Research Methods – Assessment
Written report (specification) worth 80% of total module mark – due week 12
Verbal presentation worth 20% of total module mark – due week 8
The written assessment for this module is, in effect, an extended research specification for the MSc thesis (as if you were proceeding to undertake the MSc project) and also the preliminary/background investigation. This background investigation should provide the reader with a clear understanding of the current situation in the topic area. However, you need to remember that the purpose of this assessment is to allow you to demonstrate your ability to conceive and specify a MSc level research project; it is not about producing an essay about your chosen topic for research. The submission should be 3500-4500 words.
The structure of your report (specification) should be as follows:
1. Title: A SHORT description which indicates clearly the question that the research project is going to investigate. (5 marks)
2. Abstract: Summary of the problem, core problems and how these will be addressed.
(maximum 300 words – please give word count in document) (5 marks)
3. Aims: General statements on intent and direction of the research. (5 marks)
4. Objectives: A list of clear, measurable statements of intended outcomes. i.e. What you are going to do in order to answer the question in the title and how you are going to do this (in relative detail) (10 marks)
5. Justification: Rationale for the research showing gaps in current knowledge and how the results of the research might be used. (Aims, Objectives, Justification – about 1 page) (5 marks)
6. Review of Literature: History of problem with key sources with critical appraisal of contributions.
(guidance – no more than about 2000 words – please give word count in document) (20 marks)
7. Methodology: Justification of approach and methodology proposed. Shows clearly data collection and identifies analytical tools; Identification of any ethical issues.
(guidance – about 1000 words – please give word count in document) (25 marks)
8. Work Plan: A timetable for completion of research.
(remember a MSc project full-time is allowed 9 months for completion; part-time is 15 months) any appropriate method to present the well-thought-through plan) (10 marks)
9. References and overall presentation of the work: Accurate use and presentation of Harvard style citation for literature/sources used in the proposal. written presentation; Discussion regarding any evidence that would be required for running the research e.g. letters of support, agreement of collaboration, agreement from the University Ethics Committee, etc. (15 marks)
Note: references must be given using the Harvard system
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