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Guidelines on writing a postgraduate research proposal
All applications for postgraduate research must be supported by a written proposal. This will give us a clear idea of your interests, will help us assess your ability to successfully complete a PhD and will help us to identify an appropriate supervisor for you. You should give a clear, academically sound, description of the area that you want to work in and the type of research that you are interested in undertaking. We recognise that this may change later, as you begin the research and read more about the field.
Your proposal should be typed and should be between 900 & 1000 words in length, excluding bibliography. Please write under the following headings. Proposals in other formats will be returned for amendment.
Give your proposal a meaningful, provisional title that summarises your area of interest and your planned programme of study.
Identify the main research question(s) that you will be asking. These should be succinct, researchable and significant. Bullet points are usually best.
Explain how your questions are different from those asked by others, drawing on a brief review of the relevant research literature. You should show that you are familiar with the main literature in the field you are interested in.
Research Design & Methods
Please describe the research design of your study, including the who, what, where and why of your research plan. Briefly describe the method(s) that you will use to answer your research questions (such as library based, conceptual or empirical methods). Show why this is an appropriate design to answer your research questions.
Significance of your Research
Describe the contribution that you consider this research will make. Identify the implications of your research for existing educational theories, policy or practice. Try to say what difference your research could make to any of these.
Please include a detailed timetable that shows how the research design can be managed within a three year time period (or a 5 year period for part time students). You should explain what you will be doing during your period of registration to progress the research.
List some of the main written sources on which your research will be based.
How we assess applications
Please refer to the word document "How we assess applications" prior to submitting your application.
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