How to write your PhD research proposal
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: HCS69
Duration: 2 sessions
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What is the course about?
The process of applying for a PhD in the UK varies wildly between institutions and across disciplines, but one element is common to all: the research proposal. This workshop looks at what constitutes a good research proposal and helps you apply fundamental principles to your own project.
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• What a PhD is
• How to gather information for your proposal
• How to frame your topic and research area
• How to develop a viable research question
• How to write an effective and persuasive proposal.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Understand what makes a convincing research proposal
• Develop a focused, researchable and relevant research question
• Explain how your research will be significant and original
• Identify gaps in your reading
• Know where to go for further information and advice.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
Learners will benefit most from this course if they have a specific research topic in mind and have done some preliminary research into courses and institutions. If you are not at this stage, you will be asked to decide on a topic for the purposes of the course. The course assumes previous experience in writing at Year 3 of an undergraduate degree, or similar. It is also expected that you will have a good grasp of the English language and usage for academic writing.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Tutor presentation will be interwoven with discussion, practical activities and some reflection time.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
City Lit Writing endeavours to create a safe and welcoming space for all and we strongly support the use of content notes in our classes. This means that learners are encouraged to make their tutor and classmates aware in advance if any writing they wish to share contains material that may be deemed sensitive. If you are unsure about what might constitute sensitive content, please ask your tutor for further clarification and read our expectations for participating in writing courses at City Lit.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
None, but please do bring a pen and paper (laptop, tablet, etc.) to take down any notes you may want to during the workshop session.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
All students are invited to join us at Late Lines, our regular performance night for City Lit writers. Students are also encouraged to submit their work to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
Anne Wilson is a Royal Literary Fund Consultant Fellow who uses her experience as a professional writer to help undergraduates and postgraduates improve their academic writing. A former freelance journalist and award-winning corporate scriptwriter, she gets behind the mystique of academic writing to make it accessible to all.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.