Writing a Research Proposal for Postgraduate Study (MTh and PhD)

A good research proposal should not merely articulate a general topic of interest, but rather demonstrate a candidate’s ability to conceive their research in terms of a viable project. Your proposal should therefore include the following elements:

  • A clear description of the proposed thesis topic, indicating the precise research question you will investigate over the course of your work.
  • An account of how the proposed topic fits into the existing field.
  • A description of the methodology to be used to pursue the research question (e.g., study of written sources, social surveys, fieldwork, etc.).
  • An account of why Trinity College is suited to the proposed research.
  • A brief, provisional outline of the thesis.
  • A representative bibliography of the types of sources you plan to consult in the course of your research.

Proposals should be no longer than 1500 words, not counting the representative bibliography, and your name ought to appear in the upper right hand corner of each page of the document. The proposal should be submitted with your application alongside other supporting documents.

Accepted candidates will not necessarily be bound by the proposal that accompanied their application. Its purpose is to reveal something of the applicant’s preparation and insight. During the first months of work, research students often adjust their proposals in consultation with their supervisors.

Latest blog posts

Trinity welcomes new tutor Revd Dr Donna Lazenby

We are pleased to announce that after Easter the Revd Dr Donna Lazenby will be joining Trinity College Bristol as Co-Vice Principal and Director of Formation.   ‘Donna is an outstanding young theologian and teacher, and has made a significant national contribution to formation for ministry already. As well as lecturing, Donna will be part […]

COVID-19 update (Nov 2020)

What’s been happening at Trinity through the autumn term? What will a second lockdown in England look like at college? [Read our current risk assessment] In developing our COVID response, Trinity has remained committed to the importance of learning in community and maintaining our physical community as much as we can whilst following safety precautions […]

Black History Month at Trinity

Our BAME student group has posted around college portraits and photos of significant Black Christians who have influenced faith across the UK–ten people from a variety of denominations and spheres of society. Each poster at college highlights a different person, along with a QR code so students can access an article to read more about […]

Theology, fantasy, and The Last Dragon Rider

Trinity student Luke Aylen has written a series of three older children/young adult fantasy adventure novels, the third of which (The Last Dragon Rider) comes out today. Here he discusses the book, fantasy literature, and theology.   Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?  A: I’m often known as a serial-hobbyist and all-round creative. […]