Postgraduate Research

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Studying for your PhD degree at QMU offers you the opportunity to be part of an innovative research and knowledge exchange community that is committed to giving students the confidence to make a real difference to the world around them.

A PhD is both a product and also a process. A product: a substantial piece of work reflecting three or more years of endeavour which may have commercial, cultural or social value. A process: it is the process through which a person acquires advanced research skills and expertise, through which an individual is challenged and changed. Studying for a PhD gives students an opportunity to create fresh knowledge, discover new things and develop new skills. It increases employability and, in addition to academia, opens up a large range of post-doctoral career opportunities.

 

Why QMU?

  • As a student in our Graduate School, you will benefit from a large range of support for all aspects of your studies.
  • Students receive academic support from their individual supervisory team as well as their Head of Division and/or Research Centre Director. Our Academic Schools also have a dedicated Postgraduate School Research Coordinator, who is available for independent consultation and support.
  • During the course of the PhD programme, there will be many opportunities for professional and personal development. Students receive a wide range of generic research skills training which is organised by the Centre for Academic Practice and delivered during dedicated doctoral study weeks throughout each academic year. Engagement with research skills training and professional development opportunities enables face-to-face interaction amongst the doctoral community, which in turn facilitates collaborative enquiry, shared learning, individual exploration and mutual support and challenge.
  • In addition to the 540 doctoral credits gained by successful completion of the PhD, students are also enrolled on the Doctoral Certificate in Researcher Enhancement and Development (READ). Successful completion of the READ programme awards students an additional 60, level 12, doctoral credits in research skills.

The QMU PhD Programme

A PhD is both a product and also a process. A product: a substantial piece of work reflecting three or more years of endeavour which may have commercial, cultural or social value. A process: it is the process through which a person acquires advanced research skills and expertise, through which an individual is challenged and changed. Studying for a PhD gives students an opportunity to create fresh knowledge, discover new things and develop new skills. It increases employability and, in addition to academia, opens up a large range of post-doctoral career opportunities.

A doctoral student is able to demonstrate understanding of research methodology, show originality in application of research methods, and understand how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research, as well as being able to extend the forefront of a discipline by making an original contribution to knowledge.

Doctoral students are able to develop an area of research that interests them, and will be supported by one of the University’s six Research Centres. These can be found at www.qmu.ac.uk/
research-and-knowledge-exchange/research-centres-institutes-and-groups/

QMU is also a member of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science and the Scottish Graduate School of Arts and Humanities. These memberships allow QMU doctoral students to access a large range of additional doctoral training and development opportunities, such as advanced skills training, internships, local conferences and summer schools.

 

Exit Award

PhD (540 credits)

Structure

You would normally complete a PhD in three years full-time or six years part-time. You will required to attend several induction sessions at QMU and support workshops are available.

Teaching, learning and assessment

There are no taught module elements to a PhD. Students are allocated a supervisory team who will provide ongoing guidance and support learning throughout the programme of research.
The PhD is assessed solely by the thesis and viva examination, however students are expected to pass a number of progression requirements which include probationary assessment and assessed seminars.

  • The probationary Assessment comprises the submission of a comprehensive research proposal (approx. 5000 words) that is followed by a viva with an internal assessment panel.
  • The assessed seminar in Year Two (Year Four for part- time students) will take the form of a 3000 word paper which sets out the progression of study to date, the methodology, preliminary data, preliminary analysis and outlines how the student plans to progress their study further. The paper will be reviewed by an assessment panel.
  • The assessed seminar in Year Three (Year Six for part-time students) should take place prior to the submission of the final thesis. The paper submitted for the seminar will normally include a chapter from the student’s thesis and their plan of how they intend to disseminate their research.

Teaching hours and attendance

The expectation is that full-time students will devote approximately 35 hours per week and part-time students approximately 18.5 hours per week to their studies. Student meetings with their supervisory team should normally be monthly throughout the prescribed period of study, and bi- monthly for part-time students. However this is negotiable between the student and the supervisory team.

There is a longitudinal induction available for doctoral students. This consists of week-long sessions that run in September,  January and April, which all students are expected to attend. Alongside this longitudinal induction, the Centre for Academic Practice at QMU offers workshops that support students to develop key skills that are relevant to their studies and/or their future career development.

Careers

Wherever possible, doctoral students are given the opportunity to hone and develop their academic teaching skills within their department, and are supported by staff within their discipline, as well as by staff from the Centre for Academic Practice. Opportunities are also available for students to develop other skills in academia, within research or within industry.

Entry requirements

You should have a good UK Honours degree (2:1 or above) OR an equivalent degree from another country OR equivalent professional experience. Additionally, you must produce an outline research proposal (approximately 1000 words) which we judge to be feasible and appropriate for the level of study, and which is in a field we can supervise.

We recommend that you contact potential supervisors prior to making an application.

International: where your previous degree has not been studied in English, you will need a minimum IELTS overall score of 6.5 and no individual component score below 6.0.

Interview: There will be an interview process for all applicants, which may be conducted in person, by Skype, or by phone.

Please see the “How to Apply page”  for further information.

Application deadline

Applications are accepted all year round.

Scholarships

Scholarships supporting PhD study typically cover the cost of the tuition fees, a monthly stipend to support living costs, and a budget to cover research related expenses.

Each year QMU offers a limited number of funded places for specific research topics . Further information about current or past topics can be found on the bursary competition website.

Queen Margaret University also periodically advertises scholarships that are funded by external organisations to cover a specific topic. These positions may be advertised throughout the year. If you represent an organisation interested in sponsoring a research project, please contact the Research Centre Director  relevant to your proposed area of study.

The University can also nominate up to two applicants each year to the Carnegie Trust PhD Scholarship competition , with applications for QMU institutional support normally being due in January each year.

 

Morinf infromation and contacts

We recommend that you contact potential supervisors prior to making an application. Please see the About our staff and the Research Centres, Institutes and Groups pages for information on potential supervisors at the University.

Please contact the Graduate School Team at graduateschool@qmu.ac.uk

 

 

 

 

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Course Overview

Delivery
At QMU. Mainly individual learning supported by supervisory team.
Duration
Full-time: c. 3 years; Part time: c. 6 years
Start Date
September 2019
January 2020
Study Abroad
No
Fees & Funding

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