Summary of Research Intentions

Submitting a Summary of Research Intentions

The Summary of Research Intentions is submitted at the time of applying for admission into a postgraduate (research) degree. It is included in the online application. The information provided must indicate the broad outlines of your proposed thesis topic to allow the Research Committee to determine the general suitability of the topic for the degree and the availability of appropriate resources and supervision.

You may wish to write about 500 words. In thinking about your 500 words coverage, you might like to adopt the following structure:

  1. Title of thesis (Provide a provisional title for your projected thesis that sums up what might be the overall focus of your research.)
  2. Aim of thesis (State in 150 words what is the overall purpose of your research and what you hope to accomplish through our investigation.)
  3. Methodology of thesis (State in 150 words what types of evidence you will be investigating in your thesis and the methodology/methodologies you might be using to understand the evidence. The latter can be a difficult task initially and you are most welcome to ask the Research Director for clarification and help.)
    • For example, a Biblical study might use grammatical/historical exegesis, as well as sociological, historical, theological, feminist, literary, and post-colonial analyses.
    • For example, a Church History study might use a primary source approach, concentrating on particular writings of the Church Fathers or documents of the Vatican councils, accompanied by theological, sociological, historical or Marxist analyses of the evidence.
    • For example, a Theology study might adopt a ‘biblical theology’ approach involving elements of concentrate on the primary sources (original writings) of particular theologians or theological movements; a ‘philosophical’ theology approach might incorporate existentialist, post-modern, or scientific perspectives on an issue or doctrine, or approach the topic from the perspective of a particular philosophical thinker (e.g. Heidegger; Derrida; René Girard).
    • For example, a pastoral study might employ clinical analysis based on secondary literature casestudies, or employ evidence gained by interview or conduct clinical analysis (requiring thereby clearance from the SCD Research Ethics Committee), accompanied by sociological, biblical and theological analyses.


Online HDR course enrolment includes the Summary of Research Intentions component. Where candidates have already approached one or more potential supervisors to discuss the proposed area of research they should indicate this in their online application. The application and the Summary of Research Intentions are considered by the Research Committee, and the appointment of a supervisor and associate supervisor is included in the determinations of the Committee.