Are you writing a Masters dissertation proposal?

Do you need to write a Masters dissertation proposal? This article briefly summarises the most important things to remember when preparing your Masters dissertation proposal. You should always make sure you read the guidelines published by your own university department but hopefully these general tips will help you. I have divided the article into four areas you’ll need to consider to write a masters dissertation proposal – Contents, structure, style and process.


  • Be clear, objective, succinct and realistic in your objectives
  • Ask yourself why this research should be funded and/or why you are the best person to undertake this project
  • Ask yourself why this research is important and/or timely
  • State and justify your objectives clearly (“because it is interesting” is not enough!)
  • Make sure you answer the questions: how will the research benefit the wider society or contribute to the research community?


This is a typical proposal structure but always check the specific guidelines published by your university.

  • Title and abstract
  • Background information/brief summary of existing literature
  • The hypothesis and the objectives
  • Methodology
  • How the research will be communicated to the wider community
  • The supervisory provision as well as specialist and transferable skills training
  • Ethical considerations
  • Summary and conclusions


  • If space allows, provide a clear project title
  • Structure your text – if allowed use section headings
  • Present the information in short paragraphs rather than a solid block of text
  • Write short sentences
  • If allowed, provide images/charts/diagrams to help break up the text

The process:

  • Identify prospective supervisors and discuss your idea with them
  • Avoid blanket general e-mails to several prospective supervisors
  • Allow plenty of time – a rushed proposal will show
  • Get feedback from your prospective supervisor and be prepared to take their comments on board
  • If applying to an external funding agency, remember that the reviewer may not be an expert in your field of research
  • Stick to the guidelines and don’t forget the deadline

I hope these tips will prove useful but if you need help with writing, editing or proofreading your masters dissertation proposal then contact me today and we can discuss your requirements.