School of the Built Environment


    This webpage explains the nature and purpose of this proposal and provides guidance on how to write it.

    Students also benefit from being members of the Faculty’s Doctoral Training Programme which combines peer and tutor support with delivering the latest high-level training in all aspects of becoming a researcher.

    Doctoral Training Programme

    When you apply for a place on our PhD programme you must submit your research proposal to

    We appreciate, especially within the built environment field, that many candidates have little previous experience of research. We do not expect you to know a huge amount at this stage but we expect you to follow the guidance given here and to address any comments made by potential supervisors.

    • To determine if the field you are interested in is one we have the expertise to supervise within the School. Details on research groups in the School and their areas of interest can be found on the research degrees page.
    • To check that there is potential for a PhD in what you a proposing.
    • To provide the opportunity for relevant supervisors to give feedback and advise on its development

    To write a good proposal, you need to have a clear understanding of the requirements of PhD level research. Think in terms of what you will seek to find out that we didn't know before, and what its significance will be. These are the key requirements of the research you propose:

    • It should represent an original contribution to knowledge (rather than a contribution to policy or practice).
    • The knowledge you create should have relevance beyond a single case and contribute to a wider discourse, theory or debate.
    • This knowledge must be generated through rigorous scientific methods.