Deciding on a research topic and preparing a research proposal can be a daunting task, but it is essential for completing your masters or doctoral (PhD) degree. The purpose of this online course is to assist delegates to develop a good research topic and prepare an excellent research proposal. Whether you are a current master’s student or a doctoral candidate, writing a research proposal is an integral part of your academic success. This course will address many of the challenges you will face in writing your proposal. The course will guide delegates through the process of developing a research proposal for a masters or doctoral thesis or dissertation, and topics such as the research problem, the literature review, research methods, academic writing, and presenting your research proposal to a committee will be covered in detail. 

Who Should Enrol

The course is relevant for anyone who needs to understand how to develop a research proposal towards successfully completing their master’s or doctoral thesis or dissertation.

Course Design

Online course

Course Content

The course is based mostly on the book, Constructing a Good Dissertation by Erik Hofstee, together with other appropriate material as required. The course works through the book step-by-step. Some of the topics to be covered can be shortlisted as follows:

  • The research problem
  • Making a contribution
  • The introduction to the research proposal
  • The literature review
  • The research method
  • Academic writing
  • Referencing
  • Endnote
  • Presentation skills 

Course Highlights

As part of the University of Pretoria’s hybrid learning environment, our online courses and CPD activities provide you with lifelong learning opportunities presented by thought leaders right at your fingertips. Access online courses anywhere, at any time – perfect for when you are strapped for time and honing your skills from wherever you are.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, delegates will be able to:

  • Adhere to the requirement that a PhD must make a unique contribution
  • Develop a problem statement 
  • Write in an academic style
  • Reference correctly
  • Use Endnote
  • Write a comprehensive research proposal
  • Present their research in front of a panel 


The course consists of lectures, each of which contains a short quiz to test whether delegates have reached that lecture’s learning outcomes. 


SACNASP: 2020-0115-001302
Number of CPD points awarded to course: 5


To pass the course and obtain a certificate of successful completion, delegates must complete all the quizzes (Quiz 1 to Quiz 10) and obtain an average of 50% for them.

Enquire Now

This fully-online course teaches you how to develop a research proposal for your master’s or doctoral degree.

5.0 CPD Points

Level 1