Research Design Whether due to “Brexit”, trade dispute between the USA, China and the EU, or longstanding inequalities between the Global North and the Glo

Research Design Whether due to “Brexit”, trade dispute between the USA, China and the EU, or longstanding inequalities between the Global North and the Global South, trade issues have risen back to the political and social agenda. Trade is an essential aspect of “economies”. Trade shapes economies as a whole, as well as individuals’ economic well-being (e.g., the access to goods, the cost of food, or the ability to sell products)

Requirements: 2500 words Markingschema – Research Proposal – PGT Research
Design (SPS5034, 2021/22)

Version: 1.0

Change log:
v1.0 [First published version, 2021/09/17, 12:00]

Criteria1 Grade2
The introduction provides:
1) a good justification of the research question’s relevance.
2) a concise review of relevant and current, empirical and/or theory-

focused academic literature.

3) a clear identification of a gap in the literature.
4) a clear overview of theoretical arguments underpinning the

research question.

Research question/ aim
The proposal provides a clear research question/aim, with sufficient

details (either as part of the question or an explanation of it) so that it
is clear what type research to expect (e.g. descriptive, causal,
comparative, theory-generating)

Data & Methods
The proposal demonstrates good understanding of research

designs/operationalization/data-collection & -analysis techniques by:

1) describing appropriate research design, data-collection, and
analysis elements needed to answer the research question/aim.

2) operationalising all concepts of the research question.
3) The proposal must include an “Ethics” section, detailing the

potential research ethical implications of the proposed question, data
collection, analysis and results.

The proposal shows evidence of critical, analytical thought, by:
1) reflecting the strengths/weakness of the methodological choices
2) listing ways to minimize the negative aspects of a method
3) contrasting the chosen design/data/sampling- and analysis

method/theoretical or epistemological position, with potential

4) making suggestions for future/alternative research beyond the one

5) for qualitative-oriented proposal: providing a reflexivity

Overall proposal
The proposal demonstrate a good overall sense of research design

and methodology through providing:

1) an appropriate plan to address the research aim and to answer the
research question.

2) linking the parts of the proposal together logically.
The proposal is well presented:
e.g. there is
1) appropriate referencing
2) a clear structure
3) arguments are supported by references/examples/data, with

appropriate paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.


1: The criteria are not a tickbox, meaning simply ensuring the proposal addresses each
criterion does not guarantee a full mark. It is the examiners’ academic judgement to assess
whether the proposal provides a convincing research plan that is appropriate given its
research question.

Likewise, the criteria are not equally weighted and grades given in the assignment are
meant to provide additional feedback not a numeric score leading to the overall grade.

2: Grades for the sections will be indicated on the A-F scale. The overall grade for the
assignment will be on the alpha-numeric scale, e.g. A1, C3 etc.

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