Download the final template for BBA-MBA FINAL-YEAR PROJECT MANUALBBA-MBA FINAL-YEAR PROJECT MANUAL for University of south asia
VERSION: APRIL 14, 2015/16/17/18

Irfan Amir and Nadeem Farooki

University of South Asia 47-Tufail Road, Lahore Cantt.
Tel: +92-42-36673312, 36673701


1. Rationale. 3
2. Stage I --- Graduating Classes Spring, Summer, And Fall 2015. 4
3. Stage II --- Graduating Classes Spring, 2016 Onwards. 4
4. Summary Guidelines. 4
5. Types Of Projects. 10
6. Project Committee. 10
7. Project Deliverables. 10
8. Report Preparation. 11
9. Criteria For A ‘Good’ Report 13
10. Assessment 14
11. Specimen Format For Citing Different Types Of References --- In APA Referencing Style. 14
11.1. Book By A Single Author. 14
11.2. Book By More Than One Author. 14
11.3. More Than One Book By The Same Author In The Same Year. 15
11.4. Edited Book. 15
11.5. Chapter In An Edited Book. 15
11.6. Book Review.. 15
11.7. Journal Article. 15
11.8. Journal Article In Press. 15
11.9. Conference Proceedings Publication. 15
11.10. Doctoral Dissertation. 15
11.11. Paper Presentation At Conference. 16
11.12. Unpublished Manuscript 16
11.13. Newspaper Article, No Author. 16
11.14. Film.. 16
11.15. Cassette Recording. 16
11.16. Electronic Source. 16
11.17. Online Document, No Author Identified, No Date. 16
11.18. Report From Private Organization, Available On Organization’s Website. 16


The preparation of the BBA/MBA final project report enables students to enhance their understanding of the concepts, tools and techniques acquired from the degree courses through finding solutions to problems and issues in real-life situations.
The project may be company-sponsored or proposed by students. The primary purpose of the project is to provide the student with real-life opportunity to apply their acquired knowledge and skills. However, as the project also has the objective to provide assistance and add value to the business and social organizations, USA will appreciate if the company would acknowledge this by sponsoring the student project. It is specially mentioned here that co-operation of business, social, non-profit and public sector organizations to finance projects will be highly appreciated.
It is also expected that the final projects will be conducted with rigor and that the reports will achieve ever higher standards of applied research. The reports should be of publishable standard.
The students are expected to obtain the following benefits from the final project:

  • An opportunity to apply the knowledge acquired in the classroom.
  • Ability to recommend solutions to real-life problems.
  • Interpretation and decision making in diverse and often conflicting socioeconomic and business circumstances.
  • Critical evaluation of the existing stock of knowledge in a particular academic field and identify venues for improvement.
  • Better understanding of the industry – size, players, dynamics and history.
  • Knowledge of a firm’s strategies and implementation.
  • Developing project management skills.
  • Developing skills in problem identification and analysis.
  • Preliminary knowledge, training and experience for consultancy.
  • Developing skills in data collection, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Developing networking and negotiating skills.

2.Stage I --- Graduating Classes Spring, Summer, And Fall 2015

The students will prepare project reports after the completion of the course work. In the first stage, the emphasis will be on increasing the quality of reports by following a stringent process (explained later).
3.Stage II --- Graduating Classes Spring, 2016 Onwards

In the second stage, the 6-Cr hour final-year project report will become part of the BBA/MBA roadmap where 3 Cr hours (mainly course work) will be covered in semester 7 (BBA) and in semester 5 (MBA 3.5). The remaining 3 Cr hours (mainly fieldwork) will be covered in semesters 8 and 6 in the BBA and MBA 3.5 year programs, respectively. In the case of MBA 1.5 year program, the 6 Cr hour project work will be done after completion of the course work.
4.Summary Guidelines

  1. Individual assignment.
  2. Send name, Id, and Email address to the Director Academics (Head, Project Committee).
  3. Identify three topics of interest.
  4. Prepare a two-page (about 600 words) summary for each topic covering the following sections:

  • Topic definition.

  • Why the topic is important from both theoretical and practical (managers) perspective?
  • List some of the studies that have been conducted locally or internationally on the topic. Make sure that references to the studies are listed in the American Psychological Association (APA) Referencing Style (explained later).

  1. Submit the two-page summary for each of the three topics of interest to the Director Academics.
  2. The Director Academics will communicate to the student the time for the meeting with the Project Committee to discuss the three summaries.
  3. In the meeting, one topic will be finalized.
  4. Each student will then be required to prepare a research proposal on the approved topic.
  5. The research proposal will be about 1,200-1,500 words. It will cover the following sections:

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  1. Introduction (importance of the topic and the reason to conduct a detailed study).
  2. A brief summary of 3-4 major studies previously conducted (locally or internationally) on the topic. Note: Give references of the studies at the end of the proposal (using APA referencing style).
  3. Benefits for researchers and practitioners.
  4. Research Design. This section should have the following sub-sections:

  • Research objectives.
  • Primary data collection requirements.
  • Sample size.
  • Method(s) to be used to collect primary data (mail survey, personal interviews, or case study).

  1. Sampling method (you would mostly deploy a “convenience” sampling method).
  2. Draft of survey questionnaire/data collection instrument.
  3. Data analysis techniques that are likely to be used.
  4. The proposed table of content of the final project report. Include the following sections:

  • Introduction and Rationale of the Study.
  • Research Objectives.
  • Summary of Key Previous Studies.
  • Research Methodology:
    • Primary Data Collection Requirements.
    • Sampling Method and Sample Size.
    • Data Collection Instrument(s).

  • Data Analysis.
  • Findings.
  • Discussion and Conclusion.
  • Study Limitations and Directions for Further Research.
  • Appendix: Draft Data Collection Instrument.
  • List of References.

  1. Submit the draft research proposal to the Project Committee.
  2. Seek approval of the research proposal from the Project Committee.
  3. Conduct the study in line with different steps stated in the approved research proposal.
  4. Submit a hard copy of the draft final project report (approximately 15,000 words ---about 50 pages) to the assigned supervisor.
  5. Set up an appointment with your supervisor to discuss the draft report.
  6. Incorporate proposed changes and prepare the final draft of the project report.
  7. Set up an appointment with the Project Committee (Director Academics and the assigned supervisor) for a PowerPoint presentation before the Project Committee.
  8. Incorporate last-minute changes in the final draft report as suggested by the Project Committee.
  9. Submit two hard copies and one soft copy (PDF format) to the Director Academics.
  10. The binding requirements are as follows:

  • Hard binding
  • Black
  • Inscriptions in gold.


  • Title of the Report.
  • BBA/MBA Final Project Report.
  • Submitted to: (Supervisor(s) name).
  • Submitted by: (Student Name, ID, and degree program).
  • Submitted on: (Date Format Example: April 14, 2015)
  • USA Logo.
  • Full address of the University with phone number.


  • USA logo.
  • Title of the Report.
  • Student Name (without ID). (Underline).
  • Degree Program. (Underline).
  • Year (Example: 2014). (Underline).





5. Types Of Projects

The student can opt for any one of the following as their project:
6. Project Committee

  • USA Faculty (as supervisor).
  • Director Academics.
  • Sponsors’ nominee (if applicable).

The Director Academics will conduct project orientation sessions and also ensure consistency in project report standards and evaluation.
7. Project Deliverables

1. The research proposal approved by the Project Committee (Director Academics and the assigned supervisor).
2. Contract between student and sponsor approved by the supervisor.
3. Log book (demonstrating student activities and work progress).
4. Submission of the draft final project report.
5. Presentation of the final project report before the Project Committee.
6. Final report of the project -- two hardbound copies and one soft copy (PDF format).
The students are expected to prepare research proposal and final report according to the skills obtained through studying the courses such as Applied Business Research, Research Methodology and Marketing Research. The students are advised to regularly meet their supervisor. Regularity and punctuality will be rewarded.
The students are expected to carry out the following activities during the project:

  1. Prepare a research proposal and get it approved by the Project Committee (faculty supervisor, Director Academics and the sponsoring client).
  2. Undertake a detailed literature survey on the subject matter.
  3. Make relevant data collection/observation.
  4. Consult experts in the field.
  5. Visit officials in the relevant organizations/institutions/industries.
  6. Compile data in proper format.
  7. Use relevant data analysis techniques.
  8. Make proper conclusion/recommendations.
  9. Present results and recommendations.
  10. Submit final report. [Two hard-bound copies of the final report in the prescribed format and a soft copy in PDF format will be submitted.]

8. Report Preparation

PAPER: Ordinary laser-print quality paper.
STYLE AND FORMAT: Formal style, consistency in text and bibliographic organization is essential. Consult the Project Committee for specifics about style and format.
Left 1 inch
Right 1 inch
Top and bottom of page 1 inch
The text should be one-and-half spaced throughout and on one side of the paper.
All corrections must be completed before submitting the project report. Corrections made by correcting fluid, pen, pencil, or in different fonts are not acceptable.
A blank sheet of paper (of the same brand) must be included at the beginning and at the end of the project report. These sheets are not counted or numbered.

  • Title Page Without number.
  • Table of Content Roman numerals.
  • List of Tables Roman numerals.
  • List of Figures Roman numerals.
  • Abstract (one page) Arabic numeral --- Page 1.
  • Acknowledgment Arabic numeral.

Title Page.
Table of Contents.
List of Tables.
List of Figures.
List of Appendices.
List of Abbreviations.
List of Symbols.

  • Introduction and Background.
  • Literature Review.
  • Methodology.
    • Sampling Frame and Sample Size.
    • Data Collection Techniques and Procedure.

  • Data Analysis.
  • Findings.

  • Conclusion/Recommendations.
  • Limitations of the Research.
  • Directions for Future Research.

List of References (following American Psychological Association (APA) style of referencing).
9. Criteria For A ‘Good’ Report

BBA/MBA students are expected to write a well-articulated report in chapter format, with a length of about 15,000 words. It is expected that as a graduating candidate, the project report of the students should be professionally executed. Clear thinking, accurate research, and esthetically pleasing format should be of top priority.
A good project report has the following characteristics:

  • It makes evident the link between research objectives, literature review, conceptual framework and findings.
  • It should demonstrate that a student is capable of conducting research, writing a critical review of the literature, applying statistical tools to analyze data and interpreting the results.
  • It makes a contribution to the academic literature and business policy and/or practice.
  • It should demonstrate ability of the student to make financial analysis, financial projections and feasibility reports.
  • Its writing quality reflects that considerable effort has been invested in producing the final draft.
  • It is well edited and has been thoroughly checked for spelling, grammatical, punctuation and typographical errors. Text citations and references conform to the internationally acceptable referencing style. The language is kept simple and concise and there is a minimum of unnecessary words.
  • The project report should be coherent. The examiners or readers will look for a link between one chapter to the next, so that the logic of connections between chapters and of the points made within the chapters is clear.

10. Assessment

The project report will be assessed according to the following criteria:

  • Research proposal 10%
  • Punctuality and regularity 10%
  • Activity log book 10%
  • Presentation 20%
  • Final Report 50%

NOTE: The originality of work is required and will be rewarded.
11. Specimen Format For Citing Different Types Of References --- In APA Referencing Style

11.1.Book By A Single Author

Leshin, C.B. (1997). Management on the World Wide Web. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
11.2.Book By More Than One Author

Cornett, M., Wiley, B.J., & Sankar, S. (1998). The pleasures of nurturing. London: McMunster Publishing.
11.3.More Than One Book By The Same Author In The Same Year

Roy, A. (1998a). Chaos theory. New York: Macmillan Publishing Enterprises.
Roy, A. (1998b). Classic chaos. San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bamar.
11.4.Edited Book

Pennathur, A. Leong, F.T., & Schuster, K. (Eds). (1998). Style and substance of thinking. New York: Publishers Paradise.
11.5.Chapter In An Edited Book

Riley, T., & Brecht, M.L. (1998). The success of the mentoring process. In R. Williams (Ed.) Mentoring and career success, pp. 129150. New York: Wilson Press.
11.6.Book Review

Nichols, P. (1998). A new look at Home Services [Review of the book Providing Home Services to the Elderly by Girch, S.] Family Review Bulletin, 45, 12-13.
11.7.Journal Article

Jeanquart, S., & Peluchette, J. (1997). Diversity in the workforce and management models. Journal of Social Work Studies, 43 (3), 72-85.
Deffenbacher, J.L., Oetting, E.R., Lynch, R.S. & Morris, C.D. (1996). The Expression of Anger and its Consequences. Behavior Research and Therapy, 34, 575-590.
11.8.Journal Article In Press

Van Herpen, E., Pieters, R. & Zeelenberg, M. (2009), When Demand Accelerates Demand: Trailing the Bandwagon, Journal of Consumer Psychology, in press.
11.9.Conference Proceedings Publication

Yeshwant, M. (1998). Revised thinking on Indian philosophy and religion. In S. Pennathur (Ed.), Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Religion, (pp. 100-107). Bihar, India: Bihar University.
11.10.Doctoral Dissertation

Kiren, R.S. (1997). Medical advances and quality of life. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Omaha State University.
11.11.Paper Presentation At Conference

Bajaj, L.S. (1996, March 13). Practical tips for efficient work management. Paper presented at the annual meeting of Entrepreneurs, San Jose, CA.
11.12.Unpublished Manuscript

Pringle, P.S. (1991). Training and development in the ‘90s. Unpublished manuscript, Southern Illinois University, Diamondale, IL.
11.13.Newspaper Article, No Author

The new GM pact. (1998, July 28). Concord Tribune, p. 1.

Maas, J.B. (Producer), & Gluck, D.H. (Director). (1979). Deeper into hypnosis (film). Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
11.15.Cassette Recording

Clark, K.B. (Speaker). (1976). Problems of freedom and behavior modification (Cassette Recording No. 7612). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
11.16.Electronic Source

Author, I. (1998). Technology and immediacy of information [Online]. Available at
11.17.Online Document, No Author Identified, No Date

GVU‟s 18th WWW customer survey. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24th, 2009, from
11.18.Report From Private Organization, Available On Organization’s Website

Philips UK. (2009, March 23). U.S. Department of Energy honors Philips for significant advancement in LED lighting. Retrieved March 24th, 2009, from

Davitz, J.R. (2009, February, 21). How medieval and renaissance nobles were different from each other [Msg 131]. Message posted to
Cite all references in the body of the paper using the author-year method of citation; that is, the surname of the author(s) and the year of publication are given in the appropriate places.

  1. Todd (1988) has shown …
  2. In recent studies of dual-career families (Hunt, 1999; Osborn, 1988) it has been …
  3. In 1997, Kyle compared dual-career and dual-earner families and found that …

Note also the following:

  1. Within the same paragraph, you need not include the year after the first citation so long as the study cannot be confused with other studies cited in the article.

Gutek (1985) published her findings in the book titled Gender and the Work Place. Gutek indicated …

  1. When a work is authored by two individuals, always cite both names every time the references occur in the text.
  2. When a work has more than two authors but fewer than six authors, cite all authors the first time the reference occurs, and subsequently include only the surname of the first author followed by “et al.” as per example below:

Sekaran, U., Martin, T., Trafton, N. and Osborn, R.N. (1980) found … (the first citation)
Sekaran et al. (1980) found … (subsequent citations)

  1. When a work is authored by six or more individuals, cite only the surname of the first author followed by et al. and the year for the first and subsequent citations. Join the names in a multiple-author citation in running text by the word and. In parenthetical material, in tables, and in the reference list, join the names by an ampersand (&).


  1. As Tucker and Snell (1989) pointed out, …
  2. As has been pointed out (Tucker & Snell, 1989), …

  1. When a work has no author, cite in text the first two or three words of the article title. Use double quotation marks around the title of the article. For example, while referring to the newspaper article cited earlier, the text might read as follows:

While examining unions (“With GM pact,” 1990).

  1. When a work’s author is designated as “Anonymous,” cite the text Anonymous followed by a comma and the date: (Anonymous, 1979). In the reference list, an anonymous work is alphabetized by the word Anonymous.
  2. When the same author has several works published in the same year, cite them in the same order as they occur in the reference list, with the in press citations coming last. For example:

Research on the mental health of dual-career family members (Sekaran, 1985a, 1985b, 1985c, 1999, in press) indicates …

  1. When more than one author has to be cited in the text, these should be in the alphabetical order of the first author’s surname, and the citations should be separated by semicolons as per illustration below:

In the job design literature (Aldag & Brief, 1976; Alderfer, 1972; Beatty, 1982; Jeanquart, 1988), …
Personal communication through letters, memos, telephone conversations, and the like, should be cited in the text only and not included in the reference list since these are not retrievable data. In the text, provide the initials as well as the surname of the communicator together with the date, as in the following example:
L. Peters (personal communication, June 15, 1988) feels …
Quotations should be given exactly as they appear in the source. The original wording, punctuation, spelling, and italics must be preserved even if they are erroneous. The citation of the source of a direct quotation should always include the page number(s) as well as the reference.
Use double quotation marks for quotations in text. Use single quotation marks to identify the material that was enclosed in double quotation marks in the original source. If you want to emphasize certain words in a quotation, underline them and immediately after the underlined words, insert within brackets the words: emphasis added. Use three ellipsis points (…) to indicate that you have omitted material from the original source.
If the quotation is of more than 40 words, set it in a free-standing style starting on a new line and indenting the left margin a further five spaces. Type the entire quotation double spaced on the new margin, indenting the first line of paragraphs five spaces from the new margin, as shown below.

In trying to differentiate dual-earner and dual-career families, Sekaran (1988) states:
Various terms are used to refer to dual-earner families: dual-worker families, two paycheck families, dual-income families, two-job families, and so on. Spouses in dual-earner families both hold jobs, or one of the partners may hold a job while the other pursues a career …

The distinction between dual-career and dual-earner families also gets blurred when spouses currently holding jobs are preparing themselves both educationally and technically to move up in their organization. (p. 4)
If you intend publishing an article in which you have quoted extensively from a copyrighted work, it is important that you seek written permission from the owner of the copyright. Make sure that you also footnote the permission obtained with respect to the quoted material.

Source: Sekaran, Uma and Bougie, Roger (2010), Research Methods for Business --- A Skills Building Approach, Wiley, India, 5th Edition.