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How to write a postgraduate research proposal

You will need to submit a research proposal with your PhD application. This is crucial in the assessment of your application and it warrants plenty of time and energy.

Your PGR proposal

Your postgraduate research proposal should be no more than 3,000 words (exclusive of references). Please provide a word count with your submission.

Whilst we recommend that you discuss the content of your research proposal with your proposed supervisor, it is crucial that this piece of writing is your own work. The University uses electronic systems to detect plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice and for assessment.

All Humanities PhD programmes require the submission of a research proposal as part of the application process. The Doctoral Academy upholds the principle that where a candidate approaches the University with a project of study, this should be original.

While it is understandable that research may arise out of previous studies, it is vital that your research proposal is not the subject of plagiarism.

Your research proposal should include the following:

The title of your research proposal.

You should state why your research is important, how it will make an original contribution to the literature and how it fits with the research priorities of Alliance MBS.

This should reference the most important texts related to the research, demonstrate your understanding of the research issues, and identify existing gaps (both theoretical and practical) that the research is intended to address. You should clearly articulate your research questions, why these are significant and how they make an original contribution to the literature.

You will need to provide details of your proposed research methodology, giving consideration to any data requirements, fieldwork, access issues, etc. for any empirical work.

You should identify and address any potential ethical considerations in relation to your proposed research. Please discuss your research with your proposed supervisor to see how best to progress your ideas in line with The University of Manchester ethics guidance, and ensure that your proposed supervisor is happy for you to proceed with your application.

It is important to reference the content of your work appropriately.

You will need to provide a timetable illustrating how you anticipate undertaking your research, leading to the submission of your thesis.

Your statement should present the reasons for applying to the Alliance MBS PGR Programme. You should explain how your background, experience and training qualify you for the rigours of the programme.

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