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Thesis Proposals

A Brief Guide

This guide is for students who are enrolled in a postgraduate research degree and who have been asked to submit a thesis proposal.


What is the Difference between a Masters and a Doctorate thesis proposal?

Your post graduate coordinator and your supervisor are best placed to give detailed clarification of your school's expectations. While differences are likely to be in the length and complexity of the research, the main difference is that a Ph. D. must contain something new.

Who is my audience?

The proposal will be presented as a written report and is usually presented in a seminar as well. It can be presented to a Postgraduate Committee or to staff more directly involved in your candidature, such as your supervisor, co-supervisor and your school`s postgraduate coordinator.

Your Goal

The thesis proposal helps you focus your research aims, clarify its importance and the need, describe the methods, predict problems and outcomes, and plan alternatives and interventions.

Getting It Done

Preparing your proposal will be an iterative process. You will discuss a number of drafts with your supervisors. You should be writing regularly to have your proposal completed by the due date. This can vary from the first 3-9 months of your candidature.


Your work will make a worthwhile contribution to the field if it fulfils one or more of the following:


How to write a Ph D Thesis UNSW School of Physics

Proposal writing Monash University

PhD: First thoughts to finished writing University of Queensland.

Re-envisioning the PhD University of Washington Graduate School.

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