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MSc IB Research Proposal: A Guide to Writing and Structuring

Brief Introduction to the Proposed Subject Area

Assignment Title: MSc IB Research Proposal

You are required to produce research proposal, written in report format and appropriate academic style (use of headings and sub-headings, including a Title Page and Table of Content).

The research proposal should cover various points highlighted below – you may use the below points as your headings and sub-headings too:

-BRM Assignment Declaration Form (please find it under the Assignment 3 section)

-Cover Title Page stating the research title, the module information, your ID number ONLY (no name please), the word count and submission date of the proposal. 

-Table of Content highlighting the key sections (headings and sub-heading) included in the research proposal and the corresponding page number. 

1. Proposed title of your final research project, in the format of e.g. An investigation into the... 

2. Brief Introduction to the proposed subject area, including:

explain the key theoretical concepts of the research

provide relevant background/ (business) context in which the research is situated e.g. industry/sector/organisation/target market that your research focus on

provide a clear rationale (your reasons for choosing this topic), or the significance/impact of the research  

3. A clear indication of aims and objectives to be achieved, plus either your Research question(s) or specific research hypotheses if these are appropriate. 

The Aim and Objectives should be stated in the format of “to + verb” with 1 x Aim and 3-5 x Objectives.

4. A brief literature review. This is a review of the relevant literature that has informed what you intend to do in your research, including: 

discuss relevant conceptual theories, concepts, paradigm, principles or views in the research area

provide a detailed evaluation of key literature rather than just description

justify how your research fit with the existing literature/research, e.g. a potential gap in the literature, or a problem to be resolved, or a significate issues to be addressed

use at least 10 sources in this section and accurately referenced 

you may organise the Literature Review using your Objectives as the structure

5. A discussion of the research design. This section includes a detailed account of HOW you intend to undertake the research. For example, when, where and how you intend to collect the data and analyse the data for your research; who will be involved in your research and how many; as well as any key ethical issues related to the research. It may include the below sections:

Research philosophy/methodology: positivist (objective truth), interpretivist (people’s interpretations) or pragmatic (mixed methods)

Research strategy: quantitative, qualitative or a mixed methodology, in response to the research methodology.

Data collection method(s): secondary data sources; primary research tools, like questionnaire, interview etc, and justification why you are choosing these with reference to their advantages and disadvantages 

If its primary research, target population for the research, sampling methods, and ethical considerations 

Data analysis method(s): excel charts for quantitative data; thematic analysis for qualitative data 

Potential research limitations, e.g. time, budget, limitations of method, possible unrepresentative sample etc. 

Potential Ethical Issues that can arise.

6. A brief summary of the proposal  

7. List of References corresponding to the in-text citations and in Harvard referencing format following CASE Harvard Referencing guidelines

8. A Gantt chart showing the main tasks should be carried out to complete the work, the key points for deliverables / milestones are expected according to your own study route.

Please submit the assignment in a Word / PDF format saved under your own ID number.

It takes 70% of the overall module assessment weight.

Any specific instructions: 

A high-quality research proposal is the most effective form of ‘Road Map’ to guide you for your final research project, the most significant piece of work during your studies.  

Please engage with the module content under 7BUS2002 Business Research Methods, and follow the materials under ‘Units’ to grasp the concepts related to a research proposal. 

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