Courses Research Skills

23122 Research Skills , 5 sp

Advanced studies
Teaching language
Course description

The principle aim of this course is to develop students' research and analytical skills required for: 1) undertaking the Master thesis, and 2) for their future careers. The course offers guidance and instruction on how to develop a research proposal for your Master thesis and should be taken and completed prior to writing the Master thesis.
The course consists of two parts. Part 1, a literature exam (approx. 2 ECTS), has to be passed before taking Part 2, which consists of lectures and assignments (approx. 3 ECTS).
The literature digital exam can be taken from January 2, and has to be passed at the latest on March 12, 2020 (Period 3). You can sign up for the digital exam after having signed up in Oodi for this course. The second part of the course is given in Period 4.
The course is compulsory for all students in Marketing and International Strategy and Sustainability. This course has to be passed before you can take the Research Seminar course 23170.

Learning Goal

You have the required skills to develop a research proposal, meaning that you are prepared to independently plan, implement, and present a research project, which results in an academic Master’s Thesis.

After completing the course, you will be able to
  • differentiate academic research from practical research
  • critically analyse the quality of academic research performed by others
  • formulate a suitable academic research problem and purpose
  • write a research proposal
Target Group

Only Hanken degree students within the tracks Marketing and International Strategy and Sustainability, within the Specialisation Business and Management.


Completed bachelor's degree.


Self-studies for the literature exam. In-class instruction for the assignments part.
Attendance affects the grade.

Total Student Workload

134 hours divided into 
scheduled (contact) hours: 24 h
non-scheduled work: 110 h (of which the literature exam is approx. 54 h)

Recommended Time of Performance

This course is recommended to be taken during the first year of Master’s studies. The entire Research Skills course has to be passed before taking the Research Seminar course.
The Master’s thesis is typically initiated and finalized during the second year of studies. When writing the actual thesis, you need to separately enrol in the 23170 Research Seminar course. The recommended time to write your thesis is in the autumn of your second year (Mainly period 1-2, and Seminar 2 in early January). If you want to study at a faster pace, you can choose the 23170 Research Seminar summer course (Summer period 2- Summer period 1), which starts immediately when the 23122 Research Skills course ends. If your autumn if still full of courses, your final opportunity to start on course and write your thesis is in spring (Period 3-4).


A written e-exam of the course literature in Period 3 (40%). Students who fail the exam cannot take the assignments part of the course. The whole course has to be passed in order to take the Research Seminar course (23170).
A list of possible exam questions are made available in Moodle. The exam consist of a random sample of these questions. The exams are assessed by the following deadlines (not 2 weeks after each individual exam): 10.1.2020, 14.2.2020 and 13.3.2020. Students who have taken the exam at the latest one day before the deadline will receive the exam result on the above dates.
Evaluation of written assignments and class activity in Period 4, as follow:
Theses analysis assignments (including class attendance) 28%
Formulation of a research plan (including attending corresponding classes) 20%
Learning Diary 12% 
You will get 5 ECTS and the full grade for the course only after having passed all the parts.
Please note that written assignments are checked for plagiarism.

Saunders, M. N. K., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2009). Research Methods for Business Students. 5th edition. Harlow: FT Prentice Hall. (2009 or later).
Other readings include: two master's theses and two journal articles, pertaining to the assignments.

Students who have completed the earlier courses 23077-1 and 23077-2 (previously called Research Seminar in 2017-2018) cannot take this course.
Note that the names of courses have changed.  The new 23170 Research Seminar course (5 ECTS), where you start on your thesis, replaces the 23069 Master Thesis Writing Course (6 ECTS).