MSc Research Focus Areas

  • Adult malnutrition in the clinical setting
  • Breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding amongst adolescent mothers
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Food labelling
  • Food service
  • Front-of-pack food labelling
  • Health and nutrient claims
  • Hypertension and fruit and vegetable intake
  • Indigenous vegetables
  • Infant feeding practices
  • Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice
  • Nutrient profiling
  • Nutrition transition
  • Participatory action research and community-based research
  • School Nutrition
  • Stunting
  • Traditional African diets


Preliminary Proposal Outline

Linked to which departmental research focus area, see list attached (if applicable, but not compulsory)

Proposed title of dissertation (10-15 words)


Formatting requirements

The length of the proposal: maximum 2 pages (or approx. 750 words) excluding the reference list.

Font size: 11/12 Font type: Arial

Spacing: 1.5 Margins: 2.54 cm (top, bottom, left and right)

Referencing style: Harvard


Background/literature review

What is the background or context of this study?

Review studies in the past 10 years that have investigated your research problem.  When reading, identify what research has been done already in this area and mention it in this section.  You also need to identify what research is still needed (these are gaps in the existing body of knowledge, and you would have selected your research topic from one of these).  Include references to illustrate points made.


Statement of the problem

What do you want to focus on?

What is your central issue, problem or concern?

State the problem (this is a statement, not a question). The problem statement must be clear and unambiguous; it must be researchable.


Aim of the study

From the above, what will be the aim of your study?


Significance of the study

Why is this worthy of study (how does the proposed study address the identified problem)?

Why is it important and who benefits from it?

What will be your new, original contribution to practical and theoretical knowledge in the field?


Research design and methods

How will you find out what you want to know?

How will the study be done? Indicate whether you intend to do qualitative or quantitative research (or another relevant categorisation).

Indicate the research design, the target population and sampling method, data collection instrument(s) and procedures.


Reference list

You need to include a maximum of 15 sources.

Include sources in this list only if you have referred to them in your text.

Also, make sure that you have included all the sources you have cited in your text.

Use Harvard referencing style.  


Checklist for the preliminary proposal

Did you: Yes/No
Keep the proposal within the prescribed length?  
Check the proposal thoroughly for language/technical errors?  
Adhere to the layout guidelines (1.5 spacing, 11/12 point font, Arial)?  
Did you reference all the sources you used?  


Masters Degree Qualifications

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