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Guidelines for the M.Phil. Research Proposal

The proposal should be of approximately 1000 words, exclusive of references.  Candidates are required to declare that the proposal submitted is their own work; unacknowledged borrowing from other sources will be penalised. The proposal should include the following sections:

1.       Objective – two or three paras; this section should describe the main argument/hypothesis you are considering and the research questions you will be asking.

2.       Literature Review (The literature referred to could be theoretical, or a combination of both theoretical and empirical. Show the relevance of the literature cited to the research objectives.)

3.       Specification of research site and locus (empirical, geographical, theoretical) and justification for site in terms of the topic and availability of materials.

4.       References (follow any consistent social science style of referencing; note that this is not a bibliography – relevance is important, not the length of the list.)


Keep in mind the feasibility of the study in terms of

 a) sociological relevance

 b) time required (the thesis should ideally be completed within six months)

 c) availability of data sources (M.Phil. theses in the Department usually rely entirely on secondary sources)

You may find helpful material on the following websites (although they deal with PhDs, the basic principles involved in preparing proposals are the same)





A list of M.Phil. thesis completed in the last two years is available in the Annual Reports available here.  It will give you a sense of the range of topics covered.

Contact Information

Telephone: 91(0)11 27667858
Address: Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, 
University of Delhi (North Campus)
Delhi - 110007

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