Recent Question/Assignment

Assignment Question One is worth 50% (word limit o 3000 words):
You have been asked to advise an International listed company within the textbook publishing industry on how to improve shareholders’ wealth by considering the relevant concepts of financial management related to a new product investment proposal. You will prepare an investment proposal for 6 years for the new product line using one of the discounted cash flow techniques as well as one traditional technique. Marks will be awarded for originality of approach, relevant quotations and references from financial management theorists and all relevant supporting business research documentation.
Within your report include a critical response to the following:
• Why is the investment appraisal process so important?
• The concept of relevance applicable to the determination of the project’s cash flows stating all assumptions made.
• What are the criticisms of the methods used in the investment appraisal process?
• A critical review of the logic behind the decision making process.
Assessment Presentation Requirements:
• Each student is required to provide documentation within a stipulated word limit of 3000 words for each assignment.
• The content of the documentation produced by each student is required to be within the maximum word lengths (in brackets) and to cover the specific categories listed.
1. Provide an executive summary of their personal and individual research and work undertaken for the topic set. It is required in the form of an Executive Report standard format. (15 marks )
2. Indicate and identify the key areas of research and sources which the student has had to identify and undertake and their key sources of research/references/literature search sources related to the topic set (correctly referenced as an appendix). (20 marks)
3. A summary of key theoretical positions from the evidence identified by the individual student related to the topic set. (20 marks)
4. An indication of the individual key conclusions and findings related to the theoretical positions and the practical issues related to the topic set. (400 words;15 marks)
5. The key critical observations and commentary identified by the individual student within the module topic-subject set. (15 marks)
6. Identification of the key topic/subject issues/conclusions which the student has learned as a result of undertaking the assignment on the topic set. (15 marks)

Report Format Requirement:
• The submission of your work assessment should be organized and clearly structured in a report format.

• Maximum word length allowed is 3000 words, excluding words in charts & tables and in the appendix section of your assignment.

• Assignment One is worth 50% of the final assessment of the module.

• Student is required to submit a type-written document in Microsoft Word format with Times New Roman font type, size 12 and line spacing 1.5.

• Indicate the sources of information and literature review by including all the necessary citations and references adopting the Harvard Referencing System.

• Plagiarism involves taking someone else’s words, thoughts, ideas or essays from online essay banks and trying to pass them off as your own. It is a form of cheating which is taken very seriously.
Assignment Question Two is worth 50%:
• 1. : Selection of Companies
As a consultant, you have been asked to report upon the financial performance of any two (2) companies from the UK FMCG FIRMS. From their respective annual reports or other suitable financial databases (such as Financial Analysis Made Easy-FAME; Morning Star; Osiris; etc.). Obtain relevant financial information for your chosen companies for the last 5 years.
2. Task 2 : Extraction of ratios
From above financial platforms, extract the following financial ratios (or the necessary information or variables to calculate the ratios) for these companies over a period of 5 years as follows:
• Profitability Ratios [Any 3 ratios]
• Liquidity Ratios [Any 2 ratios]
• Gearing Ratios and capital structure ratios, and growth ratios. [Any number]
• Investment Ratios [Any 2 ratios]
Task 3: Discussion of ratios
Critically examine the performance of these two companies using the ratios extracted over the period under consideration (use graphs of the ratios extracted to support your analysis). Recommend which of these companies would be a good investment (with the necessary justifications)
Task 4: Weaknesses of Ratios
What are the main weaknesses associated with such analysis?
Assessment Presentation Requirements:
The submission of your work assessment should be organised and clearly structured in a report format. Maximum word length allowed is 3000 words, excluding words in Charts & Tables and in the Appendices section of your assignment. Student is required to submit a typed-written document in Microsoft Word format with Times New Roman; Arial; Calibri of size 12’ for the body text and automatic table of contents for using the relevant headers. The line spacing 1.5. This assignment is worth 50% of the final assessment of the module.

Indicate the sources of information and literature review by including all the necessary citations and references adopting the Harvard Referencing System. Students who have been found to commit acts of Plagiarism are automatically considered to have failed the entire module. If found to have breached the regulation for the second time, you will be asked to leave the course.
Plagiarism involves taking someone else’s words, thoughts, ideas or essays from online essay banks and trying to pass them off as your own. It is a form of cheating which is taken very seriously.
Task 3: Recommended Report Writing (3000 words)
The contents may be as follows:
1. Introduction:
This should clearly set the purpose of the assignment; address the
methodology and source of information; the companies chosen
2. Rationale for the choice of the Companies
Provide the necessary justification for choosing these companies. Your
discussion should meet Level 7 requirements (should be critical in nature).
3. Performance Analysis
This should be carried out using the ratios extracted
Profitability Ratios
Liquidity Ratios
Gearing & Capital Structure and growth Ratios
Investment ratios
Comparative Management commentaries; overall assessment and
viewpoint based on your own analysis; graphical analysis etc. Note that
the discussion should be supported with the relevant literature. It should
be critical in nature.
4. Summary of analysis: [to help provide relevant recommendations]
Provide a summary for the analysis carried out in the form of table with
comments within the table.
6. Limitations of the method used to perform the analysis:
This should be cantered in the weaknesses associated with the use of
ratios
7. Conclusions & Recommendation:
Ensure your conclusions and recommendations are justified and supported
by facts. There should be a logical based on the evidence contained in the
main body of the report.
8. Reference List
9. Appendices


• Assignment Two is worth 50% of the final assessment of the module.
MARKING CRITERIA AND STUDENT FEEDBACK FOR ASSIGNMENT TWO
This section details the assessment criteria. The extent to which these are demonstrated by you determines your mark. The marks available for each criterion are shown. Lecturers will use the space provided to comment on the achievement of the task(s), including those areas in which you have performed well and areas that would benefit from development/improvement.
Common Assessment Criteria (applied to all parts of the project) Marks available Marks
awarded
1. Research-informed Literature
Extent of research and/or own reading, selection of credible sources, application of appropriate referencing conventions. 20
2. Knowledge and Understanding of Subject
Extent of knowledge and understanding of concepts and underlying principles associated with the discipline. 25
3. Analysis
Analysis, evaluation and synthesis; logic, argument and judgement; analytical reflection; organisation of ideas and evidence 25
4. Practical Application and Deployment
Deployment of methods, materials, tools and techniques; application of concepts; formulation of innovative and creative solutions to solve problems. 15
5. Skills for Professional Practice
Attributes in professional practice: individual and collaborative working; deployment of appropriate media; presentation and organisation. 15
TOTAL 100
Notes on Plagiarism & Harvard Referencing
Plagiarism
Plagiarism is passing off the work of others as your own. This constitutes academic theft and is a serious matter, which is penalized in assignment marking.
Plagiarism is the submission of an item of assessment containing elements of work produced by another person(s) in such a way that it could be assumed to be the student’s own work. Examples of plagiarism are:
• The verbatim copying of another person’s work without acknowledgement
• The close paraphrasing of another person’s work by simply changing a few words or altering the order of presentation without acknowledgement
• The unacknowledged quotation of phrases from another person’s work and/or the presentation of another person’s idea(s) as one’s own.
Copying or close paraphrasing with occasional acknowledgement of the source may also be deemed to be plagiarism is the absence of quotation marks implies that the phraseology is the student’s own.
Plagiarised work may belong to another student or be from a published source such as a book, report, journal or material available on the internet.
Harvard Referencing
The structure of a citation under the Harvard referencing system is the author’s surname, year of publication, and page number or range, in parentheses, as illustrated in the Smith example near the top of this article.
• The page number or page range is omitted if the entire work is cited. The author’s surname is omitted if it appears in the text. Thus we may say: “Jones (2001) revolutionized the field of trauma surgery.”

• Two or three authors are cited using “and” or “&”: (Deane, Smith, and Jones, 1991) or (Deane, Smith & Jones, 1991). More than three authors are cited using et al. (Deane et al. 1992).
• An unknown date is cited as no date (Deane n.d.). A reference to a reprint is cited with the original publication date in square brackets (Marx [1867] 1967, p. 90).

• If an author published two books in 2005, the year of the first (in the alphabetic order of the references) is cited and referenced as 2005a, the second as 2005b.
• A citation is placed wherever appropriate in or after the sentence. If it is at the end of a sentence, it is placed before the period, but a citation for an entire block quote immediately follows the period at the end of the block since the citation is not an actual part of the quotation itself.
• Complete citations are provided in alphabetical order in a section following the text, usually designated as “Works cited” or “References”. The difference between a “works cited” or “references” list and a bibliography is that a bibliography may include works not directly cited in the text.

• All citations are in the same font as the main text.
Examples
Examples of book references are:
• Smith, J. (2005a). Dutch Citing Practices. The Hague: Holland Research Foundation.

• Smith, J. (2005b). Harvard Referencing. London: Jolly Good Publishing.
In giving the city of publication, an internationally well-known city (such as London, The Hague, or New York) is referenced as the city alone. If the city is not internationally well known, the country (or state and country if in the U.S.) are given.
Examples of journal references are:
• Smith, John Maynard. “The origin of altruism,” Nature 393, 1998, pp. 639-40.
• Bowcott, Owen. “Street Protest”, The Guardian, October 18, 2005, accessed February 7, 2006.

GUIDANCE FOR STUDENTS IN THE COMPLETION OF TASKS
NOTE: The guidance offered below is linked to the five common assessment criteria overleaf and specifically aligned to the “exceptional” outcome category to which we anticipate students aspire.
1. Research-informed Literature
Your work must embed and be informed and supported by relevant and credible scholarly material that is accessible in the learned journals listed on the module schedule. You should refer to at least 10 such sources. Additionally, you should refer to text books, current news items and benchmark your organisation against other organisations to ensure your assignment is current and up-to-date. High-level referencing skills using the Harvard Method must be demonstrated throughout your work and all sources listed alphabetically within your bibliography.
2. Knowledge and Understanding of Subject
Your work must demonstrate the growing extent of your knowledge and understanding of concepts and underlying principles associated with the subject area. This means that within your work, you should provide evidence of your growing mastery in critical awareness of current challenges, new insights and the constant need for innovation within the field. Furthermore, a critical awareness of the ambiguities and limitations of knowledge and even understanding, should be considered and examples of such, illustrated within your work.
3. Analysis
To be considered masters worthy, your work must contain evidence of analysis, evaluation and synthesis. This means not just describing “What!” but also justifying: Why? How? When? Who? Where? And at what cost! At all times, you must provide justification of your arguments and judgements. Evidence that you have reflected upon the ideas of others on matters occurring in the real world of business is crucial to you providing a reasoned and informed debate within your work. Your choice of methodologies to gather data and information must be rigorously defended. Furthermore, you should provide evidence that you are able to make sound judgements and convincing arguments in the absence of complete data, since within the real world of work, we rarely have access to, or know all the information! Persuasive conclusions are especially necessary and must be derived from the content of your work – there should be no new information presented within your conclusion. Your work should aspire to resemble work which is of journal publishable quality.
4. Practical Application and Deployment
It is essential that you rationalise how you decided upon certain methods, materials, tools and techniques to inform and complete your work. You must demonstrate what informed your decision(s) to apply certain concepts that enabled you to formulate innovative and creative solutions to the challenges presented to you or that you identified for yourself. Plausible, costed and justifiable recommendations are demanded and where these are absent, your work is undermined. Your work should provide evidence that you are growing in mastery in developing cutting edge processes and techniques within the subject area.
Skills for Professional Practice
Your work must provide evidence of your attributes in the application of professional practice. This includes demonstrating that you are highly capable of individual and collaborative working. Regarding the presentation of your work, you must demonstrate your ability to select and deploy the appropriate media that is “fit for purpose. Additionally, you must exhibit your ability to: communicate with an exceptionally high level of professionalism; work professionally, autonomously and within a team; develop leadership skills; and produce/present work that is coherent, cogent and specifically addresses the challenges set for you or you have set yourself. Importantly, your work should be easily understood by specialists and non-specialists in the field.
PG COMMON ASSESSMENT AND MARKING CRITERIA
OUTRIGHT FAIL FAIL UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT EXCEPTIONAL
Assessment Criteria 0-29% 30-39%* 40-49% 50-59% 60-69% 70-79%
80-100%
1. Research-informed Literature
Extent of research and/or own reading, selection of credible sources, application of appropriate referencing conventions
Little or no evidence of reading.
Views and findings unsupported and non-authoritative.
Referencing conventions largely ignored. Poor evidence of reading and/or of reliance on inappropriate sources, and/or indiscriminate use of sources.
Referencing conventions used inconsistently. References to a limited range of mostly relevant sources. Referencing conventions not always applied consistently.
Inclusion of research-informed literature, including sources retrieved independently. Some omissions and minor errors.
Referencing conventions mostly consistently applied.
Inclusion of a wide range of research-informed literature, including sources retrieved independently.
Selection of relevant and credible sources. Very good use of referencing conventions, consistently applied. A comprehensive range of research informed literature embedded in the work. Excellent selection of relevant and credible sources. High-level referencing skills, consistently applied.
Outstanding knowledge of research-informed literature embedded in the work. Outstanding selection of relevant and credible sources. High-level referencing skills consistently and professionally applied
2. Knowledge and Understanding of Subject
Extent of systematic knowledge, understanding and critical awareness of concepts and underlying principles associated with the discipline. Major gaps in knowledge and understanding of material at this level. Substantial inaccuracies. Gaps in knowledge, with only superficial understanding. Some significant inaccuracies. Some evidence of knowledge and understanding of current and relevant concepts and underlying principles but with gaps or errors. Knowledge is generally accurate with a satisfactory understanding of the field of study. Knowledge is extensive. Exhibits understanding of the breadth and depth of established and contemporary views. Excellent mastery of a complex and specialised area of knowledge and skills, with an excellent critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights at the forefront of the field. Clear awareness of challenges to established views and the limitations of the knowledge base. Exceptional mastery of a complex and specialised area of knowledge and skills, with an exceptional critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights at the forefront of the field. A critical awareness of the ambiguities and limitations of knowledge.
3. Analysis
Analysis, evaluation and synthesis; logic, argument and judgement; analytical reflection; organisation of ideas and evidence Unsubstantiated generalisations, made without use of any credible evidence. Lack of logic, leading to unsupportable/ missing conclusions. Lack of any attempt to analyse, synthesise or evaluate. Some evidence of analytical intellectual skills, but for the most part descriptive. Ideas/findings sometimes illogical and contradictory. Generalised statements made with scant evidence. Conclusions lack relevance. Evidence of some logical, critical thinking and some attempts to synthesise, albeit with weaknesses.
Some evidence to support findings/ views, but evidence not consistently interpreted.
Some relevant conclusions and recommendations, But not always well linked to other material. Evidence of some logical, analytical, critical thinking and synthesis. Can analyse new and/or complex data and situations without guidance.
An emerging awareness of different stances and ability to use evidence to support the argument.
Some conclusions and recommendations, where relevant Evaluates methodologies, current research and ideas critically and, where appropriate, proposes new hypotheses/ideas. Evaluates and synthesises complex issues both systematically and creatively. Makes sound judgements and proposes convincing arguments in the absence of complete data. Sound, convincing conclusions / recommendations. Excellent critical evaluation of methodologies, current research and ideas and, where appropriate, proposes new hypotheses/ ideas. Evaluates and synthesises complex issues systematically and creatively. Makes excellent judgements and proposes convincing arguments in the absence of complete data. Strong, persuasive, conclusions, justifiable recommendations. Work is of conference publishable quality.
Exceptional critical evaluation of methodologies, current research and ideas and, where appropriate, proposes new hypotheses/ ideas. Evaluates and synthesises complex issues at a high level of mastery. Makes outstanding judgements and proposes highly convincing arguments in the absence of complete data. Highly persuasive conclusions. Work is of journal publishable quality.
4. Practical Application and Deployment
Effective deployment of appropriate methods, materials, tools and techniques; extent of skill demonstrated in the application of concepts to a variety of processes and/or contexts; formulation of innovative, original and creative solutions to solve problems. Limited or no use of methods, materials, tools and/or techniques.
Little or no appreciation of the context of the application.
Rudimentary application of methods, materials, tools and/or techniques but without consideration and competence. Flawed appreciation of the context of the application.
Some awareness and mostly appropriate application of well-established methods, materials, tools and/or techniques.
Some appreciation of the context of the application.
A satisfactory and appropriate application of standard methods, materials, tools and/or techniques.
Satisfactory appreciation of the context of the application, with some use of examples, where relevant.
A very good application of a range of methods, materials, tools and/or techniques.
Very good consideration of the context of the application, with perceptive use of examples, where relevant.
Evidence of some originality, innovation and creativity. An advanced application of a range of methods, materials, tools and/or techniques.
The context of the application is well considered, with extensive use of relevant examples.
Application and deployment extend beyond established conventions. Originality, innovation and/or creativity evident throughout. Outstanding levels of application and deployment skills. Assimilation and development of cutting edge processes and techniques.
5. Skills for Professional Practice
Demonstrates attributes expected in professional practice including: individual initiative and collaborative working; deployment of appropriate media to communicate (including written and oral); clarity and effectiveness in presentation and organisation. Communication media is inappropriate or misapplied.
Little or no evidence of autonomy in the completion of tasks.
Work is poorly structured and/or largely incoherent. Media is poorly designed and/or not suitable for the audience.
Poor independent or collaborative initiative.
Work lacks structure, organisation, and/or coherence Communication is not clear.
Limited independent work and limited involvement in group activities.
Work lacks coherence in places and is in need of amendments to the structure. Can communicate effectively in a suitable format, but may have minor errors.
Can work effectively autonomously and as part of a team, with some involvement in group activities.
Mostly coherent work and is in a suitable structure. Can communicate well, confidently and consistently in a suitable format.
Can work very well autonomously and as part of a team, with very good contribution to group activities.
Work is coherent and fluent and is well structured and organised. Can communicate professionally and, confidently in a suitable format.
Can work professionally autonomously and within a team, showing leadership skills as appropriate, managing conflict and meeting obligations.
Work is coherent, very fluent and is presented professionally. Can communicate with an exceptionally high level of professionalism.
Can work exceptionally well and professionally autonomously and within a team, showing advanced leadership skills.
Work is exceptionally coherent, very fluent and is presented professionally.

Student Self Evaluation Form
Student name: Student number:
Programme: Year of programme
Assignment Title:
This section repeats in brief the common assessment criteria detailed on previous pages. The extent to which these are demonstrated by you determines your mark. Using these criteria, tick the box that best indicates the level of achievement you feel you have achieved with regard to each of them. Please note that this self-assessment is used as a developmental tool only and has no impact on the way in which your work will be marked.
Common Assessment Criteria Applied Level of Achievement

REFER
PASS
DISTINCTION
OUTRIGHT FAIL FAIL UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT EXCEPTIONAL
1. Research-informed Literature
0-29% 30-39% 40-49% 50-59% 60-69% 70-79% 80-100%
? ? ? ? ? ? ?
2. Knowledge and Understanding of Subject 0-29% 30-39% 40-49% 50-59% 60-69% 70-79% 80-100%
? ? ? ? ? ? ?
3. Analysis
0-29% 30-39% 40-49% 50-59% 60-69% 70-79% 80-100%
? ? ? ? ? ? ?
4. Practical Application and Deployment
0-29% 30-39% 40-49% 50-59% 60-69% 70-79% 80-100%
? ? ? ? ? ? ?
5. Skills for Professional Practice
0-29% 30-39% 40-49% 50-59% 60-69% 70-79% 80-100%
? ? ? ? ? ? ?

PLEASE COMMENT ON AREAS IN WHICH YOU FEEL THAT YOU HAVE PERFORMED WELL PLEASE COMMENT ON AREAS YOU FEEL THAT YOU NEED TO DEVELOP

Student’s Name Date
Student’s Signature