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LSC UoS BA in Business
 RM Assignment Brief
Course/Programme:
BA Business
Level:
5
Module Title:
Research Methodologies
Module Leader:
Dr. Uma Mohan
Assignment titles:
Research Proposal
Assignment number:
1
Weighting:
100%
Date given out:
April 2021
Submission date:
21st June 2021
Eligible for late submission (3 working days, with penalty)?
Yes
Method of submission:
X
Online only
 
Online and paper copy
Special instructions for submission (if any):
 
Date for results and feedback:
Not known yet
Employability skills assessed:
C1:            Reading, selecting, analysing and synthesising information from a range of sources C2:            Producing different types of document C3:            Participating in discussions IT1:           Preparing information N3:            Presenting your findings S1:             Plan personal work schedules WWO2:    Working towards identified targets  
      Learning outcomes assessed:
LO1: Understand the scientific process, its application in economics and business, and its utilization in the problem-solving approach to business and management challenges. LO2: Demonstrate the skills necessary to assess and interpret existing research as a prelude to carrying out further investigation LO3: Critically describe, comprehend and discuss the role, principles, function and application of research design within both academic and/or applied business contexts LO4: Understand, critically comprehend different research strategies and be able to apply with insight appropriate research methodologies to differing types of research problems, hypotheses, or fields of investigation LO5: Conceptualise and formulate a research project, including the formation of a hypothesis; the identification of field and evidence; the identification of research methodological approaches; the carrying out of a sustained piece of research, and the forming of conclusions while evaluating and applying the outcomes of research to a context/problem or issue LO6: Demonstrate and apply the researching skills and project management skills which are required and which are necessary to carrying out a successful and sustained piece of individual work which may be applicable to academic and/or business contexts  
TASK DESCRIPTION –
TASK
Select a research topic of your choice based on a business issue and design a research proposal for this topic. The topic may be discussed  with your Lecturer or the Teaching Assistant at the start of the term in order to facilitate a smooth development of the research proposal . This proposal should not exceed 3000words. (+/- 10%)
Based on the selected topic, you are required to:
Select and develop a research  topic with  an appropriate set of research aim and  objectives.
Justify the choice of research topic including the background and context of the research.
Develop a critical literature review of the research topic.
Design a research methodology based on the topic selected. This would, in turn,  require you to develop a research design and justify your methodological choices.
Your research design should include the following:
Research Philosophy (e.g., positivism, interpretivism, realism and/or pragmatism)
Research Approach (inductive or deductive)
Research strategy  
Research methods

Discuss and justify the data collection methods – type of data, sampling method and target group.
Discuss the data analysis procedure to be adopted.
Discuss the possible ethical issues that need to be considered in this research
Discuss the methods by which you would ensure that the research is  both valid and reliable
Discuss any possible limitations to this research
Provide a research plan for time management  (timescale)
Support with relevant references (Harvard format)
In your data collection and data analysis section, if appropriate, discuss how you would collect primary data through the use of one or a combination of methods of data collection methods e.g. questionnaire, interview, focus groups, observation, etc., and how you would analyse this data.
 The above requirements are indicated as the required areas of focus for you to articulate your individual responses. The submission of your work for assessment should be organised and clearly structured in the order outlined below.
 LENGTH REQUIRED
3000 words +/- 10%
FORMATTING  AND LAYOUT
Please note the following when completing your written assignment:
Writing: Written in English in an appropriate business/academic style
Focus: Focus only on the tasks set in the assignment.
Document format: Report
Ensure a clear title, course, and name or ID number is on a cover sheet and the referencing conforms to the Harvard system.
Research: Research should use reliable and relevant sources of information e.g. academic books and journals that have been peer reviewed. The research should be extensive.
The use of a range of information sources is expected – academic books, peer reviewed journal articles, professional articles, press releases and newspaper articles, reliable statistics, company annual reports and other company information. All referencing should be in Harvard style.
 The instructions below will provide you with some more, hopefully helpful, advice
Research Proposal Title: The title is to create interest and reflect seriousness and relevance. Avoid vague and sweeping phrases covering broad areas of subjects. Endeavour to be clear, specific and precise. Remember that a title, brief as it may be, needs to be faithful to the contents of the research.
Abstract: This is a brief statement of what you are intending to research. It should be no more than 1-2 paragraphs. This needs to describe the proposal content. Think of this as an executive summary.
Introduction: You need to define the problem. Evidence of analytical thinking, argument analysis, theory application, and data management analysis is required as part of research. Remember to emphasis:
Relevance of the Proposed Research to Business Research
Place the proposed study in context
Justification of the chosen topic
Value of this research
Research question and objectives: This is to form the heart of the research proposal, creating interest and raising queries while serving to discipline and monitor thinking. Good research questions should be clear, specific, and answerable. The research objectives will comprise a general statement on the purpose, intention, or desire outcome of your research project. Please remember:
There must be 1 Research Aim   and an appropriate set of Research objectives
The research questions and objectives are linked to your Literature review.
Literature review: This is designed to situate your research project in a scholarly tradition, acknowledging the contributions made by other scholars and/or practitioners while highlighting the innovative approach of your project, which is expected to shed a new light on the subject or fill a gap in the available literature on it. A critical survey (or critique) of the literature in the research area will also help you define or single out a major work, theory or school of thought you could use or build. (A conceptual or theoretical framework)
Research method(s) used: This is to inform the reader how you intend to proceed regarding data (based on what you need, where the data are located, how to get them, what to do with them). The two main methodologies in this connection are Qualitative and Quantitative.
Your method consists of two parts:
Research design – relates to the “research onion” (philosophies, approaches, strategies, choices, time horizon). You are expected to make strong justifications in support of your chosen research design. The “Onion” framework, designed by Saunders at al (2015) will be introduced during the course lectures.
Data collection and analysis – relates to the last phase of the research (techniques and procedures). Identify how specifically the data will be collected (i.e. questionnaire, focus group, etc…). You are expected to provide the advantages and disadvantages of the various data collection methods and select the most appropriate data collection method(s). For data analysis, you need to discuss whether or not you will use descriptive or inferential statistics….or both. Also you need to consider which software might be used for the analysis.
 Note that aspects of ethics, validity and reliability must be addressed, either in the course of your writing or in a separate headed section. Also, your research proposal must include a time plan for the actual research to be undertaken.
 It is also likely that your work will have its limitations. It is necessary for you to identify and briefly discuss this aspect.
More general advice on approaching the assignment:
Identify the key terms and requirements for a Research Proposal
Use the Marking Criteria to understand the expectations of the reader.
Create an outline of your assignment.
Use your Research and Referencing to support and justify all your points
Use Evidence to support your proposed research design and methodology
Use of Academic English and appropriate research terminologies  required
Your assignment should include in-text citations and be supported with a full List of References. You are expected to use the Harvard Referencing Style.
Please remember that when you submit your assignment, you need to include your name, student ID (also as a footer) and the title of your assignment.
 marking criteria and Student FEEDBACK
This section details the assessment criteria. The extent to which these are demonstrated by you determines your mark. The marks available for each criterion are shown. Lecturers use a similar format to comment on the achievement of the task(s), including those areas in which you have performed well and areas that would benefit from development/improvement.
Common Assessment Criteria Applied
Marks available
Marks Awarded
1. Research-informed Literature Extent of research and/or own reading, selection of credible sources, application of appropriate referencing conventions.
20
 
Students are expected to critically review the relevant literature pertaining to their selected research topic and specific research question. This Literature should be derived from credible and current sources. Harvard Referencing conventions are expected to be followed. Similarly the Research Methodologies and methods aspects of the work should be supported by appropriate literature.
 
 
 
2. Knowledge and Understanding of Subject Extent of knowledge and understanding of concepts and underlying principles associated with the discipline.
30
 
Students are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the main models and theories pertaining to the selected research topic. Similarly, the Research Methodologies and methods aspects of the work will demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of its main academic features.
 
 
 
3. Analysis Analysis, evaluation and synthesis; logic, argument and judgement; analytical reflection; organisation of ideas and evidence
25
 
Students are expected to organise the material in the Research proposal such that it contains analysis, synthesis and evaluation. In this context, in the Literature Review, schools of thought may be identified, key themes outlined, and other means of demonstrating good organisation of the material demonstrated. Throughout the work, justification for choices made will be apparent.
 
 
 
4. Practical Application and Deployment Deployment of methods, materials, tools and techniques; application of concepts; formulation of innovative and creative solutions to solve problems.
15
 
Students are expected, in this aspect of the work, to relate what has been learned in the Literature Review to the actual undertaking of the forthcoming research, primarily through the development of a conceptual (or theoretical) framework. Practical and justifiable recommendations relating to methodology and method should be evident.
 
 
 
5. Skills for Professional Practice Attributes in professional practice: individual and collaborative working; deployment of appropriate media; presentation and organisation.
10
 
Students are expected to communicate and present the Proposal effectively, understandable to both specialists and non-specialists alike. This criterion includes the structure of the work and the standard of English used. It also includes an ability to work at an individual level.
 
 
TOTAL
     100
 
Assignment Mark (Assessment marks are subject to ratification at the UoS Assessment Board.  These comments and marks are to give feedback on module work and are for guidance only until they are confirmed. )
72 Hour Late Submission Penalties (tick if appropriate)
%

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GENERIC ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
Level 5
In accordance with the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications, at the end of Level 5 students will be expected to have developed sound knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established concepts and principles in their field of study, and of the way in which those principles have developed.  They will have learned to apply those concepts and principles more widely outside the context in which they were first studied, including, where appropriate, the application of those principles in an employment context. They will have knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in the subject area, and ability to evaluate critically different approaches to problem solving. They will possess an understanding of the limits of their knowledge, and how this influences their analyses and interpretations.  They will be able to use a range of established techniques to initiate and undertake critical analysis of information, and to propose solutions to problems arising from that analysis. They will be able to effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences, and deploy key techniques of the discipline effectively. They will be able to undertake further training, develop existing skills and acquire new competences that will enable them to assume significant responsibility within organisations.  They will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.
Level 5
FAIL
MARGINAL FAIL
SATISFACTORY (3rd / Pass)
GOOD (2.2 / Pass)
VERY GOOD (2.1 / Merit)
EXCELLENT (1st / Distinction)
EXCEPTIONAL (1st / Distinction)
Category
0-29%
30-39%
40-49%
50-59%
60-69%
70-84%
85-100%
Engagement with literature (including reading, referencing, academic conventions and academic honesty)
Little or no evidence of reading and/or reliance on inappropriate sources. Views and findings mostly unsupported and non-authoritative. Referencing conventions used incoherently or largely absent.
Poor engagement with essential reading. No evidence of wider reading. Reliance on inappropriate sources, and/or indiscriminate use of sources. Heavily reliant on information gained through class contact. Inconsistent and weak use of referencing.
Engagement with a limited range of mostly relevant and credible sources. Some omissions and minor errors. Referencing conventions evident though not always applied accurately or consistently.
Engagement with an appropriate range of literature, including sources retrieved independently. Some over-reliance on texts. Referencing may show minor inaccuracies or inconsistencies.
Engagement with a wide range of literature, including sources retrieved independently. Selection of relevant and credible sources.  Very good use of referencing, with no/very few inaccuracies or inconsistencies.
Engagement with an extensive range of relevant and credible literature. Consistently accurate application of referencing.
Exceptional engagement with an extensive range of relevant and credible literature. High-level referencing skills consistently applied.
Knowledge and understanding (Sound knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established concepts and principles in their field of study; knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in the discipline.)
Major gaps in knowledge withunsatisfactory, uncriticalunderstanding of the subject matter. Much irrelevant material.  Substantial inaccuracies. Significantly flawed understanding of the main methods of enquiry in the discipline.
Fragmentary knowledge, with only superficial critical understanding. Some significant inaccuracies and/or irrelevant material.  Incomplete or partially flawed understanding of the main methods of enquiry in the discipline.
Limitedbut adequate knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established concepts and principles within the subject area, with a few gaps in the selection of material. A narrow critical understanding of the main methods of enquiry.
Knowledge is reasonably detailed and accurate .A good critical understanding of the well-established concepts and principles and the main methods of enquiry, with minor gaps in the selection of material.
Knowledge is reasonably extensive.  Exhibits very competent critical understanding of the well-established concepts and principles of the subject and the main methods of enquiry.  Breadth and depth of knowledge.
Excellent, detailed knowledge and highly critical understanding of thewell-established concepts and principles of the subject and the main methods of enquiry.
Exceptionally detailed knowledge and outstanding critical understanding of the well-established concepts and principles of the subject and the main methods of enquiry. May go beyond established theories.
Cognitiveand intellectual skills (Critical evaluation and analysis of concepts and principles;argument and judgement; the limits of their knowledge, and how this influences their analyses and interpretations.)
Wholly or almost wholly descriptive work. Little or no critical evaluation and analysis of concepts and principles. Failure to develop arguments, leading to illogical or invalidjudgements. Unsubstantiated generalisations or opinion, made without use of any credible evidence.  
Largely descriptive work, with superficial use of critical evaluation and analysis of concepts and principles. Weak development of arguments and judgements. Information accepted uncritically, uses generalised statements made with scant evidenceand unsubstantiated opinions. Ideas sometimes illogical and contradictory.
Limited attempt at critical evaluation and analysis of concepts and principles, tending towards description. Some evidence to supportarguments and judgements but these may be underdeveloped, with a little inconsistency / mis-interpretation or failure to fully recognise limits of knowledge.    
Some critical evaluation and analysis of concepts and principles, though descriptive in parts. An emerging awareness the limits of their knowledge and ability to use evidence to support the argument though with some tendency to assert/state opinion rather than argue on the basis of reason and evidence. Mostly valid arguments and logical judgements.
Sound critical evaluation and analysis of concepts. Is selective in the range of evidence used and synthesises rather than describes. Ability to devise arguments that show awareness of different stances, and use evidence convincingly, to support appropriate and valid judgements.
Excellent critical evaluation and analysis of concepts and principles leading to logical, evidence-based, reasoned arguments and judgements. Explicit recognition of other stances and a strong awareness of the limits of their knowledge. A capacity for independent thought and ability to ‘see beyond the question’, suggesting some grasp of the broader field and wider concepts.
Outstanding critical evaluation and analysis of concepts and principles.  Uses evidence exceptionally well to connect ideas, and support highly logical and persuasive, arguments and judgements. Evidence of independent thought and ability to ‘see beyond the question’, suggesting a clear grasp of the broader field and wider concepts. Perceptive recognition of the limits of their knowledge, and how this influences their analyses and interpretations.
Practical skills (Apply underlying concepts and principles more widely outside the context in which they were first studied; use a range of established techniques; propose solutions to problems arising from analysis.)
Limited or no use of established methods, materials, tools and/or techniques. Little or no appreciation of the context of the application. Limited understanding of the application of theory to practice or making appropriate links between the two. Very weak problem-solving skills outside the context in which they were first studied.
Rudimentary application of established methods, materials, tools and/or techniques but without consideration and competence. Flawed appreciation of the context of the application. Weak understanding of the application of theory to practice, with only occasional evidence of making appropriate links between the two. Weak problem-solving skills outside the context in which they were first studied.    
An adequate awareness and mostly appropriate application of established methods, materials, tools and/or techniques. Basic appreciation of the context of the application. Theoretical knowledge and understanding applied in practice, but not always making logical links between the two. Can identify problems and propose basic solutions outside the context in which they were first studied.
A good and appropriate application of established methods, materials, tools and/or techniques. Clear appreciation of the context of the application. Mainly consistent, accurate and logical application of theory to practice, making appropriate links between the two. Can identify problems and propose mostly appropriate solutions outside the context in which they were first studied.
A very good application of a range of established methods, materials, tools and/or techniques. Very good consideration of the context of the application, with perceptive insights. Consistent, accurate and logical application of theory to practice, making appropriate links between the two.Can identify problems and propose appropriate solutions outside the context in which they were first studied. Evidence of some creativity.
An advanced application of a range of established methods, materials, tools and/or techniques. The context of the application is well considered, and insightful. Consistent, accurate and logical application of theory to practice, making well-developed links between the two.Can identify problems and propose excellent, creative solutions outside the context in which they were first studied.
Exceptional levels of application and deployment skills using established methods, materials, tools and/or techniques.  Consistent, accurate and logical application of theory to practice, making highly developed links between the two.Can identify routine and non-routine problems and propose quite sophisticated, creative solutions outside the context in which they were first studied.
Transferable skills for life and professional practice (Effectively communicate in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences;  the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.)
Communication medium is inappropriate or misapplied. Work is poorly structured, disorganised and/or confusingly expressed. Very weak use of language and/or very inappropriate style. Failure to work effectively as part of a group.Little or no evidence of the skills for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.    
Communication medium is poorly designed and/or not suitable for the audience. Work is poorly presented in a disjointed manner. It is loosely, and at times incoherently, structured, with information and ideas often poorly expressed. Weak use of language and/or inappropriate style. Flawed approach to group work, meeting only partial obligations to others. Limited evidenceof the skills for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making.
Can communicate in a suitable medium for the audience but with some room for improvement. Mostly ordered presentation and structure in which relevant ideas / concepts are reasonably expressed. Work may lack coherence in places. Can work as part of a group, meeting most obligations to others but perhaps with limited involvement in group activities. Demonstrates the basic skills for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making, with some areas of minor weakness.
Can communicate effectively in a suitable medium for the audience, but may have minor errors. Mostly coherent, organised work,in a suitable structure and is for the most part clearly expressed.Can work effectively independently and/or as part of a team, with clear contribution to group activities. Demonstrates the skills for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making, with some areas of strength and some of minor weakness.
Can communicate well, confidently and consistently in a suitable medium for the audience. Work is coherent, fluent, well-structured and organised. Can work very well autonomously and/or as part of a team, with very good contribution to group activities. Demonstrates very good skills for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making, with just occasional minor weakness.
Can communicate professionally confidently and consistently in a suitable medium for the audience. Work is coherent, very fluent and is presented proficiently. Can work autonomously with initiative. Where relevant can work professionally within a team, showing leadership skills as appropriate, and meeting obligations.Demonstrates excellentskills for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making and an appetite for further development.  
Can communicate with an exceptionally high level of professionalism, highly suitable for the audience. Work is exceptionally coherent, very fluent and is presented professionally.Can work exceptionally well within a team, showing leadership skills.Demonstrates exceptional skills for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making and an appetite for further development.

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