LEVEL 5 ASSESSMENT SPECIFICATION
|Student name:||Student ID number:|
|Programme:||BA Business Studies|
|Module:||Business Research Methodologies|
Contribution to Overall Module Assessment (%):
|60% Research proposal
40% PPT Presentation
|Lecturer:||Dr Ashok Srivastava||Internal Verifier:|
|Assignment Title:||Business Research Proposal||Word count (or equivalent):||2500 Written Report in the form of Research Proposal
300 Words PPT Presentation
|Submission deadline:||TBC||Return date of provisional marks & written feedback:||tbc|
|Submission method:||All written assessments, where practical and possible, must be submitted via Turnitin unless otherwise instructed by the Lecturer. (Please DO NOT put this assessment specification into Turnitin or it will match many similarities with other students’ submissions.)
Alternative submission method (if applicable):
Late submission of the assessment will result in a late penalty mark. Penalties for late submission: Up to one week late, maximum mark of 40%. Over one week late, 0%. Only the Extenuating Circumstances Panel may approve a change to submission dates.
|Academic honesty / referencing:||Academic honesty is required. In the main body of your submission you must give credit to authors on whose research and ideas your work is based. Append to your submission a reference list that indicates the books, articles, etc. that you have used, cited or quoted in order to complete this assessment.|
|Module Learning Outcomes
(from module syllabus)
|Learning Outcomes tested
(from module syllabus)
|Assessment Criteria. To achieve each
outcome a student must demonstrate the ability to:
||· Construct a research proposal rooted in the disciplines of research development.|
||· Review the existing literature pertaining to the topic selected for research.|
|3. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of research designs and their appropriate utilisation in business and economics||· Generate and justify a design for the research question selected – to include the method(s) and its/their implementation.|
||· Generate research objectives and develop a research strategy encompassing the methods, data collection, analysis and interpretation.
|5. Understand the theoretical principles underlying inferential and descriptive statistics and choose the most appropriate statistical analyses, interpret the results, and write up the results accurately and completely||· Demonstrate an understanding of both descriptive and inferential statistics within the data analysis procedures.
· Explain and justify the likely means of analysis to be used in the upcoming research.
An Academic Report in the form of a Research Proposal and an Individual Presentation Paper (PPT slides)
Select a research topic of your choice based on a business issue and design a research proposal for this topic. The topic should be agreed with your Lecturer at least 4 weeks before submission date. This proposal should not exceed 2500 words. (+/- 10%)
You are required to prepare an Academic Report (Research Proposal) of 2500 words (+/-10%) in which you are required to:
Research Philosophy (e.g., positivism, interpretivism, realism and/or pragmatism)
Research Approach (inductive or deductive)
In your data collection and data analysis section, 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. If you intend to conduct your research by using secondary data you will discuss the sources to be used, why those sources have been selected, their suitability, the challenges facing the secondary data researcher and the ethical issues involved in that approach.
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.
Prepare a maximum of 10 Power Point Slides with notes for presentation to senior management regarding your Research Proposal.
Maximum Word Limit for each aspect within the assessment:
Suggested Structure – Research Proposal
The research question would normally be one major question, but, exceptionally, it could be a small number (up to 3) question(s) that the research process will address.
Research objectives (usually 4-5 different research objectives) must be clear statements that identify what the research process seeks to achieve.
Both the research question(s) and research objectives must relate to the literature review.
This has to relate to the research questions and research objectives and shows how they will be achieved.
Your method consists of the following parts:
(1) Research design – relates to the research “onion” – used as a framework in the teaching of this element – (philosophies, approaches, strategies, choices, time horizon). You are expected to make strong justifications in support of your chosen research design.
(2) Data collection – relates to the last phase of the research – the techniques and procedures. Identify how specifically the data will be collected (i.e. questionnaire, focus groups,secondary data, 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).
(3) Data analysis – although no data is collected, an indication of the types of analysis, the software to be used and how it might be presented is expected.
(Your chosen method (1) Research design and (2) Data collection must relate to the purpose of your study.)
(4) Ethics considerations
(5) Validity and Reliability issues
(6) Resource Requirements and
(7) A Time plan – perhaps in the form of a Gantt chart
2500 +/- 10%. Any deviation from this will be penalised.
|FORMATTING AND LAYOUT|
Please note the following when completing your written assignment:
Ensure a clear title, course, and name or ID number is on a cover sheet and a Reference List using Harvard Referencing throughout is also provided.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
|GUIDANCE FOR Students IN THE COMPLETION OF TASKS|
NOTE: The guidance offered below is linked to the five generic assessment criteria overleaf.
Your work must be informed and supported by scholarly material that is relevant to and focused on the task(s) set. You should provide evidence that you have accessed an appropriate range of sources, which may be academic, governmental and industrial; these sources may include academic journal articles, textbooks, current news articles, organisational documents, and websites. You should consider the credibility of your sources; academic journals are normally highly credible sources while websites require careful consideration/selection and should be used sparingly. Any sources you use should be current and up-to-date, mostly published within the last five years or so, though seminal/important works in the field may be older. You must provide evidence of your research/own reading throughout your work, using a suitable referencing system, including in-text citations in the main body of your work and a reference list at the end of your work.
Guidance specific to this assessment: The research proposal should include literature meeting the above criterion. This will be apparent to the greatest extent in the Literature Review but also, to a lesser extent, in the Introduction to the work signifying there is an understanding that the work has an academic grounding and also in the research design section.
This criterion will also include the quality of the referencing undertaken
At level 5, you should be able to demonstrate: sound knowledge and critical understanding of the well-established concepts and principles of the subject area and the way in which those principles have developed; knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in the discipline. Knowledge relates to the facts, information and skills you have acquired through your learning. You demonstrate your understanding by interpreting the meaning of the facts and information (knowledge). This means that you need to select and include in your work the concepts, techniques, models, theories, etc. appropriate to the task(s) set. You should be able to explain the theories, concepts, etc. meaningfully to show your understanding. Your mark/grade will also depend upon the extent to which you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding.
Guidance specific to this assessment: The research proposals should demonstrate the above criterion in all major areas of the work. The Literature Review will examine the theories and concepts relevant to the topic area proposed to be researched. The Research design aspects will show an understanding of the various aspects consisting research design – the philosophies, the strategies and the methods.
You should be able to critically analyse information, and propose solutions to problems arising from that analysis, including the critical evaluation of the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems. Your work must contain evidence of logical, analytical thinking, evaluation and synthesis. For example, to examine and break information down into parts, make inferences, compile, compare and contrast information. This means not just describing what! But also justifying: Why? How? When? Who? Where? At what cost? At all times, you must provide justification/evidence for your arguments and judgements. Evidence that you have reflected upon the ideas of others within the subject area is crucial to you providing a reasoned and informed debate within your work. Furthermore, you should provide evidence that you are able to make sound judgements and convincing arguments using data and concepts, with an understanding of the limits of knowledge, and how this influences analyses and interpretations. Sound, valid conclusions are necessary and must be derived from the content of your work where relevant, alternative solutions and recommendations may be proposed.
Guidance specific to this assessment: The above criterion should be apparent in the Introduction which will justify the selection of the research area. In the Literature Review a degree of “criticism” should be apparent. It might also, when appropriate, develop a Conceptual framework – otherwise referred to as a Theoretical Framework. The Research Design elements should demonstrate that the writer understands the possibilities open to him/her and can justify the selections made.
At level 5, you should be able to use/deploy a range of established techniques within the discipline, and apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied, including, where appropriate, the application of those principles in an employment context. You should be able to demonstrate how the subject-related concepts and ideas relate to real world situations and/or a particular context. How do they work in practice? You will deploy models, methods, techniques, and/or theories, in that context, to assess current situations, perhaps to formulate plans or solutions to solve problems, or to create artefacts, some of which may be creative. This is likely to involve, for instance, the use of real world artefacts, examples and cases, the application of a model within an organisation and/or benchmarking one theory or organisation against others based on stated criteria. You should show awareness of the limitations of concepts and theories when applied in particular contexts.
Guidance specific to this assessment: the above criterion will be met via the research design element in particular. This will be crafted to meet the research requirements via the Conceptual (Theoretical) Framework.
Your work must provide evidence of the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making. This includes demonstrating: professional development to advance existing skills and acquire new competences that will enable you to assume significant responsibility within organisations; that you can initiate and complete tasks and procedures, whether individually and/or collaboratively; that you can use appropriate media to effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis in a variety of forms to specialist and non-specialist audiences; fluency of expression; clarity and effectiveness in presentation and organisation. Work should be coherent and well-structured in presentation and organisation.
Guidance specific to this assessment: the above criterion will be demonstrated in terms of its appropriateness to a professional audience in part. It will also be met via the standards of the presentation and organisation of the proposal.
ASSESSMENT CRITERIA FOR WRITTEN RESEARCH PROPOSAL ( 60% Weight )
This section details the extent to which the assessment criteria are demonstrated by you, which in turn determines your mark. The marks available for each category of skill are shown. Lecturers will use the space provided 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.
|Generic Assessment Criteria||Marks available||Marks
|1. Engagement with Literature Skills
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 Skills
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. Cognitive and Intellectual Skills
|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 Skills
|. 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. Transferable Skills for Life and Professional Practice
|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.
|Assessment Mark (Assessment marks are subject to ratification at the Exam Board. These comments and marks are to give feedback on module work and are for guidance only until they are confirmed. )||Late Submission Penalties (tick if appropriate)||%|
|Up to 1 week late (40% Max)|
|Over 1 week late (0%)|
ASSESSMENT CRITERIA FOR PPT PRESENTATION ON RESEARCH PROPOSAL (40% WeigHt)
|GENERIC ASSESSMENT CRITERIA|
|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)
(2.2 / Pass)
(2.1 / Merit)
(1st / Distinction)
(1st / Distinction)
|Engagement with literature (including reading, referencing,
academic conventions and
|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 with unsatisfactory, uncritical understanding 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.||Limited but 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 the well-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.|
|Cognitive and 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 invalid judgements. 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 evidence and unsubstantiated opinions. Ideas sometimes illogical and contradictory.||Limited attempt at critical evaluation and analysis of concepts and principles, tending towards description.
Some evidence to support arguments 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.|
(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 evidence of 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 excellent skills 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.