This is a Structured Research Proposal which should be completed using the attached form (TO BE UPLOADED LATER) not exceeding 3,000 words (excluding the reference list), to investigate a topic in a subject area relevant to criminology (MSc in Security and Risk Management).
The proposal should be guided by the methodological issues relevant to research in social science, ensuring that all elements of the attached Research Proposal assignment form are completed.
The proposal should emphasize how you intend to answer the research question. Therefore, devote most of your answer to theoretical and methodological issues. Please do not make the mistake of attempting to carry out a piece of empirical research and answer the research question within the proposal. Rather, you should provide a detailed and feasible account of what you would need to do in order to answer your research question, if you decided to pursue this research project for your dissertation.
If you are planning to research this topic for your dissertation, do ensure that it is feasible, and can be completed in approximately five months, part time study. If you are not planning to undertake this proposed research for your dissertation (WHICH IS THE CASE), please make this clear in the proposal, and be sure your proposal provides a clear understanding of the resources that will be required to conduct the research, were the proposal to be accepted and commissioned, for example. This is very important in assessing the feasibility and quality of practical planning in your submission.
Even if you are not considering this topic for your dissertation, it would still be useful to think of the research in terms of a dissertation-sized project with similar time constraints, otherwise you may find that you have insufficient word space to outline a larger project.
Remember, the two biggest limitations to carrying out research are time and money – it is likely you will have little of both so take this into account when you are designing your research project. Also consider carefully the issue of access – how likely is it that either companies or individuals are going to let you see documents/data or speak to them? For instance, gaining access to prisoners, certainly in the UK, is extremely difficult and closely controlled by the Government – it is unlikely that permission will be given without a very long period of negotiation.
You must ensure that your proposal provides a concise ‘mini’ literature review to demonstrate your critical understanding of the subject area and previous research on this topic. You should try to discuss at least three previous pieces of research (Previous Research Findings section).
Do ensure that you demonstrate your understanding of social science research methods by providing supporting evidence from the research methods published literature (for your Research Methodology section). This is very important; you need to support and justify your chosen method and tools by referring to the academic literature.
You must ensure that you demonstrate ethical awareness and give sufficient thought to any ethical issues. It is very rare in primary research, particularly concerning issues relating to crime, risk and security that there are no ethical issues.
Do remember that, as with all assignments, you should pay careful attention to your use of language and grammar, sources and with your referencing.
The word limit for your assignment is 3,000 words. Please note that penalties may be imposed on work exceeding this limit.
This element of the assessment is worth 70% of the overall mark for this module.