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Project description
TR2 2014-15
Coursework brief
This coursework offers you the opportunity to reflect and use what you are studying in the module, and to prepare effectively for your dissertation work. The coursework is made up of two components:
You are required to outline a research proposal that will (in most cases but not necessarily) constitute the basis for your dissertation (50% of the final assessment of the module).
Furthermore you have to peer-review a draft proposal from one of the other students of CTR11106 (10%of the final assessment of the module ).
In addition to the abovementioned documents you will also submit a response to the reviewer. This will not be marked on its own but the mark for this component will be included in the overall research proposal mark (see marking scheme).
Research proposal and Response to the reviewer
Based on the material covered in the lectures of the Transport Research Methods module, together with the list of possible dissertation topics provided, you have to produce a research proposal of no more than 3,000 words not including references. The proposal should describe research area, scope for research, research design (i.e. methodology, data collection and analysis) and the work programme, aiming to
Show that the chosen topic is scientifically relevant and socially useful, and that the dissertation will provide insights into the topic consistent with MSc level study.
Illustrate how the project relates to previous scientific work in its field
Produce a structure of the research that indicates the sources (of information and/or data) and methods to be employed and a realistic work programme for the dissertation
Demonstrate that the project is feasible within the constraints (time, human resources and money) of an MSc dissertation
Allow staff to provide advice on any issues arising from the above, at an early stage.
Therefore the proposal has to include
Title of project
Introduction setting the background of the study
Aim and objectives of the project, clearly identifying the research hypothesis
Literature review of previous work in this and related areas
Methodology and method(s), including sources of primary and secondary data and possibly methods of data analysis
Work programme showing the list of the activities to carry out the project with their timings
References (not included in the 3,000 words limit)
The topic can be selected from the provided list of proposals brought forward by SEBE and TRI staff or autonomously proposed by you. In any case you are encouraged to get in touch with an appropriate member of SEBE or TRI staff to discuss your ideas. If you are not sure who you could contact, ask the module leader The research proposal markings cheme (p. 4) provides a description of what is expected in each section of the proposal.
You will submit two different versions of the proposal as per the work plan below. The first version will be reviewed by another student of CTR11106. The first version has to be of high qualitypractically the proposal you would submit if the coursework did not include peer-review. This way, your peer-reviewer can provide really useful feedback and so helps you produce an excellent final proposal. The final version will have to consider the results of the review and what you have learnt in reviewing someone elses proposal. Of course you can decide not to accept the reviewers suggestions which you deem irrelevant or wrong. You have to motivate your decision and describe the changes you introduce in the proposal (if any) for any suggestion in a separate document called Response to reviewer. The latter document must be no longer than 500 words.
You will be assigned an anonymous draft proposal prepared by another student enrolled in CTR11106. You have to produce a peer-review report of no more than 500 words Your role as a reviewer is to help the author of the proposal improve her/his work. To achieve this objective your report should contain
A fair assessment of the proposal
Suggestions on how to improve it
All the criteria included in the coursework marking scheme (but Consideration of the review obviously) should be considered both in assessing the proposal and in advising on it. For each of them, you have to provide
Mark, consistent with the scheme, e.g. if you think that Main references concerning the topic and the methods are mentioned and described, the Literature review of the proposal you are evaluating is Satisfactory and your mark for it has to be between 4 and 8. Note that for all criteria the mark can go from 0 to 10.
Assessment, explaining merits and limits of the proposal regarding the specific criterion (Figure 1).
General and specific suggestions on how the quality of the proposal could be improved in relation to that criterion (Figure 2).
Figure 1 – Example of mark, assessment and general suggestions
Figure 2 – Example of specific suggestions
The review has to be submitted using the Turnitin tool in Moodle (see below). Information on how to use the Turnitin tool for peer review can be found at http://turnitin.com/en_us/training/student-training/peermark-overview.
Work plan and submissions
PG WeekDeadlineEvent
622.02.15Submission of the first version of the research proposal *
723.02.15Assignment of the drafts to be reviewed
915.03.15Submission of the peer-review report *
1016.03.15Distribution of the peer-review reports
1129.03.15Submission of the final version of the research proposal and of response to the reviewer *
Clearly your tasks are the three submissions (in italics and marked with * in the table above). You have to submit all the documents through the Turnitin tool in the Moodle page of the course. Each submission has to include a coursework cover sheet confirming that the assignment is your own and has not been submitted for another assessment. The originality of all your submissions will be checked by Turnitin. Any delay of yours would hamper other students. Therefore you must pay particular attention to meet the deadlines. Each unjustified late submission will lead to up 10% decrease in your coursework mark. Please get in touch with the Module Leader as soon as you become aware that one of your submissions may be late.
Other instructions
All documents have to be submitted in Word format without any Personal Information. Information on how to ensure that Personal Information is not saved with your documents can be retrieved through Microsoft Office Word Help searching for remove personal information. All documents should be in a readable format size (i.e. no smaller than 10pt Arial or 12pt Times New Roman) and adhere to normal margin sizes. The text has to be in fluent English; spelling and grammar have to be checked carefully beforesubmission.
Marking schemes
Research proposal and Response to the reviewer
Not yet satisfactorySatisfactoryMore than satisfactory
(weight: 8)0*The topic is not clear. No motivation is provided for the choice of the topic.4The importance of the topic within transport research is outlined.8The relevance of the topic for the wider social context is also highlighted.10
Aim, objectives, research hypotheses
(weight: 8)0The expected contribution of the research to the topic is not presented or is vague. 4The aim of the research is clear and well developed in research objectives/questions.8Hypotheses about the outcome of the research are stated and supported.10
Literature review
(weight: 8)0Quantity and quality (authoritativeness and up-to-dateness) of literature is not sufficient.4Main references concerning the topic and the methods are mentioned and described.8The review highlights definitive results and gaps in the current theoretical framework.10
Research design
(weight: 32)0Methodology and methods are not suitable for the research or are not accurately described. The problem of data collection is not dealt with. No data analysis method is envisaged or the method is not/scarcely consistent with the dat

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