Assessment Title: The title of your research proposal Assessment Instructions: Y

Assessment Title: The title of your research proposal
Assessment Instructions: You are required to write an essay in which you:
• Identify a research question within a clearly defined field of research (up to 400 words);
• Explain and justify the epistemological approach to be taken in the research (up to 300 words);
• Explain and justify the design of your research and the impact of your epistemological approach in your choices (1000-1500 words);
• Explain how your research will address issues of reliability, validity and ethics (up to 300 words).
Learning Outcomes assessed:
• Identify the similarities and differences, strengths and weaknesses of different research epistemologies;
• Understand the relationships between specific ontological world views and their corresponding epistemologies, appropriate methodologies and methods;
• Justify choices made in the selection of research methodologies and methods;
• Critically assess research conducted in their home discipline/field of study on the basis of the epistemological assumptions made;
• Demonstrate a knowledge of the characteristics of different research designs across the social sciences;
• Formulate research problems and practicable research questions;
• Relate research designs of different kinds to appropriate research questions;
• Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts of validity and reliability in the context of different types of research design;
• Explicate the relationships between empirical research and the development of theory in the social sciences;
• Demonstrate an understanding of the ethics and politics underpinning professional social science research.
• Critically assess the efficacy of particular methodologies or methods and their appropriateness to asking certain types of research questions;
• Evaluate choices in epistemology, research design and associated methods made in the production of a research project;
• Justify and defend such choices in the context of postgraduate research (for example in written work and in an oral defence of their research);
• Justify the choice of research designs and associated methods in relation to specified research questions;
• Demonstrate the ways in which (theoretical) conclusions are warranted by different kinds of empirical results;
• Appreciate the importance of the relationship between ontology, epistemology, methodology and methods in their own discipline/field of study;
• Critically evaluate the dominant paradigm in their discipline and, where appropriate, to identify alternative perspectives which might be brought to bear on their own research question;
• Demonstrate an understanding of how and why particular forms of research design have come to dominate different disciplines;
• Demonstrate an understanding of the potential advantages of applying alternative research designs to the dominant ones.
• Synthesising competing arguments;
• Thinking and writing critically;
• Justifying choices made in the research process;
• Plan a research design from the identification of a ‘research problem’ to the specification of methods of data collection and analysis;
• Present a clear justification for a given research design both in oral and written forms.
Guide to feedback:
Are the research questions as clear and precise as possible?
Is the epistemological approach clear?
Is the epistemological approach justified (and actively related to research questions)?
Is the design clear? Is it well justified and connected to the epistemological approach and research questions?

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