Preparing a Research Degree Proposal for DJCAD

Updated on 8 November 2023

Guidance notes to help you to prepare your proposal

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Your proposal should be 1,500 to 2,000 words in length and use appropriate citation or referencing such as the Harvard system.

Please remember that the research title, questions, methods, process etc. are likely to evolve and develop during the course of the research, in particular during the first nine months of the degree. However, we need you to prepare this initial proposal to allow us to evaluate the suitability of your application. After you have submitted the proposal with the application, you may be asked to refine the proposal further or provide additional information before a final decision can be taken on your application.


This should be a concise but clear indication of the intended area of research.

Research Questions / Hypothesis

What are the questions/problems that you are asking and do they have sufficient depth to merit this level of study? There may be an overarching question and a number of sub-questions or there may be a hypothesis that you set out to prove for example.

Aims and objectives of the research

What are the issues that you are aiming to explore and how do you intend to go about doing this?

Research Context

What is the background to your proposal? What other work has been carried out in this field? Who are the key people who influence opinion in this area? What are the current debates in this area? You should include both historical and contemporary examples.


Why is it important that these questions or issues are explored? How will the research contribute to new knowledge or to developing insights in your field?

Proposed research methodology and methods

What approach/ methodology will you adopt? Give an indication of the methods that you feel will be appropriate to help you to undertake this research. Will it be practice-led, practice based or a classical type of research approach?

Plan of Work

Give an indication of the packages of work that you intend to carry out to address the research questions. If it is a practice-led degree, indicate the types of creative work that you intend to develop and their relevance to the research aims.


Give an indication of how you envisage the final product of your research being presented. Might it take the form of a written thesis, an exposition of creative work, a performance etc. or a combination of formats or outputs?

Ethical Issues

As with all research institutions, the University of Dundee has a rigorous Code of Practice governing research ethics.

Please give an indication of any ethical issues that you may need to consider.


Include a short bibliography of the key books/ journals/ websites etc. that are relevant to your study.

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