OBU RAP TOPICS

OBU RAP Topics – Choosing the best topic

Introduction to OBU RAP Topics

This section is devoted to choosing the appropriate topic among the 20 available OBU RAP Topics, understanding the structure of the critical OBU RAP topics, and suggested models for essential research report topic. please check other articles If you desire a complete step on how to write a successful ACCA OBU research report, or you desire information about the critical changes to the information pack and important dates

ACCA students who intend to submit a Research and Analysis Project (RAP) to Oxford Brookes University are required to choose one (1) of twenty (20) approved Acca OBU RAP Topics List available on page 13 of the latest information pack of period 39 and period 40. No student is allowed to submit any RAP that deviates from the approved ACCA OBU degree topics.

It is advisable to choose a topic based on your passion, work experience, and ability to generate enough information/data to achieve the full requirements of any ACCA Obu RAP Topic. While many of the OBU RAP topics require some form of a primary source of information such as questionnaires or interviews, a few ones can be completed with information that is readily available online and other published sources. Examples of such Acca OBU RAP topics include Topic 7, Topic 8, Topic 15, Topic 17, Topic 18, and Topic 19. resubmitting or writing the research report newly, you should discuss it with an experienced mentor. Please read a useful article from the ACCA on how to choose a topic

Here is a video by john playle, the chief on How to choose a research and analysis project ACCA Applied Accounting BSc

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ACCA OBU RAP Topic 8 – Business and financial analysis suggested approach 

This is an interesting topic out of the twenty OBU RAP Topics. Topic 8 title deals with the analysis and evaluation of the business and financial performance of an organization for over three years. ACCA OBU RAP Topic 8 is the most popular of twenty OBU RAP topics. However, to achieve success, the industry and organization chosen for the research must have adequate secondary information to support the requirement of the topic.

ACCA OBU RAP Topic 8 has two major requirements

1 Analysis and evaluation of the business performance of a company

2. Research and evaluation of the financial performance of a company

You should give equal priority to both the business analysis and the financial analysis sections of the topic. Suggested models are SWOT and PEST. Students should try to avoid repetition when using business models. The most crucial factor here is synchronization, which means you should explain changes/movements in your financial ratios with external and internal business factors gathered from a wide range of sources. On the other hand, the business factors explained under the financial section should be well described within the business analysis section based on the models chosen by a student. All major economic variables, such as interest rate, exchange rate, inflation, and critical policies within the industry, must be utilized during the analysis.

Please read examiner’s feedback comments for this topic in the OBU RAP topics Feedback comments


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OBU RAP Topic 6 – Motivation of employees suggested approach

This is also a popular topic out of the twenty OBU RAP Topics. The full topi is ‘A critical review of key factors or indicators in the motivation of employees in an organization’ OBU RAP Topic 6 is also a popular topic out of the twenty OBU RAP topics and has a reasonable pass rate. Success on the topic depends and the listed factors below:

1. Sound understanding of relevant motivational models.

2. Well-structured research objectives and project questions which is consistent with the models and topic title.

3. Well-structured questionnaire from those applicable motivational models that is also consistent with the research objectives and question

4. Questionnaire summary in tables and grafts.

5. good analysis and evaluation of the questionnaire that is consistent with the logical flow of the research objectives

6. The extensive use of other primary sources of information to support analysis, for example, employee handbook, HR policies e.g., conditions, pay, and training provision.

7. The use of other external secondary information to enrich the analysis of the questionnaire each questionnaire

OBU RAP Topic 6 – Information Gathering And Referencing

Students need to understand that this topic involves both primary and secondary research. When you get the appropriate secondary information, your analysis becomes robust. 

You may also find yourself in this muddle when you pick a company that won’t grant you access to their primary information. Apart from your questionnaire, other internal sources such as employee handbook, Bonuses, training, and remuneration policy are also needed. Besides, secondary sources of information in the relevant section is also critical for robust analysis. You have to be careful when you choose your case-study company.

OBU RAP Topic 6 – Understanding Of Accountancy/Business Models

You cannot use a model you do not understand, as this will affect the quality of your RAP. The first thing, a mentee needs to do is to pick motivational models and understand them thoroughly. Because understanding them will help the mentee structure the questionnaire towards a comprehensive analysis as wrong questionnaire questions will invalidate any form of research and conclusion, leading to a failed grade.

Students should use about (3) motivational models, not just one or two. Suggested models include Abraham Maslow’s Theory of Motivation, McGregor Theory X and Theory Y and Vroom expectancy Theory, Lock goal theory.

Clear, unambiguous questions are the starting point for any reliable research questionnaire. This is why we always request students to ask clear and specific questions in their questionnaire. Also, students need to go personal when asking questions from the respondents.

OBU RAP Topic 6 – Evaluation Of Information, Analysis, And Conclusions

 This has to do with making sense of all the information you have gathered from primary and secondary sources and drawing conclusions from them. The mistake students make here is when they start drawing conclusions that are not based on data provided. They just assume with no evidence. They make assertive statements; however, they have offered little or no information on the subject matter to support their statements.

Two factors are critical to your analysis, proving or disproving your model during your research, and the usage of other sources of information such as the Employee handbook to give the required quality to each of your analysis.

Your presentation has to be structured and arranged. Students sometimes present their findings in ways that do not connect to the research objectives/questions. We always suggest mentees to highlight their research questions one after the other and place the analysis that answers each underneath the questions. If you are not careful about this, the output will not make sense, and irrelevancies will be in your work. When we return projects based on this, mentees have to remove irrelevant analysis or restructure the research report to answer their research questions.


Please read examiner’s feedback comments for this topic in the OBU RAP topics Feedback comments


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OBU RAP Topic 7 – Restructuring suggested approach

OBU RAP TOPIC 7 – A Critical Evaluation Of The Restructuring Of An Organisation’s Operational Activities And The Effect On The Organisation’s Financial Performance.

 There are two requirements here

1. Evaluation of the restructuring of an organization’s operational activities

2. Evaluation of the effect of restructuring on the organization’s financial performance

OBU RAP Topic 7 – Overall Concept Of Restructuring

Part of meeting the requirements of this topic is for you to clearly state your research objectives and research questions and ensure it is not only consistent with the topic title and applicable models and techniques, but it also relates to what is in chapter 3 section of the research report

ACCA OBU RAP TOPIC 7 – Recommended Approach

Suggested Business models to meet the first requirement of this topic includes SWOT and Force-field analysis to analyze the restructuring of an organization’s operational activities critically. Your models from the options listed above should be applied appropriately to meet the requirements of the topic.

Industry focus Financial ratios can then be used to meet the second requirement of the topic. The focus here is evaluating and analyzing the per-restructuring and post-restructuring periods while synchronizing information between the business analysis and financial analysis is key to success.


Please read examiner’s feedback comments for this topic in the OBU RAP topics Feedback comments


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OBU RAP Topic 17 – Corporate governance suggested approach

New OBU RAP Topic 17: Select an organization that has been identified as having weak corporate governance structures within the past five years. Critically evaluate their corporate governance practices, including an assessment of the origins of the corporate governance issue(s) and the organization’s response.

ACCA OBU RAP topic 17 has three major requirements.

1. An assessment and evaluation of the weak CG in your choosing organization

2. Evaluation of the origins of the corporate governance issue(s)

3. An assessment of the Management responses to those CG weaknesses

The central backbone of this topic is to perform a critical analysis and evaluation of corporate governance within the corporate governance structure. For example, part of the structure of the UK corporate governance code is leadership, effectiveness, accountability, remuneration, and relations with shareholders. The student has to identify the corporate governance weaknesses of the chosen organization and analyze the shortcomings within this structure of the corporate governance code. However, it is also permitted to express some of the apparent strength in your chosen organization while prioritizing the CG weaknesses since the topic title focuses on the CG weaknesses. Benchmarking techniques with a suitable comparator where necessary and possible is also advisable as this will point out the strong CG structure obtainable in the comparator when compared to the weak structure of the main company. 

OBU RAP Topic 17 Requirement 2 – an assessment of the origins of the corporate governance issue(s)

During the assessment of each corporate governance structure, an evaluation of the origin of the corporate governance, weaknesses should be express to satisfy this specific section of the topic title. 

OBU RAP Topic 17 Requirement 3 – An assessment of the Management responses to that CG weakness

This is also part of the topic requirement as you need to ensure you have a well-structured research objective that is consistent with the topic title, and your analysis will then be compatible with the layout of your research objective and research questions. The company has cooperated governance issues; definitely, there will be a series of management actions and responses to those issues. It is not enough to point out management responses; the key to success here is also to evaluate if the management responses are adequate to resolve the corporate governance weaknesses. Also, management responses should not be limited to the identified corporate governance weaknesses; they should also be extended to the agitations of other important stakeholders and how effective the management actions and comments have helped address these agitations, but most importantly the overall corporate governance status of the organization.


Please read examiner’s feedback comments for this topic in the OBU RAP topics Feedback comments

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OBU RAP Topic 18: Marketing strategy suggested approach

A review of the marketing strategy of an organization and its effectiveness.

ACCA OBU RAP Topic 18 title focuses on two major aspect

1. Evaluation of the marketing strategies of the choosing organization 

2. Evaluation of the effectiveness of such marketing strategies.

The suggested models to evaluation of the marketing strategies of the choosing organization are 4/7 Ps of marketing, Ansoff, Boston Consulting Group Matrix. However, the application will depend on the organization chosen. You should then explore possible approaches to segmentation, targeting, and positioning before analyzing the marketing mix (7 Ps or 4 Ps) of your selected organization for OBU RAP Topic 18. Good benchmarking is suggested during the marketing mix and analyzing marketing effectiveness

The second requirement of the ACCA OBU RAP Topic 18 focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of the organization’s marketing strategy. Marketing specific ratios are recommended.

The trend in marketing spend to revenue over a period of time

The proportion of marketing costs to sales should be stable or show a slight downward trend (if they are continually rising then it tends to indicate that the company is having to increase promotional costs just to maintain its current level of sales or maintain market share

Market share per segment and Market share in total

Increasing market share or maintain market share if the main competitors’ parts are decreasing is another indicator of success


Please read examiner’s feedback comments for this topic in the OBU RAP topics Feedback comments


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OBU RAP Topic 19 – Mergers and acquisition suggested approach

OBU RAP Topic 19: An analysis and evaluation of the financial and operational consequences of a merger between two organizations or of the acquisition of one organization by another.

OBU RAP Topic 19 focuses on assessing the consequences on the financial and operational performance of an organization as a result of either a merger of two companies or the acquisition of one by another.

A merger is a combination of two companies to form a new company. At the same time, an acquisition is the purchase of an organization by another in which no new company is formed.

MAJOR REQUIREMENTS OBU RAP TOPIC 19

There are two main requirements in the topic

Requirement 1

Analysis and evaluation of the financial consequences of a merger between two organizations or of the acquisition of one organization by another. (financial analysis here should be industry-focused)

The critical requirement under this section is to analyze and evaluate the Pre-acquisition or merger and post-acquisition or merger.

Simple financial analysis that is industry focus. The critical requirement under this section is to analyze and evaluate the Pre-acquisition or merger and post-acquisition or merger.

Requirement 2

An analysis and evaluation of the operational consequences of a merger between two organizations or of the acquisition of one organization by another. SWOT and force field analysis is suggested models in this section. This model should be used for extensive environmental research, operational consequences, which resulted in the merger or acquisition. 

Previous examiner’s feedback report comments

Comment 1

Information gathering and Referencing

As was noted above, the information gathered did not suffice to be able to achieve your objectives. Random sampling would be appropriate as the basis of some statistical analysis of responses.

As it was, you wanted to find specific information about matters of fact what was the restructuring, what was it intended to achieve (and how could success be measured) so that the Post-merger or acquisition could be assessed. You needed appropriately informed respondents who would be able to answer your questions rather than a random sample.

Your summary of the various interviews is very brief and unlikely to be suitable as a basis for the analytical work you needed to perform.

Comment 2

Reasons for fail and advice for improvement:

Your analysis needs to be strengthened. For the financial ratios, you describe the trends and frequently state that the improvement is due to the merger but do not explain why this is the case: further analysis and wider research is needed to extract the answers. It is not sufficient for a SWOT analysis to just present a list of bullet points: these need to be explained, properly referenced, and some conclusions are drawn from the assessment. There is too much emphasis placed on your questionnaire in terms of addressing the research aims and objectives.

The analysis needs to be structured according to accountancy or business model, rather than the questionnaire, with the evidence provided by the questionnaire being used to support the models presented. I am not sure how useful your questionnaire is: you can look up whether market value or the customer base increased after the acquisition – you do not need to ask customers and employees this. What would customers know about whether staff morale had improved or not? It would be more useful to evaluate how strategies had changed rather than asking employees and customers whether they had changed or not. A further thought is required here.

Other requirements

Well-constructed aims and objectives and appropriate application in relevant sections of the RAP. The Project objectives must be specific buy communicating the two key requirements and models.

The downside to Topic 19

Mentees may find it difficult to get organizations willing to provide primary information which is very important for this topic. Due diligence document may be needed, interviews and an official letter of authorization to conduct primary research is required which must be on the company’s letterhead and sign by the appropriate head of department or manager.


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