UCL FACULTY OF LAWS

UCL Laws Research Degree Programmes

The Research Proposal - Guidance

Research Proposal - Guidance

For detailed guidance on:

Research proposal


You should ensure first that UCL Laws has the subject area expertise in which you propose to conduct your research. It is sometimes helpful to contact a potential supervisor to discuss this before you submit your application. In any event, your research proposal should provide a detailed account of what you propose to research. You should write this research proposal separately, and not in the Supplementary Personal Statement section of the application form. Your proposal should be approximately 3,000 words (3-5 single spaced pages) and include a preliminary methodology and bibliography.

Research proposals must contain a clear research question, the methodology you propose to adopt to answer it and the original contribution your research will make to the literature. It follows that the proposal should be researched fully and contain evidence that you are familiar with the literature and debates in your proposed area. Your proposal will allow us to consider whether your topic is suitable and whether it is capable of generating a doctoral level thesis. It is important that applicants realise they may be refused admission on the ground that their proposal is of insufficient depth, in particular, that the proposal does not disclose what advance in human knowledge might arise from the research.

We are aware that after admission and initial talks with the supervisor or after some months of work you might well modify your original account. While your research proposal is important, therefore, you do not need to consider it as binding.