Subject to change
OBU's revised degree requirements
14 May 2008
The revised Oxford Brookes University BSc (hons) in applied accounting degree scheme will be fully implemented on 1 August 2008, with the introduction of the revised Research and Analysis Project (RAP) preparation and assessment requirements.
While there are some changes, the rationale for the RAP remains the same: the RAP gives you the opportunity to demonstrate the range of graduate-level skills required for the award of the BSc degree. These include information gathering, evaluation and analysis, and communication skills.
In undertaking the RAP, you will draw on (and may deepen) some of the learning you gained when successfully passing the required nine ACCA exams by applying this learning to evaluate or analyse a particular aspect of an organisation's activities. Oxford Brookes has published a list of 20 approved project topic areas for use by students preparing their RAPs after 1 August 2008.
Learning from experience
John Woodley, the BSc programme director, explains how the revised list came about. 'We had a number of factors to consider in developing the revised project topic area list. Our experience of nearly 9,000 RAPs to date has given us some very strong indicators of what makes a successful RAP. Our starting point was to re-confirm our view that the RAP must be focused on a single organisation. This allows a student to get to grips with the issues faced by one organisation and to be able to undertake research in sufficient depth to pass.
'Next, we looked at the relevance of individual topic areas in the previous list,' he explained. 'We know that many ACCA students who will complete the BSc degree in the future will have passed one or more ACCA Part 2 exams prior to the December 2007 exam session. We needed to ensure that some of that learning would still be valid as the basis for a RAP.'
Topics that have been retained include human resource management and information systems, which have been popular topics in the past, but those that have been withdrawn include those that have not been done well or have become outdated.
Where significant additions to the ACCA syllabus have been made - for example, in performance management and financial management, this is reflected in a change of emphasis in certain topics in the previous list. 'We also know that some ACCA students have prior learning in business studies, or will have passed some Part 3/Professional exams before preparing their RAP. We wanted to continue to provide the opportunity for this learning to be applied, while ensuring that any such project topic area was still relevant to the learning outcomes of the BSc degree.'
Approved topic areas
In the past, students could request to use their own project titles, but Woodley will now only consider such requests in exceptional circumstances. 'I was concerned that some of the "own title" requests were not linked to the ACCA syllabus, and therefore didn't contribute to the BSc degree learning outcomes,' explains Woodley.
Instead, students must now choose one of the 20 approved project topic areas as the basis for their RAP, and should develop a title for their research work based on the organisation they have chosen to study and the subject area they propose to consider in their research.