IPA002 Professional Research and Analysis

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This core unit introduces you to various professional research and analysis principles as they apply to the accounting profession. This unit will provide you with the skillset which will enable you to critically analyse various relevant and contemporary research reports.

Unit Learning Outcomes

  • Understand principles of research methods.
  • Determine method solutions for a given problem.
  • Understand sample selection methods.
  • Evaluate the extant literature and suggest gaps.
  • Explain qualitative research methods.
  • Interpret quantitative models.

Topic Outlines

1. Introduction to research methods and understanding the value of research
2. The structure and framing of research and motivating research
3. Validation, reliability and sampling - data and its measurement
4. Quantitative research (including single and multi-variate research analysis)
5. Qualitative research
6. Potential dilemmas in research and the contribution of research
7. Financial statement analysis
8. Business valuation

Unit Mode
Cloud (Study anwhere)

Study Commitment
150 hours over the trimester


One exam worth 100% of the final score.

The examination will be a two hour closed book examination with additional reading time. The exam will consist of a number of short answer, or problem based questions. You can typically expect four to seven questions in the exam.

A non-programmable calculator will be required for the exam.

All examinations will be held in venues notified by Deakin University. All exams will be held during the exam periods set by the University. Students will be notified of the exact date, time and location of the exam, approximately four weeks before the exam.


Detailed Topics

Topic 1: Introduction to Research Methods and Understanding the Value of Research

a. The role and value of research and its influence on practice
b. Learning to understand and evaluate research as a user of research
c. The value and contribution of research in understanding both business and policy issues
d. Establishing the criteria to evaluate the contribution of research including applied research
e. The role of the existing literature and theory building

Topic 2: The Structure and Framing of Research and Motivating Research
a. Understanding and interpreting research issues
b. The structure of research questions – both conceptual and operational
c. Hypotheses
d. Research models including multi-variate research
e. Motivating Research

Topic 3: Validation, Reliability and Sampling - Data and its Measurement
a. Validity – both external and internal
b. Reliability in research: how to evaluate and assess
c. Understanding populations and sampling
d. Data – sourcing data and the characteristic data can possess
e. Measurement of research data – what effects this has

Topic 4: Quantitative Research (including Single and Multi Variate Research Analysis)
a. Experimental and quasi-experimental
b. Archival
c. Surveys and questionnaires

Topic 5: Qualitative Research
a. Interviews and focus groups
b. Observational research
c. Other qualitative research techniques

Topic 6: Potential Dilemmas in Research and the Contribution of Research
a. Ethics and dilemmas in research
b. Understanding the implications of researchable and unsearchable issues
c. Assessing the contribution by a research project to the stock of knowledge and to policy and practice

Topic 7: Business Performance and Analysis
a. Evaluation of financial performance and stability
b. Data analytics
c. Evaluation of current practices with a research emphasis

Topic 8: Business Valuation
a. Business valuation concepts
b. business valuation models
c. Discussion of IPO issues