Is their good use of secondary sources, citation, references, synthesis, critique, chronology, seminal works, models?

Guidelines for undertaking the Assignment

The assignment consists of ONE piece of coursework made up of two tasks.
Task 1 The Research Design Proposal (50%)
The research proposal must include a background which describes the basic situation underlying your project.
It must include a statement of the problem or opportunity that is the aim of your project. It must describe the rationale for your project, why you wish to carry out this research and the benefits that will accrue from its successful conclusion.
You must create research objectives that, when you successfully complete them, will have the information that enables you to solve the problem or capitalise on the opportunity that is the aim of your research.
You must evaluate and fully describe the research methods that will be necessary to successfully complete the research. Data collection methods must be selected and described which are consistent with the research philosophy necessary for its completion: these will include secondary and primary data sources. The methods by which the data you collect will be analyzed need to be justified.
Finally, ethical, validity and reliability issues relevant to the research must be discussed and a time plan for its completion must be calculated and displayed as a Gantt chart (or another suitable format).

Task 2 The Literature/Evidence Review (50%)
The research proposal must also include a Literature/Evidence review which evaluates the context for your research and sources academic research and models that are relevant to the project. It should include a critical evaluation of relevant theoretical and practical references and include breadth of understanding and depth of critical evaluation. Reviews will require analysis and evaluation of evidence and sources and be informed by theory and appropriate practice.


A Case Study, Business Development Plan or Dissertation topics can be used if desired but it is not mandatory
Discussion and debate on the above mentioned topics should be seen.
There must be sufficient linkage between theory and practice.
Harvard style of referencing should be used

Guidance to the contents and recommended structure of the Proposal is shown below:
(Note that Ref: applies to the Assessment Form included in this document.)

Part 1: Introduction and Background (400 words) Ref: Assessment Form Task 1, Section1

Is the overall context for the research well established?
Is the research topic interesting from an academic and practical perspective?
Is there a statement of the problem?
Is there a rationale for the topic?
Is it clear what aspects of the chosen topic will be researched?
Do the boundaries of the research make sense?
Is there a clear statement of the aim of the research?
Are research objectives included and are they specific?
Are the research questions well-conceived?
Are the research objectives matched to the research questions?

Part 2: Literature Review (2000 words) Ref: Assessment Form Task 2

Section 1 The LR Introduction (200 words) Ref: Assessment Form Task 2, Section 1
Is the domain explained?
Is there an identification of the main sources to be used?
Is there a pointer to the upcoming structure?

Section 2 The Main Body of the LR (1550 words) Ref: Assessment Form Task 2, Section 2
Is there a clear structure?
Does the review have a logical progression?
Does the review convey the critical thinking of the writer?
Is their good use of secondary sources, citation, references, synthesis, critique, chronology, seminal works, models?
Is the current position conveyed?

Section 3 Conclusion (250 words) Ref: Assessment Form Task 2, Section 3
Is there a clear concluding statement?
Is there a clear implication for further research?
Are research questions specified?
Are there emergent themes?
Is a conceptual framework established?
Has the research gap been confirmed?

Part 3: Research Methodology (1100 words) Ref: Assessment Form, Task 1, Section 2

Is there a logical and cohesive structure to the proposal?
Is the underlying philosophical approach adequately explained?
Are the proposed research methods appropriate to the research task?
Have the data types been defined and classified?
Have target populations and samples been defined and justified?

Part 4: Data Analysis (500 words) Ref: Assessment Form, Task 1, Section 3

Is the proposal for analysis linked back to the literature and the research questions?
Have analysis methods been specified?
Are ethical issues considered?
Are validity and reliability issues discussed?
Is there an adequate time plan for the research?
Have academic protocols for referencing been met?

Note that the suggested number of words should only be an approximate guide. The quality of the work, not the quantity is the factor which needs to guide the writing of the proposal.

Learning Outcomes:

Upon successful completion of this module students will be able to:

Formulate research questions and describe and critically evaluate differing research methods, including the formation of hypotheses, or other research models, or paradigms and justify the selection and use of specific research methodologies;
Integrate and plan key research activities and schedules including the setting of timetables and research objectives, and the acceptance of accountability for all aspects of the conduct of a research project
Understand the importance of, and be able to effectively demonstrate skills in, the conventions which are required for the carrying out of a major research project including the design of experimental and non-experimental research projects; the preparation of an integrated research proposal and effectively manage the design and delivery of this.
Comprehend and critically evaluate the differentiation between qualitative and quantitative methods as they are used in research design and evaluate the appropriateness of their application, use, and value in differing aspects of business functions and requirements.

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