Writing a research proposal

If you are self-funding or planning to have your own sponsorship for your research degree, you should prepare a research proposal before contacting staff.

The research proposal should include sufficient information so that we can evaluate the research that you want to do, as well as helping us make sure that we have the necessary expertise to supervise the project.

The proposal should be well-written and no longer than 6 pages, plus references, and include:

  • introduction to the topic
  • the aim(s) of the project and the research questions
  • full methodology
  • referencing (using a journal style most closely linked to your research). 

It is helpful if the proposal is written using these headings.

The research proposal should be your own work, and will be checked for originality.  If you choose to contact supervisors with your research proposal before making a formal study application, it would be helpful if you could include all of the potential supervisors that you are contacting on the email correspondence that you send, so that the potential supervisors in our School can start a discussion about supervision at the appropriate level.