RESEARCH PROPOSAL

EXAMPLE OF A MA RESEARCH PROPOSAL COMPLETED USING THE SAME HEADINGS GIVEN
TO MA CYF/MA EYL STUDENTS FOR THEIR RESEARCH PROPOSAL.  THIS IS AN EXAMPLE
NOT A TEMPLATE.
 THE INTENTION IS TO GIVE MA STUDENTS AN IDEA OF WHAT A MA RESEARCH PROPOSAL
MIGHT LOOK LIKE. 
Introduction Set out a broad outline of the research area/topic. This study aims to make a
small contribution to research on the topic of early school leaving in Ireland. In Ireland early
school leaving has a significant influence on the development and prospects of young
people in terms of employment, health and mortality rates [reference].
Encouraging and facilitating early school leavers to reintegrate into mainstream schooling is
therefore seen as an important goal to mitigate against the short and long term difficulties
faced by many early school leavers [reference].
There is scant Irish research on this topic and most of the Irish literature that does exist in
this area dates back to the 1900’s and a different historical context. However, in recent
years this topic has begun to receive more attention (see for example, Nolan, 2018 and
Murphy and O’Toole, 2019) in the light of new targets introduced by the EU which aim to
reduce early school leaving rates by 10% in 2020 [reference]. Youth workers are well placed
to engage young and work with them towards facilitating their return to mainstream
schooling [reference, 2015].
This study will therefore explore with youth workers their perspectives on the reasons why
young people leave school early and the approaches they take to reintegrating young
people back into mainstream school. Rationale Provide a brief account of professional
practice experiences and/or reading which led to interest in this topic. Why is this topic
currently significant? For example, if looking at the area of outdoor play the importance of
children being physically active for at least one hour per day is currently a topic of concern
and debate following publication of guidelines from the Department of Health and Human
Services (2019). 2 The practitioner background of the researcher in the area of youth work
generated an interest in the area of young people leaving school early, particularly those
from socially deprived areas with a tendency to leave school early without a Junior or
Leaving Certificate [reference]. In particular, the researcher was interested in the different
approaches youth workers take when trying to re-integrate young people back into
mainstream schooling [reference].
This is considered important from a professional practice perspective given the link between
higher levels of education and positive employment and health outcomes, in contrast with
low levels of education which have been shown to impact negatively on socio-economic
status, health, poverty and employment opportunities [reference].
Literature Provide a short summary of the key literature to contextualise the study (this
literature will be fully covered in your literature review in chapter two). Identify the
contribution this study will make to existing literature on this topic. Provide a summary of
key literature Research question What is your overarching

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