Setting out your research proposal Setting out your research proposal

The most important aspect of an MPhil or PhD application is the research proposal. Norwich Business School will consider applications which comply with the requirements below.

Research interest

Before preparing your application, if possible, please identify:

  1. At least one member of staff at Norwich Business School who might be your supervisor.
  2. Read that member of staffs academic papers that are recent and related to your research interest.
  3. Whether your chosen field is relevant to one or more of the papers written by the member of staff. Please clearly state your subject area and research topic.

Find out more about Staff research interests and the Schools research areas.

We do not consider applications that fall outside of the school's areas of supervision. You must state clearly on the title page of your proposal  within which area of supervision your proposal falls. Please also indicate your preferred/potential supervisor. Failure to do so will result in rejection of your proposal.

Research proposal

We would like your proposal to be no more than 2,000 words (excluding references). The proposal is not expected to be a finished document, and you may wish to refine or change your research focus in negotiation with your supervisor at a later date. The main aim of the proposal is to provide the School with an idea of your research interests and intent.

Your proposal should include the following:

  1. Your research topic: identify your management subject area and indicate your research question(s).
  2. General review of the literature: in this section you should elucidate the general discipline or field in which your study will be located with your reasons for choosing this field.
  3. Specific review of the literature: you should provide a review of the literature which demonstrates clearly the key debates in the literature. You need to give references to key articles and research texts. You need to elaborate on what makes your proposal an original piece of work, as a PhD should contain an original piece of research.
  4. Method: you need to indicate how you will answer your research question(s). You will need to explain which techniques you will use and why these techniques are considered to be acceptable and valid, and reference other studies in cognate themes of research.
  5. Timescale: provide a timescale for the conduct of your research, including literature review, methodological design, conduct of field study and write up.
  6. References: provide a list of references to the sources which you have mentioned in your application.