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Qualitative Research Report on the Meaning and Value of Friendship among Higher Education Students
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Assessment Details

Assessment Details
Aims
Your task is to submit a 3000-word qualitative research report discussing the meaning and value of friendship and based upon your inductive thematic analysis of a provided qualitative data set.

 

In doing so, you must demonstrate that you have achieved the following learning outcomes:
LO1. Demonstrate a range of skills and methods for the investigation of human behaviour and experience
LO2. Generate hypotheses and research questions and identify and implement the most effective and appropriate method for their exploration
LO3. Design and conduct research studies in psychology using a range of quantitative and qualitative methods, either individually or in collaboration with others
LO5. Analyse data using a range of statistical and qualitative methods
LO6. Present and evaluate research findings using a range of methods

 

Assessment Format
You are required to produce a research report exploring the meaning and value of friendship amongst higher education students and based upon your inductive thematic analysis of a provided qualitative data set. The assessment criteria below detail the key requirements for each section of your report, and the module handbook provides supplementary information regarding the breakdown of marks available across each section of the marking criteria. Further information about what to include in each section of your report will be provided within the corresponding week-to-week modular delivery, and additional guidance also be found in the Departmental ‘Guide to Academic Writing and APA-Style Referencing’ document which is available via the module Moodle page.

 

Assessment Criteria 
Title and Introduction
The introduction should provide a clear outline of what you were intending to explore in your study, highlighting how this is informed by the findings of existing related research. A corresponding statement of the aim(s)/objective(s) of the research study should also be provided, and a research question should also be clearly stated.


Methods
Your Methods section should justify all design decisions, incorporating supporting citations where appropriate. Appropriate epistemological and ontological position statements should also be provided here, along with a concise description and justification for your method, accounting for the following subheadings: Study Design, Participants, Materials, Procedure and Data Analysis.

 

Analysis
This section should provide a descriptive summary of the themes identified, and an interpretation of how they relate to your stated research aims/question. You are also required to make reference to a thematic table / map, which will be located in the Appendices as part of the audit trail.

 

Each of your themes should be discussed under a separate subheading including;
• An introduction to the theme, including any related sub-themes
• Pertinent exemplar quotes from the data set that exemplify the theme and effectively support the point being made (NB. excerpts should be clearly
formatted including participant names, transcript page and line numbers. These are included within your overall word count).
• Links to academic literature to support and extend on the themes presented. This should link the literature reviewed in the Introduction. 

 

Reflexivity and Conclusion
This section should start with a summary that highlights how all the themes relate to the overall aim of the study. A discussion around the personal reflexivity of the researcher should also be provided here, in addition to highlighting any identified limitations of the study, future research recommendations, and any potential implications of the research findings. Written communication, style and clarity You are required to demonstrate thorough reading of academic sources. These must be presented with strict adherence to the APA referencing guide (available via the Library website and module Moodle page). Presentation must be professional in nature with appropriate grammar, terminology and formatting.


Expectations
As is highlighted within the marking criteria (available in the module handbook, and on the module Moodle page), this research report requires you to introduce and outline what you were intending to explore within your qualitative research study, highlighting how this is informed by the findings of existing related research. The rationale for your project, and a research question should also be stated clearly.


A concise description and justification for your method should also be provided, accounting for the following subheadings; Study Design, Participants, Materials,
Procedure and Data Analysis. Appropriate epistemological and ontological position statements should also be provided.


Following on from this, your Analysis section should provide a descriptive summary of the themes identified through the completion of your inductive thematic analysis, and an interpretation of what they mean in light of the research aims/question. You are also required to make reference to a thematic table/map, which will be located in the Appendices as part of the audit trail. 

 

How to Approach the Task
You will be provided with the data set for this assignment in week 1 of the module, and further guidance will also be given as to what is required in each section of the report as the module progresses. Weekly attendance and engagement in the weekly workshop sessions will provide you with an opportunity to receive bespoke feedback and guidance from the module teaching team in relation to your report, and your ongoing data analysis. 

 

Marking Criteria
The full marking criteria are available in the module handbook, and via the module Moodle page, along with an assessment criteria grid which illustrates how the marks will be allocated across each subsection. It is important therefore that that you engage with these materials and that you understand what is expected.

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