Interested individuals are encouraged to make an informal approach to the Department to discuss their proposal and establish an initial fit between their interests and the Department's research priorities and expertise. Formally, an applicant wishing to undertake a research degree should submit a research proposal in writing of 3,000–4,000 words and consult with the Department on the general suitability of the research topic, and on the availability of an appropriate supervisor.
The research proposal should provide the following information:
- Introduction to the central research topic that the student proposes to investigate
- Reference to the key debates and issues relevant to the research
- An indication the body of literature that the research will analyse; the main data that will be collected and/or analysed and the methods that will be used
- An outline of the potential significance of the proposed research for the field under investigation
While the final thesis of some 80,000 words is the only form of assessment for the award of the PhD, students may not submit it for examination without having accumulated a minimum of 30 and maximum of 90 taught credits as agreed with their Supervisor and Department.