The first step within one month of registration is to submit initial research ideas in writing (however brief) to your supervisor and propose some dates and times for an initial discussion about them. To help with this, you can consider the kinds of dissertation topics that most interest you and read around to develop a sense of what has already been pursued. Ask yourself what specific question still needs to be addressed within the topic. Consider the methods through which this question can best be addressed.
Talking with your supervisor
When you discuss the feasibility of your ideas with your supervisor, you may find that s/he will encourage you to narrow down the topics into manageable areas. Through discussions with your supervisor, you will gradually refine your research proposal. A dissertation can take a variety of forms, such as:
- a literature-based project
- an evaluation project
- a philosophical debate
This list is for illustrative purposes only, it is up to you to develop and justify your approach. Research proposals that involve people have to be 'allowed' by the Ethics Committee. Your supervisor will give advice on procedures.
Moving to the research proposal
As with the Research Project module, the research proposal is a statement of how the research is planned to develop. Students cannot proceed to the 'active' research phase until the proposal has been agreed. It is possible to change the research proposal following approval but this must be agreed in writing with your supervisor. The proposal will also provide a means of identifying an internal examiner.
Detailed guidance on completing the research proposal is available within the course materials in the Research Project module space. Please now visit the Research Project appropriate to your course to remind yourself of the main topics and the research proposal structure.