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Marking Criteria:

1. a capability to define and justify a research topic;

2. appropriate research processes encompassing research design, and data analysis;

3. critical appraisal of the limitations of research methodology and the ethical issues involved in its operation;


a? the construction of a properly scoped, designed, risk-assessed, time-estimated, activity-based written proposal of 2,000 a 2,500 words.

The proposal should contain the following (note word count restrictions apply only where stated):

1 A topic clearly defined by means of a working title or Research Question.

2 Rationale (1000 to 1500 words)

To locate the work in its context requires the following elements:

a? clarity of topic;

a? justification for study;

a? evidence of preliminary review of literature (from a range of resources); and

a? a demonstration familiarity of topic and potential to show comprehensive overview of the literature in chosen field of study.

3 Aim and Objectives

The work should contain 4 a 5 objectives that relate clearly to the single aim. The aim and objectives should in turn be clearly linked to the research methodology proposed.

4 Proposed Research Methodology (400 to 500 words)

The research design should show clear understanding of both secondary and primary research methods. It should show;

- what type of data will be collected (quantitative, qualitative or both);

- how such data will be collected (i.e. focus group, personal interview, survey, observation etc.); and

- how such data will be analysed (in statistical terms).

You should also identify any constraint or opportunity in respect of data collection. You should justify your choice of data collection methods and evidence ethical considerations.

Primary research is not a requirement for inclusion in your dissertation but should be used where appropriate. You will be guided by your supervisor as to the suitability for inclusion or an alternative.

5 Content

Outline of chapters, including sub-headings to show the intended structure of the dissertation.

6 References and Bibliography

Your reference list will itemise only citations appearing in your proposal text. Your bibliography will indicate future reading. The Harvard Referencing technique must be used throughout.



Bell, Judith (2005) Doing your Research Project Maidenhead:Open University.

Easterby-Smith, M., Thorpe, R. and Lowe, A (2008), Management Research, An Introduction, 3rd ed.London: Sage.

Johnson,G., Scholes,K., and Whittington,R (2008) Exploring Corporate Strategy, 8th ed. Harlow: FT Prentice Hall

Gill, J and Johnson, P (2010) Research Methods for Managers, 4th ed.London: Sage

Saunders,S., Lewis,P., and Thornhill, A (2009) Research Methods for Business Students, 5th ed.Harlow: FT Prentice Hall


Cresswell, John (2003) Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches London:Sage.

Oppenheim, A.N. (1992) Questionnaire Design Interviewing and Attitude Measurement, 2nd ed., Pinter.

White, B. (2003) Dissertation Skills for Business and Management Students, London, Continuum.