Research Proposal in Theology (THEM006)

StaffProfessor Susannah Cornwall -
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level7
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;

Module aims

We have designed this module to allow you to prepare either for your Masters dissertation or for application for a PhD, and in the process to gain experience in the construction of good research proposals. Starting with a vague initial idea about a possible project, you will be shown how progressively to refine that idea until you have a clear sense of the relevant research questions, research methods, research materials, and research context, and can communicate that pithily in a specified format.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Refine an initial research idea until it becomes the specification for a project
  • 2. Write a clear, cogent research proposal

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 3. Demonstrate understanding of the interrelationship between research questions, methods and resources
  • 4. Demonstrate an ability to investigate the research context for a particular set of questions

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 5. Write to a very tightly defined brief

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Academic writing – reviews and proposals
  • Meet with research tutors
  • Share research proposals

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching10Class time
Guided Independent Study140Private study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Oral presentation on proposed area of research10 minutes1, 3, 4Oral peer and tutor feedback, written feedback form

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay (research proposal)1004000 words1-5Oral feedback on drafts from peers and tutors will be provided in the seminars

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay (research proposal)Essay1-5Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 50%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 50%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Biggam, John (2015), Succeeding With Your Master’s Dissertation: A Step-by-Step Handbook, Maidenhead: Open University Press
  • Cottrell, Stella (2019), The Study Skills Handbook, London: Red Globe Press
  • Matthews, Bob and Liz Ross (2010), Research Methods: A Practical Guide for the Social Sciences, Harlow: Longman
  • Rudestam, Kjell Erik and Rae R. Newton, Surviving Your Dissertation: A Comprehensive Guide to Content and Process, Los Angeles, CA: Sage

Module has an active ELE page?


Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date


Key words search

Research, Dissertation