UPDATE 18/12/2014: Disregard this problem. I discovered doing another tutorial that the reason I could not see anything was because I had created the layer in the wrong layering channel. It was in a display rather than a render layer
The other issue I had - which upon discovery has killed my momentum - was discovering how basic layer attributes had gotten compared to Maya 2013, including the checkboxes that Alan mentioned had been in Maya since version 1. I got hit with the blow that in this version Autodesk decided to remove an important feature that had been in their product for 16 years and what they left behind was...I don't know.
I've become stuck on how to continue as it looks like virtually none of the parameters that will be useful are there and the ones that are there look basic to the point of being unhelpful.
@Alan, @Simon or anyone, if any know how to get around this problem, please let me know because right now I do not know if I can progress any further with this tutorial. Until then I will see if I have better luck with the Depth of Field tutorial.