What kind of research?

What kind of research?

Remember that a research study can:

  • replicate an existing study in a different setting
  • explore an under-researched area
  • extend a previous study
  • review the knowledge so far in a specific field (a systematic review)
  • develop or test out a methodology or method
  • address a research question in isolation, or within a wider programme of work
  • apply a theoretical idea to a real world problem.

This is not a full list, you need to check whether your department has a preference for particular kinds of research study. Discuss your proposed topic with a member of academic staff who you think might be appropriate to supervise the project. You may already have been assigned a supervisor - check when they are available and follow the guidance for making appointments.

You should think realistically about the practical implications of your choice, in terms of:

  • the time requirement
  • necessary travelling
  • access to equipment or room space
  • access to the population of interest
  • possible costs.

For example, a project on the occupational back injuries of blacksmiths in Scotland may involve a great deal of travel round the country interviewing blacksmiths in their places of work. Is this something that you are prepared and able to do? If the practical considerations associated with your research ideas are unrealistic, you need to consider whether you are willing to modify or reconsider it.