Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Mentoring who,what,how

The students are faced with many questions, issues, and uneasiness during the preparation of their RAP and its submission. The following section was developed to offer support to these students and clear any possible issues they may have. The FAQs are divided into several categories so the students will get fast answers and resolution of any possible problem.

We have tried our best to cover all the possible queries, issues and confusions of the student, but if you still do not find an answer to your question, then feel free to email us and we will send you a response as soon as possible. We will also update this section based on queries, issues, and questions of our students.

Click on the questions below to see details

General Questions

Am I eligible for the OBU degree (i.e. BSc Hons. in Applied Accounting)?

You will have to check on myACCA to get an information about your eligibility, after the completion of the fundamental level of ACCA, whether you have opted for the OBU BSc (Hons) Degree Program at the time of your ACCA registration. The OBU ACCA office does not have this information, and you will have to contact the ACCA to get information on your status.

Contact details for the ACCA:

Phone:         +44 (0)141 582 2000

Fax:              +44 (0)141 582 2222

Post:             2 Central Quay 89 Hydepark Street Glasgow G3 8BW UK

Web Link:     http://www2.accaglobal.com/contacts/connect/

How long does it take to complete the RAP?

This depends on your available time and the grade you aim at for you RAP. If you work steadily on the preparation of the RAP, then a time of about 1.5 month should be enough to prepare a good RAP. You need to be aware on the correlation between time spent and quality results, and you should plan enough time to prepare a good RAP. Always try to do revisions and make necessary changes. Students that work in a hurry and prepare their RAP in two to three weeks usually get low grades.

What evidence must I produce of my ability in English as it is not my first language?

This is administered by ACCA not OBU. Details of the qualifications that meet Oxford Brookes University’s proof of English proficiency can be found in the links below:

http://www.brookes.ac.uk/international/how-to-apply/english-language-requirements/

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-applying-for-uk-visa-approved-english-language-tests

You have to keep in mind that your proficiency in the English language will be really demonstrated through the RAP itself.

“Although we make great efforts to mark fairly regardless of a student’s first language, we do need to understand the important concepts and ideas in both the report and the SLS. If we can’t then we may have to fail on Communication in the assessment criteria, although we make some allowances for grammar and other mistakes. (OBU Marker)”

Mentoring and the Role of the Project Mentor

How do I get help in preparing for the project?

Many ACCA education providers (teachers, professionals, educational institutions, etc.) offer to tutor students in the preparation of the RAP. Further, you can select mentor by consulting various websites (search on google) as they offer mentoring services (through online mediums e.g. Skype) and you can also select OBU registered mentor by consulting following link: http://www.oxfordbrookesmentoring.co.uk/.

Where can I find OBU Registered Mentors?

You will need to be registered as a mentee (free of cost) with OBU first. You can do that on the OBU Online Mentoring Website. After you complete your registration, you will have access to your dashboard and find all the necessary information about the OBU Registered Mentors and mentors in your particular area.

You can search through the options and engage filters if necessary. You can see the list of possible mentors and look through the names.

The location of the mentor is noted next to their name, but this is not very important as you will be using online communication tools to communicate with them. With clicking the mentor’s name you get additional information about the mentor. The mentors have designated the topics they are experts in, and you should use this when you select a topic and mentor. You can also contact the mentors that fit with your requirements, and the mentors you have selected will get an email notification with your contact details and should get back to you. This is very important, as the first impressions are the most important as it gives you an insight into the mentor’s writing style and response time.

Why should I get a mentor?

The mentor provides guidance and confirms that the student has done the research and work themselves. An integral part of the RAP is a presentation to the mentor.

As per the prescribed guidelines of OBU, the student must select a mentor who is registered with OBU and has passed the online mentoring course (meaning they have successfully completed the course but do not represent a particular recommendation or endorsement from OBU). See the Information Pack for advice on finding an OBU trained and listed mentor.

“From Period 30 all mentors must be on the list of registered mentors. Apart from offering the initial mentor training, OBU does NOT certify any mentors. Students should therefore be wary of any mentor who in anyway implies that they have a close connection with the University as this is simply not the case. If a student has any complaint about a listed mentor they have used with regard to failure to perform the prescribed duties for a mentor or, one who lacks integrity, then they should contact the OBU Administration Office setting out why the mentor has not met the professional requirements and standards (but please read the section on mentors in the Information Pack first, as just failing your submission alone is not considered adequate grounds of complaint). We do check authenticity of mentors and any student who falsely declares that they have used a named mentor, when this is not the case will be reported to the ACO for further action as the probity of the whole work they have presented for their degree will be in doubt. (OBU marker)”

What are the major characteristics of a Project Mentor that the mentee should consider before the commencement of getting mentoring?

The Oxford Brookes University has set a list of characteristics that a Project Mentor should possess. Look for these when you make your selection for a Project Mentor.

  • Easily approachable and genuinely interested in helping his students;
  • Is a good listener and asks the correct questions;
  • Has a respect for confidentiality and offers trustworthiness;
  • Facilitates the exploration of ideas and the solution of issues that may come from the research;
  • Gives constructive feedback on the research work;
  • Easy and effective communication;
  • Gives good support and encouragement;
  • Facilitates the student in reaching the set goals;
  • Directs the student in asking the correct questions, systematical thinking, applying the correct evaluation techniques and the correct analysis of the results;
  • Does not judge and take sides;
  • Only gives guidance and does not impose on the decision-making of the student;
  • Has appropriate knowledge and competence; and
  • Possesses the knowledge of the technical requirements.

Please click here to get details on this aspect.

What does a Project Mentor do in the RAP preparations?

In section 6 of the Information Pack, there is a clear outline of the defined role of the Project Mentor. The Mentor is only there to provide mentoring services, and since the student’s expectations are usually very high or sometimes unreal, you should refer to Appendix 2 of the Information Pack for more info on this. The mentor is there to provide guidance and advice in a proper way without jeopardizing the OBU rules while the main success factors are still the student’s work and proper research and writing of the RAP.

Here you can find more details about this issue.

How many meetings should I get with my Project Mentor while preparing the RAP?

Three meetings are mandatory, the first at the beginning of the work on the RAP, the second in the middle, and the third needs to be at the end of the RAP and should include a presentation to the Mentor. The student and mentor can agree on more meetings or contact via email so the mentor can give their advice and guidance and help resolve any possible issues.

Here you can find more information on this issue.

Is a face-to-face meeting required between the Mentor and student?

This is in no way required, as both parties can work remotely and communicate via email and online communication tools like Skype. This is well explained in the Information Pack, and below is an extract:

You do not have to physically meet with your mentor – you can use conferencing facilities/Skype instead. Telephone calls and emails are not sufficient for presentation purposes

Is the mentor allowed to make corrections on my work?

In no way is the Mentor allowed to make corrections. The mentor only provides guidance and advice, and should not do any work on the student’s project. This poses ethical issues and both mentor and student need to avoid this.

Can the mentor give some help in formatting, editing, graphs, etc?

In no way is this allowed, as the student will need to do all these aspects by themselves, but they can ask for advice and guidance from the mentor. It is good for the student to ask for advice and guidance from the mentor in resolving these issues but no work should be provided, only adequate feedback and advice.

Should I accept someone else to prepare my RAP instead of me?

This is forbidden as it is a serious ethical issue and can lead to severe punishments both from OBU and ACCA.

How to check the credibility of the mentor?

This is a personal judgment and the student can see the track record of the Project Mentor. All OBU registered mentors can be seen here: http://www.oxfordbrookesmentoring.co.uk/ and all of these have been registered with OBU after a completion of three required modules. The modules teach the mentor on effective mentoring techniques which means that the student can safely select one of the registered mentors.

Is it compulsory to get an OBU registered mentor?

It is compulsory, and should you choose a mentor that is not registered with OBU, then you will not be able to submit your RAP. the online submission form demands you enter the Project Mentor contact details (only email address) so the Mentor will be asked to confirm that the RAP is your original work.

Do OBU registered mentors have more experience or know more about mentoring?

The OBU registered mentors have better understanding and knowledge of the different aspects of the mentoring that they have obtained by passing the Online Mentoring course and the three modules. Also, it is obligatory to get mentoring from OBU registered mentors.

Consultation of Old passed Projects

Is it allowed to consult with past projects for my RAP?

The student can consult with past projects in order to get ideas for their own RAP, but the student is not allowed to copy the structure of the old projects and they need to use their own skills in preparation of their RAP and follow the guidelines outlined in the Information Pack along with the guidance from the Mentor. Copying from old passed projects will easy identify once project run  through from “TURNITIN”.

Topic Related Questions

What do I do if I want to do an alternative topic?

It is not possible to choose an alternative project; students are required to choose a topic from the recommended list.

Can I change the topic title slightly?

No, you can’t change the topic title because your project will be assessed by the exact topic title. For instance if you are preparing RAP on topic no 18 “‘A review of the marketing strategy of an organisation and its effectiveness”, this topic demands you to uncover the effectiveness of a company’s marketing strategy, but not to prepare a RAP which compares Company X’s marketing strategy with Company Y’s marketing strategy.

Exam markers often comment that students answer the question that they wish the examiner had set and not the one that was actually set, and trying to change the title falls into the same type of category and will probably fail (OBU Marker).

What is the most appropriate topic for RAP?

The most appropriate topic for RAP is the student’s own choice, but the student should consider his/her own interest, knowledge, availability of information, the complexity of the proposed topic and many other factors. The student should properly plan the selection of the most appropriate topic as passing RAP with good grades is very much dependent upon the choice of appropriate topic for RAP.

Company Related Questions

Why do I need a comparative company analysis for some topics?

Before preparation of your RAP, you should read section (e) pp34-35 of the P29-30 Information Pack, where a senior OBU moderator explains why the comparison between the two companies is necessary to make your evaluation valid.

If you select such topic for which a comparison is necessary (for example Topic 8) and you haven’t done sufficient comparator analysis then you will fail in the assessment criteria (Evaluation of collected information, its analysis and the conclusion). You’ll also fail to apply the accountancy/business models. The comparator analysis may often enhance evaluation for Topic 15, 17 and 20. In my opinion, the comparator analysis strengthens the evaluation.

What is the most appropriate company for my RAP? 

The most appropriate company for the RAP is student’s own judgment, but the student should consider their own interest, knowledge of the business of the company, availability of reliable information relevant to the company. The student should not choose a company for which he needs information from primary sources but is not sure how or will he get relevant information from the management of the company. The student should properly plan the selection of the most appropriate company as passing the RAP with good grades is very much dependent upon the choice of appropriate company for RAP.

Content/ Structure of RAP

What is included in the current word count limits?

OBU has extended the word count limit from 6,500 to 7,500 words and it now includes everything from title page to the conclusion. The student must maintain the Reference list as a separate file that is required for submission. This whole process makes it easy for the students to check the word count at the end.

Total word count for SLS is 2,000 words and the answer to question No.1 requires more words than the other three questions. The students must take note that there shouldn’t be a complete imbalance between all the answers, otherwise it may depict insufficient self-reflection.

Please note that the word count breakdown between the sections is a general guide and you will not be penalized if you allocate your words differently. However, you should aim to not exceed the prescribed word count of 7,500 words as OBU reserves the right to fail on excessive word count (OBU marker).

What is included in the Word Count?

The Appendices and the List of References are not calculated in the total the word count, all other parts including the Title Page, Content Page, and Conclusion are calculated in the total word count.

What is the word count of the different sections of the Research Report and the Skills and Learning Statement?

The word count of the sub sections of the RR is as follows (general guideline, as small variations, are possible):

Part 1 of RR – 1,000 Words

Part 2 of RR – 2,000 Words

Part 3 of RR – 4,500 Words

Each part of SLS (four in total) – 350 to 650 Words

What should be the Content of the Research Report and the Skills and Learning Statement?

This aspect of the RAP is clearly defined under section “7.d.x Structure, word count and presentation” of the Information Pack. The latest Information Pack can be found on the following link: http://www.virtualmentoring.net/downloads/

How important is it that I include graphs and bar charts in my Report and Presentation?

It is very important to use graphs and charts in your presentation as these graphical depictions are great tools to effectively communicate information. A picture is worth more than a thousand words. These tools also help to break the text and save the word count.

It is much easier to see a relationship in the trends and ratios if a student uses graphic representation such as pie charts, bar charts, diagrams and graphs as they can depict complex situations and relationships far better than a whole paragraph of text. Just about every topic contains some numerical data that can benefit from being presented in this way rather than in written text – and although we have tried to get this message across it still seems to fall on some deaf ears…. There are two relevant assessment criteria that apply here – presentation of the project findings in the report and the PowerPoint Presentation. If a student has not used graphs and charts etc. I am inclined to fail them either on one or both sections as the work usually has not demonstrated effective presentation of the findings. There is nothing more daunting than seeing a RAP that contains hundreds of written figures and knowing there are much better ways the student could have shown this data. (OBU marker)

If I analyze some published financial statements, do I have to include them with my project?

Not at all, the student only needs to provide the used extracts of the financial statement as part of the Appendix of their RAP. Also, note that the Appendices do not fall into the general word count.

I intend to analyze some questionnaires – do I have to include them all in my project?

No, but you must include a copy of the questionnaire and a summary of the responses in an appropriate Appendix.

Referencing Related Questions

How important is it to use references properly?

Along with IT, the failure to properly use references is the most common reason for failing the RAP project. The references must be both in the text, in the correct format and in the ‘List of References’. One reason for this is to avoid plagiarism. Referencing can be a bit daunting at first if you’ve never had to do it before. Consult Annex 3 of the Information Pack for detail guidance on referencing.  The latest Information Pack can be found on the following link: http://www.virtualmentoring.net/downloads/

Skills and Learning Statement including presentation

I read there are no right or wrong answers for the SLS – so why have I failed my SLS?

Before starting writing the SLS you must carefully read the Information Pack, which explains that SLS is a self reflection (see pages 46-48 of the Period 29 & 30 Pack). “When you plan your project research work you should also plan to collect evidence to contribute to your Skills and Learning Statement so that some of your self-reflection will ‘fall out’ of the activities undertaken for your Research Report.” So students should start writing their SLS in the draft by narrating what happened during RAP preparation, rather remember all the events and sum it up at the end.

In many cases, students list out what they did but do not reflect upon why they took a particular course of action. With Q2 we don’t just want to know what went well, we are also interested in the challenges you met in coping with producing the RAP. When you address all 4 questions try to tell us HOW you feel you learned something from doing your work and how this may help you in future. There are no set answers as everything is dependent on the individual student and their experience however if a student does not do sufficient self-reflection like this as they have not fulfilled the assessment criteria, then we have no alternative but to fail them on Self-reflection. (OBU marker)

How many slides should be included in Presentation file?

The quantity of the presentation slides completely depends on the manner in which the presentation is delivered. The important aspect that student must take into consideration that presentation must be completed within 15 minutes so student assesses the number of slides themselves.

What is the important aspect that student needs to consider during the presentation session?

Here are the most important aspects of the presentation:

– The presentation should be no more than 15 minutes long.

– It should be about your topic and not the process of writing the report.

– The slides should SUPPORT your presentation.

– The slides should be interesting and clearly understandable.

– The presentation and slides should contain the results of your analysis, your conclusions, and recommendations.

Sources of Information

I read something in the Information Pack about Primary and Secondary sources of information, what is this?

If you need to conduct your research to obtain primary information then you are recommended to consult section 7 of the Information Pack which discusses Information gathering and in particular, and read the extract from an article produced by Phil Clarke (OBU BSc Senior marker and Moderator) on pp 36-38.

Many students fail to incorporate the principles of a good design approach in their questionnaires or set out the precise manner in which they have conducted their research. This can lead to failure in both ‘Application’ and ‘Evaluation’ as if the research principles are not adhered to, the reliability of the results may not be valid and allow proper conclusions to be drawn from it. (OBU marker)

I do not work and therefore do not have access to primary information so which topics do not require any primary data at all, and might be suitable for me?

The topics that only require secondary information (in numerical order) are:

An analysis and evaluation of the business and financial performance of an organization over a three year period.

An analysis and evaluation of the management of an organization’s working capital over a three year period and its impact on the organization’s funding strategies

An assessment of the quality of the corporate governance within an organization and the impact on an organization’s key stakeholders

A review of the marketing strategy of an organization and its effectiveness

An assessment of an organization’s corporate social responsibility policies, including business ethics, and their impact on business practice and key stakeholders

Topic 5 ‘An evaluation of the use of the short term and long term Islamic financial instruments and their impact on the financial statements of an organization’ may also be suitable if you already have some understanding of the principles underlying Islamic banking.

What is the importance of using Primary sources of information?

As stated in the OBU info pack, it is totally acceptable to have the RAP completed using only Secondary data. However, students must clearly state the limitations that they actually faced and as part of the ethical issues, and to relate actual practical examples that they have encountered during the obtaining of the Primary data. Kindly note that, if some requirements of the topic are entirely based on the primary sources of information, then the student must use primary sources otherwise change the topic for RAP.

SUBMISSION OF RAP

When do I submit the Project?

There are two sessions each year to submit the project, one is in May and the other in November. The final submission date varies between the 20-25 calendar date in each session so student should get the exact date of the respective session in the specific year from the following link: http://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/student/acca-qual-student-journey/bsc-degree/rap-submission-dates.html

How do I submit my project?

Go to www.obusubmissions.co.uk, click on ‘not yet registered’ and enter your details. Your login details are not the same as your myACCA login details. Please keep your log-in details safe, as you will need to use them again when you access your results. For further detail on this please consult below link: http://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/student/acca-qual-student-journey/bsc-degree/rap-submission-dates/submission-form.html

What happens after I submit the project?

Once you submit your RAP then you will get a confirmation message right away telling you that your submission has been received. Make sure you give yourself enough time and try to submit a little early if possible as the submissions website gets very busy leading up to the deadline.

What happens if I have passed?

You will receive a certificate, usually within 3 months of the results letter and you will be invited to a graduation ceremony either at Oxford Brookes University in Oxford or at a regional center nearest to you – currently offered at Hong Kong, Malaysia or Singapore, Dubai, and Kenya.

Fee of OBU and Mentoring  

What is the OBU fee for the RAP?

The project submission fee varies in each session, and for further details on this please consult below link: http://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/student/acca-qual-student-journey/bsc-degree/rap-submission-dates/submission-form.html

What should the fee of Project Mentor be?

There is not a suggested fee for a Project mentor as it completely depends on mutual consent between the mentee and the project mentor. OBU does not have any role in such arrangement.

What is the payment mechanism for submission of the fee to OBU?

RAP submissions and resubmissions should be made online. You will be taken to an online registration page where you will be required to complete your personal details as well as your Project Mentor details, make payment and upload your documents. For further detail on this please consult below link: http://www.accaglobal.com/gb/en/student/acca-qual-student-journey/bsc-degree/rap-submission-dates/submission-form.html

What is the payment mechanism for submission of the fee to Project Mentor?

This depends upon mutual consent between the mentee and the Project Mentor. OBU does not have any role in such arrangement.

Assessment Criteria of OBU

What are the key elements that are considered by OBU during the assessment of the RAP?

There are nine critical elements that are evaluated by the OBU markers during their assessment of the RAP. In order to get an overall passed status on the Research Report, the student needs to pass seven elements, while the SLS will be considered as passed if the student successfully passes elements 8 and 9. In order to completely pass the RAP, the student needs to pass all nine elements that are listed below:

Research Report

Understanding of accountancy/business models

Application of accountancy/business models

Evaluation of information, analysis and conclusions

Presentation of project findings

Communication

Information gathering and Referencing

Information Technology

Skills & Learning Statement

Self-Reflection

Communication Skills (inc Presentation)

For further detail of on each above-mentioned elements, please refer to Appendix 1 of the Information Pack. The latest Information Pack can be found on the following link: http://www.virtualmentoring.net/downloads/

Plagiarism

I’m worried about plagiarism, how can I avoid it?

To avoid plagiarism you yourself must complete your RAP. You must not “copy and paste” too much material and everything you write needs to be correctly referenced. Paraphrase and summarise things and if you do make citations, keep them short and use quotation marks as well as a reference point.

There are two main types of plagiarism – the first tends to be accidental – the student does not appreciate the importance of referencing and forgets to reference fully or so much of their report is taken word for word from a source that it compromises the standard of their work. The second type of plagiarism is deliberate – a student has copied or colluded and they present work that they know is not their own. As experienced markers, we can usually discern the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Plagiarism. With the first type of plagiarism we tend to fail the work on Referencing as it constitutes bad academic practice and poor scholarship, however, the marking team and the Academic Conduct Office (ACO) take a dim view of the second type as its purpose is to gain the degree by unfair means. We will always refer work for a second opinion if we suspect cheating. The ACO has no hesitation in informing ACCA of cases of cheating as it is a breach of professional ethics and if a mentor has assisted with the cheating and has colluded, we recommend disciplinary action against the mentor too and have the full support of ACCA on this. (OBU marker)

Holding of Student result by OBU

Why is my result held by OBU rather that communicated by OBU on result day?

The holding of some projects of a student from the overall submitted projects is a routine process of OBU. Whenever a result of any student is held by OBU, the student is notified through email on result date that “Your Research and Analysis Project has been sent to the Academic Conduct Officer (ACO) for further investigation as one of the marking team has raised a concern over the academic practice of your work. For example, this could be because of an absence of referencing in some passages, or because it is thought that verbatim quotations (using the same words as the source) have not been shown as quotations. It could also be because it is suspected that the work is not entirely your own. The electronic version you provided has also been passed through TURNITIN.”

If you properly complete the work for your RAP as per all prescribed guidelines of OBU that are provided in the Information Pack along with proper references in all your work, then you don’t need to worry about it, as the holding of result does not mean that you fail in your project. We have dealt with such matters in the last 2-3 sessions and the students have come out this awkward situation easily if they properly coordinate with ACO for the provision of his/her required information.

By the time when OBU contacts the student again within 1-3 months, the student should arrange all the drafts of their RAP, research materials, extracts of books etc, so that he/she can easily provide all this evidence to ACO in order to facilitate in the overall investigation process.

Failure of RAP

If I fail do I get told why?

Whenever a student gets failed status in his/her RAP then he/she will be provided with result grades that explains which areas among all nine elements got “F” states. Further, the OBU markers also provide their comment on all fail areas.

I’ve read that lack of ‘Evaluation and Analysis’ is a very common cause of failure, so how do I avoid this?

This is probably the most common reason for students’ failure in RAP. The “Evaluation and Analysis” (part 3) is an important part of RAP as it analyzes your capability of using collected data and information sources. You must read the extract from the Information Pack on this regard:

“In order to produce a successful RAP you have to evaluate and/or analyze information gathered from a range of sources. This means creating some meaning of what you have found, or making a judgment or coming to a conclusion. If you only report the information that you have found or generated, you will not pass the RAP. The ability to evaluate and/or analyze information is a very important graduate attribute and the grade that you are awarded for your RAP will be significantly influenced by ‘how well’ you demonstrate your evaluative and/or analytical skills in your RAP.”

Many students overlook the fact that RAP stands for ‘Research & ANALYSIS Project’ so you need to appreciate BOTH aspects and demonstrate analytical skills. They also forget that someone has to read, follow and mark their work – throwing lots of figures at the marker and reciting the annual report extracts without any meaningful comments is not going to get a pass. Please also see the article by Al Neilson (OBU Senior marker for the BSc degree and Moderator) section (e) p32-35 of the Information Pack as this gives some insight into how to address evaluation correctly. (OBU marker)

What are the most common reasons for the failure of RAP (in general)?

To completely pass the RAP, the student must pass all nine above mentioned elements. The student will get “F” grade only in the section that doesn’t meet the requirements explained in the Information Pack. The most common reasons for the failure of students in RAP are these:

–   IT skills not used in the project particularly evidence that a spreadsheet has been used during preparation of RAP.

–   The student is unable to use proper referencing as per suggested guidelines provide in Annexure 3 of the Information Pack.

–   Inefficient analysis of the information as per overall requirements under a specific topic.

What happens if I fail?

You have 3 attempts to be successful in your RAP. Unless you change your topic and/or company, any sections passed will be carried forward to your next submission. So for example, if you pass the SLS and Presentation you will only have to resubmit your RAP report. You will be supplied with a mark-sheet which sets out the elements where you failed and in order to meet the assessment criteria it should also outline any areas where you made errors or omissions. This information should help you to prepare for a successful resubmission.

My RAP has been failed, so can I appeal?

“You may not appeal against the academic judgment of an examiner. You may request a review of the decision to award a particular grade to your Research and Analysis Project. However, disagreement with the academic judgment of an examiner is not grounds for such a review, which would normally only consider whether the assessment has been conducted in accordance with the RAP regulations. Further details of the regulations can be viewed on the Oxford Brookes University website” OBU Information Pack 2014-2015

OBU has adopted a very robust system of marking. The marking team for the BSc in Applied Accounting RAP is made up of experienced markers most of whom have marked thousands of projects. Every single RAP that is failed is reviewed by a moderator who is a senior marker (with at least 5 years RAP marking experience) who checks all of the assessment criteria. In cases where they consider that the work has been incorrectly assessed, it will be changed and passed to a senior moderator (10+ years RAP experience) for a final decision. Where occasionally a new marker joins the team, their assessment work will be heavily scrutinised by moderators to ensure that they are applying the assessment criteria consistently and fairly. Whilst a student may believe that they have grounds for appeal they are advised to fully familiarise themselves with the appeals process as in view of the rigorous system in place, very few appeals are normally successful.(OBU marker).

What are the key aspects to pass the RAP under topic number 8?

Topic number 8 is the most demanded topic among the students as under this topic, the students don’t need to use primary sources of information (as access to primary sources of information is very difficult for major part of the students) and the entire project can easily be completed through using secondary sources of information. Some key points that the student must consider during the preparation of RAP are the following:

Choose company for which you have sufficient information and you should also be well aware of the different parameters of the associated sector of your selected company. Without fair knowledge at the beginning of the project, your analysis will not be properly focused and it is very probable that you may discuss various aspect in your project that is not important for the topic. In short, the basic understating of the overall operations of a selected company and its associated sector is essential to get good grades under topic No.8.

Discuss all the aspects of ratio analysis logically and properly link them by providing various internal and external factors along with micro and macro level factors.

Whenever discussing a trend of any ratio, the student must consider and discuss various internal and external factors along with micro and macro level factors that actually impact the movement of specific ratios under the specific span of time. The internal reasons for movement in different ratios of your selected company can be perceived from annual reports (especially report to shareholders section, key achievement sections, financial performance section, chairman/MD review section etc.) of the company along with articles on reliable websites and newspapers related to your selected company. On the other hand, you can get the External  reasons for movement in different ratios of your selected company from sector reports (in which your selected company operates) over websites (especially website related to business  activities or economy of country), articles related to associated sectors over online journals , business magazines , newspaper etc.

Discuss performance of competitor with your selected organization in parallel rather than at the end of each ratio as an in-line discussion of both primary (i.e. selected) company and opponent company will help the reader of your report to analyze your work quickly.

Keep balance of information gathered from various mediums (e.g. annual reports, newspaper, online journals, books, etc.) so that the marker can recognize that you have used vast mediums of information as extensive research is essential to pass with good grades and the proper presentation of using of this information is an important key to pass the RAP under topic number 8.

Use one or maximum two business models so that you can describe each aspect of the selected model in a good manner, but also consider the overall allowed words under part 3 of the RAP (i.e. 4,500 Words).

Provide enough graphs to the reader of your RAP so they can easily get an idea of which company is performing well even without reading the text within your RAP. This aspect is called IT skills which is extremely important to pass RAP under topic number 8.

There are many others key factors for successful passing of the RAP under topic number 8 that cannot be explained here in detail, so student should engage with highly qualified mentor for their RAP and they can get regular advice from their mentor on various technical aspects of this topic that will ultimately help the student in getting good grades.

If I fail do I have to start with a completely new topic?

Extract from the Information Pack:

Not necessarily – it may be that you just have to remedy the deficiencies indicated in your mark sheet. In that case, you may resubmit an amended report. However please note that if you fail and resubmit the same topic but with an attempt to rectify the deficiencies, you will again have to hold three mandatory meetings with your mentor again. However, these meetings may well take an abbreviated form.

However, if your fail was purely for failing to include the presentation, then three further mentor meetings will not be necessary.

The Research and Analysis Project is in 2 parts – the RR and the SLS. If you pass one of these you do not have to resubmit that part.

If you are re-submitting a RAP, then you are required to consult  re-submission guide for 2017/18.

How many times can I submit the project?

The student are allowed to submit a RAP project only 3 times. After the third attempt, the student will not be able to submit any project to get a BSc Hons degree from OBU.

How many direct quotations are acceptable for RAP?

There is no 100% suggested answer of this question as it totally varies with respect to your selected topic and company. Based on our experience of mentoring various students, we always suggest that the student use very limited direct quotes as a huge number of direct quotes puts a bad image on the RAP as it is conceived by marker’s of OBU that student did not do extensive research and mainly relied on already provided information from various sources. The simple solution to avoid this aspect in your RAP is to re-word all such information in your own words by keeping the same original theme and then also provide reference along with this information to acknowledge that you have conceived ideas from someone else’s thoughts, and at the same time the plagiarism detection software will not highlight such reworded text.

Important links

Can I have some useful links that will help me in preparation of my project?

There is no specific archive provided by OBU to access relevant information by the student under specific topic and company. It is the student research approach to access vast information either through primary or secondary sources of information.

Others

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism occurs when you produce someone else’s work within your report without acknowledging this fact. Clearly, if you fail to provide a reference for a sentence or paragraph that you took from another text, then that is considered Plagiarism. This is a serious disciplinary issue and may result in being permanently excluded from the Oxford Brookes University and from the ACCA.  For detail on this aspect please refer to the following link: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/library/skill/plagiarism.html


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