To submit electronically you must upload your work to the e-submission area within the Blackboard module concerned.



Faculty of Design, Media & Management


Assignment Brief 2018-19


Module Title:


Module Code:


Assignment No/Title:

A1: Research Proposal

Assessment Weighting:


Submission Date:


Feedback Target Date:


Module Co-ordinator/





Submission Instructions:

This assignment is to be submitted electronically using Blackboard


1.    This assignment must be submitted electronically by 2pm on the submission date

2.    To submit electronically you must upload your work to the e-submission area within the Blackboard module concerned.

3.    You can resubmit your work as many times as you like until the deadline. If you choose to resubmit, your earlier submission will be replaced, and you will NOT receive an Originality Report until 24 hours from when the submission was made.

4.    You will receive a digital receipt as proof of submission. This will be sent to your Bucks e-mail address; so make sure that you have e mail forwarding set up on  Please keep this receipt for reference.

5.    You are reminded of the University’s regulations on cheating and plagiarism. In submitting your assignment you are acknowledging that you have read and understood these regulations.

6.    Late submission within 10 working days of the deadline will result in the mark being capped at a maximum of 40%. Beyond this time the work will not be marked.

7.    You are reminded that it is your responsibility to keep an electronic copy of your assignment for future reference.



Instructions to Students:


This is an individual assignment.


This document explains the brief and should be read in conjunction with the additional documents, web links and videos on Blackboard, mentioned in this document.

You are required to make a video no more than 10 minutes long, using Zoom ( and no more than 8 PowerPoint slides excluding the title slide. (Zoom will capture the PowerPoint slides as you show them on your screen, and record your explanation of them).

Please go to Assignment Briefs - Coursework One – Dissertation Proposal – Using Zoom for more information about accessing this free software.


The required content of the PowerPoints/video is explained in the ‘Assignment Task’ below – follow this structure carefully. You don’t need to squeeze everything you say on to the PowerPoints – stick to the main points and talk over the top of them.


The purpose of the video is to convince the listener that you have identified a management problem or issue which it is important to investigate – and that you have already made a start on that investigation, by;

·         really trying to hone in on what it is you want to find out

·         considering relevant academic sources and

·         exploring possible options for primary research.


Imagine that you are talking to a group of colleagues or industry specialists, who might potentially fund your research – and sell them what you want to do and why! The language used should be formal and professional. You may use the first person.


Cite your sources as you go along.


As with any presentation, practice makes perfect – so you are very likely to need several attempts at the video – and the slides - before you are happy with the result.




1.    The resources in the folder Mind Maps and Videos on Blackboard will be helpful for the development of your dissertation proposal, please make use of these.


2.    How to upload your Zoom presentation and slides to Blackboard


A special link has been set up on the Bucks’ ‘media server’ to upload your video and slides. This is different from the standard Turnitin link so please follow the directions in the document Uploading to Media Server through Blackboard (CW) pdf very carefully. This document can be found in Assignment Briefs - Coursework One – Dissertation Proposal



This assignment tests the following Learning Outcomes for the module:


Define and contextualise the research issue and specify appropriate aims, objectives and research questions.


The Assignment Task:


This section sets out what your slides – and accompanying video explanation of them – should cover.


1. Working title

This need not be the final title, but should give an indication of your intended research topic


2. The management or business problem that you seek to solve, and its context

What is the management or business problem you wish to investigate?

Briefly explain the research question(s) you are seeking to answer and make clear what the purpose or aim of your research is, i.e.

What do you want to find out by the end of your dissertation, that you do not already know?

(Note: it is appreciated that the area of investigation may be refined, after further work and discussion with your supervisor. Supervisors will be allocated on the basis of your proposal).


Having identified the problem, what are the objectives of the research (= the problem broken down into manageable steps)?


In this section, you should also include an explanation of the business context in which your research will be set e.g. organisation or industry, in other words, the background to your research – what has given rise to your intended research and why is there a need for it? Which types of organisations or business practitioners will benefit from you solving the management or business problem that you have identified? Cite appropriate sources to support your points.


You can start with the context and move on to the aim and objectives of the research, or vice versa, whichever flows best for you.


3. Academic context

Using a mind map or similar technique, comment on which area or areas of theory you think will be particularly helpful for exploring the problem/question, in a literature review e.g. marketing of services, organisational culture, and why(Please see folder ‘MIND MAPS AND VIDEOS’ on the MB759 Blackboard module).


Whilst in section 2 above you have explained the business context, this section is about the academic context and should help to show where your work will sit within the existing literature.


4. Usefulpeer reviewed articles

For this section you will need to have identified three or four peer reviewed articles (from scholarly journals on ABI Inform/(Proquest) or Emerald) which fall within the area(s) of theory identified above. Your articles should have been published in the last five years.


Discuss one theory or key idea from each article which you think will be helpful for your literature review and explain why that theory or idea is particularly relevant to your investigation. The full reference for each article can appear in the notes section of the slides.


5. Primary research: Methods and Access

a) How do you intend to obtain your primary dataand why do you consider that this method or methods is/are likely to be the most appropriate?  Who will be in your sample? (In this section we are looking for credible plans, not simply wishful ideas!)


b) Comment on why you consider that your proposal is ‘do-able’ e.g. do you have established contacts or friends who can introduce you to potential interview respondents, who is in your network and who might those respondents be? For surveys, you need to be clear how you will maximise the response rate. ‘Convenience samples’ e.g. getting your friends to complete a survey using a web link from your Facebook page – are rarely acceptable.


c) This section should also highlight any ethical issues which might require consideration, having consulted the university’s guidelines on research ethics:


6. Conclusions

Briefly summarise again, what you want to find out in your disso, and why (if funding were available), it should be funded (suggest who will benefit, if you can solve the business problem that you have identified).


For information at this stage:

For the final dissertation submission please note now that you will be required to submit:

·         An electronic copy uploaded to Turnitin

·         Selected evidence of original work. This may include, copies of completed questionnaires, interview recordings or transcripts, draft work etc….so keep all your work in progress!


Your dissertation may fail if you do not provide sufficient evidence of the originality of your work, especially your primary research.


You should not assume that you will be invited to a viva (oral examination) to provide further evidence, if the appropriate proof is missing from your final dissertation submission.


A viva may be held if academic misconduct is suspected.


Assessment Criteria:


Please see the separate assessment grid.




Quality Assurance Record




Internal Approval:




External Approval:



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