Postgraduate research in Social Sciences
PhD students at the Department of Social Sciences, Inclusion and Public Protection (SSIPP) are supervised by academics who are leading experts across a range of areas in which they have researched, worked and published. At least one academic in each supervisory team will have a track record of successful supervisions and all supervisors will have taken part in the university’s PhD supervision training.
SSIPP prides itself on the levels of support provided to postgraduate research students in the course of their PhD journey. Our academics are committed to their subject areas and meet regularly with their supervisees to work closely with them at all stages of the project, from inception to completion.
The University of Wolverhampton provides a collegiate research environment and first-class facilities to its PhD students, including a dedicated postgraduate research room, use of the University’s Harrison Learning Centre and access to key Social Science databases and journals. Where necessary, staff will also support PhD students with gaining access to other sources of information necessary for their doctoral studies.
Postgraduate research students are encouraged to present their research to University academics and fellow PhD students through hosting research seminars. Again, this is an area where our supportive and knowledgeable PhD supervisors are happy to support and advise where needed.
Our postgraduate research students are afforded the opportunity to develop their research skills through participation in training events organised by the Faculty of Social Sciences and the University’s Doctoral College.
To take into account
In addition to the regular supervision provided by supervisors, our PhD students will also be provided with training opportunities by the Faculty of Social Sciences and the University’s Doctoral College. University Research Conference – The University Research Conference is held in June for research active staff and PhD students to showcase their areas of research and exchange research initiatives. Research students are welcome to make presentations during their period of study. Research students are also encouraged to disseminate final results of their research prior to submission. University Research Training - Students are encouraged to participate in training provided by the Doctoral College not only because of its intrinsic value but also because these sessions may facilitate meetings with post-graduates outside the school. Teaching Skills Development – Within SSIPP, we understand that postgraduate research students wish to develop their academic CVs while with us. For this reason, research students are provided the opportunity to undergo teaching skills development. The department seeks to ensure, wherever possible, that PhD students have the opportunity to teach on undergraduate modules.
Applicants for a research degree shall normally hold either: • a first or upper second class honours degree, or • a master’s degree, or • evidence of prior practice or learning that is accepted by the Dean of Research. An Applicant whose entry award was not delivered in English, or non-native speaker of English shall be required to demonstrate proficiency in English at least to the level of an IELTS score of 7.0 or its equivalent to be registered as a Research Degree student.
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The PhD programme in the School has the following three milestones:
Applicants who satisfy the entry requirements are encouraged to complete the online 'Expression of Interest' form. If the initial application is satisfactory, a conditional offer will be issued and a potential supervisor will be allocated who will provide guidance on the research proposal development.
An interview will take place when the final draft of the research proposal is submitted for approval. The granting of the interview does not imply that the applicant will necessarily be admitted to a research degree programme.
Subject to the satisfactory interview and that the Faculty Research Committee (FRC) is satisfied that: a) the research proposal is sound and has the potential to deliver a postgraduate research award; and b) the proposal is appropriately resourced, the applicant will be admitted to the research degree programme.
All students who wish to study for a PhD are required to complete a progression within 18 months (for full-time students) or 36 months (for part-time students).
The student at the progression needs to produce a paper which summarises his/her achievements on the research programme and outlines future research plans (including research methods), and conduct an oral presentation of the paper at a workshop set up for the progression purpose.
An independent assessor, nominated by the FRC, reviews the paper produced, together with supervisors’ assessment, the student’s presentation and other evidence. On this basis, the assessor will provide evaluative comments and recommendations to the FRC. Upon considering all aspects, the FRC may recommend that the student a) proceed as proposed; b) proceed subject to changes or amendments being made, addressing the concerns raised; c) be placed 'at risk'; or d) change the research degree originally sought.
Towards the end of the research programme, the student will be examined on the basis of a thesis and an oral examination (viva voce). Normally two qualified examiners are appointed, at least one of whom is external to the institution. If the student is a member of staff at the University, then a second external examiner will be appointed.
Following the oral examination, the examiners will make recommendations to the University’s Research Award Sub-Committee (RASC) whether the research degree sought can be awarded.
Postgraduate research in Social Sciences