Principles of Research Design and Philosophy of Knowledge (PRDPK)

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PART 1 Philosophical Positioning

PART 2 Principles of Research Design


Please attach the Cover Sheet for Each Part of your submission as the first page. Your assignments should be placed behind the cover sheet and submitted as a Word File. You will find the Cover Sheet on the Moodle Site FrontPage. Principles of Research Design and Philosophy of Knowledge (PRDPK)

There are two parts to the assignment:

PART 1 Philosophical Positioning You are required to write an essay (2,500 words not including references) that explains the philosophical assumptions behind doing research. Particularly, you are to consider the nature of reality (ontology) and the kind of knowledge that might be possible (epistemology). From these considerations should come arguments as to the nature of your (planned) contribution(s) to knowledge. These should be situated within the ‘landscape’ of known philosophical debates and the traditions/issues within your field of study.

Assessment criteria for PART 1 (PK)

You will be assessed on how well your PART 1 PK paper addresses the following criteria (not in any particular order):-
1. The relevance of Philosophy to Field of Study and the Research Design. Are the philosophical issues identified important to the proposed research of the candidate? Do the philosophical positions described bear on the nature of knowledge in the candidate’s field of study? To what extent do the arguments in the essay relate to the area of study? 2. Quality of Argument. Is the essay well-argued? Does it support the research design? Are the arguments sound and carefully worded? Would the arguments be defensible (or even persuasive) to others in their field? Are there obvious and unacknowledged weaknesses in the argument? Are assumptions identified and explicated? 3. Evidence of Self-Reflection and Independent Critique. Is there any evidence of awareness of the difficulties, weaknesses, and issues of the candidate’s chosen design? Does the candidate show an independent critical stance towards the accepted “truths” in their field, making up their own mind and questioning assumptions? 4. Style and Clarity. Is the essay easy to read? Is it in a style that would be accessible to academics in their chosen field? Is it written in a professional style? If written in a style that deviates from the norms of their field is this justified and appropriate? 5. General Quality. Would this essay (suitably edited) be of a quality to form a part of the candidate’s Ph.D.? Is it of a standard and style that would be acceptable or even of interest to other academics in the field? Does it show evidence of having mastered the issues in a way relevant to the field of study? Are all sources clearly acknowledged?


PART 2 Principles of Research Design You are required to explain how the research approach taken in PART 1 informs your research design by writing a detailed justification (2,500 words; excluding abstract, references, and Time plan) for your specific choice of method(s). The report should take the form of an academic paper in your chosen topic of research. It should contain:

1. Abstract (max 250 words) 2. Research Aim (and specific research objectives); 3. A brief account of your Literature Review on the research topic; 4. Explanation and justification for method choice and any combination of method; 5. Results. This is optional; include if you have conducted an initial or pilot study. 6. Expected contributions to knowledge; Identifying Limitations. 7. References 8. Appendix: Time-plan for the work. Citations and reference lists should follow the Harvard style

Assessment criteria for PART 2 (PoRD) You will be assessed on how well your PART 2 (PoRD) PK paper addresses the following criteria: (not in any particular order):- 1. The style of writing is effective and clear (assignment structures & develops a coherent argument). 2. Demonstrate awareness and understanding of key arguments with citations informing your research project through critical evaluation of philosophical positioning and research design. 3. Clearly understands the value of developing clear research questions and Research Objectives. 4. There is a clear link between the extant literature in the field, the development of research aims/objectives/questions, and the design of a clear conceptual framework. The above are used to clearly guide the research design. 5. Justify an appropriate methodology for collecting and for analyzing primary data. Critically discuss the methodology used for secondary data where applicable. For example, have you shown how your aim (and specific objectives) fit with or differ from other research in the field? Are your chosen methods congruent with your claimed ontological and epistemological position? Have you demonstrated awareness of possible limitations? Have you identified possible contributions to knowledge the work will make when complete? 6. Appraise the implications of the research outcomes to the academic community and managerial professional practice. Demonstrate clarity of evidence warranting claims and decisions made in the paper. Overall, does the work make a convincing case justifying the proposed research design? 7. General presentation & appropriate referencing (e.g. Harvard style).

MARKING The two parts are equally weighted and you will be given a mark out of 100 together with specific feedback on how to improve your work. Please ensure you submit your work by the published submission date via Moodle. The submission portal will open approximately two weeks before the close date. Work will normally be marked and returned within 4 weeks via the Moodle portal. If you get an official extension to this deadline and thus submit later, it may take longer to mark.