Research proposal

What is a research proposal?

A research proposal is a written summary of the research you intend to conduct. What to include in your proposal may vary depending on the topic area you choose, however the below guidance provides an overview of a typical proposal outline. 

The clearer you are in your explanation of what you intend to do, the easier it is for us to assess your proposed topic and whether it is suitable for you study at the postgraduate research level. 

What should my research proposal include?

  • the title of your proposed research and the chosen research topic

  • a justification for why it is worth researching
    • justify its academic, practical and/or industrial importance
    • it would be beneficial to explain how your proposed topic goes further than previous research in the overall area
  • a list of the aim and objectives of the proposed research
  • the key academic ideas (theories and concepts) within the area of your proposed topic
    • provide supporting references and explain how your research relates to these ideas
  • the general research approach and specific research methods that you are intending to use
  • an explanation for why you are intending to use such an approach and set of research methods
  • an outline of the setting or context in which you intend to base your proposed research
  • an explanation of why you are using the setting or context
  • detail how you will gain access to the data
  • a section on how you intend to interpret or analyse the data, once collected
  • a tentative timeline for undertaking the proposed research
  • a full list of your references.

The proposal must not exceed 2,000 words.


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