Certificate of Achievement


has completed the following course:

Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal

University of Leicester

This course provided the awareness, skills and tools to write a well thought-out and achievable research proposal, and gave a taste of the self-study required in postgraduate doctoral research. The course explored the main requirements of undertaking a PhD, and showed how to set a realistic research question. It covered planning and structuring a literature review, and compared different research design and methodologies.

5 weeks, 2 hours per week

Professor Neil Christie

Director of Postgraduate Research in the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities

University of Leicester


Learning outcomes

  • Identify why you want to do a PhD and whether your expectations are realistic
  • Explore the main requirements, structures and problems with aiming to undertake a PhD
  • Demonstrate how to set a realistic, manageable and impactful research question
  • Compare deductive and inductive research questions
  • Describe and be able to implement the steps required to writing a literature review, including: doing a literature search, planning, organising and writing the literature review
  • Discuss what kind of theoretical approach would be useful for your research proposal
  • Compare the differences between ontology, epistemology, different research designs and methodology.
  • Summarise what you have learned from this course into a first draft of a research proposal


  • Introduction to doctoral research
  • Funding your study
  • Defining the problem and writing a research question
  • Writing a literature review
  • Research design and methodology
  • How to construct your proposal

Issued on 14th December 2018

The person named on this certificate has completed the activities in the transcript above. For more information about Certificates of Achievement and the effort required to become eligible, visit futurelearn.com/proof-of-learning/certificate-of-achievement.

This certificate represents proof of learning. It is not a formal qualification, degree, or part of a degree.

Free online course:

Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal

University of Leicester