Outline Dissertation Proposal Checklist –

Purpose of this checklist: The Outline Dissertation Proposal is given high importance on the basis that a good, clear outline is likely to yield a good, clear final dissertation.




Overall Summary

Go through each step and ensure that you can answer ‘yes’ to each of them. 
· Is the title reflective of the study (should reflect population, intervention or exposure of interest and main outcome)?  
· Are all words spelled out? Make sure that words are written in full rather than using acronyms e.g. HIA PAR  
· Does the introduction include a clear link to public health or nursing impact? The case needs to be stated – even if it seems obvious – clearly state what it will be  
· Is this section one paragraph?  
· Does the introduction include sufficient data to demonstrate  the significance of the problem?  
· Is the intent of the research clear?  
· Does the background information provided support the development of the RQ?  
Literature Review
· Do the studies and citations justify the conclusions? Are there any major omissions in the literature identified?  
· Does the summary identify any gaps in research? If yes, how will this study add to the understanding of the question?  
Research Question (RQ)
· Is the RQ clearly stated & actually is a question (as opposed to a statement)? (You may have one or more RQ’s)  
· Is the research question “answerable?”  
· If more than one question, are they separated appropriately? But still need to be linked so not two separate studies  
· Does the RQ accurately reflect the conclusions from /identify a gap in the literature?  
Aim & objectives
· Is the  aim clearly articulated in a sentence? Aim should begin “To…..”  
· Are the objectives clearly articulated, are they steps to achieving the aim i.e. setting out a ‘road map’ to achieve the aim?  
Are there between 3 – 5 objectives, including one on the literature review?  
· Are the objectives specific and measurable enough?  
· Is the theoretical nature of your research methodology described? Together with a brief description of the potential pitfalls of your approach?  For example:

Quantitative – Positivist approach- why is this the best approach for your study? Are there any assumptions that you have to make?  Is positionality important in your study if you are collecting primary data?

Qualitative – Theoretical approaches they are using and their implications for the findings –positionality i.e. role of the researcher in the research/recognizing that they may have made a difference to the nature of the research collected

· Is there a summary and justification of the methods that will be used? Have you stated and justified (with references) the study design that will be used?  
· Is the approach clearly either quantitative or qualitative – a mixture of the two is not allowed for the dissertation due to the complexity of mixed methods studies? – Do the methods match with RQ?  
· Is the sample and sample size clearly defined? For quantitative studies the sample size calculation and workings need to be included  
· Is the setting described?  
Is the recruitment strategy clearly described (every step)?  
If gatekeepers or interpreters/translators are to be used, is how they are to used described in detail?  
· Is the data collection method(s) described, including pilot-testing i.e. what you are actually going to do?  
·         Is the study time frame specified?  
·         Is the primary outcome variable described and defined?

·         Are the independent or primary predictor variables specified and defined?

· Are the methods ethical? Does it conform to the expedited criteria set out by UoL i.e. avoids sensitive issues and, vulnerable groups?  
· Is confidentiality and anonymity protected & is it described how?  
· Are other ethical considerations addressed? E.g. under 18 year olds cannot be participants  
Research outcomes
· Are the intended research outcomes described?  
· Is there a total cost figures, as well as line-item costs?  
· Is there a statement acknowledging how additional costs will be paid?  
· Does the cost estimate appear to be realistic?  
· Is the timetable realistic? Are you aiming to complete the first full draft at least a month before it needs to be handed in ?  
· Are  all references listed , in Harvard style? Are only academic sources used?  
·         Is the length of the proposal no more than 2000 words (excluding references)?  



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