Postgraduate study skills in science, technology or mathematics
Postgraduate study skills in science, technology or mathematics

This free course is available to start right now. Review the full course description and key learning outcomes and create an account and enrol if you want a free statement of participation.

Free course

Postgraduate study skills in science, technology or mathematics

1.7.3 Framing an appropriate and useful research question

At the heart of any research is the research question. The quality of output hinges on the quality of the question: why it is asked, how it is asked, how it relates to other questions and knowledge, and what might constitute an answer. Hence, one key skill is demonstration of the ability to develop a well-formulated question. The examiner will be looking for evidence of:

  • articulation of the motivation and significance of the question

  • situation in existing literature – coverage and limitations of existing and competing research, awareness of where your work fits in relation to the discipline, and what it contributes to the discipline

  • identification and critique of alternative approaches.


Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to university level study, find out more about the types of qualifications we offer, including our entry level Access courses and Certificates.

Not ready for University study then browse over 900 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus