All research proposals involving data collection usually require prior ethical approval to ensure the safety, rights, dignity and well-being of both the participant and the researcher. You are required to declare whether or not this applies to your dissertation and, if so, how these ethical issues are to be addressed, e.g. how are you going to ensure the anonymity of your research subjects; how will you communicate this to them?
Ethical approval should not be considered as a bureaucratic obstacle; it is a mechanism for ensuring and demonstrating that the design of your research respects the rights of those who are the participants of the research.
Examples of activities for which approval is required include questionnaire and interview based research involving sensitive or confidential issues, telephone interviewing or recording by audio or video tape and contact with participants who are children or considered as potentially vulnerable adults.
Your supervisor will advise you if the nature of your research requires you to seek ethical approval. Please refer to the University’s Research Ethics Framework for further information.