COURSEWORK TWO: Research Proposal

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COURSEWORK TWO: Research Proposal                                            




Learning Outcomes

Portfolio Requirements


Thinking skills


2. Constructively critique the research of others.


3. Plan a research project and select techniques appropriate to the field of education and young people.



Subject-based practical skills


4. Select and implement appropriate analytical techniques, academic convention, demonstrating appropriate written English.




Research Proposal                                             


Create a research proposal,                                                                                                                                  that includes the following chapters:


  • Introduction and aims
  • Literature review
  • Methods
  • Ethics
  • Conclusion


(3,000 words)


Attach an appendix that evidences your engagement with the supervision process


  •  Research Proposal Form
  •  Supervision Logs










Content, guidance and suggested word count



This should succinctly encapsulate what the proposed research is about


Purposes and aims (approx word count 300):


  • What does the research aim to find out and why (referenced to literature)?
  • Why is the proposed research important? (referenced to, for example, literature, media or government interest or personal/professional reasons)
  • Who might be a potential user of this research?
  • What are the specific research questions?



Literature review (approx word count 1,000):


You must demonstrate critical engagement with the literature on your proposed topic. You should:

  • Treat the literature reviewed as a body rather than itemised individual pieces
  • Identify relevant theory and define key terms
  • Identify, describe and analyse themes/issues in the literature
  • Identify, for example, gaps, weaknesses, strengths, contradictions, and areas of concentration, confusion, agreement, disagreement in the literature
  • Show how the existing literature influences your proposed research


Methodology (approx word count 1,000):


In this section you need to provide a rationale for the research design choices and discuss issues relating to validity:

  • Which research paradigm will be used – positivist (quantitative), interpretivist (qualitative) or both. Why?                         
  • Which research approach/strategy (e.g. case study, ethnography, survey) will it be using? Why?
  • Which data collection methods will be used in the study? Why? You might briefly touch on the methods you rejected?
  • How do you intend to ensure that the research is valid?


Your discussion in this section must be supported with relevant literature on research design.


Ethical considerations (approx word count 500):


In this section you need to demonstrate understanding of ethical procedures and, where appropriate, how they will be applied in your proposed study. For example:

  • What is informed consent? How will you gain informed consent in the study?
  • What is meant by confidentiality and anonymity? How will confidentiality and anonymity be assured in the study?
  • What are the possible risks to the participants? Are there any threats to children’s well-being?
  • Do power dynamics or reflexivity create any threats to the validity of the research?




Your discussion in the Ethics Chapter section must be supported with relevant literature on ethics e.g. BERA guidelines


Conclusion (approx word count 200):


  • Provide a clear summary of issues addressed
  • Indications that you have considered some of the practicalities of how the research will be undertaken as part of the independent research project



Reference list:


Should include all items referred to in your assignment

  • Wide ranging (including the core texts)
  • * Does not over rely on websites
  • Follows academic conventions (Cite them Right)



Presentation of your proposal and appendices / academic conventions to apply




* Please ensure you use the submission template provided

Alpha, numerical, section headings/sub headings, consistent bulleting, use of font/italic for emphasis/ ordering and accurate in-text referencing.





  • clear, succinct, coherent expression, error free
  • spelling and grammar accurate and consistent
  • correct use of punctuation
  • effective  use of topic sentences and linking words to create a flow
  • no use of the first person within the literature review 
  • minimal use of the first person in all the other ‘chapters’















Thomas, G. (2013) ‘How to Do Your Research Project: A Guide for Students in Education and Applied Social Sciences’ London: Sage


Essential Reading for this Module:


Bell, J. and Waters, S. (2014) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-time Researchers in Education and Social Science The Open University Press


Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2011) Research Methods in Education, 7th edn. London: Routledge Falmer. Available as an e-book

(An 6th edition is available as a PDF on Moodle within the useful resources and web links folder)


Punch, K (2011) Introduction to Research Methods in Education, London: SAGE


Please note the LRC catalogue address


A reminder of useful sections on the Library website:


Electronic Databases- refresher:  BEI/ERIC; EBSCO; WoS; BHINet; Lexis-Nexis Pro; SwetsWise





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