Assessment Component 2 – INDIVIDUAL REFLECTIVE ESSAY [80%] [Assesses all learning outcomes]

Assessment Component 2 – INDIVIDUAL REFLECTIVE ESSAY [80%] [Assesses all learning outcomes]

This is an individual assessment based on your experiences of planning a new start-up business within the context of this module. You should document and reflect upon these experiences and offer a clear picture of your activities and reflections during the whole duration of the module.

You should consider how your idea emerged and how it has evolved. What you did in researching and planning your idea but also why and how. You should evaluate the value of such activity in developing, testing and validating your idea and the problems or unexpected events you might have encountered but also how you overcame these. You should give consideration to what you will or could do next with your idea and what you might do differently if you were you to repeat the process.

When documenting your experiences you should critically self-analyse and reflect upon your personal development as an entrepreneurial person. You should consider what knowledge and skills you have developed through planning your idea, how your attitude towards entrepreneurial activity has changed but also how you might now apply these skills and attitudes.

It is expected that your work will provide links between theory and your experiences through providing reference to appropriate academic literature and entrepreneurship theory. So as to demonstrate your awareness of the issues and challenges of starting and operating a small business .You should be critical in relation to the material cited within your work, discussing whether it has validity [or not] within the context of your experiences. All references should be presented as per APA style conventions.


Assessment Component 2 – INDIVIDUAL REFLECTIVE ESSAY [80%] [Assesses all learning outcomes]
Assessment Component 2 – INDIVIDUAL REFLECTIVE ESSAY [80%] [Assesses all learning outcomes]
Evidence of the activities engaged in as part of the business planning process should be provided. Activities which should include ideation and opportunity recognition, vision development, value proposition development, business model development;  primary and secondary market research, customer contact, supplier contact, scenario planning, pre-selling activity, elevator pitching, resource acquisition, engagement with external guest speakers and support agencies.

The reflective essay should be 4000 words in length.

You should provide an appendices [not included in word count] which supports and evidences the activities and reflections you discuss in the reflective essay. This might include [but is not limited to] market research, customer contact, supplier contact, photos, illustrations, notes, feedback, CV, pre-selling activities, support obtained etc. It is expected that a clear cross-referencing system will be used throughout your essay.

Assessment Component 2 – INDIVIDUAL REFLECTIVE ESSAY [80%] [Assesses all learning outcomes]

Important note about ARNA regulations

 The regulations specify that students must complete every assessment component contributing to the modules on their programme.  This applies to all forms of assessment as defined in the module descriptor.  Please note that:


  • if any assessment component is not completed, students will be failed in the module even if the module pass mark has been achieved;
  • if the requirements for referral specified in section 5 of ARNA1 are met, a resit opportunity will be given;
  • if unable to complete an assessment component because of extenuating circumstances, students should follow the procedure described in the Student Guide to Extenuating Circumstances1.


This change was approved by Academic Board on 12 October 2009 in consultation with the Students’ Union.  Students should consult their Programme Leader or Guidance Tutor if they have any queries. Independent advice and support is also available from the Students’ Union Advice & Representation Centre ( or from a student adviser in Student Services.


1ARNA and the Student Guide to Extenuating Circumstances Affecting Assessed Work are available from


Word Count


The word count is to be declared on the front page of your assignment.  The word count does not include title page, contents page, glossary, tables, figures, illustrations, reference list, bibliography and appendices.


Summarising and compressing the information in your assignment into the word limit is one of the skills that students are expected to acquire, and demonstrate as part of the assignment process.


Word limits and penalties for assignments


If the assignment is within +10% of the stated word limit no penalty will apply.  However, if the word limit exceeds the +10% limit, 10% of the mark provisionally awarded to the assignment will be deducted.  For example: if the assignment is worth 80% but is above the word limit by more than 10%, a penalty of 8% will be imposed, giving a final mark of 72%.



Time limits and penalties for presentations


The time allocated for the presentation must be adhered to.  At the end of this time, the presentation will be stopped and will be marked based on what has been delivered within the time limit.


Assessment Component 2 – INDIVIDUAL REFLECTIVE ESSAY [80%] [Assesses all learning outcomes]

Submission of Assessment:


In all cases an electronic copy of LD4004 assignments should be uploaded onto the Assessment Folder on Blackboard (the eLP). Assignments submitted electronically, follow the instructions of the Elp. No hard copy will be accepted by the Postgraduate Programme Office. Marked assignments will be available on the eLP on the notified date. It is advisable to retain a copy of your assignment for you own records.


Late submission of work


Where coursework is submitted without approval, after the published hand-in deadline, the following penalties will apply.


For coursework submitted up to 1 working day (24 hours) after the published hand-in deadline without approval, 10% of the total marks available for the assessment (i.e.100%) shall be deducted from the assessment mark.


For clarity: a late piece of work that would have scored 65%, 55% or 45% had it been handed in on time will be awarded 55%, 45% or 35% respectively as 10% of the total available marks will have been deducted.

The Penalty does not apply to Pass/Fail Modules, i.e. there will be no penalty for late submission if assessments on Pass/Fail are submitted up to 1 working day (24 hours) after the published hand-in deadline.


Coursework submitted more than 1 working day (24 hours) after the published hand-in deadline without approval will be regarded as not having been completed. A mark of zero will be awarded for the assessment and the module will be failed, irrespective of the overall module mark.


For clarity: if the original hand-in time on working day A is 12noon the 24 hour late submission allowance will end at 12noon on working day B.


These provisions apply to all assessments



Feedback and Timescales for Release of Marks:


Feedback on work will be returned via the eLP within 20working days of submission.



Referencing your work


The APA method of referencing uses the author’s name and the date of the publication. References are listed at the end of the text in alphabetical order by author’s name.  The general format of an electronic journal reference is shown below:


Coutu, D. (2009) ‘Why Teams Don’t Work’, Harvard Business Review, 87(5), pp.98-105. EBSCO [Online]. Available at (Accessed: 29th July 2011).


Author/s name and initials are listed first, followed by year of publication in brackets.  Then there is the title of article and the journal where article appears, which is in italics.  Then state the volume and issue number (in brackets) along with the pages where article can be located. Finally add the name of the database you found the information, followed by [Online] and the web address. Wherever possible use the homepage URL rather than the full and extended web address.


For further information go to the Referencing and Plagiarism topic in Skills Plus available from the Library website:


You will find other useful help guides on Skills Plus to help you with researching and writing your assessments.


For further information on the APA style of referencing see the Concise Rules of APA Style located in the Library at 808.06615/CON and the APA website


Plagiarism and Cheating


Your attention is drawn to the University’s stated position on plagiarism. THE WORK OF OTHERS, WHICH IS INCLUDED IN THE ASSIGNMENT MUST BE ATTRIBUTED TO ITS SOURCE (a full bibliography and/or a list of references must be submitted as prescribed in the assessment brief).


Please note that this is intended to be an individual piece of work.  Action will be taken where a student is suspected of having cheated or engaged in any dishonest practice.  Students are referred to the University regulations on plagiarism and other forms of academic irregularity.  Students must not copy or collude with one another or present any information that they themselves have not generated.

 (Some basic instruction if required here)


For further information on Plagiarism, see the Referencing and Plagiarism topic on Skills Plus.



 (Some basic instruction if required here)

Masters’ Programme Goals and Objectives


This assessment will contribute directly to the following Postgraduate programme goals and objectives.


Goal 1: To develop the skills necessary for employment and career progression


1.1        Demonstrate awareness of personal strengths and weaknesses and the ability to engage in continuing self-development

1.2        Demonstrate the development of inter-personal and intra-personal skills

1.3        Demonstrate competence in contemporary analytical and ICT applications   


Goal 2: Be culturally and ethically aware


2.1        Demonstrate their ability to work in culturally diverse groups and teams and make appropriate an personal contribution to team effectiveness

2.2        Reflect on their own ethical values

2.3        Understand the wider impact of individual or organisational decision making on social and environmental contexts


Goal 3: Have developed leadership and management capability


3.1        Analyse and communicate complex issues effectively

3.2        Demonstrate decision making, problem solving and project management skills


Goal 4: Have developed and applied knowledge of international business and management theory


4.1        Acquire, interpret and apply knowledge of international business, management and organisational functions

4.2        Demonstrate an understanding of the impact of innovative and contemporary research on the business and management community

4.3        Acquire, interpret and apply specialist functional knowledge in relation to their programme of study (specialist programmes only)


Goal 5: Have developed a range of research skills and project capabilities


5.1        Plan and complete a major piece of research or project on a contemporary business, financial, management or leadership topic

5.2        Demonstrate skills of analysis and synthesis in the application of research methods to the exploration of contemporary business and management issues



The Northumbria Graduate Attributes and Masters’ Programme goals and Objectives have a clear mapping as illustrated below


A Northumbria Graduate will:


  1. Be able to think independently, understand and justify their opinions, will recognise the need to challenge their own thinking, and the thinking of others.
  2. Be able to apply their discipline and inquiry knowledge to complex problems in their discipline and its professional and industrial practice in order to identify appropriate solutions which sustainable and justifiable.
  3. Value curiosity and collaboration as keystones in the creation of new knowledge and practice
  4. Be able to communicate effectively in diverse audiences utilising a range of formats and media.
  5. Have the attitudes and skills to work constructively and sensitively in multi-cultural environments and have an awareness of ethical considerations.


A Northumbria Graduate will be:


  1. Equipped with contemporary knowledge of theory, research and professional practice related to their programme of study.
  2. Able to utilise their knowledge through critical analysis to create new knowledge and/or innovative approaches to practice proportionate to their level of study.
  3. Equipped for employment, enterprise or further study through transferable lifelong learning, employability and research skills.
  4. Culturally and ethically aware and equipped to contribute positively to a diverse and global community.