Creating a research plan

Creating a research plan

Any type of research asks you to manage your time and undertake a variety of tasks. Whichever way your course is organised, it is essential that you create a plan that helps you allocate enough time to each task you have to complete.

It is useful to work out how many months you have until you need to submit your completed documentation, and draw a chart showing these weeks. Block out the weeks when you know you will be unable to work, and mark in other main commitments you have that will take time during this period. Then allocate research tasks to the remaining time.


  • Christmas
  • Write research proposal 
  • Literature review
  • Complete literature review and conduct pilot study
  • Main data collection


  • Complete data collection
  • Analyse data 
  • Analyse data
  • Write document plan, then begin first draft


  • Complete first draft
  • Discuss draft with supervisor
  • Second draft
  • Third draft
  • Proofing and checking  

It is very important to be realistic about how long each task is likely to take. Some focused thought at the beginning, then at the planning stage of each phase, could save hours later on. Write down the resources needed for each stage. It could be time in the library, the resource of your working hours, or the use of equipment or room space that needs to be booked in advance.