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Research Project

To develop learners skills of independent enquiry and critical analysis by undertaking


a sustained research investigation of direct relevance to their Higher Education
programme and professional development.
Summary of Learning Outcomes
To achieve pass learners must demonstrate the ability to deliver sufficient evidence to
meet the criteria for assessment and subsequently meet the following learning
outcomes. This will be achieved through the methods outlined above.

LO1 Understand how to formulate a research specification


LO2 Be able to implement the research project within agreed procedures and to
specification
LO3 Be able to evaluate the research outcomes
LO4 Be able to present the research outcomes
Introduction
This unit is designed to enable learners to become confident using research techniques
and methods. It addresses the elements that make up formal research including the
proposal, a variety of research methodologies, action planning, carrying out the research
itself and presenting the findings. To complete the unit satisfactorily, learners must also
understand the theory that underpins formal research.
The actual research depends on the learner, the context of their area of learning, their
focus of interest and the anticipated outcomes. The unit draws together a range of other
areas from within the programme to form a holistic piece of work that will make a
positive contribution to the learners area of interest. Learners should seek approval
from their tutors before starting their research project.
This assignment brief contains of the following tasks:
Task 1 (Learning Outcome 1)
Task 2 (Learning Outcome 2)
Task 3 (Learning Outcome 3)

Task 4 (Learning Outcome 4)

Scenario or Vocational Context


Should people be allowed to download movies and music from the Internet or are they
violating copyright laws? There are compelling arguments on both sides. Research
shows the argument can go either way. File-sharing is a fast growing industry with more
new sites being added all the time. Approximately two billion songs are downloaded
illegally every month. The losses sustained by the industry are great. "The industry loses
more than 10 billion per year to illegal software. Those in favour of downloading believe
the technology behind file sharing is important. It will enhance medical research and the
flow of new information. "The recent gains scored by legal file sharing show just how
much money is at stake on the other side of the copyright divide. In just five months,
services such as Apple Computer's iTunes, Real Networks' Rhapsody, BuyMusic.com
and others have reported more than 9.5 million legal music downloads, according to
Nielsen Sound Scan.
You are employed by a relative newcomer to the market, Spotify, and as a
consequence, you have been asked by your senior management to conduct research on
the above problem and come up with recommendations to be discussed with senior
management and shareholders in order for the company to remain competitive, to be
delivered to them by a research report.
Spotify is a commercial music streaming service providing Digital Rights Managementprotected content from record labels including Sony, EMI, Warner Music Group and
Universal. Launched in October 2008 by Swedish start up Spotify AB, the service had
approximately 10 million users as of 15 September 2010, about 2.5 million of whom
were paying users. Total users reached 20 million by December 2012, five million of
whom pay a monthly subscription fee that varies based on local.

You can undertake the research from anyone of the relevant functions of the
organisation e.g. Sales & Marketing, Finance and Accounts, Customer Service etc.

Task 1
1.1 Formulate and record possible research project outline specifications for the
above situation from any of the relevant functions of the organisation
1.2 Identify the factors that contribute to the process of Research project selection in
this situation
1.3 Undertake a critical review of key references for the Research project
1.4 Produce the research project specification
1.5 Provide an appropriate plan and procedures for the agreed research specification

(This task provides evidence for Learning outcomes 1 assessment criteria 1.1, 1.2,
1.3, 1.4 & 1.5)
Task 2
2.1 Match resources efficiently to the research question or hypothesis
2.2 Undertake the proposed research investigation in accordance with the agreed
specification and procedures
2.3 Record and collate relevant data where appropriate
(This task provides evidence for Learning outcomes 2 assessment criteria 2.1, 2.2
& 2.3)

Task 3
3.1 Select and use the appropriate research evaluation techniques
3.2 Interpret and analyse the results in terms of the original research specification
3.3 Make recommendations and justify areas for further consideration
(This task provides evidence for Learning outcomes 3 assessment criteria 3.1, 3.2
& 3.3)

Task 4
a) Use an agreed format and appropriate media to present the outcomes of the
research to the management
(This task provides evidence for Learning outcomes 4 assessment criteria 4.1)
PASS CRITERIA
LO 1 Understand how to formulate a research specification
1.1 Formulate and record possible research project outline specifications
1.2 Identify the factors that contribute to the process of research project selection
1.3 Undertake a critical review of key references
1.4 Produce a research project specification
1.5 Provide an appropriate plan and procedures for the agreed research specification

LO 2 Be able to implement the research project within agreed procedures and to


specification
2.1 Match resources efficiently to the research question or hypothesis
2.2 Undertake the proposed research investigation in accordance with the agreed
specification and procedures
2.3 Record and collate relevant data where appropriate
LO 3 Be able to evaluate the research outcomes
3.1 Use appropriate research evaluation techniques
3.2 Interpret and analyse the results in terms of the original research specification
3.3 Make recommendations and justify areas for further consideration
LO 4 Be able to present the research outcomes
4.1 Use an agreed format and appropriate media to present the outcomes of the research
to an audience

MERIT Criteria:
M1 Identify and apply strategies to find appropriate solutions.
M2 Select /Design and apply appropriate methods / techniques
M3 Present and communicate appropriate findings

DISTINCTION Criteria:
D1 Take responsibility for managing and organizing activities
D2 Use Critical reflection to evaluate own work and justify valid conclusions D3
Demonstrate convergent /lateral/creative thinking
Merit Descriptors
M1 Identify and Apply
Strategies to find
Appropriate Solutions

Indicative Characteristic
Effective judgements have been made in
formulating a research specification.
Complex problems with more than one variable
have been addressed in the formation of the
research proposal.
An effective approach to study and research has
been applied in formulating the research
proposal.

M2 Select/Design and
Apply Appropriate
Methods/Techniques

Relevant theories and techniques have been


applied.
A range of methods and techniques have been
applied.
A range of sources of information has been
used in literary review and the formation of the
research methodology.
The selection of methods and
techniques/sources has been justified.
The design of methods/techniques has been
justified.
Complex information has been
processed/synthesised.
Appropriate learning methods/techniques have
been applied.

M3 Present and
Communicate

The appropriate structure and approach has


been used.

Appropriate Findings

There is coherent, logical development of


principles/concepts for the intended audience.

A range of methods of presentation have been


used and technical language has been
accurately used.
Communication has taken place in familiar and
unfamiliar contexts.
The communication is appropriate for

familiar

and unfamiliar audiences and appropriate media


have been used.
Distinction Descriptors
D1

Use Critical Reflection to


Evaluate own work

Indicative Characteristic

and

Conclusions have been arrived at through


synthesis of ideas and have been justified by

Justify Valid Conclusions

using different but appropriate examples and


techniques.
The validity of results has been evaluated using
defined criteria.
Self-Criticism of approach has taken place.

Realistic Improvements have been proposed


against defined characteristics for success..

D2

Take Responsibility
Managing and
Organising Activities

for

Autonomy/independence

has

been

demonstrated.
Substantial activities, projects

or investigations

have been planned, managed and organised.


Activities have been managed.
The unforeseen has been accommodated.
The importance of interdependence has been
recognised and achieved.
D3

Demonstrate
Convergent/Lateral/
Creative Thinking

Ideas have been generated and decisions taken


in relation to forming the proposal.
Self-evaluation has taken place.

Convergent and lateral thinking have been


applied.

Problems have been solved when undertaking


the literature review and methodology.

Innovation and creative thought have been


applied.

Receptiveness to new ideas is evident.

Effective thinking has taken place in unfamiliar


contexts.

Recommended resources
Textbooks
There are no specific resources for this unit, however, use of the course text book, and
books on Research Methods are appropriate.
Newspapers
Any good newspaper (broadsheet) will give you a background into this topic. The
Financial Times will give an overriding economic view of the situation The Times The
Guardian The Financial Times
Journals Many professional and academic institutions publish journals relevant to this
unit.
Examples are:
The

Economist

Research

Journal

of

Business

Economics

and

IT

(http://www.researchjournals.co.uk/)
Educational Research Journal (http://www.nfer.ac.uk/publications/educational-research/)

Recommended References
Bryman,A. and Bell, E. (2003) Business Research Methods. Oxford, University Press.
Bryman, A. and Bell, E. (2007) Business Research Methods, 2nd edition. Oxford:
Oxford University Press. This is particularly strong on qualitative approaches Saunders,
M.N.K., Lewi, P. and Thornhill, A. (2012) Research Methods for Business Students.
Harlow: Pearson Education Limited
Sue, G. (2008) Business Research Methods.Ventus Publishing. Robson, C.
(2002) Real World Research, 2nd edition. Oxford: Blackwell. Zikmund, W. G.
(2002) Business Research Methods
Wilson, J. (2010) Essentials of Business Research: A Guide to Doing Your Research.
London: Sage Publication Ltd

Structure and Format of Written Assignment


You are advised to use the following format:

Title page the details of author, circulation, Declaration,


Declaration: as provided front sheet

Acknowledgements to those who assisted the author in producing the report


Contents (with page numbers)

Introduction the background, the issue and the aim of the investigation.

Major sections should cover answer to all tasks. Clearly separated, usually
covering the
concepts used, the Information collected and reflections, the
evaluation.
Conclusions overall findingsof the investigation: the overall picture that has
emerged and the implications.
References
identification of literature and other sources used and referred to
in the text
Font - Use Arial 11 Font, 1.5 line space and Justify
Identify any references. Use the Harvard referencing system