For part-time study your research should be completed within six years, with writing up completed by the eighth year.
Applicants for Ph D, MPhil, or professional doctorate degrees in social science subjects - such as education, economics, management, and sociology - are encouraged to use the guidance below when planning their research proposal.
Apart from being an essential requirement for Ph D entry, a research proposal helps your future supervisors to better understand your line of thinking, experience in doing research and how you are planning to go about writing your thesis.
In addition to this, a research proposal is a great tool that can help you to structure your thinking and outline the path you would like to follow during your Ph D studies.
Do ensure however that they are sufficiently narrow – one of the reasons why many research degree applications are not successful is because the terrain outlined in the relevant proposal is simply too broad for a doctoral project.
Please also remember that the research degree thesis is first and foremost an academic endeavour, not a consultancy or applied research project.
It will most likely change extensively during the first several months of your Ph D programme.
Nevertheless, at the stage of application it is an essential document that helps evaluators make their decision in relation to your application.
This should involve a critical review of the existing theoretical and/or empirical literature(/s) as appropriate.
The important thing to establish here is the extent to which your proposed thesis research makes a contribution - i.e., adds something theoretical, conceptual, methodological and/or empirical which is not already offered in this literature(s).