Pre-applications and Proposals
If the PhD route is the one you are keen on, then to help us see if we can supervise you, please fill in the 'pre-application form' below and return it to us via email@example.com. This is not a formal application, but a first stage that serves to give us a clear idea of the subject area, materials and questions that you are interested in pursuing and to help identify whether there are potential supervisors with relevant expertise within the department. This pre-application should include a draft research proposal - on the contents of this, see below. Note that any proposal MUST be agreed within the School prior to completing your formal application to the University. Once the topic has been approved and a supervisor selected, then PhD applicants can move to the full application stage.
Please note that sometimes, unfortunately, we are unable to supervise certain topics because we do not have academic staff with expertise in these areas to offer the necessary support and guidance.
Guidance on how to write a research proposal
All applicants for a PhD in a UK university must submit a research proposal. Before you write this it is essential to view the department's staff and research webpages to identify that we cover your field of interest. A proposal should normally be c.1500-2000 words long, and should contain the following elements:
1. The title of the proposed research: This should be precise. Broad subject areas are too large for the scope of a PhD.
2. Abstract (150 words): This is a short summary of the proposal. It should state the research problem, its context and its significance.
3. Overview (100-200 words): You need to show your understanding of the general subject area and explain how your chosen research subject fits into the general area of study. If possible, you should show how your own background equips you for research in this area.
4. Presentation of Research (4-600 words): This is a summary of the proposed research. This is the most important section of the proposal. You need to explain what you want to research and why. Your research needs to have a purpose.
5. Literature Review (200 words): You need to refer to the key articles and books related to your proposed area of research. This needs to support your research. Within the literature review you need to show that there is a need for your research.
6. Research Questions (100 words): You need to identify the research questions which you will be seeking to answer and explain why they are important.
7. Methodology (200 words): You must show understanding of the methods required to conduct the research and of any equipment and fieldwork required. If specific materials are to be used (eg. archives, finds) mention where these are and if access to these is available.
8. Bibliography: This should comprise a short list of the key articles and books mentioned in your application.