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Writing Research Proposals

Research Programmes at MonaLaw

Minimum Entry Requirements:


  •  Minimum GPA of 3.0 or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or its equivalent


  • Approved graduate degrees awarded primarily for research
  • Taught Master’s degree from The UWI or another approved University, provided that the Master’s programme included a research component of at least 25% of the total credit rating and the applicant achieved at least a B+ average or its equivalent
  •  Approval of upgrade application
  • Such other qualifications and experience as the Board for Graduate Studies and Research may approve 

Writing Research Proposals

Important notes:

  •  Please include your full name on the first page of your research proposal.
  •  Ensure your proposal is saved as a PDF document before submission.
  •  The citation style used by the Faculty is OSCOLA which can be accessed on Oxford’s website here

Proposal content

Your proposal should be approximately 1000 words and should include:

A working title of the topic area

This is required solely for the purposes of your proposal. As you further develop your research, you may revise the title.

The research context

This is the background against which your research will be carried out. It should be a brief introduction outlining the general area of study and identifying the subject area within which your study falls. You should summarise the current state of knowledge and any recent debates on the subject. You need to reference this in the same way as you would do if you were writing an essay, for example any articles or books you refer to should be footnoted with the full details of author, title, publication date and so on. This will allow you to demonstrate a familiarity with the relevant field as well as the ability to communicate clearly and concisely.

The research issue, aims or questions you intend to address

Against the background provided in the research content above, you need to set out the contribution that your research will make. It is normally best to do this in the form of specific aims or research questions/issues.
Before writing your proposal, you should take time to reflect on the key questions that you are seeking to answer. Many research proposals are too broad, so reflecting on your key research questions is a good way to make sure that your project is sufficiently narrow and feasible (i.e. one that is likely to be completed with the normal period for an MPhil or PhD degree).

You might find it helpful to prioritise one or two main questions, from which you can then derive a number of secondary research questions. The proposal should also explain your intended approach to answering the questions: will your approach be empirical, doctrinal or theoretical, or a mixture of these.

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