If you are studying for a Master’s degree, you will almost certainly be required to write a dissertation proposal, which may be formally assessed as part of a research methods module.

If you wish to apply for an MPhil or PhD, you will have to submit a proposal as part of the application process.

If you are an undergraduate, you may be asked to write a proposal for your final project.

Even if your proposal is not assessed, it is important to produce quality work because a good proposal will make the process of carrying out the research and writing it up much easier.

When considering your proposal, your tutor or supervisor will determine whether:

The topic merits investigation

  • Is it important?
  • Is it current?

The project is doable

  • Is there a clear research aim?
  • Is the scope of the project clearly defined?
  • Can it be done by an individual in the time available?
  • Will you be able to obtain the necessary data, sources and/or equipment?

The methodology is appropriate

  • Are the methods you propose to use suitable for your investigation?
  • Is the research procedure clearly explained?
  • If using statistics, is the statistical analysis you propose suitable for your investigation?
  • Is the sample size adequate?

We recommend that you use the questions above as a checklist before submitting your proposal. The checklist may help you to identify areas that need further work.