. D. 2002. “Identifying Meaningful and Significant Topics for Research and Publication: A Sharing of Experiences and Insights by ‘Influential’ Accounting Authors”. Journal of Accounting Education, Vol. 20, pp. 183-203.

Dunbar, A. and Weber, D.P. 2012. “What Influences Accounting Research”, Working Paper, University of Connecticut.

Evans III, J.H., Feng, M., Hoffman, V.B. and Moser, “Self-Assessing Your Empirical Accounting Research”, Working paper, University of Pittsburgh.

Clarkson, P.M. 2012. “Publishing: art or science? Reflections from an editorial perspective”, Accounting and Finance, Vol.52, pp. 359-376.

Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin, Business Research Methods, 8th edition, Chapter 6 Problem Definition

Archival Accounting Research

Moers, F. 2007. “Doing Archival Research in Management Accounting”, Handbook of Management Accounting Research, Edited by Christopher S. Chapman, Anthony G. Hopwood and Michael D. Shield, pp. 399 -412.


Assignments (one page each, to be completed before class):

Assignment 1

The most rigorous research method contributes little unless the underlying issue is interesting to at least some members of the business community (widely defined). A danger of too much focus on research methods is that you may underemphasize how essential it is to investigate important issues. What this means is we are looking for issues that have a strong motivation. This exercise is intended to acquaint (or reacquaint) you with the issues that are of most importance to your discipline area. The motivation you are looking for is “content based motivation” as opposed to a methodological motivation.

Identify three timely issues of importance to accounting.

What to document:

For each of your issues, just label the issue and summarise it in one or two sentences. However, be prepared to explain further in seminar discussion. Also document the source(s) that led you to this topic. Identify a testable research question for your choice of any two of the issues/topics you listed in Activity 1. In some cases you may wish to come up with more than one question for one or more of the issues. Specify both the dependent variable and independent variable(s) in your research question, i.e., does [independent variable] lead to increased / decreased / more / less, etc. [dependent variable]? Do this at both a conceptual level and an operational level.

The conceptual level defines the notion or phenomenon of interest in terms of abstract concepts that cannot be measured directly. In research, we refer to a conceptual variable as a construct. At this level you need to think about the theoretical construct only – not compromised by the need to operationalise it, i.e., bring it into the “real world”

The operational level defines the observable referents that you propose to use as proxies (measures) for the conceptual variables. Once you specify your research question at an operational level, you are well on the way to a formal research proposal.


Conceptual question: Does the provision of management consulting services by a company’s incumbent auditor damage the independence of the auditor’s opinion?

Operational question: There are many possible ways to operationalise this important but extremely difficult and complex question. Two possibilities are:

· Do audit firms that jointly provide audit and non-audit services issue fewer audit qualifications for these clients than for clients where only audit services are provided – all other things being equal?

· Do companies that buy significant amounts of non-audit services from their incumbent auditor have lower share prices than those that hire other professional firms for such work – all other things being equal?

Dependent variable: Operationalised as audit qualification in the first question and market prices in the second. Note the difference between the theoretical issue and the operationalised one.

Independent variable: Operationalised as the presence of joint supply of audit and non-audit in the first question, and the extent of that supply in the second.

Based on the readings from the first two classes, identify the 5 characteristics that make your question a good accounting research question.

Assignment 2

Design an archival study for a research question of your choice. Start with developing a research question and hypotheses.

You will need to:

  • State the research question you are addressing.
  • Identify the source of your data and how you will gain access to the data.
  • Identify the variables of interest (including control variables, if any) and indicate where you will obtain these variables and how they will be measured.
  • Link the data you intend to collect to your research question, theory and hypotheses.


Class 3: 22 Feb



Survey Research in Accounting - Gary Monroe

Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin, Business Research Methods, 8th edition, Chapter 9: Survey Research: An Overview

Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin, Business Research Methods, 8th edition, Chapter 10: Survey Research: Communicating with Respondents

Cooper and Schindler, Business Research Methods, 8th edition, Chapter 8 Measurement

Cooper and Schindler, Business Research Methods, 8th edition, Chapter 9 Measurement Scales

Salkind, Exploring Research, Chapter 6 Methods of Measuring Behavior

Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin, Business Research Methods, 8th edition, Chapter 15: Questionnaire Design

Hurtt, R.K., 2010. Development of a scale to measure professional scepticism. Auditing: A Journal of Practice & Theory 29 (1): 149–171.

View the following websites on preparing and conducting surveys.


Assignment (to be completed before class):

1. Critique the following survey to be used for evaluating a professor.

Professor Evaluation Form

1. Overall, how would you rate this professor?

__ Good __ Fair __ Poor

2. Does this professor

a. Have good class delivery? _____

b. Know the subject? _____

c. Have a positive attitude toward the subject? _____

d. Grade fairly? _____

e. Have a sense of humor? _____

f. Use audiovisuals, case examples, or other class room aids? _____

g. Return exams promptly? _____

3. What is the professor’s strongest point? _______

4. What is the professor’s weakest point?________

5. What kind of class does the professor teach? ______

6. Is this course required? _______

7. Would you take another course from this professor? ______


2. Design a short survey for an accounting research question of your choice and bring it to class. Start with developing a research question and hypotheses. The questionnaire you design should be well constructed and formatted. It should be no more than 2 pages. If you are, in part, relying on questions and response scales developed by prior researchers, you must clearly state this and bring a copy of their instrument.

You will also need to:

· state the research question you are addressing.

· state the group of people you will be sampling, and briefly explain why you consider them an appropriate group to address your research question.

· identify the variables of interest (including control variables, if any) and indicate which questions in your questionnaire are used to measure these variables.

· discuss any issues pertinent to the design of your questionnaire. (i.e., if you have included or done something for a reason, clearly state this and explain why you considered it necessary).

· link the survey questions to your research question, theory and hypotheses.

3. For each of the following situations, decide whether you would use a personal interview, telephone survey, or self-administered questionnaire. Give your reasons.

(i) A survey of the residents of a new subdivision on why they happened to select that area in which to live. You also wish to secure some information about what they like and do not like about life in the subdivision.

(ii) A survey of 58 wholesale grocery companies scattered over the eastern United States, on their personnel management policies for warehouse personnel.

(iii) A study of financial officers of the Fortune 500 corporations to learn their predictions for the economic outlook in their industries in the next year.



Class 4: 26 Feb



Using SPSS to analyse data - Introduction to Data Analysis and ANOVA

Note that we will meet in a Computer Lab for this class. - Gary Monroe

Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin, Business Research Methods, 8th edition, Chapter 19: Editing and Coding

Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin, Business Research Methods, 8th edition, Chapter 20: Basic Data Analysis: Descriptive Statistics

Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin, Business Research Methods, 8th edition, Chapter 21: Univariate Statistical Analysis



We will analyse data during the class.

Class 5: 27 Feb



Using SPSS to analyse data - ANOVA and Regression Analysis - Gary Monroe

Note that we will meet in a Computer Lab for this class.

Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin, Business Research Methods, 8th edition, Chapter 22: Bivariate Statistical Analysis: Differences Between Two Variables

Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin, Business Research Methods, 8th edition, Chapter 23: Bivariate Statistical Analysis: Measures of Association

Zikmund, Babin, Carr and Griffin, Business Research Methods, 8th edition, Chapter 24: Multivariate Statistical Analysis

Hair, Black, Babin and Anderson, Multivariate Data Analysis


We will analyse data during the class.

Class 6: 1 Mar



Doing Field Research – part 1 - Jane Baxter

Please read/review the following references in the order listed.

Moustakas, C. 1994. Phenomenological Research Methods. London: Sage Publications, pp.21-22.

Baxter, J.A. and Chua, W.F. 1998. Doing field research: practice and meta-theory in counterpoint. Journal of Management Accounting Research, 10, pp.69-87.

Yin, R.K., 2003. Case Study Research: Design and Methods (3rd ed.). London: Sage Publications, pp.1-18.

Kvale, S. 2007. Doing Interviews. London: Sage Publications, pp.51-77.

Unknown. (2013). Strategies for Qualitative Interviews. Available at: (last accessed 4/1/17).

Kvale’s criteria for a successful interview:

What does coding look like?

The cycles of coding.



One Page Assignment (to be completed before class):

What are the distinguishing features of qualitative research methods?


Class 7: 5 Mar



Doing Field Research – part 2 - Jane Baxter

Please read the following references in the order listed.

Baxter, J. and Fong Chua, W., 2008. The field researcher as author-writer. Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, 5(2), pp.101-121.

Vaivio, J., 2006. The accounting of “The Meeting”: Examining calculability within a “Fluid” local space. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 31(8), pp.735-762.

Jeacle, I., & Carter, C. 2011. In TripAdvisor we trust: Rankings, calculative regimes and abstract systems. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 36(4), pp.293-309.


One Page Assignment (to be completed before class):

Critically evaluate the convincingness of either the Vaivio (2006) or Jeacle and Carter (2011) research study.

Class 8: 6 Mar



Experimental Designs (Part 1) - Gary Monroe

Zikmund, W.G., B.J. Babin, J.C. Carr and M. Griffin. 2010. Chapter 12 Experimental Research. In: Business Research Methods, 8th edition, South-Western Cengage Learning, pp. 256-288.

Libby, R., R. Bloomfield, and M.W. Nelson. 2002. “Experimental Research in Financial Accounting”, Accounting, Organizations, and Society, Vol. 27, No.8, pp.775-810.

Note: Section 3 of this paper discusses a number of financial accounting issues that have been addressed with the use of experiments. This section may be of interest as it relates to ‘Current Developments in Accounting Research – Financial CDAR-F’ (as it discusses findings using a methodology that is different than that which dominates discussion in CDAR-F. It is not, however, required reading for Seminar in Research Methodology.

Schultz, A.K.D. 1999. “Experimental Research Method in a Management Accounting Context”, Accounting and Finance, Vol. 39, No.1, pp.29-51.

View the following websites on experiments.


One Page Assignment (to be completed before class)

Distinguish between internal and external validity. Why is internal validity considered to be more important than external validity when conducting experiments? Consider how the use of student participants affects internal and external validity.

Class 9: 8 Mar



Experimental Methods (Part 2) - Gary Monroe

Bonner. S .E., S. M. Clor-Proell, and L. Koonce. 2014, “Mental Accounting and Disaggregation Based on the Sign and Relative Magnitude of Income Statement Items.” The Accounting Review, Vol. 89, No. 6, pp.2087-2114.

Frank, M. L., and V. B. Hoffman. 2015. “How Audit Reviewers Respond to an Audit Preparer’s Affective Bias: The Ironic Rebound Effect.” The Accounting Review, Vol. 90, No.2, pp.559-577.

Hannan, R. L., G. P. McPhee, A .H. Newman, and I. D.Tafkov. 2013. “The Effect of Relative Performance Information on Performance and Effort Allocation in a Multi-Task Environment.” The Accounting Review., Vol. 88 No.2, pp.553-575.


There are 2 Assignments (both to be completed before class):

(1) Select one of the papers set for this class (perhaps the one investigating an issue within the accounting discipline you are developing a research interest in). Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the paper in terms of internal and external validity. Remember, you are still expected to have read all three papers before class. This is a one-page assignment.

(2) Design an experiment to examine an issue that is of interest to you and bring it to the class on experimental research. For this exercise, you must use a true experimental design, and the experiment must seek to obtain the perceptions or responses of a sample of respondents on the issue of interest.

This is a two-page assignment.

As a generalization, most new researchers try to include too much complexity in their experimental design. Many experiments are simple designs to test associations between a dependent variable, two independent variables and a potential interaction effect. A simple, well explained, rigorous design is much better than a confusing attempt at a complex design.

For this assignment, you must:

  • state the research question you are addressing, or hypothesis you wish to test; and
  • provide a clear, and thorough, description of your experiment. Your description should:
  • state the research design.
  • state the group of people you will be sampling from, and briefly explain why you consider them an appropriate group to address your research question.
  • briefly outline a case scenario, that is, explain is the experimental task.
  • clearly identify your dependent variable. Also indicate the scale that you will use to measure the dependent variable, and defend your choice of scale.
  • clearly identify your independent variable(s).
  • clearly indicate how many treatment levels you will have for each independent variable, and also identify what these treatment levels are.
  • clearly identify any control variables and indicate where they would appear in your experiment.
  • clearly indicate if your experiment is a between-subjects or within-subjects design.
  • discuss anything else you would do, or would include in the experiment, to enhance the rigor of your experiment.

Your experiment can be an original idea or it can be an extension (in terms of the research design) of a prior study. It may be a topic that is very similar to your own research proposal topic except that you are designing a true experiment. The experiment must not be purely a replication of some prior work that has used a true experimental design. If your experiment is an extension, cite the original source and explain how it differs in terms of research design.

Class 10: 12 Mar



Presentation of Research Designs

Each student will make a presentation of their research design to the class.


15 minute oral presentation

8. Policies

Information about UNSW Business School protocols, University policies, student responsibilities and education quality and support.

Program Learning Goals and Outcomes

The Business School Program Learning Goals reflect what we want all students to BE or HAVE by the time they successfully complete their degree, regardless of their individual majors or specialisations. For example, we want all our graduates to HAVE a high level of business knowledge and a sound awareness of ethical, social, cultural and environmental implications of business. As well, we want all our graduates to BE effective problem-solvers, communicators and team participants.

You can demonstrate your achievement of these goals by the specific outcomes you achieve by the end of your degree (i.e. Program Learning Outcomes—henceforth PLOs). These PLOs articulate what you need to know and be able to do as a result of engaging in learning. They embody the knowledge, skills and capabilities that are identified, mapped, taught, practised and assessed within each Business School program.

All UNSW programs and courses are designed to assess the attainment of program and/or course level learning outcomes, as outlined in the UNSW Assessment Design Procedure. It is therefore important that you become familiar with the Business School PLOs, as they constitute the framework which informs and shapes the course components and assessments of the courses within your program of study.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Undergraduate
  • Postgraduate Coursework
Knowledge You should be able to identify and apply disciplinary knowledge to business situations in a local and global environment.
Critical thinking and problem solving You should be able to identify and research issues in business situations, analyse the issues, and propose appropriate and well-justified solutions.
Written communication You should be able to prepare written documents that are clear, concise and coherent, using appropriate style and presentation for the intended audience, purpose and context.
Oral communication You should be able to prepare and deliver oral presentations that are clear, focussed, well-structured, and delivered in a professional manner.
Teamwork You should be able to participate collaboratively and responsibly in teams, and reflect on your own teamwork, and on the team’s processes and ability to achieve outcomes.
Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  1. You should be able to identify and assess ethical, environmental and/or sustainability considerations in business decision-making and practice.
  2. You should be able to identify social and cultural implications of business.
Workplace skills (Co-op programs only) You should be able to conduct yourself in a professional manner in the work environment, communicate effectively in diverse workplace situations and be able to apply discipline knowledge and understanding to real business problems with initiative and self-direction.
Related PLO Documents View the Undergraduate Honours PLOs (pdf)
Knowledge You should be able to identify and apply current knowledge of disciplinary or interdisciplinary theory and professional practice to business in local and global environments.
Critical thinking and problem solving You should be able to identify, research and analyse complex issues and problems in business and/or management, and propose appropriate and well-justified solutions.
Written communication You should be able to produce written documents that communicate complex disciplinary ideas and information effectively for the intended audience and purpose.
Oral communication You should be able to produce oral presentations that communicate complex disciplinary ideas and information effectively for the intended audience and purpose.
Teamwork You should be able to participate collaboratively and responsibly in teams, and reflect on your own teamwork, and on the team’s processes and ability to achieve outcomes.
Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  1. You should be able to identify and assess ethical, environmental and/or sustainability considerations in business decision-making and practice.
  2. You should be able to identify social and cultural implications of business.
Related PLO Documents View the Master of Philosophy PLOs (pdf)
View the Doctor of Philosophy PLOs (pdf)

UNSW Graduate Capabilities

The Business School PLOs also incorporate UNSW graduate capabilities, a set of generic abilities and skills that all students are expected to achieve by graduation. These capabilities articulate the University’s institutional values, as well as future employer expectations.

UNSW Graduate CapabilitiesBusiness School PLOs
Scholars capable of independent and collaborative enquiry, rigorous in their analysis, critique and reflection, and able to innovate by applying their knowledge and skills to the solution of novel as well as routine problems.
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Knowledge
  • Oral communication
  • Research capability
  • Teamwork
  • Workplace skills
  • Written communication
Entrepreneurial leaders capable of initiating and embracing innovation and change, as well as engaging and enabling others to contribute to change
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Knowledge
  • Oral communication
  • Workplace skills
  • Written communication
Professionals capable of ethical, self- directed practice and independent lifelong learning
  • Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  • Workplace skills
Global citizens who are culturally adept and capable of respecting diversity and acting in a socially just and responsible way.
  • Ethical, social and environmental responsibility
  • Oral communication
  • Written communication

The Business School strongly advises you to choose a range of courses that assist your development against these PLOs and graduate capabilities, and to keep a record of your achievements as part of your portfolio. You could use these records for work or further study. For support with selecting your courses contact the UNSW Business School Student Centre.

Academic Integrity and Plagiarism

Academic Integrity is honest and responsible scholarship. This form of ethical scholarship is highly valued at UNSW. Terms like Academic Integrity, misconduct, referencing, conventions, plagiarism, academic practices, citations and evidence based learning are all considered basic concepts that successful university students understand. Learning how to communicate original ideas, refer sources, work independently, and report results accurately and honestly are skills that you will be able to carry beyond your studies.

The definition of academic misconduct is broad. It covers practices such as cheating, copying and using another person’s work without appropriate acknowledgement. Incidents of academic misconduct may have serious consequences for students.


UNSW regards plagiarism as a form of academic misconduct. UNSW has very strict rules regarding plagiarism. Plagiarism at UNSW is using the words or ideas of others and passing them off as your own. All Schools in the Business School have a Student Ethics Officer who will investigate incidents of plagiarism and may result in a student’s name being placed on the Plagiarism and Student Misconduct Registers.

Below are examples of plagiarism including self-plagiarism:

Copying: Using the same or very similar words to the original text or idea without acknowledging the source or using quotation marks. This includes copying materials, ideas or concepts from a book, article, report or other written document, presentation, composition, artwork, design, drawing, circuitry, computer program or software, website, internet, other electronic resource, or another person's assignment, without appropriate acknowledgement of authorship.

Inappropriate Paraphrasing: Changing a few words and phrases while mostly retaining the original structure and/or progression of ideas of the original, and information without acknowledgement. This also applies in presentations where someone paraphrases another’s ideas or words without credit and to piecing together quotes and paraphrases into a new whole, without appropriate referencing.

Collusion: Presenting work as independent work when it has been produced in whole or part in collusion with other people. Collusion includes:

  • Students providing their work to another student before the due date, or for the purpose of them plagiarising at any time
  • Paying another person to perform an academic task and passing it off as your own
  • Stealing or acquiring another person’s academic work and copying it
  • Offering to complete another person’s work or seeking payment for completing academic work

Collusion should not be confused with academic collaboration (i.e., shared contribution towards a group task).

Inappropriate Citation: Citing sources which have not been read, without acknowledging the 'secondary' source from which knowledge of them has been obtained.

Self-Plagiarism: ‘Self-plagiarism’ occurs where an author republishes their own previously written work and presents it as new findings without referencing the earlier work, either in its entirety or partially. Self-plagiarism is also referred to as 'recycling', 'duplication', or 'multiple submissions of research findings' without disclosure. In the student context, self-plagiarism includes re-using parts of, or all of, a body of work that has already been submitted for assessment without proper citation.

To see if you understand plagiarism, do this short quiz:


The University also regards cheating as a form of academic misconduct. Cheating is knowingly submitting the work of others as their own and includes contract cheating (work produced by an external agent or third party that is submitted under the pretences of being a student’s original piece of work). Cheating is not acceptable at UNSW.

If you need to revise or clarify any terms associated with academic integrity you should explore the 'Working with Academic Integrity' self-paced lessons available at:

For UNSW policies, penalties, and information to help you avoid plagiarism see: as well as the guidelines in the online ELISE tutorials for all new UNSW students: For information on student conduct see:

For information on how to acknowledge your sources and reference correctly, see: If you are unsure what referencing style to use in this course, you should ask the lecturer in charge.

Student Responsibilities and Conduct

Students are expected to be familiar with and adhere to university policies in relation to class attendance and general conduct and behaviour, including maintaining a safe, respectful environment; and to understand their obligations in relation to workload, assessment and keeping informed.

Information and policies on these topics can be found on the 'Managing your Program' website


It is expected that you will spend at least nine to ten hours per week studying for a course except for Summer Term courses which have a minimum weekly workload of eighteen to twenty hours. This time should be made up of reading, research, working on exercises and problems, online activities and attending classes. In periods where you need to complete assignments or prepare for examinations, the workload may be greater. Over-commitment has been a cause of failure for many students. You should take the required workload into account when planning how to balance study with employment and other activities.

We strongly encourage you to connect with your Moodle course websites in the first week of semester. Local and international research indicates that students who engage early and often with their course website are more likely to pass their course.

View more information on expected workload


Your regular and punctual attendance at lectures and seminars or in online learning activities is expected in this course. The Business School reserves the right to refuse final assessment to those students who attend less than 80% of scheduled classes where attendance and participation is required as part of the learning process (e.g., tutorials, flipped classroom sessions, seminars, labs, etc.).

View more information on attendance

General Conduct and Behaviour

You are expected to conduct yourself with consideration and respect for the needs of your fellow students and teaching staff. Conduct which unduly disrupts or interferes with a class, such as ringing or talking on mobile phones, is not acceptable and students may be asked to leave the class.

View more information on student conduct

Health and Safety

UNSW Policy requires each person to work safely and responsibly, in order to avoid personal injury and to protect the safety of others.

View more information on Health and Safety

Keeping Informed

You should take note of all announcements made in lectures, tutorials or on the course web site. From time to time, the University will send important announcements to your university e-mail address without providing you with a paper copy. You will be deemed to have received this information. It is also your responsibility to keep the University informed of all changes to your contact details.

Special Consideration

You must submit all assignments and attend all examinations scheduled for your course. You can apply for special consideration when illness or other circumstances beyond your control, interfere with your performance in a specific assessment task or tasks. Special Consideration is primarily intended to provide you with an extra opportunity to demonstrate the level of performance of which you are capable.

General information on special consideration for undergraduate and postgraduate courses can be found in the Assessment Implementation Procedure and the Current Students page.

Please note the following:

  1. Applications will not be accepted by teaching staff. The lecturer-in-charge will be automatically notified when you lodge an online application for special consideration
  2. Decisions and recommendations are only made by lecturers-in-charge (or by the Faculty Panel in the case of final exam special considerations), not by tutors
  3. Applying for special consideration does not automatically mean that you will be granted a supplementary exam or other concession
  4. Special consideration requests do not allow lecturers-in-charge to award students additional marks

Business School Protocol on requests for Special Consideration

The lecturer-in-charge will need to be satisfied on each of the following before supporting a request for special consideration:

  1. Does the medical certificate contain all relevant information? For a medical certificate to be accepted, the degree of illness and its impact on the student must be stated by the medical practitioner (severe, moderate, mild). A certificate without this will not be valid. Students should also note that only medical certificates issued after physically visiting a registered medical practitioner will be accepted. Medical certificates submitted for Special Consideration should always be requested from a registered medical practitioner that you have seen at a medical practice. Certificates obtained online or via social media may be fraudulent and if relied upon could result in a breach of the UNSW Student Code.
  2. Has the student performed satisfactorily in the other assessment items? To understand what Satisfactory Performance means in this course, please refer to the 'Formal Requirements' section in Part A of your Course Outline

Special Consideration and the Final Exam in undergraduate and postgraduate courses

Applications for special consideration in relation to the final exam are considered by a Business School Faculty panel to which lecturers-in-charge provide their recommendations for each request. If the Faculty panel grants a special consideration request, this will entitle the student to sit a supplementary examination. No other form of consideration will be granted. The following procedures will apply:

  1. Supplementary exams will be scheduled centrally and will be held approximately two weeks after the formal examination period.

    Supplementary exams for Semester 1, 2018 will be held during the period 14 - 21 July, 2018. Students wishing to sit a supplementary exam will need to be available during this period.

    The date for all Business School supplementary exams for Summer Term 2017/2018 is Wednesday, 21 February, 2018. If a student lodges a special consideration for the final exam, they are stating they will be available on this date. Supplementary exams will not be held at any other time.

  2. Where a student is granted a supplementary examination as a result of a request for special consideration, the student’s original exam (if completed) will be ignored and only the mark achieved in the supplementary examination will count towards the final grade. Absence from a supplementary exam without prior notification does not entitle the student to have the original exam paper marked, and may result in a zero mark for the final exam.

The Supplementary Exam Protocol for Business School students is available at:

For special consideration for assessments other than the final exam refer to the ‘Assessment Section’ in your course outline.

Protocol for Viewing Final Exam Scripts

The UNSW Business School has set a protocol under which students may view their final exam script. Please check the protocol here.

Given individual schools within the Faculty may set up a local process for viewing final exam scripts, it is important that you check with your School whether they have any additional information on this process. Please note that this information might also be included in your course outline.

Student Support and Resources

The University and the Business School provide a wide range of support services and resources for students, including:

Business School EQS Consultation Program
The Consultation Program offers academic writing, literacy and numeracy consultations, study skills, exam preparation for Business students. Services include workshops, online resources, individual and group consultations.
Level 1, Room 1035, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 4508

Business School Student Centre
The Business School Student Centre provides advice and direction on all aspects of admission, enrolment and graduation.
Level 1, Room 1028 in the Quadrangle Building
02 9385 3189

UNSW Learning Centre
The UNSW Learning Centre provides academic skills support services, including workshops and resources, for all UNSW students. See their website for details.
Lower Ground Floor, North Wing Chancellery Building.
02 9385 2060

Educational Support Service
Educational Support Advisors work with all students to promote the development of skills needed to succeed at university, whilst also providing personal support throughout the process. Check their website to request an appointment or to register in the Academic Success Program.
John Goodsell Building, Ground Floor.
02 9385 4734

Library services and facilities for students
The UNSW Library offers a range of collections, services and facilities both on-campus and online.
Main Library, F21.
02 9385 2650

Moodle eLearning Support
Moodle is the University’s learning management system. You should ensure that you log into Moodle regularly.
02 9385 3331

UNSW IT provides support and services for students such as password access, email services, wireless services and technical support.
UNSW Library Annexe (Ground floor).
02 9385 1333

Disability Support Services
UNSW Disability Support Services provides assistance to students who are trying to manage the demands of university as well as a health condition, learning disability or who have personal circumstances that are having an impact on their studies. Disability Advisers can arrange to put in place services and educational adjustments to make things more manageable so that students are able to complete their course requirements. To receive educational adjustments for disability support, students must first register with Disability Services.
Ground Floor, John Goodsell Building.
02 9385 4734

UNSW Counselling and Psychological Services
Provides support and services if you need help with your personal life, getting your academic life back on track or just want to know how to stay safe, including free, confidential counselling.
Level 2, East Wing, Quadrangle Building.
02 9385 5418