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ICON COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT
Crafting Your Future: Professional Practice and Research
Assignment Brief
Session: February 2021
Programme title
BSc (Hons) Business and Management Top Up
Module code and title
BUS113
Crafting Your Future: Professional Practice and Research
Module leader
Dr S Soroosh, Dr Hisham AbouGrad, Dr Alex Muresan, Tony Doherty
Unit Type
Compulsory
Module Level and Credit
Value
Level 6
20 Credit
Assessors
Prof Nurun Nabi, Dr S Soroosh, Dr Walter Gunetilleke, Mr Tony Doherty
Issue Date
8 March 2021
Final assignment
submission deadline
7-12 June 2021
Late submission deadline
14-19 June 2021
The learners are required to follow the strict deadline set by the College
for submissions of assignments in accordance with the College’s
submissions guidelines.
Resubmission deadline
TBA
Feedback
Formative feedback will be available in class during the semester.
Final feedback will be available within 2 weeks of the assignment
submission date.
General
Guidelines
• The work you submit must be in your own words. If you use a quote or an
illustration from somewhere you must give the source.
• Include a list of references at the end of your document. You must give all
your sources of information.
• Make sure your work is clearly presented and that you use correct grammar.
• Wherever possible use a word processor and its “spell-checker”.
Internal verifier
Dr Gilbert Zvobgo
Signature (IV of the
brief) *
gilbert@iconcollege.ac.uk
Date
6/3/21
Assignment Brief – continued
2
Assignment Brief
As part of the formal assessment for the module you are required to submit a
PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO – 100% comprising of the following three elements focusing
on learning outcomes 3, 4 and 6:
1. Research Essay (40%)
2. Digital showcase of self-reflection (30%)
3. Personal development plan (30%)
The recommended word limit is 3,500 words, +/- 10%. You are strongly advised to read
“Preparation guidelines of the Coursework Documents” before answering your assignment.
Background
The professional portfolio is to showcase your best work and produce a narrative of your
experiences, skills and interests. This will help you to position yourself as a professional in
your preferred sector and enable you to reflect on your development in productive ways.
Learning Outcomes 3, 4 and 6
At the end of the module, you will be able to:
LO No.
LO name
Level 6
LO3
INDUSTRY
Evaluate the development of your
creative and ethical leadership skills in a
real world environment.
LO4
RESEARCH
Apply a justified systematic approach to
research methodology and demonstrate
advanced information skills.
LO6
COMMUNICATION
Produce persuasive communications
regarding information, ideas, problems
and solutions to identified specialist
and/or non-specialist audiences.
The assessment for this module is informed by the learning and experiences in your degree
programme to conduct research thoroughly and write an essay examining the market,
industry or sector you wish to enter in terms of its direction and opportunities, your
specialised skillset and its place in relation to opportunities. The following summaries will
aid your understanding of the assessment requirements.
Portfolio: ‘The term portfolio is used as a catch-all that covers a wide range of methods for
collating learning material and assessed work’ (McMillan and Weyers, 2008, p.38). For the
purposes of this assessment, your professional portfolio will include the research and
analysis you completed in the research essay on an industry or sector of your choice to
position yourself as a professional in your preferred industry/sector that enable you to
reflect on your development in productive ways. The information collated from the research
Assignment Brief – continued
3
in the essay and your experiences, skills and associated feelings in your degree
programme will inform the completion of your Self-Reflection and Career and Personal
Development Plan.
Element 1. Research Essay (40%)
Scenario
You have been hired as a consultant to offer specialist advice to an organisation in the
industry of your choice in which you wish to enter in terms of its direction and opportunities
and develop your career in, your specialised skillset and its place in relation to
opportunities. You are required carry out a secondary research on the industry using
research tools and techniques necessary to develop your critical thinking, and research and
analytical skills. The research should relate to the following:
1. A brief background and context of the industry/sector/market being researched and
analysed;
2. Provide a brief literature review by critically analysing the industry’s competitive
environment, changes and trends in that environment using the appropriate tools.
3. From the above analysis, discuss and critically evaluate:
a. how the chosen industry you wish to enter in terms of its direction and
opportunities to develop your career in, requires specialised skillset and its
place in relation to opportunities;
b. what creative and ethical leadership skills are required in the chosen
industry.
Guidelines
The area of research is to be agreed with the module tutor. Your essay should be based on
a secondary research; carry out research on the chosen industry by applying a justified
systematic approach to research methodology and demonstrate advanced information skills
with the focus on the following:
• Debating and defending arguments
• Giving presentations on relevant topics
• Outlining a draft literature review
• Problem – solving and critical thinking
• Researching and critiquing academic papers and industry reports, etc.
• Produce persuasive argument regarding information, ideas, problems and solutions
A good essay will contain the following elements:
• well-structured format;
• evidence a range of secondary research using texts, journals, magazines,
newspapers, and computer based information sources;
Assignment Brief – continued
4
• extensive research on the industry and provides references to data and academic
theory;
• explicit reference is made to relevant theories and relevant market data;
• reflects on the impact of the research and industry analysis for learning on your
future career plans
• carefully presented, structured and well-referenced
Element 2 – Digital showcase of self-reflection (30%)
You are required to reflect upon and evaluate your experiences, skills and associated
feelings (evidencing key achievements) to celebrate everything that you have done that will
be useful for your chosen career path. You are required to digitally showcase, analyse and
evaluate your experiences you are expected to reflect upon what you have learnt and how
you propose to transfer this learning into future thinking and behaving. For the purposes of
self-reflection, you are required to enquire, reflect on, articulate your thoughts, feelings and
discuss the following (Knott and Scraggs, 2016) structure for reflective writing:
• Analysis of your journey:
o What happened?
o What assumptions did you make?
o What does this show about yourself and your skills?
o What are the alternative ways of looking at the problem/process?
• Action
o What action would you take to improve?
o How can you learn from what has happened?
o How would you respond if this happened again?
Element 3 – Personal Development Plan (30%)
‘Personal development Planning (PDP) is a structured and supported process undertaken
by an individual to reflect upon their own learning, performance, and / or achievement and
to plan for their personal, educational and career development (QAA, 2001b). In this
personal development plan, you will appraise your strengths and weaknesses, reflect upon
and benchmark where you are now and what you need to develop in order to continue your
journey towards your career goals linked to Element 1 of the portfolio (how you can further
develop your strengths and rectify your weaknesses). You will also set realistic goals that
you should visit and revise on a regular basis for the rest of your student life at ICON
College of Technology and Management and beyond. Applying the SOAR (Self,
Opportunity, Aspirations, Results) to the creation of your career and personal development
plan will provide the theoretical base to focused planning. The essentials of the SOAR
model are:
S = Strengths – your greatest assets
O = Opportunity – what are the opportunities that will enable you to use your strengths
Assignment Brief – continued
5
A = Aspiration – what are your short / medium / long term aspirations. What is your
preferred future?
R = Results – how will you measure what you have achieved?
Please complete the tables below:
A. Personal Analysis
STRENGTHS
OPPORTUNITIES
ASPIRATIONS
RESULTS
Assignment Brief – continued
6
B. Setting Goals
What do I want
to learn?
What do I have
to do?
What support and
resources will I
need?
How will I
measure my
success?
Target date for
review of results.
Please add as many rows as you require
Assignment Brief – continued
7
C. Personal Objectives
Short-term goals (next six months)
Medium Term Goals (next 2 – 3 years)
Long Term Goals (following 3 to 5 years)
Assignment Brief – continued
8
Assessment Criteria for Each Element
Explanatory comments on the assessment criteria
Marks for
each
Element
Research
essay
• Clearly defined objectives/research questions relevant to aim.
Clear focus on aims / objectives maintained throughout.
• Thorough review of appropriate secondary sources;
relationship between the literature and the research essay (i.e.
justification is linked to literature)
• Explanation and justification of an appropriate methodology –
secondary data appropriate to aims and research questions.
• Appropriate analysis of secondary data in the light of the
research objectives and questions. Clear and analytical
presentation of findings.
• Highlighting significant findings and comparing theory &
practice where appropriate
• Appropriate structure and presentation.
40%
Digital
showcase of
self-reflection
• Evidence of factual knowledge and conceptual understanding
of the established principles of reflection and reflective practice
(Gibbs, Schön, Lawrence-Wilkes and Chapman).
• Demonstrate an understanding of the theoretical concepts
underpinning group development (Belbin), conflict
management (Thomas-Kilmann) and appropriate leadership
styles.
• Evidence of knowledge and understanding of different learning
styles (Honey and Mumford, Kolb, VAK).
• Demonstrate creative and effective communication of the
analysis and arguments in research and personal
development plan.
• Analysis and synthesis of the reflection of own behaviour
within the ethical and problem-solving contexts.
30%
Personal
development
plan
• Ability to apply the underlying concepts of reflection to various
contexts including the employment context (SOAR).
• Demonstrate the development of personal responsibility and
decision-making skills necessary for employment.
• Articulate the transfer of learning from the research work to the
reflection and evaluation experience
• Retrieve, analyse, synthesise and present information from
various reliable sources (academic journals and text, company
reports) within the framework of Harvard referencing.
30%
ICON COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT
Crafting Your Future: Professional Practice and Research
Assignment Brief
Session: February 2021
UNDERGRADUATE COMMON ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
Assignment Brief – continued
10
(1st) 85-100%
OUTSTANDING
(1st) 70-84%
EXCELLENT
(2:1) 60-69%
VERY GOOD
(2:2) 50-59%
COMPETENT
(3rd) 40-49%
ADEQUATE
Fail 30-39%
MARGINAL FAIL
Fail 0-29%
FAIL
Achieved the
required learning
outcomes
Achieved the
required learning
outcomes
Achieved the
required learning
outcomes
Achieved the
required learning
outcomes
Achieved the
required learning
outcomes with a
minimally adequate
response.
The student has
Failed to achieve the
required learning
outcomes.
The student has
Failed to achieve the
required learning
outcomes.
Subject knowledge
and skills
Subject knowledge
and skills
Subject knowledge
and skills
Subject knowledge
and skills
Subject knowledge
and skills
Subject knowledge
and skills
Subject knowledge
and skills
PROCESS:
The student
demonstrates
outstanding
ideas generation,
problem solving,
concepts, technical
competency and
proposals in response
to set briefs and/or
self-initiated activity.
PROCESS:
The student
demonstrates
excellent ideas
generation, problem
solving, concepts,
technical competency
and proposals in
response to set briefs
and/or self-initiated
activity.
PROCESS:
The student
demonstrates very
good ideas
generation, problem
solving, concepts,
technical competency
and proposals in
response to set briefs
and/or self-initiated
activity.
PROCESS:
The student
demonstrates the
competent ability to
generate ideas,
problem solving,
concepts, technical
competency and
proposals in response
to set briefs and/or
self-initiated activity.
PROCESS:
The student
demonstrates an
adequate ability to
generate ideas,
problem solving,
concepts, technical
competency and
proposals in response
to set briefs and/or
self-initiated activity.
PROCESS:
The student
demonstrates some
ability to generate
ideas, problem
solving, concepts,
technical competency
and proposals in
response to set briefs
and/or self-initiated
activity.
PROCESS:
The student
demonstrates little or
no ability to generate
ideas, problem
solving, concepts,
technical competency
and proposals in
response to set briefs
and/or self-initiated
activity.
INNOVATION:
The student
demonstrates
outstanding,
independent practice,
experimentation, risk
taking, creativity (i.e.
new ideas and/or
solutions), extensive
and insightful enquiry
into their discipline
and the motivation to
advance it.
INNOVATION:
The student
demonstrates
excellent
independent practice,
experimentation, risk
taking, creativity,
originality (i.e. new
ideas and/or
solutions) and in
depth enquiry into
their discipline.
INNOVATION:
The student
demonstrates very
good evidence of
independent practice,
experimentation, risk
taking, creativity,
originality (i.e. new
ideas and/or
solutions) and in
depth enquiry into
their discipline.
INNOVATION:
The student
demonstrates
competent evidence
of independent
practice,
experimentation, risk
taking, creativity,
originality (i.e. new
ideas and/or
solutions) and
enquiry into their
discipline.
INNOVATION:
The student
demonstrates
adequate evidence of
independent practice,
experimentation, risk
taking, creativity,
originality (i.e. new
ideas and/or
solutions) and
enquiry into their
discipline.
INNOVATION:
The student
demonstrates some
evidence of
independent practice,
experimentation, risk
taking, creativity,
originality (i.e. new
ideas and/or
solutions) and
enquiry into their
discipline.
INNOVATION:
The student
demonstrates little or
no evidence of
independent practice,
experimentation, risk
taking, creativity,
originality (i.e. new
ideas and/or
solutions) and
enquiry into their
discipline.
Assignment Brief – continued
11
INDUSTRY:
The student’s work
demonstrates an
outstanding, ethically
informed, real-world
experience of
industry/business
environments and
markets.
INDUSTRY:
The student’s work
demonstrates an
excellent, ethically
informed, real-world
experience of
industry/business
environments and
markets.
INDUSTRY:
The student’s work
demonstrates a very
good, ethically
informed, real-world
experience of
industry/business
environments and
markets.
INDUSTRY:
The student’s work
demonstrates a
competent, ethically
informed, real-world
experience of
industry/business
environments and
markets.
INDUSTRY:
The student’s work
demonstrates an
adequate, ethically
informed, real-world
experience of
industry/business
environments and
markets.
INDUSTRY:
The student’s work
demonstrates some
ethically informed,
real-world experience
of industry/business
environments and
markets.
INDUSTRY:
The student’s work
demonstrates little or
no ethically informed
real-world experience
of industry/business
environments and
markets.
Generic and graduate
skills
Generic and graduate
skills
Generic and graduate
skills
Generic and graduate
skills
Generic and graduate
skills
Generic and graduate
skills
Generic and graduate
skills
RESEARCH:
The student
demonstrates
outstanding research
and information skills.
RESEARCH:
The student
demonstrates
excellent research
and information skills.
RESEARCH:
The student
demonstrates very
good research and
information skills.
RESEARCH:
The student
demonstrates
competent research
and information skills.
RESEARCH:
The student
demonstrates
adequate research
and information skills.
RESEARCH:
The student
demonstrates some
research and
information skills.
RESEARCH:
The student
demonstrates little or
no research and
information skills.
ANALYSIS:
The student
demonstrates an
outstanding ability to
critically engage with
and analyse
information and
formulate reasoned
arguments.
ANALYSIS:
The student
demonstrates an
excellent ability to
critically engage with
and analyse
information and
formulate reasoned
arguments.
ANALYSIS:
The student
demonstrates a very
good ability to
critically engage with
and analyse
information and
formulate reasoned
arguments.
ANALYSIS:
The student
demonstrates a
competent ability to
critically engage with
and analyse
information and
formulate reasoned
arguments.
ANALYSIS:
The student
demonstrates
adequate ability to
critically engage with
and analyse
information and
formulate reasoned
arguments.
ANALYSIS:
The student
demonstrates some
ability to critically
engage with and
analyse information
and formulate
reasoned arguments.
ANALYSIS:
The student
demonstrates little or
no ability to critically
engage with and
analyse information
and formulate
reasoned arguments.
COMMUNICATION:
The student
demonstrates
outstanding
communication and
presentation skills.
COMMUNICATION:
The student
demonstrates
excellent
communication and
presentation skills.
COMMUNICATION:
The student
demonstrates very
good communication
and presentation
skills.
COMMUNICATION:
The student
demonstrates
competent
communication and
presentation skills.
COMMUNICATION:
The student
demonstrates
adequate
communication and
presentation skills.
COMMUNICATION:
The student
demonstrates some
communication and
presentation skills.
COMMUNICATION:
The student
demonstrates little or
no communication
and presentation
skills.
Assignment Brief – continued
12
ORGANISATION:
The student
demonstrates
outstanding self
management skills.
ORGANISATION:
The student
demonstrates
excellent self
management skills.
ORGANISATION:
The student
demonstrates very
good self
management skills.
ORGANISATION:
The student
demonstrates
competent self
management skills.
ORGANISATION:
The student
demonstrates
adequate self
management skills.
ORGANISATION:
The student
demonstrates some
self-management
skills.
ORGANISATION:
The student
demonstrates little or
no aptitude for self
management.
COLLABORATION:
The student
demonstrates
outstanding (multi
disciplinary) team
working.
COLLABORATION:
The student
demonstrates
excellent (multi
disciplinary) team
working.
COLLABORATION:
The student
demonstrates very
good (multi
disciplinary) team
working.
COLLABORATION:
The student
demonstrates
competent (multi
disciplinary) team
working.
COLLABORATION:
The student
demonstrates
adequate (multi
disciplinary) team
working.
COLLABORATION:
The student
demonstrates some
(multi-disciplinary)
team working.
COLLABORATION:
The student
demonstrates little or
no (multi-disciplinary)
team working.
Assignment Brief – continued
13
ICON COLLEGE OF TECHNOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT
Crafting Your Future: Professional Practice and Research
Assignment Brief
Session: February 2021
Preparation guidelines of the Coursework Submission
Guide to students
1. Preparation Guidelines of the Coursework Document
a). All coursework must be typed.
b). The assignment should not be written in a text box.
c). Document margins must not be more than 2.54 cm (1 inch) or less than 1.9cm (3/4 inch).
d). The assignment should be in a formal business style using single spacing and font size 12.
e). Standard and commonly used type face such as Arial should be used.
f). All figures, graphs and tables must be numbered and entitled.
g). Material taken from external sources must be properly referenced using the Harvard referencing
system.
h). Do not use Wikipedia as a reference.
i). Read the Submission Instructions in the Submission Point in the VLE
2. Plagiarism and Collusion
Any act of plagiarism or collusion will be seriously dealt with according to the College regulations. In
this context the definitions and scope of plagiarism and collusion are presented below:
Plagiarism is presenting somebody else’s work as your own. It includes copying information directly
from the Web or books without referencing the material; submitting joint coursework as an individual
effort.
Collusion is copying another person’s or another student’s coursework; stealing coursework from
another student and submitting it as your own work.
Suspected plagiarism or collusion will be investigated and if found to have occurred will be dealt
with according to the College procedure (For details on Plagiarism & Collusion please see the
Student Handbook 20-21).
3. Good Practice
Make backup of your work in different media (hard disk, memory stick, etc.) to avoid distress for loss
or damage of your original copy.
4. Submission
a). Students shall experience both formative and summative assessment.
Formative assessment assists student learning by providing early feedback to help students to
improve their learning, building on their strengths and targeting weaknesses that require closer
attention. It does not contribute directly to the module result, or to progression and award decisions.
b). All final coursework must be submitted to the Final Submission point in the right module in the
VLE and not to the lecturer or to the Examination Office. All students will be required to submit via
the same method, and against the same deadlines, unless an adjustment has been agreed on
grounds of disability or other extenuating circumstances. Students can submit only once, and that
is the final submission. Students must keep the Submission receipt from Turnitin securely.
5. Extension and Late Submissions
a). If you need an extension for a valid reason, you must request one using an Extenuating
Circumstances (EC) form available from the College Examination Office and in ICON VLE. Please
note that the tutors do not have the authority to extend the coursework deadlines and therefore do
not ask them to award a coursework extension. The completed form must be accompanied by
evidence such as a medical certificate in the event of you being sick and should be submitted to the
Assignment Brief – continued
15
Examination Office.
b). Only one opportunity for reassessment (resubmission) will be permitted and the assessment will
be capped at Pass for the module. Students will be required to submit referred coursework over the
summer period. In addition, modules passed cannot be reassessed.
6. Resitting a Modules
a). A resit is a second attempt at an assessment without any additional tuition and with marks
capped at the Pass Mark
b). Resitting students must be reassessed under the syllabus in place at the first attempt.
c). Resitting students should be reassessed by the same Method used at the first attempt.
7. Repeating a Module
a). A repeat is a second attempt at an assessment in the following academic session with marks
capped at the Pass mark
b). A student who has failed 2/3 of the modules (40 credits) in both Final/Late submission and in the
Resubmission must retake the modules with full attendance and payment of the module fee.
c). Repeating students must be reassessed in all the elements of the failed module(s) and can only
submit once.
d). The fees for repeating students must be charged pro-rata to the credit value of the module(s)
concerned.
e). A student who fails at the second attempt must leave the programme and must not be permitted
to re-enrol on a failed programme or module.
8. Submission deadlines Online to the ICON VLE
Final Submission date: 7-12 June 2021
Late Submission date: 14-19 June 2021

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