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Research Degrees

All of the Academic Divisions in the School of Social and International Studies invite PhD applications. The research areas are only broadly indicative; and our staff place great store by creative and innovative approaches to issues whether they are novel or familiar – and to intellectual analysis, both established and path-breaking.

Structure of Your Research Degree

A research degree gives you the opportunity to determine your own field of study. Your supervisor will help formulate your research topic and ensure you are on schedule to complete your research on time. Research projects are, almost by definition, unique. It is not easy to describe a typical project. However, certain common features apply to all.

The first year of a full-time PhD is spent on an initial registration for MPhil. It may well be taken up with a review of existing literature in your proposed area, and the refining of your research proposal, combined with formal training in research skills in the Graduate School.

If you make good progress in your first year your academic supervisor will apply for your registration to be transferred from MPhil to PhD. If you opt nevertheless to submit for an MPhil then your remaining work should be accomplished in the following year.

The second year of your PhD programme may well be taken up with actual data collection. Towards the end of the year it should be possible to attempt an initial analysis of your results.

In the third year you may conduct detailed collation and analysis of your results, and organise them into a logical and persuasive thesis.

Following submission, your thesis will be read by two examiners. Your supervisor will also already have read your thesis, and may be consulted by the examiners. You will then be required to attend an oral examination, at which will be expected you to answer questions on your thesis.