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    I'm applying for a 1+3 PhD. The First year involves a taught MSc where many techniques taught will be unfamiliar to me.

    The module handbook for the MSc year states that students 'Should begin thinking about their dissertation topics from the beginning of the first semester'.

    I enquired about whether I did have to write a research proposal when applying for the course because the web page states: 'please include your research interests on your application form', and doesn't specify about the need for a research proposal. I received this reply from the course administrator: 'You will need to fill this in on line and it will be clearer when you do so. It states in section 2 ‘a brief synopsis’ unless you have agreed a full research proposal with a supervisor.'.

    I have begun to isolate my research interests after much reading, but I don't feel confident at this stage with coming up with a 'unique' research proposal and sending it off to potential supervisors.

    Therefore, is it acceptable to email my research interests to potential supervisors..? What is likely to happen after I do this, would the academic give me some pointers or suggest a new area to examine?

    If anyone can give me any insight into the process, I'd be very grateful!
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    (Original post by Psychobot)
    I'm applying for a 1+3 PhD. The First year involves a taught MSc where many techniques taught will be unfamiliar to me.

    The module handbook for the MSc year states that students 'Should begin thinking about their dissertation topics from the beginning of the first semester'.

    I enquired about whether I did have to write a research proposal when applying for the course because the web page states: 'please include your research interests on your application form', and doesn't specify about the need for a research proposal. I received this reply from the course administrator: 'You will need to fill this in on line and it will be clearer when you do so. It states in section 2 ‘a brief synopsis’ unless you have agreed a full research proposal with a supervisor.'.

    I have begun to isolate my research interests after much reading, but I don't feel confident at this stage with coming up with a 'unique' research proposal and sending it off to potential supervisors.

    Therefore, is it acceptable to email my research interests to potential supervisors..? What is likely to happen after I do this, would the academic give me some pointers or suggest a new area to examine?

    If anyone can give me any insight into the process, I'd be very grateful!
    When I was working on my proposals, I sent them round when they were nowhere near being ready. When I e-mailed them to my potential supervisors I did stress that what I am e-mailing is just work in progress but it gave them an idea of my reserach interests. I got plenty of extremely enthusiastic replies and loads of suggestions as to how to develop my proposal, which I found extremely useful. From my experience, I'd say definitely go for it, though do make sure that you do have some focus and what you're sending is clearly an early draft of a research project rather than just a list of interests.
 
 
 
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