Abstract guidance for the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)

Examples of previous abstracts to inspire you to take part in the 2019 UWE Bristol Student Conference – the deadline for submissions is midnight on Friday 25 January 2019.

What to include

An abstract is a short summary of the work you wish to present, and should be a maximum of 250 words. Many of you will be submitting your abstracts when your work is incomplete.

As this is a multi-disciplinary conference, you should aim to write your abstract so it’s accessible for a broad audience. You should:

  • make a clear statement of the overall project aim or purpose
  • highlight your research approach and methods
  • state your findings (or anticipated findings at this point)
  • highlight possible conclusions and implications of your research/enquiry/evidence-based practice or service improvement.

Example abstracts from previous years

The examples below demonstrate how students in the past have presented their work, at various stages of completion, in their abstracts.

An exploration of the factors influencing job commitment of Generation Y

Ellen Riis-White: Bristol Business School

This research aims to identify the key characteristics of Generation Y and the factors influencing their job commitment within the workplace. Generation Y (also known as Millennials, Dot.com, Echo Boomers) are born between 1981 and 2000 (Martin, 2005), and they will account for more than 50% of the global workforce by 2020 (Woodreed, 2016). This highlights the importance of understanding how this generation should be managed within an organisation. The research took place at Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen Financial Services during a student placement.

It was a quantitative survey designed to target employees within the Generation Y bracket (52% of the overall workforce). The survey was sent to 822 employees and achieved a 43% response rate. The findings identified Generation Y employees as job mobile, career ambitious and technologically savvy. The key issues of job commitment are underpinned by the generation’s high expectations of organisations to provide them with career development opportunities, suitable work-life balance and competitive rewards and benefits.

My derived research model explores the key theme of job commitment and it will provide my case study organisation with a clear understanding and analysis of Generation Y and how to retain them.

Immigration to Britain: lies, liabilities and lessons learned

Michael Henderson Bristol Business School

The aim of this project is to highlight and dispel public misconceptions surrounding immigration to Britain. I will first highlight expectations about how immigration influences certain areas of the British economy. I will follow this with econometric and empirical data which challenges this, identifying the benefits of immigration in a post-Brexit Britain.

After extensive research I have concluded that immigration is essential to a prosperous economy. I found that most, if not all, the typical criticisms of immigration lack a solid foundation in reality. Likewise, I found that immigration, from an economic standpoint, is beneficial to local populations and their livelihoods. Indeed, the most important issue to consider seems to be public attitudes surrounding immigration. These attitudes sway policy- makers about the kinds of immigration policies to pursue.

The pressures placed on policy-makers are also considered as they help to explain why, if immigration is positive for society, immigration policy does not reflect this. I advocate reducing social tension through education, which I hope can create greater social harmony and impact on policies regarding immigration.

Undertaking this research has allowed me to confront some of my own misconceptions. Admittedly, these may have arisen due to media influence, but it was an eye-opening experience learning how misinformed I was and it was very humbling. This research evoked a passionate response from me in which I not only attained a good mark, but I also genuinely cared about the subject matter. Being from London and British-born, I did not fully anticipate the plight that immigrants go through and this research has awoken my understanding of their plight.

Assessing compliance of Vietnamese laws with WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

My Nguyen: Bristol Law School

In 2015, Vietnam ratified the World Trade Organisation’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), which was adopted to cut the ‘red tape’ that existed in cross-border goods movement. The Vietnamese government established a plan to prepare for implementing the TFA before it entered into force, including raising awareness of official staff and leaders of enterprises, determining commitments under the provisions, and reviewing relevant laws to meet international standards. Unfortunately, TFA entered into force on 22 February 2017 before the plan was finished. The Vietnamese government continues to implement its plan, although less actively.

The government is ambitious to check every regulation within the legal documents related to trade issues. Nevertheless, it is difficult for officials to know where to begin with the huge quantity of provisions, and Law Inspection Departments often lack experts. This socio-legal research aims to assess the extent to which Vietnamese laws comply with Section I of TFA, which contains provisions for transparency of information as well as release and clearance of goods. They are essential provisions in facilitating the global trading system.

The research will analyse the requirements of Section I of TFA and subsequently examine the legislative perspectives of trade law-makers and important terms in Vietnamese laws to identify regulatory gaps. The research is expected to narrow the scope of inspection and to direct the laws more specifically. The research will suggest specific reforms regarding Vietnamese trade laws and my findings can be applied when I return to Vietnam. Proposed solutions may be implemented in Ho Chi Minh City, where most transactional activities in the country are concentrated. The results could be sent to the Ministry of Industry and Trade as well as the Ministry of Finance.

Torture as a tool of counter-terrorism: the question of effectiveness

Dominika Benton: Bristol Law School

This project critically examines evidence concerning the effectiveness of interrogational torture in order to assess whether it should remain a legal prohibition. Sleep deprivation, waterboarding, stress positions: these are just a few interrogation techniques used by government officials to obtain intelligence they believe can forestall an imminent terror attack.

Since 9/11 the use of torture and other coercive interrogation methods has been fiercely debated within government and amongst legal scholars. The legal prohibition of torture is absolute. Greer’s argument goes against the explicit wording of various treaties, including Art 3 ECHR and Art 2 of the UN Convention. It also goes against the ECtHR interpretation of Art 3 and numerous UN committee findings. At one point, the Israeli state expressly permitted the use of ‘moderate physical pressure’ on prisoners whom they believed were in possession of intelligence that would avert an imminent attack.

Although banned in 1999, the High Court of Justice used the necessity of defence as an excuse for coercive methods under certain circumstances. The US Government, along with the CIA, has argued that coercive interrogation techniques can work to produce timely and reliable intelligence. However, intelligence obtained as part of the CIA’s High Value Detainee programme during the ‘War on Terror’ was found to be speculative, including many false confessions and information. Other issues surrounding the use and legalisation of torture as a response to terrorism include the possibility of increased recruitment, radicalisation of sympathisers, and the torturing of innocents.

Evidence from Northern Ireland and Iraq suggests that terrorist groups use torture and the abuse of detainees as a means of attracting new recruits. Thus, the use of torture may actually increase terrorist violence. And so, for this, and many other reasons, torture should remain prohibited as its use does not prove to be an effective means of obtaining reliable, valuable and timely intelligence, and is potentially making matters worse.

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