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Initially, you register for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme to train you in the research methods necessary to complete a PhD. You can apply to upgrade to PhD registration when you have satisfactorily completed an agreed part of the research and training programme; this usually happens before 18 months if you are studying full-time, or before 36 months if part-time.
You should aim to complete and submit your PhD thesis within an agreed period, usually three to four years for full-time students, and four to six years for part-time. If you decide not to upgrade to PhD registration, you can submit your thesis for an MPhil after two years if you are studying full-time, or after three years if part-time. With the agreement of your supervisor, you can change your registration from full to part-time or vice versa.
You are assigned members of staff qualified to supervise your research throughout your period of registration. Please see staff interests for details of the teaching staff and their research interests. You usually have a single supervisor, although in some cases joint supervision is agreed, and two members of staff are involved in the supervision. Supervision involves regular meetings throughout the period of study, and ideally involves the development of an intensive intellectual relationship between you and your supervisor, from which both parties gain.
All research students who have not completed an MRes or MPhil degree will have to attend courses on quantitative and qualitative research methods held in their first year of study. A College-wide programme of research training is also provided, which involves an induction course (which all students should attend), introduction to information technologies and the use of library and bibliographic resources, basic training in quantitative research methods, and sessions on research planning, presentation skills and ethics.
There are seminars held within the Department, which you can attend. Also, you may, after consultation with your supervisor, audit the appropriate postgraduate options from any of the taught MA/MRes programmes offered in the Department. This involves participating in seminar discussions and/or writing coursework, but not being formally assessed for the course.