• Factors of hypertension, metabolic syndrome and musculoskeletal injury risk in the Bedfordshire Police.

      Yates, James (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-03-22)
      Rationale: Compromises in individual’s health (Elliott-Davies et al., 2016) and absenteeism rate increases are resultant from reduced operational police numbers (Houdmont and Elliot-Davies, 2016). Performing police work is known to be deleterious to health due to the sudden bursts of high intensity activity performed (Kales et al. 2009). Reduced staff numbers places individuals under greater strain operationally (Arnott, Emmerson and Singer, 2001), and may also increase threats to health through longer working hours compromising lifestyle (Gu et al., 2012). By surveying the health status of a police organisation, it is possible to understand what impact reduced operational numbers may have had in order to critically inform future preventative interventions. Aim: The aim of this study was to assess Bedfordshire Police with particular focus on three main health themes; hypertension, metabolic syndrome and musculoskeletal injury risk. Method: 137 Bedfordshire police employees completed a variety of physiological, lifestyle and occupational measures. The sample was divided by gender and into non-operational and operational personnel, for comparisons between groups. Results: A significant main effect of gender existed for systolic blood pressure (P < 0.05). A significantly higher (P < 0.001, 95%CI: 8 to 25 mmHg) SBP was observed in males (136 ± 11 mmHg) compared with females (119 ± 13 mmHg) in non-operational personnel. No significant main effect of job type existed in systolic blood pressure. No significant main effect of job type or interaction effect existed between gender and job type in musculoskeletal injury, metabolic syndrome and diastolic blood pressure. Metabolic syndrome was significantly greater in males than females (P < 0.05). Conclusion: High prevalence of the main health themes existed. A significantly higher SBP was observed in males compared to females in non-operational personnel (P < 0.001). Increased trends of METSYN and MSK were observed in operational personnel although non-significant. Risk factors; HDL, WHR, PSQ-ORG and PSQ-OP were significantly different in operational personnel (P < 0.05). Future interventions should be focus on physical activity and dietary changes to improve body composition. Future research should be directed toward the impact of stress, shift work and dietary habits in this population.
    • False start? UK sprint coaches and black/white stereotypes

      Turner, David (University of Bedfordshire, 2004-05)
      UK sprint coaches' employment of common racial stereotypes in explaining the success of Black and White sprinters was studied. It was hypothesised that the success of Black individuals would be attributed to innate genetic factors; whereas the success of White individuals would be attributed to socioeconomic advantages, intelligence, and hard work. Thirty-one sprint coaches voluntarily participated in success attribution exercises. A two-way between subjects design was used, with scaled item survey questionnaires, based upon photo elicitation, and subsequent statistical analysis via Mann-Whitney tests and Spearman's correlation. Qualitative data was collected, via a one-to-one interview design (open-ended and semi-structured), with subsequent inductive content analysis. Quantitative results reveal no significant difference between the scoring of Black and White photograph conditions, and a positive correlation between the comparative scoring of eight stereotypical factors (r =0.994, N =8, P= 0.001). The only statistically significant difference between individual factors is for longer limbs, with coaches scoring this as contributing more to the success of the pictured Black athlete (U =54.000, N1 =16, N2 =15, P =0.008, two tailed). Qualitative results indicate that most coaches adopt a biological determinist attitude, with genetic factors implicated as associated with success, to a greater extent than developmental factors. Several unprompted statements reveal direct racial stereotypes. Generally the hypotheses are not supported quantitatively. However, specific aspects do partly provide support, and there is a tendency to score the Black athlete more highly across all stereotypes, possibly indicating that coaches believe Black athletes to be more suited to sprinting. Qualitative results indicate that sprint coaches may be susceptible to the employment of natural ability stereotypes because of an over emphasis on biological determinism, and a lack of recognition for less immediately apparent developmental factors. Several comments evidencing the use of situated racial stereotypes in sprint coaching lend support to the hypotheses. Reassuring evidence has been gained that UK sprint coaches do not widely employ stereotypes in attributing differently the success of Black and White athletes. However, there is sufficient evidence of susceptibility and replication, to necessitate continued vigilance. The interdisciplinary and multi-method approach used is deemed to have provided a broad and deep view of the problem, representing a contribution to a neglected area of study. A theoretical model of stereotype influences in sprinting, and recommendations for both coaching and coach education are presented.
    • Finger-print based student attendance register

      Parvinzamir, Farzad; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2012-09)
      Monitoring student attendance in the UK has become a prime concern for Universities in recent months, due to a perceived lack of accuracy in reports submitted to the UK Borders Agency and political pressure about wider immigration issues. This project proposes a biometrics-based solution to that concern which also conforms to legislative pressures on data governance and information security, but which can provide accurate, reliable data for the institution to use in future reports to UKBA. All biometric techniques obviate the need to carry a token or card, or to remember several passwords, and reduce the risk of lost, forgotten or copied passwords, stolen tokens or over the shoulder attacks. This project shall focus on using fingerprint recognition, mainly due to the low-cost of devices for deployment and high user acceptance. Fingerprint recognition has traditionally been used for data access amongst a mobile population with increasingly portable devices, but it can also be employed for monitoring purposes, and this project defines how it could be used in this context to provide a fingerprint-based student attendance register. This project set out to overcome the drawbacks of the current attendance system, which can be fooled by “buddy swiping” of absent students’ RFID card or signing the register sheet on behalf of absentee students within a university. An application was designed within MATLAB to identify pattern in data, extract vectors from a fingerprint image and map values to the new area, then to verify a student who swipes his fingerprint against those values. The requirement was to make this system work asynchronously so that constant internet and database connections are not required, to deliver outstanding rates of accuracy, and to ensure this could work on machines with very low computing power so that it can be utilized in mobile devices in future. The delivered application uses the Principal Component Analysis method to compare fingerprints with the new form of harmonized data defined by eigenvectors and eigenvalues in n dimensions. This high-speed method uses the lowest computational power to deliver accurate results through making a closest match against stored values. This application has potential to be employed as a modular add-on by a University student monitoring system or connect to its database and transfer data.
    • A framework for evidence integrity preservation in virtualized environment: a digital forensic approach

      Ani, Uchenna Peter Daniel (University of Bedfordshire, 2012-01)
      Virtual machine technology has emerged with relishing features such as versioning, isolation and encapsulation. These features have made evidence acquisition and preservation difficult and impracticable. Virtual machines have proved excellence in anti-forensics, such that conventional approaches to integrity preservation have not yielded the best results required to facilitate admissibility. Issues around virtual machine forensics, its relationship with digital evidence integrity, and effects to admissibility have been resolutely investigated. In this work, we focused on the identification of threats to the integrity of evidence in a virtual machine environment using VMware hypervisor as case study. A conceptual framework, EIPF for preserving integrity of evidences resident in a virtual machine environment is introduced. The framework emphasises rules, processes and parameters necessary for upholding the accuracy, reliability and trustworthiness of digital evidence. The framework adopts the widely known Clark-Wilson‟s principles on Data Integrity. In our investigation, the key parameters used are the security strength of the hash algorithms, the relative Number of Evidence Attributes), and the Number of Evidence Circles. To simplify the analysis further, a reliability rating factor has been introduced as a means of defining conceptual integrity levels. We have mathematically modelled all the penalty parameters for data integrity in our model following widely known and recommended standards and processes. Although a demonstration of the behaviour of EIPF had not been exhaustively featured, the proposed framework has offered a starting point towards adopting an improved way of ensuring integrity. While opening up a path for unification, it has amplified the trust level for a court‟s acceptance of a claimed integrity state for digital evidence.
    • Framework of active robot learning

      Liu, Beisheng (University of Bedfordshire, 2008-10)
      In recent years, cognitive robots have become an attractive research area of Artificial Intelligent (AI). High-order beliefs for cognitive robots regard the robots' thought about their users' intention and preference. The existing approaches to the development of such beliefs through machine learning rely on particular social cues or specifically defined award functions . Therefore, their applications can be limited. This study carried out primary research on active robot learning (ARL) which facilitates a robot to develop high-order beliefs by actively collecting/discovering evidence it needs. The emphasis is on active learning, but not teaching. Hence, social cues and award functions are not necessary. In this study, the framework of ARL was developed. Fuzzy logic was employed in the framework for controlling robot and for identifying high-order beliefs. A simulation environment was set up where a human and a cognitive robot were modelled using MATLAB, and ARL was implemented through simulation. Simulations were also performed in this study where the human and the robot tried to jointly lift a stick and keep the stick level. The simulation results show that under the framework a robot is able to discover the evidence it needs to confirm its user's intention.
    • Gods in Spandex: a study of superhero mythology

      Woods, Ryan (University of Bedfordshire, 2020-02)
      This thesis sets out to ask the question: What do mythological themes and archetypal theory reveal about Marvel’s Avengers films? The textual analyses will discuss the work of pioneering psychologist Carl Jung. The work of mythologist Joseph Campbell and the hero’s journey will also be scrutinised for his links to Jung’s theoretical framework. Through Jung’s theory of archetypes and the collective unconscious, arguments will be made to the relevance of his theories as a valid form of film analysis. An argument will also be made for the heroine’s journey and how this differs from the male hero’s journey. Jungian film studies is an increasing growing area of academic interest. (Hockley, 2018). Current research covers many aspects of film analysis but there is a gap within the study of the superhero genre. This thesis sets out to bridge that gap through the use of Jungian psychology and the application of mythological motifs. Through structured case studies and parallels drawn from world mythology this work makes a strong case for the rich psychological and mythological material found in Marvel films.
    • Help-seeking for perinatal mental health: South Asian women’s experiences in Luton

      Moghul, Fariha (University of Bedfordshire, 2018-09-06)
      The objective was to identify the current care pathway for Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) in Luton, and to explore South Asian women’s views on factors that influence help-seeking with a view to making recommendations to local service development (LBC, BLMK). Method Focus groups were used to explore the factors (barriers and enablers) that influenced the help-seeking of local South Asian women for perinatal mental health. 5 focus groups (FG) were conducted with n=17 women, from various South Asian countries and ethnic subgroups, all of whom had children who had been born locally. Luton has a large ethnic population in areas of high social and material deprivation, with a fast growing birth rate, placing them at increased risk of perinatal mental illness (PMI), but conversely has low levels of reported mental illness from within these areas. Findings The findings indicate that community; extended family, religious and cultural beliefs have a significant impact on the development, recognition and treatment of PMI, forming a complicated mesh of considerations that need to be integrated when designing local PMH services for differing populations. Conclusion Improving healthcare engagement may require a three pronged approach of; developing more culturally attuned services; a community social awareness programme endorsed by community leaders and; a socio-healthcare programme to sustain healthy spousal and familial relationships and change cultural attitudes towards motherhood to help prevent the development of PMI. These changes may reduce stress in the post-partum year, where caring for a new baby means that illnesses are more likely to develop and contribute to healthy and positive family relationships, with long-term health, social and life trajectory benefits for the family, community and society in general.
    • Higher education in virtual worlds: the use of Second Life and OpenSim for educational practices

      Christopoulos, Athanasios (University of BedfordshireUniversity of Bedfordshire, 2013-03)
      This thesis explores the features of Second Life and OpenSim that affect the choice of academics who are planning to use a virtual world in order to meet the learning needs of their students. For the conduct of this study, what was taken into account is a preexisting framework which proposes the evaluation of virtual worlds against four dimensions: their contexts, the immersion encountered within each, their cost, and their persistence. The research aimed to validate, enhance or alter the framework on which it is based, and also highlight the similarities and differences between Second Life and OpenSim worlds, either internally or externally hosted ones, against these four dimensions. For the fulfillment of this objective, academics were interviewed and students were asked to fill in some questionnaires. However, the findings suggested that none of these options is “the best”. On the contrary, the answer to the question “Which is the ideal virtual world for the conduct of educational projects?” is “It depends on each educator’s needs”. Nevertheless, this thesis provides clear guidance to academics who face the decision to use virtual worlds for educational purposes.
    • Hitchcock, Tati and Leone: style, narrative and directorial approaches in mainstream cinema and their relationship to contemporary screen-dance practice.

      King, Deborah Tiso (University of Bedfordshire, 2018-06)
      This research recommends the style, narrative and directorial approaches of Alfred Hitchcock, Jaques Tati and Sergio Leone as a relevant point of reference for current screen-dance practice. Their specific cinematic authored models were tested in order to determine whether the framework could provide a flexible enough methodology for the making and producing of effective screen-dance, and in the hopes of providing new pathways for the researcher’s screen-dance practice. The cinematic authors selected for scrutiny were Alfred Hitchcock, Jaques Tati, and Sergio Leone. The criterion for this selection was determined by the directors’ stylistic and narrative preferences, and democratic approaches to sound and image making. Five screen-dances were produced for this research between 2004 and 2011 and a further two in 2014 and 2016: Vanishing point (Tiso, 2004), Tippi: Crying Fowl (Tiso, 2007) and Nil desperandum) (Tiso, 2012) were based on the Hitchcock oeuvre, Souvenir (Tiso, 2005) was based on the Tati opus and Crimes (Tiso, 2005) on Sergio Leone’s legacy. Flow (Tiso, 2014) and The big sofa (Tiso, 2016) were developed out of the findings of a completed directorial, stylistic, narrative listing. This thesis is largely a piece of self-enquiry. The researcher has been methodical in how she has approached her own work, so that the work is presented as a heuristic analysis interwoven woven into body of the practical components.
    • Homecoming – an Irish ghost story: reflections on the Irish gothic tradition

      Rushby, Elleesa (University of Bedfordshire, 2019-10)
      This thesis and my creative work, Homecoming, aim to explore some of the reasons why the Anglo-Irish were so prolific at writing supernatural and in particularly Gothic fiction during the 19th century, particularly as an expression of their fragile identity within the broader British Empire and in Ireland. Homecoming, while set at the end of WW2, examines a fictional legacy of ‘The Hunger’ on the colonised Catholic Irish, dealing with the taboo subject of cannibalism. Homecoming’s Gothic mode, includes elements such as the uncanny and the family curse, blending The Big House with folklore and storytelling, as an allegory on the dysfunctional relationship between Protestants and Catholics in the uncertainty and isolationism of post-emergency Ireland. The thesis explores how the Anglo-Irish abjected the Catholic Irish out of fear of losing control, manipulating their literary depiction for commercial and political reasons, while robbing them of the agency to tell their own story. It traces the migration of Anglo-Irish Gothic into English Literature, appropriation of the Catholic Irish experience and questions colonial depiction of the colonised. The thesis offers a basis for discussion about the attitudes and behaviours of the characters in Homecoming.
    • 'How do nurses and midwives gain their research skills in relation to: understanding research and applying research findings to' practice?'

      Sapsed, Margaret Susan (University of Bedfordshire, 2003-04)
      This study explores how nurses/midwives gain their research skills (defined as understanding research and applying research findings to practice) by looking at reading practices, formal research courses and participation in research. The study was undertaken in three phases, the first phase - an enquiry audit, the second phase - a survey and the final phase - interviews and focus groups. The initial part of the study was undertaken in the form of an enquiry audit to explore the developmental stages that nursing and midwifery research had taken between 1980 - 1995 and whether in 1999 these changes were continuing. This phase revealed that the professional influences and practice changes in nursing and midwifery were reflected in the research of this period. It also confirmed that a substantial percentage of authors were either professorial or senior nurse/midwives, not practice based staff. The number of studies increased significantly with the transference of professional education into higher education. The recognition of evidence-based care in nursing and midwifery became evident. The written style of research papers changed under the influence of academia. In conclusion it could be seen that published research during this period had progressed through several developmental stages. The enquiry audit results produced a framework for the second phase; in that it highlighted the need for all nurses and midwives to develop skills to both understand research and apply the findings to practice. This resulted in the construction of a survey to discover how nurses/midwives gained these research skills. The survey was conducted over a three-year period. It considered the research skills of nurses/midwives entering the profession who qualified through certificate, diploma or degree courses. The results showed that the majority of nurses/midwives do not actively read. Formal research courses enable knowledge to be gained but not retained, because the skills acquired frequently were not used in practice, so over time they were lost. Participation in research in the clinical areas was limited, and more often it was restricted to one facet such as handing out questionnaires or collecting data This did not enable the complete understanding of the research process. The degree/diploma results were marginally better than the results of the certificated nurses/midwives. Many barriers to the understanding of research were cited and likewise in relation to the implementation of research, for example the resistance of using new research in practice, lack of support by senior managers, and medical staff considering research was not nurses/midwives territory. The final phase was designed to establish whether the findings in the survey could be supported. The first part of phase three used interviews these results were then compared to the survey results, endorsing those results. Then the focus groups considered the same questions. The results from the focus groups reinforced and confinned the previous findings. The recommendations from the study are firstly that all students completing a first degree or higher degree should undertake a research module. Research modules should become more interactive enabling a deeper understanding of the process and application of research. Through this experiential learning it would be expected that the research skills would be retained for a longer period. Secondly to establish within a Trust or group of Trusts Nursing and Midwifery Research Units, to enhance the role of nursing and midwifery research. It would be anticipated that the research nurses/midwives together with the consultant nurses/rnidwive,s would become actively engaged in research initiatives within the clinical areas. Finally, and vitally important is to construct collaborative and meaningful partnerships between Universities and NHS Research Units to support and develop new initiatives.
    • How do preschool children develop literacy skills? : an exploration of parents' views on how they promote early learning

      Mupemba, Karen (University of Bedfordshire, 2008-10-08)
      Preschool literacy and social skills are crucial in promoting educational and social trajectories especially for children from disadvantaged backgrounds (Olsen and Deboise, 2007). Early childhood interventions in the United Kingdom aim to equip preschool children with skills to prepare them for school and to form a base for future development (potter, 2007). Human beings are known to develop rapidly in the first five years of life, indeed parents are acknowledged as children's first educators, and they can capitalise on this crucial period by providing stimulating and educationally rich environments (Shonkoff and Meisels, 2003). This study sought to assess preschool children's literacy skills and explore the views of their parents on their role in promoting early literacy, their involvement in preschool activities and their expectations from nursery schools. The study also tried to establish a link between the parents' practices and their children's performance in nursery school. Grounded theory approach was used because of the need to explore parents' perceptions, views and attitude with regards to promoting preschool literacy skills. Twelve preschool children were observed at play in nursery school using the Schedule for Growing Skills 11 (1996) mainly focusing on verbal comprehension, manipulative skills and social and emotional development. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve parents of preschool children to gain insight into their views on promoting preschool literacy in the home. Findings revealed that although some parents with low level education and those with low income valued preschool literacy, they did not engage in structured play and interaction with their children to promote literacy skills, citing time constraints and low self efficacy. The children who did not speak English as a first language at home showed significant communication difficulties, suggesting that language was a barrier to the development of school readiness. Findings also indicated that the children whose parents engaged in home learning activities demonstrated preschool competences that prepared them very well for formal education. Some parents who took measures to promote early literacy felt their children did not have much instruction from nursery school on reading, writing and counting, but gained good social skills. The study recommended conceptualising new ways for early years practitioners such as health visitors, nursery nurses and school based family support workers, to help parents engage more aggressively and effectively on strategies that promote early literacy skills. Health visitors and General Practitioners can work together to identify developmental delays and speech and language difficulties to ensure early interventions by specialist services like Speech and Language Therapy. In nursery schools, more resources and capacity are required to ensure that children who need extra support are offered one to one interventions to ensure that they catch up with their peers. Another recommendation drawn from the findings is for early years professionals to encourage and support non-English speaking parents to attend English classes so that they can help their children communicate better in English. Adult literacy programmes can also help parents with low education levels and low self-efficacy to gain confidence in helping their children to learn. The implications of the findings also indicate a need for closer working relationships between agencies such as social care, health and education to provide seamless support to children and families, especially with difficult social circumstances (Department for Health, 2008). It is also hoped that the findings will have implications on designing of targeted interventions for structured parent child interactions especially for parents who lack self efficacy in guiding education related behaviours at home.
    • How is shamanism represented in fantasy fiction? A study into the ancient practice, its important elements, and how fantasy authors use them in their writing

      Ivatt, Heather; University of Bedfordshire (University of Bedfordshire, 2017-01)
      This thesis aims to explore the representation of shamanism in fantasy fiction, focusing on its various aspects and those who practice it. It is accompanied by an extract of my fantasy novel, "Transcendent", which follows Outcast: a man exiled by his people for his misuse of powers, who now charges innocents for helping them. He, and those like him, are known as Magickers and all but a few are left, the others having been slaughtered by an invading empire. The thesis will explore my use of Outcast’s character to demonstrate aspects of shamanism. This will be achieved by analysing a collection of fantasy novels. Those I will investigate are: "Clan of the Cave Bear", by Jean. M. Auel; "Shaman of Stonewylde", by Kit Berry; and the "Soldier Son" trilogy by Robin Hobb. I will also discuss the difference between shamanism and the occult, as the magic systems used in fantasy fiction can be associated with one or the other. Finally, my findings will be compared to my own creative work, to fully understand the representation of shamanism in the genre and how it can be applied in practice.
    • The identification of tumour antigens recognized by patients with Duke’s B (Stage II) reactive colorectal cancers using SEREX

      Boncheva, Viktoriya Bogdanova (University of Bedfordshire, 2013-12)
      Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in both men and women, posing a serious demographic and economic burden worldwide. In the UK, CRC affects one in every twenty people and it is often detected once well-established and after it has spread beyond the bowel (Stage IIA-C and Stage IIIA-C). A diagnosis at such advanced stages is associated with poor treatment response and survival. However, studies have identified two sub-groups of post-treatment CRC patients – those with good outcome (reactive disease) and those with poor outcome (non-reactive disease). Evidence indicates the presence of an effective immune response differentiates between those patients who respond well to treatment and those who do not. To investigate these underlying mechanisms we used the serological analysis of cDNA recombinant libraries (SEREX) technique to determine which antigens are recognised by patients in each group. Immunoscreening a healthy donor testes cDNA library with sera from three patients with Duke’s B reactive disease led to the identification of five antigens. These were (1) the immunoglobulin heavy constant gamma 3 (G3m marker), IGHG3 gene, located on chromosome 14 at 14q32.33, which encodes IgG3, and was recognised by sera from patients CC005 and CC014; (2) the immunoglobulin heavy constant gamma 2, IGHG2 gene, located on chromosome 14 at 14q32.33 and recognised by CC014 sera; while (3) CYB5R3, (4) RPL37A and (5) SLC34A2 were recognised by CC005, CC014 and CC014 sera respectively. CYB5R3 is a NADH-cytochrome b5 reductase 3 protein which has been shown to be upregulated in lung tissue with a RAS mutation in mice. Ribosomal protein L37a (RPL37A) has previously been shown to be upregulated in astrocytomas and to have a general association with lifetime glioblastoma survival and overall glioblastoma survival. Solute carrier family 34 member 2 (SLC34A2) encodes a protein which acts as a pH-sensitive sodium-dependent phosphate transporter. SLC34A2 has been shown to be upregulated in breast and ovarian cancers and it is suggested that SLC34A2 is involved in the process of carcinogenesis, making it an attractive target in therapeutic strategies and also as a diagnostic biomarker. Although other antigens were found, and their sequences identified, all were unknown and not found in the databases. RT-PCR analysis of the Duke’s B colon cancer cell line SW480 showed consistent expression of BCP-20. Although, expression of SSX2, NY-ESO-1, TSP50, HAGE and RAGE were detected, the data was not easily reproductible. Further optimisation of the PCR conditions and primer pairs would be necessary to confirm these findings. We hope in the future we can disern the role of these antigens in the inflammatory immune responses associated with reactive Dukes’ B colon cancer which would help us better understand the mechanisms which underlie effective anti-tumour responses post-surgery. It may also be that RPL37A is a biomarker for patient survival in colorectal cancer and this would be worthy of further investigation.
    • Identifying benefits and challenges in the application of agile methodologies in software development

      Streek, Alistair (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-03)
      Software has generally been developed using the ‘Waterfall’ methodology which is now believed to be cumbersome and slow to react to change. This belief has spawned new ‘Agile’ methodologies that aim to deliver small pieces of working software on a frequent basis. Many claims have been made about Agile, but little academic research has been carried out to justify them. This study identifies the significance of benefits and challenges practitioners have found when adapting to Agile methodologies. Further, the benefits and challenges are linked to the Agile features in use and assesses what contributes to the level of user satisfaction. A survey instrument was employed to collect data from as many practitioners as possible followed by post survey interviews. Claims made for Agile by service providers are compared to the experiences of those canvassed in the survey. Results reveal that the most significant benefit is closer collaboration with other members of the development team. Significant challenges were the estimation of the time and effort Agile projects take to complete and that Agile only works with competent, motivated people. The insights gained in this study will be circulated for the benefit of future research on software development methodologies and Agile practice.
    • Ideological analysis and cinema fiction

      Janmohamed, Shireen (University of Bedfordshire, 2009)
      Ideological analyses of cinema fictions usually employ a methodology using the critical Marxist concept of discursive strategies that are used to spuriously account for realities. With the changes to the international strategic power balance and the use of overwhelming fire-power in the pursuance of what is perceived to be the national interest, cinema fictions have begun to reflect this dangerous world. This thesis argues that a purely ideological analysis is inadequate to the task of interpreting contemporary political cinema texts, and it considers the use of Foucauldian concepts of power and power relations as supplementary to ideological analysis. The application to two cinema texts shows that the concepts used are not mutually exclusive, and Foucault’s thought is especially appropriate to these political cinema fictions. This is a novel approach as it has traditionally been thought that Foucault’s theory of discourse was developed as a counter to ideological analysis. But the research conducted here shows that Foucault’s criticism was aimed at the Marxist concept of ideology and as a consequence he suggested that ideology be treated as one element in a broader discourse of power relations. This is the approach that has been successfully adopted here.
    • The impact of generic advocacy on service users: using a social return on investment approach

      Sekiwa, Yvonne Elizabeth (University of Bedfordshire, 2012-09)
      Advocacy has become a popular way to support the most vulnerable in society, to overcome and resolve the issues they face within the health and social care sector. Advocacy today takes on many forms and has received attention from research over the years. One form of advocacy, however, has not received much research attention and is known as generic advocacy. Traditionally advocacy services have focused on either a particular user group or issue, and sometimes both. Generic advocacy services do not focus on particular group or issue, but are open to all who required advocacy support. Whilst there is available research on advocacy in general, and its impact and effectiveness, little is known about generic advocacy and the impact it has on those who use it. This study, using Social Return on Investment, as a methodological approach has explored the impact of generic advocacy on those who use it. The study has found generic advocacy services produce a variety of outcomes. Although these outcomes could be considered trivial by some, they are extremely important to those who experience them. The impact of the outcomes experienced by the participants in this study is often positive and life changing, making a real difference in their lives.
    • The impact of owners’ education and work experience on the growth of handicraft SMEs in Hyderabad region Pakistan

      Chachar, Ayaz Ahmed (University of Bedfordshire, 2013)
      The general purpose of this study is to investigate factors that positively affect growth in the small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). Preliminary research highlighted the fact that few (if any), past studies had focussed on the owners of SMEs and in particular if educational attainment and work experience had had any effect upon business growth. The author had a particular interest in Pakistani SMEs and coming from Sind, was interested in investigating these factors in Handicraft SMEs currently operating/located in Hyderabad, as (despite being significant local employers), handicraft SMEs in the Hyderabad region have (due to socio-political and socio-economic reasons), long been neglected by local and regional government. In this study (after undertaking secondary research and following the literature review stage), the author concluded that a face-to-face structured interview with the owners of SMEs in the handicrafts sector, combined with a short questionnaire approach to data collection, would yield the best results given the limited budget and short timeframe. The results of this (albeit small-scale and limited) study, indicate that there was indeed some evidence of a positive link between the level of education (as well as the experience), of Hyderabad SME owners and business growth. At the very least, this highlights the need for further study, whilst at the same time making Hyderabad’s policy-makers aware of the potential benefits of investing in educational support for owners of local SMEs.
    • The impact of personal poetics on a horror writer

      Edlin, Matthew (University of Bedfordshire, 2014-10)
      The horror genre invites challenges for the creative writer, new texts for its readers. A horror reader can only predict what he’s going to experience; through the glimpses of fear a horror writer might imagine what he’s going to write. This research thesis is an attempt to evaluate the horror genre from several different angles by simply reading and critiquing. It assesses the practice of being a horror writer, and evaluating areas of debate. Areas which carry less significance which need highlighting, a reflection upon personal poetics made between the writer and the text. Ultimately, new arguments were formed on the basis of what’s available in the field already, arguments which could be considered a contribution towards the horror genre.
    • Independent effects of 7-days imposed exercise on free-living energy balance and appetite-regulating hormones in males

      Mackie, Paul Ian (University of Bedfordshire, 2016-04)
      Study 1 examined the reliability of a photographic food diary (with additional written details) on free-living energy intake (EI) in 13 healthy males. Daily average EI did not differ significantly between two, 7-day periods (p = 0.116) but a large systematic bias (143 ± 715 kcal.day-1) and wide limits of agreement (LoA) (-1258 to 1545 kcal.day-1) were found. Study 2 examined the influence of imposed exercise (7 days) on energy balance and the acylated ghrelin and total PYY response to a meal. Five healthy males completed two, 7-day trials in a crossover randomised design: no exercise (N-EX) and exercise (EX; ~69% V􁈶 O2peak expending an average 815 kcal.day-1). EI and EE were assessed throughout each trial. Blood and appetite ratings (visual analogue scales; VAS) were collected the day prior to and 70 hours post each trial (fasting and for 3 hours postprandial; a final VAS after an ad libitum meal). Exercise significantly increased EI by 27% (p = 0.005), although participants remained in an energy deficit. Appetite regulating hormones and appetite ratings did not alter from pre- to 70 hours post-intervention. Thus, 7-days of imposed exercise induced a partial compensation through EI, without changes in appetite hormones or appetite ratings.