This section should discuss the texts which you believe are most important to the project, demonstrate your understanding of the research issues, and identify existing gaps (both theoretical and practical) that the research is intended to address.
This section is intended to ‘sign-post’ and contextualize your research questions, not to provide a detailed analysis of existing debates.
Think very carefully about the scope of your research and be prepared to explain how you will complete it within this timeframe.
Research proposals are also used to assess your expertise in the area in which you want to conduct research, you knowledge of the existing literature (and how your project will enhance it).
We encourage you strongly to identify a prospective supervisor and get in touch with them to discuss your proposal informally BEFORE making a formal application, to ensure it is of mutual interest and to gain input on the design, scope and feasibility of your project.
Remember, however, that it may not be possible to guarantee that you are supervised by a specific academic.
You should also use this section to make links between your research and the existing strengths of the department to which you are applying.
Visit appropriate websites to find out about existing research taking place in the department and how your project can complement this.
Potential supervisors, admissions tutors and/or funders use research proposals to assess the quality and originality of your ideas, your skills in critical thinking and the feasibility of the research project.
Please bear in mind that Ph D programmes in the UK are designed to be completed in three years (full time) or six years (part time).