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What does the research project entail?

Final year Business students on the module Developing Professional Practice in Business provides the opportunity to develop practical experience through conducting a small-scale business/consultancy project. It gives students with confidence to make professional decisions based on evidence and to apply theory. 

The final research project chosen from one of the four options will be negotiated by the client (you) in consultation with the module team and a group of students.We envisage a small group of students, about 4-5 per group, will undertake up to 150 hour of free research for you in relation to the topic you have provided.

The students will work as a team to collect the primary and/or secondary data and will present the data back to you, likely in a face-to-face presentation. The students will also offer possible recommendations for you and/or strategies. There will be the opportunity for you to ask questions at this time. Any presentation will be done in the presence of a designated academic as part of the assessment process. 

Any data collected and presentation materials will be handed over to you at the end

Which type of research projects are available?

The University of Brighton is looking to work in partnership with local businesses, organisations or entrepreneurs in Brighton and Hove or the immediate region in East or West Sussex who may be needing free market research or consultancy completed on one of these four projects areas:

  1. A market analysis plan: the aim is to examine the position of the organisation in the sector in terms of the strength of competitors, availability and reliability of suppliers, threats of new products/services undermining the organisations income/client base as well as identification of opportunities for increasing revenue and clients.
  2. A promotion plan: the aim is to review current and competitor promotion activity to develop a supported and feasible promotional plan. This will involve completing a ‘strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats’ and 7Ps (price, promotion, place, product, people, process, physical evidence) analyses of current activity to examine past promotions, define key performance indicators. This will be done with the aim to help clients identify their current promotion status and how they can measure more effectively their inputs and use their resources more effectively.
  3. Product/service development: the object being to identify possible new products/services or markets suitable for your organisation. This will involve undertaking a ‘strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats’, also a political, economic, social, technological, environmental, legal, and Ansoff Matrix analyses for the client’s firm to identify potential opportunities for product/service/market development and/or diversification.
  4. A Human resources plan: develop a plan to understand current status of employees and managers in terms of their skills. Propose a plan for skills development part of a continuous professional development within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Also, develop a coherent and comprehensive plan for HRM including aspects of recruitment, retention, training and period evaluation of current and new employees.

What are the timescales?

Please return the application form before the 10th of February 2023

Client briefing is the last week of February 2023

Module starts on the 10th February 2023

Project completion in May 2023 (exact dates to be confirmed). 

Do you have an example of past research?

A medium-sized attraction in Sussex has worked with us in the past. They wanted to know what proportion of residents in Sussex were aware of what the attraction had to offer, how they went about researching attractions locally and nationally, the importance of sponsored google searches versus organic results, and what marketing campaigns they remember seeing etc. The client has told us they use the marketing research to help underpin their marketing strategies. 

What do I need to know?

  • Students are in the final year of their undergraduate business degree.
  • This module helps you have fresh eyes and research outlook of a group of students to help you with a problem or opportunity. It helps the students understand better real-life organisational and business issues and how to try and solve them. It gives them a taster of working life too.
  • Please make your description of the student support you want from us (on the Project Brief form) as specific, clear and measurable as you possible can.  In their first meeting with you, and subsequent project plan, students will clarify with you plans and expectations and agree with you what they will deliver and when.
  • They have worked on group-based projects before but not ‘live’ projects for outside clients.
  •  Their studies have included modules in general business, research methods, marketing, finance, human resources/ organisational behaviour and economics plus more specialised and optional topics broadly in the business and management field.
  • They may not know the details of your working world so please take this into account. They will be assisted by us to read around and research the context of your project. Please encourage them to do this also.
  • The resources available to you is approximately 120 to 150 hours in total (with 4 to 5 students) of research/development time from students as each student devotes around 30 hours each excluding writing up time over the February to March period.
  • Communications and time management are key elements for success, so please establish your availability and lines of communication with your team. There may not be a lot of your time required, but it will require some regular contact by email or in person.
  • It’s important if your organisation does not have an office/organisation address, that any meetings with the students take place in public places, such as cafes, libraries or university cafes/libraries. Please do not meet with students in your personal/private address.

How do I find out more and apply?

If you have any questions contact Dr Julian Riano (

To apply please download the briefing form and email to Julian Riano