Your research proposal is an essential part of your application that will be used to assess your suitability for the PhD programme, and link you to an appropriate academic colleague who can support you throughout your studies.

A proposal may be new with a unique hypothesis you have created, or you may be looking to join a project led by our academic colleagues. If you wish to join a project, these normally include financial support, so see what is currently available in PhD Management Scholarships and Funding or PhD Financial Technology Opportunities.

Proposal requirements

When submitting your proposal please make sure it meets the following requirements so we can properly assess your suitability for the programme. It should:

  • Have a title
  • Explain your particular topic or question you wish to study
  • Briefly summarise existing research on the topic, making reference to publications as appropriate
  • Give a clear outline of the research you intend to do, with a timeframe where possible
  • Be 3,000 to 5,000 words in length (excluding references and appendices)

Important points

  • If accepted, you are not committed to following your research proposal exactly, although any major changes must be agreed with your supervisory team
  • Applications received without a research proposal will not be considered
  • A personal statement does not meet the requirements of a research proposal
  • Your research proposal may be submitted to the Turnitin plagiarism detection system

Writing an effective proposal

A weak proposal can lead to an application being unsuccessful. To help you stand out from the crowd we have created a detailed guide on how to get started.

How to write a good research proposal