How to write a statement of intent

You are required to submit a statement of intent when applying to study a Master of Research at Western Sydney University. These guidelines are designed to help you prepare your statement of intent.

What is a statement of intent?

A statement of intent is an outline of a potential research area for a project you would like to undertake that:

  • Highlights your area of research interest.
  • Describes the importance of this area of research and why you are the right person to undertake it.
  • Identifies a potential supervisor(s) who you would like to work with on the project.

Different disciplines have different requirements and expectations for the statement of intent. We recommend that you discuss your statement of intent with your proposed supervisor prior to submitting your application.

Your statement of intent may vary in length and detail, but it is expected to be approximately 250-500 words and does not need to exceed one page.

What is the purpose of the statement of intent?

We will use your statement of intent to assess your broad understanding of your area of research interest and to determine the School or Institute where you would be best allocated based on research area. It will also help us to identify an appropriate supervisor for your project.

Will I be able to change my statement of intent?

Yes, you will have the opportunity to refine your statement of intent into a full research proposal during the coursework stage of the program as you develop your understanding of the field of research and in response to feedback from your lecturers, tutors and supervisor(s).

What are some tips to writing a strong statement of intent?

Yes, you will have the opportunity to refine your statement of intent into a full research proposal during the coursework stage of the program as you develop your understanding of the field of research and in response to feedback from your lecturers, tutors and supervisor(s).

Who can help me develop my statement of intent?

You should try to draft an initial version of your statement of intent on your own, based on your research interests and your understanding of the discipline.

You will need to identify a potential supervisor and contact them to discuss your statement of intent. A researcher that has a mutual interest or experience in your field may be able to provide feedback to help you refine your statement of intent.

You will need to provide a letter of support from your proposed supervisor as part of your application.

What are some tips to writing a strong research proposal?

Your statement of intent has a direct impact on the overall strength of your application to study a research degree. The following advice may help you to improve the quality of your statement of intent.

  • Clearly articulate your current understanding of the field and your ideas for a potential area of research that you would like to study.
  • Conduct some initial research about the field or discipline you would like to study. You could review the School or Institute pages or keyword search our academic staff profiles to find out what research areas are of strategic interest to Western Sydney University.
  • When you have enough background research in your area of interest, you can begin to approach potential supervisors to have a robust discussion about your statement of intent. If you are unable to find a supervisor, you should consider arranging a discussion with the Associate Dean, HDR or HDR Director in a relevant School or Institute to talk about potential projects and supervision.
  • Think about the impact you would like to achieve by researching in this area. Why do you want to do it? Who might benefit from your work? Why is it important?
  • Demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm for the area of research!