Independent Study Proposal Guide

Independent Study Proposal Guide
Module Handbook
Bachelor of Arts Programme
Semester 201
Mont-Blanc Palace | CH-1854 Leysin | Switzerland
T +41 24 493 2600 | F +41 24 493 2666 |
1. Welcome
Herewith, the module handbook for Independent Study – Proposal Guide an
exciting module part of your studies at SHMS IHTTI.
This document is intended to provide a guide on how you should go about
planning, preparing and presenting your Independent Study proposal. The research
proposal is an important statement of intention that will be considered by the
examiners to assess your success in implementing your research. It also represents
an agreement between the supervisor and yourself as to the viability and ethics of
the proposed project and the criteria by which it will be judged.
2. Tabel fo Contents
1. Welcome 2
2. Tabel fo Contents 2
3. Proposal Submission Details 3
3.1.Submission Guidelines: 3
4. Grading 4
4.1.Ethics Committee Outcomes 4
4.2.Grade Outcomes 4
5. Proposal Writing Guidelines – Use Derby approved proposal form available on
Moodle 5
6. Proposal Format and Style 8
7. Layout 9
8. Academic Offences 10
9. Undergraduate Marking Scale 13
10.Recommended Reading 14
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
3. Proposal Submission Details
The research proposal should be concise and should not be over 2,000 words.
3.1. Submission Guidelines:
Only one electronic copy of your proposal should be submitted to Moodle.
There is no provision for late submissions, unless otherwise approved by your
Programme Leader
• The proposal must be submitted through Turnitin, in Moodle, in PDF format.
• All sources must be referenced using the Harvard Referencing System.
• A full reference list of all sources must be included at the end of the report.
• All necessary appendices must be included at the end of the report.
Please save your file as LastName_FirstName.pdf
Submission Date: Sunday, Week 4 (1st March, 2020), no later than 23:59hrs.
Please refer to the Programme Handbook for regulations pertaining to late
submissions, resubmissions, and extenuating circumstances.
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
4. Grading
The Independent Study proposal must pass the ethics committee and is graded,
and weighted at 10% of your final grade.
4.1. Ethics Committee Outcomes
The outcome from the ethics committee will be one of the following:
4.2. Grade Outcomes
Should you fail the proposal with a grade below 35%, you will have to
resubmit it. Should you fail the resubmission, you will not be allowed to
continue with your independent study.
To graduate, you will need to retake the Independent Study module the following
Approval of the Independent Study proposal by the ethics committee is an
important part of the dissertation process. You are advised to devote sufficient time to
to complete the work. If at any time you face difficulties, contact your tutor at the
earliest possible opportunity.
Standardised Outcomes: Resubmission?
Approval: Approved with no amendments No
Approved with
Approved but recommendations made,
no resubmission required. Applicant
should discuss recommendations with
Approval subject to
Resubmission of listed amendments
required before approval granted.
Applicant should discuss revisions
with supervisor before re-submission.
Significant revisions are needed, or the
project is deemed unethical, in which
case a new project might be advised. A
re-submission will be required
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
5. Proposal Writing Guidelines – Use Derby approved
proposal form available on Moodle
Complete your personal and Independent Study module details. Use the following
information to complete these sections:
Subject Research Ethics Committee:
Leave blank.
Title of proposed research study:
Your working title should reflect the content of your proposal. The title should be
focused and summative. You should have a title by the time of the proposal
submission, but failing this, enter the area of study on which the proposed research
Background Information:
The answer to the three questions on the background information should be no. If
for any reason you are answering a yes, please contact your supervisor immediately.
Signatures and Dates:
Your signature will be electronic with the submission of your ethics proposal form
to Turnitin. Please only type your name. Leave the supervisor signature blank.
Section 1: Aim and Objectives: need to be focused and manageable.
Aim: it is feasible and achievable (resources and data accessibility have been
taken into account)? Is the aim original and has the potential to add insight to the
field of study? The aim should be clear, precise, feasible and simplistic enough for
the reader to understand immediately.
Objectives: need to be focused and lead to the achievement of the aim? Do they
conform to the right format (action verbs)? Examples of the wording used to write
your aim and objectives include: to ascertain; to investigate; to compare and contrast;
to assess; to analyse; to evaluate; to make recommendations, what about to be
Programme name and codes:
Programme Name: Code:
BA (Hons) in International Hospitality Management: UN8AG
BA (Hons) in International Hospitality & Events Management: UN8AI
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
‘critical’. You must ensure objectives, if achieved satisfy the aim – ‘no more and no
Section 2: Rationale for this study
This section should tell the reader why you believe the research that you are
planning is worth the effort. You need to introduce the background literature to which
the project relates. This may be expressed in the form of a problem that needs
solving or something that you find exciting and has aroused your curiosity. The
reader will be looking for evidence here that there is sufficient interest from you to
sustain your interest and motivation over the months ahead.
The introduction part could typically contain the following sections:
1. Background of the Study: helps the reader to understand the context within
which your research is located. Typically historical or chronological development
of the field of study.
2. Statement of the Problem: A strong, convincing statement, telling reader what
is the current problem that the researcher wants to know more about, and why it
is an issue worth investigating.
3. Purpose and Significance of the Study: A convincing statement, telling the
reader why of you wish to pursue this research agenda. Who is likely to benefit
from your research and how?
4. Theoretical Framework: You should briefly introduce the main theories you will
use in your Literature review, these should be current and relevant to your topic.
5. For I.B.P. only: Environmental Analysis: You should identify the environmental
tool(s) you intend to use to analyse external and internal factors which influence
your argument. You do not need to carry out the environmental study to complete
this proposal.
6. Contextual boundaries: How does your study fit into the hospitality and/or
events industry? Where will the study take place? Which country, city,
organisation? What are the reasons for you choosing this case study
(Lunenburg and Irby, 2008)
The background literature may include details on an identified destination or
organisation or population you intend to question, as well as demonstrate your
knowledge of the relevant theoretical focus. You MUST research relevant
contemporary literature in relation to the theoretical concepts of your research
question. Moreover, for dissertations, you should clarify where your research fits into
the debate in the literature. You will be expected to show a clear link between
previous work done in your field of research interest with your planned proposal and
show any gap in knowledge from the current literature and what you intend to study.
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
Note: key references should be highlighted by providing a list of references at the
end of this proposal form, for approximately 6 key publications you intend to use.
Section 3: Outline of the study design and methods
This section will detail precisely how you intend to go about achieving your
research aim and objectives by stating, explaining and justifying:
for the dissertation: your research philosophy, your research approach,
your research strategy, the time horizon for your research and the data
collection method(s) you intend to use. You should do this by stating,
explaining and justifying why you selected these methods. You should then
explain how you intend to manage these methods to collect your data and
why you intend to manage your chosen methods in these ways.
for the I.B.P.: your research choice, your research strategy, the time
horizon for your research and the data collection method(s) you intend to use.
You should do this by stating, explaining and justifying why you selected
these methods. You should then explain how you intend to manage these
methods to collect your data and why you intend to manage your chosen
methods in these ways.
Here again it is essential to explain and validate why you have chosen your
approach. Your explanation should be based on the most effective way of meeting
your research aim and objectives. You must also refer to research literature to assist
your justification. These will also be added to your list of references.
Section 4: Provide a detailed description of the study sample, covering selection,
sample profile, recruitment and inclusion and exclusion criteria
This section focuses on issues of the population and the sampling in your
research. Here, you explain how your planned methods of sampling are to be
managed in the attempt to achieve your aim and objectives and justify this planned
approach to sampling. You will need to offer a detailed description of the identity of
your research population. From this population, you will need to identify a suitable
study sample, showing how you selected the sample(s) with use of which selection
criteria, and how you selected a suitable sample size (possibly via a relevant sample
size calculation).
Section 5: payments, incentives and rewards
This section should state whether or not you intend to pay any participant in your
research and also whether you intend to offer any form of incentive or reward to
participants of your research. If you do, you will need to explain what these
payments/incentives/rewards are and when and how you intend to administer these,
also making clear whom they are for and why you feel it is necessary to offer such to
any participants.
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
Sections 6: research ethics
These sections outline ethical issues in research that must be very carefully
considered if your research proposal is to be taken seriously. Poor consideration of
ethical issues can lead your proposal to fail. In this section, you should carefully
detail how you intend to manage the ethical issues listed (in the proposal form) from
points A to L in your research. Further guidance on the completion of section 6 on
ethics is provided at the end of the proposal form. Read this guidance very carefully
to develop your understanding of the ethics terms and then carefully plan how you
intend to manage these ethical issues in your research and why you would manage
them in these ways.
Section 7: other ethical approval
In this section, simply state whether you need ethical approval or consent from any
other body or organisation, explaining why you need this and how you intend to go
about gaining this approval. You should not need any further approvals for section 7
other than the ones listed in section 6.
Section 8: intention to publish the research
You are not publishing your research paper as it is intended for your degree only.
You should therefore answer “No” in this section.
Section 9: what resources will you require?
Here you should list the resources you require and explain why you require them
and how you intend to use them to assist your research process.
Section 10: Have the activities associated with this research project been riskassessed?
Completing this ethics form for your study is an adequate form of risk assessment
and therefore you do not need any further risk assessment will be required.
Therefore answer “No” in this section.
6. Proposal Format and Style
You should at all times pay attention to the presentation of your work. Remember
that the effective communication of your work is a vital part of its success. Guidelines
are provided in these sections to assist with the format of the proposal. Due
consideration should be given to your writing style and use of English. Be consistent
in your use of tense, personal and possessive pronouns and Harvard Referencing
Equally, give care to your selection and use of words. Avoid emotive and
journalistic language and try to avoid ambiguity.
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
It is good style to be succinct and brief, avoid a rambling presentation of
information that lacks natural flow and sequence.
At this stage being self-critical is vital, avoid being long-winded and repetitive in
your written work.
Make sure your work is coherent, use transitional words and phrases to guide the
reader between sections.
You should proof read the typed manuscript to eliminate any errors that have been
made. The care and consideration that you display in presenting your final version of
the proposal has a significant impact on the marks awarded by the examiner.
From the above, it should be clear that examiners not only consider the technical
merit of a proposal, but also the logical development of argument. Students need to
demonstrate interpretative skills and show the ability to study a problem in depth
adopting a critical and analytical manner. Work that is descriptive, superficial and
lacking direction will not be graded highly.
7. Layout
You are strongly advised to consider the following guidelines for your
Font: The font should be 12 point Times New Roman, Helvetica or Arial. Other
fonts should be used only with the express permission of the dissertation
Spacing: You should be using a 1.5 points spacing in the proposal form.
Headings: A systematic method of headings should be used in writing the
proposal. A typical example of this would be to use a numbering system.
Typically, sections would have one or two sub-sections. Please speak to your
supervisor for specifics on headings.
Tables: Tables generally contain text only. This should be numbered according
to the section they appear in e.g. if a table appears in section one then it is
numbered as Table 1.1 and so on. The first table to appear in section two will be
numbered 2.1 and so on. Each table should have a number, should be labelled
and should have a reference if taken from literature.
Figures: Figures differ from tables in that they illustrate information in the form
of diagrams and graphs. As above, figures need to be numbered, need to be
labelled and should have a reference if taken from literature.
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
8. Academic Offences
The University has a public duty to ensure that the highest standards are
maintained in the conduct of assessment. Thus, the legitimate interests of the
students and the University’s reputation are safeguarded. Alleged academic offences
which would compromise these standards will be investigated thoroughly. If
confirmed, an offence will lead to the imposition of severe consequences, including
the possibility of termination of registration and enrolment, i.e. expulsion.
The student may be required to demonstrate ownership of authorship during an
investigation into an alleged academic offence. The student may be asked to
undertake a viva or another appropriate assessment at any step during the process.
This procedure is intended to help students to reach a clear understanding of
Academic Regulations and to put minor misunderstandings right before they become
An academic offence could be ‘confirmed’ where evidence supports misconduct in
any of the following categories. Where evidence strongly supports that the offence
was committed on the ‘balance of probability’ (i.e. more likely than not) a student
maybe confirmed as having committed an academic offence. The University also
reserves the right to review work retrospectively.
8.1. Plagiarism
Plagiarism arises when a student is suspected of presenting work undertaken by
other people as if it were their own. Copying all or part of another person’s work is
not permitted. Failure to fully reference all sources could be construed by the marker/
tutor as intentional and therefore as plagiarism.
Plagiarism has occurred when the student:
1. Does not acknowledge the work of another person or persons, or
2. Has not identified the source or cited quotations in any work presented for
assessment, or
3. Has copied another student’s work without their knowledge, or
4. Has submitted the same piece of their own work for assessment in two (or more)
modules (i.e. self-plagiarism).
If a student’s work is found to contain verbatim (or near verbatim) quotation from
the work of others without acknowledgement, then plagiarism has been committed. In
order to avoid that, all sources should be cited and all quotations from the works of
other authors clearly identified as such.
Please do not leave anything to chance. SHMS has strict rules regarding
plagiarism and has specialist electronic surveillance equipment to determine if the
work is plagiarised.
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
8.2. Collusion
Where there is a requirement for the submitted work to be solely that of an
individual student, collaboration is not permitted. Students who improperly work
together in these circumstances and/or who permit the copying of their work by
others are guilty of collusion.
8.3. Procurement
If the student has engaged a third party to significantly or partially create a piece of
work on their behalf with the intention of submitting this as their own piece of work,
then an academic offence has been committed.
Third party engagement can take the form of paid or unpaid work.
During a semester, random students will be selected from a module and asked to
defend their work to a committee in order to verify originality.
Additionally, if there are doubts about the originality of a student’s work, students
will be asked to defend their work orally before the final grade is awarded.
If the student is not able to demonstrate knowledge of their work, it will be
considered as an academic offence. This will result in a Z grade will be given.
Students are permitted to get their academic work edited by a third party, however
the original working document (any notes, the receipt from the editing company and/
or any correspondence relating to the involvement of a third party), must be kept on
hand until the final grade has been issued following the official publication of grades
post Assessment/ Examination Board.
8.4. Invention of data (fabrication)
Invention of data occurs where a student effectively misrepresents data (through
fabrication or falsification) to make it appear that the data has been derived by
appropriate measurement in the field, in the laboratory or other setting.
Thus the reader is deceived with regard to the true information and the researcher
may use the invented data to substantiate a favoured hypothesis. This is regarded as
deception and is a very serious academic offence
8.5. Any other form of misconduct
Any action through which students seek to gain an unfair advantage in
assessment constitutes an academic offence.
Failure to meet ethical, legal and professional obligations such as breach of
confidentiality or abuse of research subjects or materials.
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
8.6. Appeals
Where a student has been found guilty of an academic offence by the Academic
Offence Panel, an appeal may be submitted in writing, within 14 days of receiving
written notification of the outcome of the meeting.
Grounds for appeal and the processes involved can also be found in ‘Section K’ of
the 3R’s online handbook.
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
9. Undergraduate Marking Scale
This scale applies to the final semester of the SHMS IHTTI Bachelor of Arts
programme (levels 6 in the University Credit Framework). The descriptors are typical
characteristics of the standard of work associated with each range of marks. The
descriptors are illustrative and for guidance only. They are not comprehensive. A
mark of 40% is regarded as a minimum pass.
% Mark Descriptors Class
Outstanding; high to very high standard; a high level of critical analysis
and evaluation, incisive original thinking; commendable originality;
exceptionally well researched; high quality presentation; exceptional clarity
of ideas; excellent coherence and logic. Trivial or very minor errors.
Very good
A very good standard; a very good level of critical analysis and evaluation;
significant originality; well researched; a very good standard of
presentation; pleasing clarity of ideas; thoughtful and effective
presentation; very good sense of coherence and logic; Minor errors only.
Div 1
A good standard; a fairly good level of critical analysis and evaluation;
some evidence of original thinking or originality; quite well researched; a
good standard of presentation; ideas generally clear and coherent, some
evidence of misunderstandings; some deficiencies in presentation.
Div 2
A sound standard of work; a fair level of critical analysis and evaluation;
little evidence of original thinking or originality; adequately researched; a
sound standard of presentation; ideas fairly clear and coherent, some
significant misunderstandings and errors; some weakness in style or
presentation but satisfactory overall.
Overall marginally unsatisfactory; some sound aspects but some of the
following weaknesses are evident; inadequate critical analysis and
evaluation; little evidence of originality; not well researched; standard of
presentation unacceptable; ideas unclear and incoherent; some significant
errors and misunderstandings. Marginal fail.
Below the pass standard; a poor critical analysis and evaluation; no evidence of
originality; poorly researched; standard of presentation totally unacceptable; ideas
confused and incoherent, some serious misunderstandings and errors. A clear fail,
short of the pass standard.
1-20% Fail
Very Poor
Well below the pass standard; with many serious errors. Standard of presentation
totally unacceptable, incoherent and may be severely under-length. No evidence of
evaluation and application. A very clear fail, well short of the pass standard.
NS Non-submission
No work has been submitted.
Z Academic offence notation
Applies to proven instances of academic offences.
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
10.Recommended Reading
Adler, Nicolas B. (2003) Collaborative Research in Organizations: Foundations for
Learning, Change, and Theoretical Development London; SAGE.
Adams, J., Khan, H. T. A. Raeside, R. & White, D. I. (2007) Research methods for
graduate business and social science students. Thousand Oaks, SAGE.
Alvesson, Mats. (2000) Reflexive Methodology: New Vistas for Qualitative Research
Bryman, Alan. (2003) Business Research Methods Oxford; OU Press
Cassell, Catherine. (2004) Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in Organizational
Research London; SAGE.
Clough, R. & Nutbrown, C. (2002) a student’s guide to methodology: justifying
enquiry. London, SAGE Publications.
Coghlan, David. (2005) Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization London;
Collis, Jill. (2003) Business Research: A Practical Guide for Undergraduate and
Postgraduate Students Basingstoke; Palgrave MacMillan.
Crouch. (2003) Marketing Research for Managers 3e Amsterdam; Butterworth
Czarniawska, Barbara. (2004) Narratives in Social Science Research London;
Davis, Jan. (2004) Introduction to Online Investment Research. UK, Thomson.
Druckman, D. (2005) Doing research: methods of inquiry for conflict analysis.
Thousand Oaks, SAGE Publications.
David Matthew. (2004) Social Research: The Basics London; SAGE.
Dul, J. & Hak, T. (2007) Case study methodology in business research. Boston,
Fraser, Sandy. (2003) Doing Research with Children and Young People. SAGE.
Franfort-Nachmias, C. & Nachmias, D. (1996) Research methods in the social
sciences. 5th ed. New York, St. Martin’s Press.
Gill, John. (2002) Research Methods for Managers London; SAGE
Goulding, Christina. (2002) Grounded Theory: A Practical Guide for Management,
Business and Market Researchers London; SAGE
Gray, Ann. (2002) Research Practice for Cultural Studies: Ethnographic Methods and
Lived Cultures London; SAGE
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
Gray, David E. (2003) Doing Research in the Real World London; SAGE
Grbich, Carol. (2004) New Approach in Social Research London; SAGE
Gummesson, Evert. (2000) Qualitative Methods in Management Research London;
Hart, Chris. (2000) Doing a Literature Review: Releasing the Social Science
Research Imagination London; SAGE
Hair, J. F., Babin, B., Money, A. H. & Samouel, P. (2003) Essentials of business
research methods. Hoboken, John Wiley
Hewson, Claire. (2003) Internet Research Method: A Practical Guide for the Social
and Behavioural Sciences London; SAGE
Hunter, John E. (2004) Methods of Meta-Analysis: Correcting Error and Bias in
Research Findings London; SAGE
Jankowicz, A. D. (2005) Business research projects. 4th ed. London, Thomson
Lancaster, G. (2005) Research methods in management: a concise introduction to
research in management and business consultancy. Oxford, Elsevier/Butterworth-
Lunenburg, F. C. & Irby, B. J. (2008) Writing a successful thesis or dissertation: tips
and strategies for students in the social and behaviora sciences. Thousand Oaks,
Corwin Press.
Macbeth, H. (2004) Researching Food Habits: Methods and Problems New York;
Marvasti, Amir. (2004) Qualitative Research in Sociology London; SAGE
Mauthner, Melanie. (2002) Ethics in Qualitative Research London; SAGE
Miles, Jeremy. (2001) Applying Regression and Correlation: A Guide for Students and
Researchers London; SAGE
Northcutt, Norvell. (2004) Interactive Qualitative Analysis: A Systems Method for
Qualitative Research London; SAGE
O’Leary, Zina. (2004) The Essential Guide to Doing Research London; SAGE
Partington, David. (2002) Essential Skills for Management Research London; SAGE
Payne, Geoff. (2004) Key Concepts in Social Research London; SAGE
Pink, Sarah. (2001) Doing Visual Ethnography: Images, Media and Representation in
Research London; SAGE
Potter, Stephen. (2002) Doing Postgraduate Research London; SAGE
Prior, Lindsay. (2003) Using Documents in Social Research London; SAGE
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019
Pryke, Michael. (2003) Using Social Theory: Thinking Through Research London;
Punch, Keith F. (2000) Developing Effective Research Proposals London; SAGE
Phillimore, J. & Goodson, L. (2004) Qualitative research in tourism: ontologies,
epistemologies and methodologies. London, Routledge/Taylor
Ritchie, B. W., Burns, P. M. & Palmer, C. A. (2004) Tourism research
methods:integrating theory with practice. Cambridge, CABI Publishing.
Seale, Clive. (2004) Researching Society and Culture London; SAGE
Smith, David. (2004) The Art and Science of Interpreting Market Research Evidence
Chichester; John Wiley
Sapsford, R. (1999) Survey research. London, SAGE Publications
Saunders, M., Lewis, P. & Thornhill, A. (2007) Research methods for business
students. 4th ed. Harlow, Financial Times/Prentice Hall.
Silverman, D. (2002) Interpreting qualitative data: methods for analyzing talk, text
and interaction. 2nd ed. London, SAGE.
Strauss, A. & Corbin, J. (1998) Basics of qualitative research: techniques and
procedures for developing grounded theory. 2nd ed. Thousand Oaks, SAGE.
Thomas, R. M. (2003) Blending qualitative and quantitative research methods in
theses and dissertations. Thousand Oaks, Corwin Press.
Usunier, Jean-Claude. (1998) International and Cross-Cultural Management
Research London; SAGE
Veal, A.J. (2005) Research Methods for Leisure and Tourism: A Practical Guide New
York: Prentice Hall
Williams, Malcolm. (2003) Making Sense of Social Research London; SAGE
Wengraf, T. (2001) Qualitative research interviewing: biographic narrative and semistructured
methods. Thousand Oaks, SAGE.
Williman, N. S. R. (2005) Your research project: a step-by step guide for the first-time
researcher. 2nd ed. London, SAGE Publications.
Yin, Robert K. (2003) Case Study Research: Design and Methods London. SAGE.
© Swiss Hotel Management School – IHTTI School of Hotel Management – Leysin 2019

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Independent Study Proposal Guide
For $10/Page 0nly
Order Essay

Calculate the price of your paper

Total price:$26

Need a better grade?
We've got you covered.

Order your paper