What is a research proposal?

A research proposal is a concise and coherent summary of your proposed research.

Your research proposal should set out the central issues or questions that you intend to address. It should outline the general area of study within which your research falls, referring to the current state of knowledge and any recent debates on the topic, as well as demonstrate the originality of your proposed research.

The proposal also gives you an opportunity to show that you have the aptitude for postgraduate level research by demonstrating that you have the ability to communicate complex ideas clearly, concisely and critically.

In addition, the proposal also helps us to match your research interest with an appropriate supervisor. The proposal is a key part of your application, on which potential supervisors will decide if your research is something they can support. 

Read our advice on research proposal preparation

Additional guidance for applicants from the USA