Achievement in Taught Modules as a Predictor of Subsequent Behaviour of Project Management Masters Students in The British University in Dubai

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
A review of literature demonstrates that there are several studies on different aspects of higher education including progression patterns, achievement, completion and predictors of academic success. In this study, the researcher investigates the influence of student performance in the taught modules in the MSc Project Management (MPM) programme on the second stage of the programme, the dissertation component. Further, the researcher investigates the correlation between the taught modules overall grade and the time taken to complete the dissertation. That is, whether a good overall performance in the taught modules leads to timely completion of the dissertation and thus the programme itself, or vice versa. This study is important as completion rates seem to be an issue in higher education and, specifically in the MPM programme in The British University in Dubai. Quantitative research methods are used for analysis of data collected from the University records/archives, and descriptive and inferential analyses are used to interpret the data. An independent t-test and Pearson Correlation Coefficient tests were used to test the two-tailed hypotheses. Findings show that performance in the first part of the programme (taught modules) is neither a predictor of subsequent behavior in terms of programme completion nor does it have a bearing on the time taken to complete the second stage (dissertation). This indicates that the taught modules do not necessarily add value to the students’ learning and does not prepare them to handle the rigors of dissertation work. The implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations are made to the policy makers to enhance the structure of the programme which could lead to higher completion rates.
masters programmes, progression, performance, predictors, achievement