The course work of about 1500 words does require you to undertake a small scale empirical research which may entail a set of individual and/or group interviews, observation study, a small survey in combination with other qualitative methods covered in this course etc. The course work is not an extended essay and it is not sufficient to simply write a statement of intent as to what you propose to do in future. There has to be some evidence that you have collected your own data using any of the methods covered in this course. This has been stated in the course outline and workshop tutors clarified this during their respective workshops. Moreover, on Friday 9th of Dec 2011, I too clarified this issue and insisited on a small scale of primary data collection during my revision lecture.
It is true that the course work examples posted on moodle from 2010-11 academic year do not include a pilot project. Last year, I was on study leave and for reasons unknown to me, this requirement of primary data collection was perhaps not adequately clarified to students by colleagues who were running this course. However, this is indeed a requirement and has been a standard practice for all the previous years when I was coordinating the course.
Let me reassure you that this is not as onerous an exercise as it may appear to some of you and, indeed it can be a great learning experience in terms of testing your research skills in the field. In terms of writing the course work, essentially, you have to write only three sections. The first section outlines the research topic and literature review. The second section should explain which research methods you have chosen and why. In the third section you have to report the findings of your field study (pilot study) and discuss your findings in the context of the literature you have reviewed. Finally you draw your conclusions. You are allowed 10% extra on your word limit and anything you include in the appendix does not count towards your word limit. However, this provision should be used within reason. It would be unacceptable to include large sections of your course work in the appendix. However, it is perfectly fine if you wish to include your interview transcript or interview guide/schedule or your survey questionnaire in the appendix. Likewise your bibliography does not count towards the word limit. Hope this clarifies the issue.
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