How to write a Research Proposal for master’s dissertation


Before writing your master’s dissertation in some universities require the preparation of proposals on research (Research Proposal), which will be the basis for a future dissertation. Research Proposal must be defended by at least 4 months before defense of master’s dissertation and is the second mandatory stage of work on it after the agreement and approval of the dissertation topic.


When writing research proposals, students necessarily reflect two blocks preparation of the dissertation:


– Theoretical and methodological part of dissertation
– Research part of dissertation


The theoretical and methodological part describes the relevance of the topic of master research, established area of ??concern, a subject of study, as well as the purpose and objectives associated with the hypothesis (hypotheses) of research. The first part also includes the analysis of the main sources of literature – a review of the fundamental sources in this area, as well as a proposal to work with primary sources, including, periodicals, data, research, etc. On the basis of the plan and the concept of the thesis provides a brief description of future work, its structure.


In the research part on the basis of the hypothesis (hypotheses) of research methodology prescribed future research plan, expected results, the system of the methods used, establish criteria for the validity of research.


Research proposal affirms the scientific director of the student, agreed with the head of the master’s program, and is defend for scientific director.


Research Proposal for magistracy students has the following structure:




It’s formulated so as to be approved by the Academic Council of the Institute. Subject agreed with scientific director and approved by the Program scientific director.


Subject is not formulated as a question. Subject can not be descriptive, and work – a overview (for example, “New Trends in …”), it should be viewed exploratory work. Subject may NOT contain two studies (eg “Study figure 1 in the major American companies and the dynamics of the growth of index 2 in Silicon Valley economy”). Subject should not describe the specific problem your organization if its decision can not be applied to such organizations.


Description and justification of the research subject


Its relevance, novelty, practical significance, the formulation of a research problem. (average1-2 pages).



The purpose of the object, the subject, the hypothesis (or the main question) of research


Tasks (Task Group) can (should) correspond to sections (chapters, paragraphs) work. (1-2 pages)


The objectives are accompanied by a brief explanation of the appropriateness of their performances. The objectives should be linked to a single logic operation, be subordinated to the purpose of the work, are formulated so that they can be solved by analysis or research. Tasks in the work it is recommended to put at least 3 and not more than 7.


Conceptual scheme of research based on an analytical review of the literature


Conceptual scheme of a theoretical basis for research in graphic form: viewed theories and concepts (with an indication of the authors), connections between them. The conclusion based on the results of the analytical review of the literature: the degree of knowledge of research problems, theoretical concepts which will form the basis of ongoing research. (1.5-2 page)


Research Methodology


Description of the approach, strategies and research methods, data sources and data collection methods. (2-3 pages).



Research plan (in tabular form)


Сorrelation research objectives with methods of data collection and analysis. (1 page).



The expected (prospective) research results, the scope of results. (1 page)


Calendar research plan – table





Numbered list of references (sources numbers correspond to the numbers indicated in the conceptual scheme) – (1-1.5 pages)



Thus, Research Proposal is 10-13 pages.


Adoption of research proposal is the first admission to the work on dissertation. Students who does not approved the research proposal to the scientific director and do not pass the last defend of research proposals are not allowed to pre protection, and therefore to protection of master’s dissertation.


Research Proposal