FAQs


Mentoring who,what,how

Many questions/issues/confusion arises the minds of students when they  plan to prepare RAP first time or resubmit after failure. For support of all such students, we develop this section to resolve most of their queries/issues/confusions. We divided all FAQs in broader category below so that student can get quick  access towards resolution of their specific queries under relevant category.

We tried to cover all aspects of queries/issues/confusions of students here but if still you have any sort of either general or specific query then send us an email and we will respond back to you in reasonable time. Moreover, we will also update this section based on queries/issues/confusions of students time by time to facilitate students in effective manners.

Click on the questions below to see details

General

 Am I eligible for the degree?

Check on myACCA to get status of your eligibility (after clearance of fundamental level of ACCA) whether you opted for OBU  BSc Program at the time of ACCA registration or not.  OBU – ACCA office is not able to give you any answers on this issue directly so you can directly contact with ACCA  to get status.

Contact detail of 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 is somehow depends upon the time you have to complete your RAP and grade you want in it. Time of 3 months should be sufficient to prepare a good RAP if you steadily work on it. If you want good grade then take sufficient time to complete RAP as there is a correlation between time spent and quality. Try to revise your done work objectively and make necessary changes. Students who done it in hurry and take 4 to 6 weeks to complete their project usually get C grade.

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

Remember that the real proof of proficiency in English will actually be demonstrated in 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 Role of Mentor

How do I get help in preparing for the project?

Many ACCA tuition providers (teachers, professionals,educational institutes) also offer tuition for RAP. Moreover, you can select well qualified mentor through approaching various professionals that provide mentoring services remotely (through online mediums e.g. skype) and you can select registered mentors of OBU as well from following link. http://www.oxfordbrookesmentoring.co.uk/.

How can I initially interact with Registered mentors of OBU?

In order to access the list of qualified mentors for your OBU RAP, you need to register as a mentee first. You can access the OBU Online Mentoring website here.  Once you register, you will be taken to your dashboard. From there,  you have the option to “Find Mentors in your area”.

Once you select this, you have a choice of searching for a mentor via the map or viewing all the mentors as a list. Select the list option so you can see them all on one page. (There are other filters to choose from as well, but since there aren’t that many registered mentors so leave the filters off for now).

For each mentor, you’ll see 1 – 3 locations next to their name. This is not applicable for an online mentoring service as you won’t be seeing each other in person.  When you click the mentor’s name, you will have access to more information; for example the list of topics they have chosen to mentor. When selecting a mentor, make sure the topic you want to work on is listed in their profile. Contact those mentors who fit your requirements the most. The selected mentors will get an email with your contact details and should hopefully get back to you.  This initial contact with a mentor is key, as it gives you an insight into the mentor’s writing style and response time.

Why do I need a mentor and how do I find one?

Students need a mentor to verify that the work they have done is their own. Students also need to give a presentation to their mentor which is integral part of RAP.

As per guidelines of OBU student must select a mentor who is registered with OBU and have passed online mentoring course (meaning they have successfully completed the course but does not represent a particular recommendation or endorsement from OBU by the way). See the Information Pack for how to find 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 mentee should consider before commencement of getting mentoring?

This aspect is clearly defined under section 6 of Information Pack. Extract from this section is provided below.

OBU has identified the following characteristics of an effective Project Mentor. You may wish to reflect on this list of attributes when making your own choice of Project Mentor.

– Is approachable and has genuine interest in helping students to succeed;

– Listens and actively questions;

– Respects confidentiality and is trustworthy;

–  Acts as a sounding board to explore ideas and issues arising from research;

–  Provides positive and constructive feedback on research being carried out;

–  Challenges and discusses effective communication;

–  Offers support and encouragement;

–  Helps the student meet their objectives;

–   Helps the student ask the right questions, to think systematically, to learn to apply appropriate evaluation techniques and to analyse and interpret the findings;

–   Remains neutral and not judgmental;

–   Provides subtle guidance but ensures student makes the decisions;

–   Is knowledgeable and competent; and

–   Grasps the essence of the technicalities without becoming a subject matter expert.

Please click here  to get more detail on this aspect.

What is the role of Project Mentoring throughout RAP preparation?

Role of project mentor is clearly defined under section 6 of Information Pack. Project mentor is only allowed to provide mentoring services under guidelines prescribe in the said section and appendix 2 of Information Pack. It is generally noted that students expectations are very high from mentor as they think that well qualified mentor for their RAP is the only aspect for passing their RAP but the role of mentor is only to guide students in proper way and the major key success factor for passing RAP is student’s own hard work towards preparation of RAP.

Please click here  to get more detail on this aspect.

How many times should I interact with mentor during working on my RAP?

Students need to arrange at least three mandatory meetings (physical or through online mediums) with mentor during preparation of their RAP. First meeting should be at inception stage, 2nd meeting in middle  while 3rd meeting will be at the end of RAP that also includes presentation to mentor. Moreover, mentee and mentor can interact through emails as well so that mentor guide mentee in effective manners and resolve their questions/issues/confusion.

Please click here  to get more detail on this aspect.

Does physical presence of both mentee and mentor in three mandatory meeting is compulsory?

Physical presence of both mentee and mentors is not compulsory under mentoring arrangement as both parties can work together remotely through correspondence over email and conduct three mandatory meetings through online conference facilities (e.g. skype). This aspect is clearly defined in “Resubmission guide_2014-15” under page 6. Exact extract is as follows:

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

Can my mentor can edit or make correction in my project?

Not at all. Role of mentor is to guide student where they lacks rather than work on behalf of student. It is a serious ethical issues and both mentee and mentor avoid this.

Can I take minor help (e.g. formatting, development of tables and graphs etc.) from mentor/others?

Not at all. It is not allowed as mentee should do these aspects themselves but they can get guidance from others or mentor. Infact , mentor is available for proper guidance of students in each stage of RAP so it is better to consult all issues with mentor to get efficient feedback.

What should I do if someone offered me to prepare my RAP?

Don’t accept any such offer as it is a serious ethical issue for which student can face very  severe implication.

How can I assess credibility of proposed mentor or registered mentor?

It is totally judgmental so it is better for student to assess track record of Project Mentor (if possible). Moreover,  now and onward, student must approach registered mentors of OBU from following link. http://www.oxfordbrookesmentoring.co.uk/. These registered mentors got registration from OBU after successful completion of three compulsory modules. These modules are actually teach mentor about effective mentoring techniques so registered mentors are only suitable for students to get mentoring. 

Does OBU registered mentor is necessary for carrying out mentoring arrangement? 

Yes it is compulsory now. Student must engage registered mentors for their OBU RAP and if your mentor is not on the Approved Mentor list you will not be able to submit. Your on-line RAP submission will require you to enter contact details for your Project Mentor from the approved list (this is a drop-down list) and your Project Mentor will be required to confirm that they undertook your mentoring.

What does mean by registered mentor of OBU? Do they have some  experience or knowledge of mentoring to students?

Registered mentors of OBU means that he/she basically have better knowledge of various aspects of mentoring that he got through passing three modules of “Online Mentoring Course”. At the same time, student should understand that getting mentoring from registered mentors of OBU is compulsory now. 

Consultation of Old passed Projects

Can I consult some old passed project during preparation of my project?

Students can consult old passed projects to get various improvement ideas for their own RAP but student are not allowed to follow complete structure of old pass projects rather they use their own skills to prepare good RAP by following all guidelines provided in information Pack or overall guidance from mentor. Copying from old passed projects will easy identify by OBU when they run “Turnitin” on the project of students.  In short, students must be very careful during consultation of old passed projects.  

Topic Related

If I want to do a different topic what do I do?

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 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?

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

Company Related

Why do I need a comparative company 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 that why comparison between two companies is necessary to make your evaluation valid.

If you select such topic for which comparison is necessary (e.g. 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 then conclusion). You’ll also fail to apply the accountancy/business models. Comparator analysis may often enhance evaluation for Topic 15, 17 and 20. In my opinion Comparator analysis strengthens the evaluation.

What is the most appropriate company for RAP? 

Most appropriate company for RAP is student’s own judgement but student should consider his/her own interest, knowledge of business of the company, availability of vast information relevant to company.  Student should not choose that company for which he requires information from primary sources and he/she is not sure to get relevant information from management of the company. Student should properly plan selection of most appropriate company as passing RAP with good grades very much dependent upon appropriate company for RAP as well.

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 now it includes everything from title page to the conclusion. Student must maintain Reference list as a separate file that is required for submission. This whole process makes it easy for students to check the word count at the end.

Total word count for SLS is 2,000 words and question no 1 requires more words than other questions. Students must take care that there shouldn’t be complete imbalance between all the answers, otherwise it may depict insufficient self reflection.  

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

What is included in the Word Count?

Appendices and the List of References do not form part of the word count, all other words do form part of the word count.

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

Research Report (RR) should contain words between 7,000-7500 while Skills and Learning Statement (SLS) must ranges between 1,800-2,000 words.

Word count of sub section of RR is as follows:

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 Research Report and Skills and Learning Statement?

This aspect of RAP is clearly define under section “7.d.x Structure, word count and presentation” of Information Pack. Consult below link to download latest information pack.

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 presentation as these graphical depictions are great tools to communicate information effectively. A picture is worthier than thousand words. These tools also helpful 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 graphics 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 analyse some published financial statements, do I have to include them with my project?

No at all, student only need to provide extract of financial statement as part of appendix of their RAP. Remember that appendices do not form part of the word count.

I intend to analyse 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 as an Appendix. 

REFERENCING

How important is it to reference properly?

Along with IT, failure to reference properly is the most common reason for failing the 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 annexure 3 of Information Pack for detail guidance on referencing.  Consult below link to download latest information pack.

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 has my SLS failed?

Before starting SLS you must read Information Pack clearly which tells that SLS is 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 draft by narrating what happened during RAP preparation, rather to 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?

Quantity of presentation slides totally depends on the way the presentation is delivered. The important aspect that student must take into consideration that presentation must be completed within 15 minutes so student assess themselves.

What are the important aspect that student need to consider during presentation session?

Key aspect of presentation are as follows

– The presentation should be no more than 15 minutes.

– It should be about your topic 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 data, what is this?

If you need to conduct research to obtain primary data then you are recommended to consult section 7 of the Information Pack which discusses Information gathering and in particular, 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?

Topics that only need secondary data (in numerical order) are:

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

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

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

18. A review of the marketing strategy of an organisation and its effectiveness

20. An assessment of an organisation’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 short term and long term Islamic financial instruments and their impact on the financial statements of an organisation’ may also be suitable if you already have some understanding of the principles underlying Islamic banking.

What is the importance of usage of 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 state clearly limitations that they actually faced and as part of ethical issues, relate actual practical examples that encountered in obtaining Primary data. Kindly note that if some requirements of topic is entirely based on primary sources of information then student must use primary sources otherwise change the topic for RAP.

SUBMISSION OF RAP

When do I submit the Project?

There are two session each year to submit the project, one is in May and 2nd is November. Final submission date varies between 20-25 calendar date in each session so student should get exact date of respective session in specific year from 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 you can as the submissions website gets very busy leading up to the deadline.

What happens if I have passed?

You will receive a certificate, normally 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 centre near you – currently offered at Hong Kong, Malaysia or Singapore, Dubai and Kenya.

Fee of OBU and Mentoring  

What is OBU fee for RAP?

Project submission fee varies in each session like in period 28 (i.e. May 2014), fee is £185.00.  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 should be fee of Project Metnor?

There is no suggested fee for Project mentor as it totally depends mutual consent between mentee and project mentor. OBU do not have any role in such arrangement.

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

RAP submissions and re-submissions 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 fee to Project Mentor?

This depends upon mutual consent of mentee and project mentor. OBU do not have any role in such arrangement.

Assessment Criteria of OBU

What are key elements that consider by OBU during assessment of student RAP?

Below mentioned 9 element are critically assess by markers during assessment of RAP. To get overall pass status in Research Report, student must pass first 7 elements while SLS will only pass if student passes element 8 and 9. To pass complete RAP, student must pass all 9 elements. Detail of each element provided below.

Research Report

1. Understanding of accountancy/business models

2. Application of accountancy/business models

3. Evaluation of information, analysis and conclusions

4. Presentation of project findings

5. Communication

6. Information gathering and Referencing

7. Information Technology

Skills & Learning Statement

8. Self-Reflection

9. Communication Skills (inc Presentation)

For further detail of on each above mentioned elements, please refer appendix 1 of Information Pack.

Consult below link to download latest information pack.

http://www.virtualmentoring.net/downloads/

Plagiarism

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

To avoid plagiarism you must complete your RAP by yourself. You don’t need to “copy and paste” too much material and everything you write reference it well. Paraphrase and summarise things and if you do make citations, keep them short and use quotation marks as well as a reference.

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 my result hold by OBU that communicated by OBU on result day?

Holding of some projects of student from overall submitted projects is a routine process of OBU. Whenever, a result of any student hold by OBU it is notified to student through email on result date that Your Research and Analysis Project has been sent to the Academic Conduct Officer 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 work properly for RAP as per all described guidelines of OBU that actually provided in information Pack along with refer all work properly then you don’t need to worry about it all as holding of result does not mean that you fail in your project. We have deal such matters in last 2-3 sessions and students come out this awkward situation easily if they properly coordinate with ACO for provision of his/her required information.

 By the time when OBU contact again from student within 1-3 months, student should arrange all drafts of his/her RAP, research materials, extracts of books etc. so that he/she can easily provide all these stuff to ACO to facilitate in overall investigation process.

Failure of RAP

If I fail do I get told why?

Whenever student get fail status in his/her RAP then he/she will be provided result grades that states which areas among all nine elements (9 in total) got “F” states. Moreover, markers also provide his/her comment against 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 of students’ failure in RAP. “Evaluation and Analysis” (part 3) is important part of RAP as it analyze your capability of using collected data and information sources. You must read below mentioned extract from Information Pack in this regard:

“In order to produce a successful RAP you have to evaluate and / or analyse information from a range of sources. This means creating some meaning of what you have found, or making a judgement 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 analyse 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 failure of RAP (in general)?

To pass complete RAP, student must pass all above mentioned 9 elements. Student will get “F” grade only in the section that don’t meet requirements as explained in Information Pack.  Most common reasons for failure of students in RAP are as follows:

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

–   Student unable to use proper referencing as per suggested guidelines provide in annexure 3 of Information Pack.

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

What happens if I fail?

You have 3 attempts to be successful. 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 to meet the assessment criteria and 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 RAP under topic number 8?

Topic number 8 is the most demanding topic among all students as under this topic students don’t need to use primary sources of information (as access to primary sources of information is very difficult for major chunk of students) and entire project can easily complete through usage of secondary sources of information. Some key points that student must consider during preparation of RAP are as follows;

Choose company for which you have sufficient information and you should well aware off different parameters of associated sector of your selected company. Without , fair knowledge at inception of project, your analyses will not be more focused and it is high probability that you may discuss various aspect in your project that are not important. In short, basic understating of overall operations of selected company and associated sector is essential to get good grades under topic number 8.

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

Whenever, discuss trend of any ratio then student must consider and discussed various internal and external factors along with micro and macro level factors that actually impact on movement of specific ratios under specific span of time. Internal reasons for movement in different ratios of your selected company mainly gets 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 websites and newspapers pertaining to your selected company. On the other hand, External  reasons for movement in different ratios of your selected that mainly you get 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 organisation in parallel rather than at the end of each ratio as in-line discussion of both primary (i.e. selected) company and opponent company  will help 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  marker can understand that you used vast mediums of information as vast research is essential to pass good grades and proper presentation of usage of vast information is an important key to pass RAP under topic number 8.

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

Provide enough graphs to reader of your RAP so they can easily get an idea of which company is performing well without even reading 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 success factors of passing RAP under topic number 8 that cannot explain here in detail so student should engage well qualified mentor for their RAP so that they can get regular advise from him/her on various technical aspects of this topic that ultimately  help him/her to get good grades.

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

Extract from 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 often have to hold three mentor meetings 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 Topic 8 RAP then you need to make sure that your RAP is using the most up to date financial statements.

If you are re-submitting then you will be sent a link to the re-submission guide for 2013-14.

How many times can I submit the project?

Student are allowed to submit project only 3 times. After 3rd attempt student will no more able to submit project to get 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 student to use very limited direct quotes as huge number of direct quotes put bad image on RAP as it is conceived by marker’s of OBU that student did not do vast research and mainly rely on already provided information from various sources. The simple solution to avoid this aspect in your RAP is to reword all such information in your own words by keeping same original theme and then also provide reference as well with this information to acknowledge that you conceived ideas from someone else thoughts and at the same time plagiarism detection software will not highlight such own reworded stuff.

Important links

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

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

Others

What is plagiarism?

Extract from Information Pack

Plagiarism occurs when you produce someone else’s work within your report without acknowledging the fact. Clearly if you fail to provide a reference for a sentence or paragraph that you took from another text then that is Plagiarism. This is a serious disciplinary issue and may result in being permanently excluded from Oxford Brookes University and action from the ACCA.  For detail on this aspect please refer below link.

http://www.brookes.ac.uk/library/skill/plagiarism.html


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