Learning outcomes assessed: I, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.
You are required to develop a research proposal that provides substantiated justification for the proposed research. The proposal should convince the reader of the appropriateness (to the MSc Degree), usefulness and achievability of the proposed research.
The proposal should contain 4 sections:
- Purpose of research
- Literature Review / problem definition
- Research design
- References and presentation
1 Purpose of research
The proposal should provide substantiated rationale for the importance of the proposed research. Why is the research worth undertaking? This could be done by:
a) Explaining the potential contribution to management practice, policy makers and /or academic knowledge.
b) Citing existing reliable publications that have identified a gap in knowledge and consequently have identified a need for research into the selected topic / issue.
The proposal should provide a succinct research question and 3 / 4 related objectives. The objectives, which should be output (what they will achieve) rather than process focused, are very important as they will provide a ‘roadmap’ for the completion of the proposed research.
2 Literature review
The proposal should include a critical review of relevant literature upon which the research will be based. Understanding of seminal arguments and current debates should be demonstrated.
3 Research design
The research design section should explain how the proposed research will be undertaken. Clear linkages should be evident between the research question and objectives, insights from the literature review and the selected research approach and data collection strategies. Selection of and access to the research context/s should be clearly explained. Sound rationale should be provided for the strategies that will be used to gather and analyse data. Likewise sampling, recruitment, ethics, quality considerations, timescale, required resources and potential limitations of the proposed research should be carefully considered.
4 References and presentation
Key sources should be included. All sources must be accurately cited according to Harvard conventions. The proposal should be written using appropriate academic language.
Word count: The research proposal should be a maximum of 2500 words (including in text citations). The maximum word count excludes: title page, table of contents (if used), bibliography and appendices.
Formatting: The proposal should use Arial font, minimum font size 11. The proposal must be double-line spaced.