Assessment Brief Details:
Assignment brief – Research Proposal (3,000 words) 100%
This assignment is a Research Proposal for your Final Project. It must focus on a topic that is directly related to the Design Management industry. Your Research Proposal should address a topic of interest to you and be of a standard that would be useful to someone such as a type of company, a group of users, customers or government.
Your Research Proposal should:
- be relevant to industry;
- make use of relevant theory
- apply theory to practice appropriate to Design Management You should be able to state the value of your Research Proposal in relation to the following:
- industry sectors and/or organisations/users/customers/government
- academic research/research opportunity
- Design Management theories in your research scope and the practice of these theories
- your own personal development.
For PAS2 you are expected to use what you have learned in PAS1 to identify appropriate research questions in the Design Management research field. Your research questions must be clearly defined, be answerable in the time and resources that you have available, and it should be relevant to your Pathway.
Your Research Proposal should demonstrate a clear connection to the way in which you have developed your thinking and interests on the MA Design Management pathway. It should also be relevant to you in enhancing your employability. In choosing your research topic think about ideas that have emerged in particular modules or challenges you have encountered in particular assignments and experiences. These will help you focus on an idea that you would like to explore. If you are finding it difficult to choose your topic, think about current questions and challenges facing design management and its practice. Also consider the range of research methods, data collection tools and theories available to you.
It is important to ensure the feasibility of your project at an early stage. To do this, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is it realistic that you will complete the project with the time and resources that you have?
- Will the project contribute to ‘body of knowledge’? The ‘body of knowledge’ refers to what is known by society in general, rather than by what you as an individual happen to know.
- Is my topic relevant to Design Management practice in the real world?
- Is my research design achievable , and are the data collection methods appropriate for my project?
Keep an open mind; it is likely that you will need to refine your ideas as your project progresses. You can seek feedback from your peers, your lecturers, or in the Final Project preparation sessions.
- Introduction (around 500 words)
Present the background of your research, your research aim, your research objectives, why is your research question important to answer now, and how your research relates to Design Management practice in the real world.
2.Literature Review (around 1,000 words)
a) Review the academic research that has been published. Explain how this body of research is relevant or related to your project, which academic literature you will use in your project and why, and how this research has rounded your ideas. Your review of the literature should be a critical analysis of peer-reviewed literature, pointing to questions that can form the basis of your research question.
b) One-A4 colour page with your poster presentation (not included in the word count)
3.Methodology (around 1,100 words)
This section should include your research question(s). You will then need to provide a detailed explanation and planning of how you will collect your research data (e.g. data collection methods), as well as the tools of analysis you will use to interpret that data (analysis methods). You should also include which approach you might take to analyse your data, such as deductive or inductive. Choices for statistical analysis should be also included in this section. You will also need to explain how these methods and tools of analysis will help you answer your research question(s). Consideration should be given about the ethical implications of your work should be included (e.g., if you require ERGO). Further information should be added in the Appendix.
- Reflections (around 400 words)
In this section, you should reflect upon the work undertaken in the module and your future direction, considering your personal planning to improve your work and employability levels towards the end of the course and in the next 5 years.
- Gantt Chart/ Timetable (not included in the word count)
Create a schedule for your FINAL PROJECT work. You should include a list of start and end dates for all the tasks in your project. Some of the tasks included might be (but not limited to):
- finding relevant literature
- reading the literature that you have gathered and analysing it
- researching possible methods
- (if you do primary research) preparation for data collection (e.g. recruiting participants, identifying case studies, Ethics Forms preparation, questionnaire, etc.)
- data collection
- data analysis
- writing up your final project
- proof reading
- and any other specific tasks relevant to your individual project .
Make sure you allow for any problems that may cause your timetable to change unexpectedly.
- List of References (not included in the word count)
Please use your WSA Academic Integrity Handbook as a guide.
List of References should follow Harvard Referencing style.
- Appendix: Ethics forms (not included in the word count)
All students will need to complete Ethics forms in relation to their research and gain approval for Final Project. You will need to consider this within your PAS2 work and design a research proposal for your Final project that you will undertake. Timing must be well documented.
Note: If you intend to carry out any primary research that involves people outside the Programme Guidance, or if you are using any third-party’s data (e.g. company confidential data, archival data containing personal data and social media), you will need to submit a request through the university’s ethics system ERGO Ethics Guidance: Why is this important?
The submission of Ethics forms must be made simultaneously with your Final Project Proposal to your tutor. This applies to all research, even online research that uses data about human subjects. You must follow it even if you are only using pre-existing data, such as Twitter users’ tweets or information from a forum.
Researchers must submit a detailed plan for approval before conducting the research.
It will then be assessed and either approved or rejected.
Southampton uses an online system called ERGO for the research-approval process if your research steps outside of the programme guidance. You should enter the ERGO website ( https://ergo2.soton.ac.uk/) and finalise the questionnaire available in the page. A tutorial will be provided during the lectures for more guidance on this process. It is your responsibility to determine if further ethical approval is needed for your research from the ERGO.
If you continue without approval your work could be discounted from assessment so your consideration of Ethics in this assignment is crucial to the success of Final Project.
If your application is rejected, it will be possible to amend the plan and resubmit it. You must assume that the first step in this process takes approximately one month to complete. So please consider this when designing your timetable.
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