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Online course

Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal

Learn how to research and write a high-quality research proposal for postgraduate applications.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal

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Learn how to write an excellent research proposal for a postgraduate application

A carefully prepared and thorough research proposal is usually crucial for applications for advanced or doctoral study, and can provide the launchpad for the first stages of that postgraduate study.

This online course will give you the awareness, skills and tools to write a well thought-out and achievable research proposal, helping you improve the quality of your postgraduate applications. It will also give you a taste of the self-study required in postgraduate doctoral research.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 7 secondsWell, we understand that writing an application for a PhD is quite a hard thing to do, and this course is there to help individuals who would like to apply for a PhD to write their proposal. It will give you an idea of who to approach as well, because what's really important is to talk to academics in the relevant department, because so frequently we find students will submit proposal, have a rough idea, but not really talk it through. So in the five weeks of this course, you'll run through all the components that you need to write a PhD proposal. So you'll start off with establishing a research problem.

Skip to 0 minutes and 42 seconds We'll talk about how to phrase a good research question that is realistic and doable. We'll look at how to approach a literature review and where to find literature to undertake that. It's about methodology. And often, a prospective PhD student will have an end result in terms of submitting a thesis, but this allows you to build up a series of different units, foundation blocks to undertake the PhD research. And in each of those five weeks, there will be little exercises to do so that by the end of the five weeks, you have a draft of a complete research proposal.

Skip to 1 minute and 17 seconds So if you are interested in doing a PhD, then this course will help you prepare for that, both in practical terms-- writing the proposal itself-- and in developing your ideas for what the research will be about.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • 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

Who is the course for?

This course has been created primarily for postgraduate research applicants, but it might also be useful for those who want to learn more about developing well-founded and challenging research bids for purposes other than postgraduate research degrees.

Who will you learn with?

Neil Christie

Professor Neil Christie works at the School of Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Leicester, and has long been that department’s PGR Tutor, overseeing all the research students there

Who developed the course?

The University of Leicester is a leading research led university with a strong tradition of excellence in teaching. It is consistently ranked amongst the top 20 universities in the United Kingdom.

Free:

  • Access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • No certificate

Upgraded:

  • Unlimited access to the course, for as long as it exists on FutureLearn (this includes access to articles, videos, peer review steps, quizzes)
  • A Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course

Find out more

Get extra benefits, upgrade this course. For $39 you’ll get:

Unlimited access

Upgrading will mean you get unlimited access to the course.

  • Take the course at your own pace
  • Refer to the material at any point in future

If you’re taking a course for free you have access to the course for its duration + 14 days, regardless of when you join. If you upgrade the course you have access for as long as the course exists on FutureLearn.

A Certificate of Achievement

Upgrading means you’ll receive a Certificate of Achievement when you complete the course.

  • Prove your success when applying for jobs or courses
  • Celebrate your hard work
  • Display on your Linkedin or CV

To receive a Certificate of Achievement you need to mark 90% of the steps on the course as complete.