The Programme

Research Training

During each year of study for a full-time doctoral student the University provides dedicated days of targeted training in general research and transferable skills. Training days run by the Student Learning Centre focus on areas such as:

  • effective writing and presentation skills
  • teamwork
  • presenting research at conferences
  • preparing for interviews.

The University bases such training closely on the recommendations and priorities of the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), and the Postgraduate Training Guidelines of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Full-time doctoral students attend termly day conferences on educational research, and are also expected to attend relevant training provided within the College of Social Science. This taught provision is also available to locally-based part-time students. In addition, PhD students are also encouraged to attend the doctoral summer school.

Part-time doctoral students are provided with some of their training through online materials held on the Blackboard site run by the School of Education and by online courses provided by the University Student Learning Centre. They are also entitled to attend any classes being offered to full-time students when visiting the University. PhD students based overseas are encouraged to come to Leicester for face to face tutorials with their supervisor and if possible to arrange their visits to coincide with the doctoral summer school or other events at the School of Education.

Support for Students

Every research student has a main and second supervisor. Your progress will be carefully monitored by a Thesis Committee made up of the main and second supervisor, and the School’s Postgraduate Research Tutor or nominee. Your main and second supervisor also work out an appropriate research training plan in negotiation with you, taking into account particular needs and priorities.

The University’s David Wilson Library provides an excellent and ever expanding range of both on-site and electronically accessible resources for all research students, whether full-time or part-time.  It also houses a dedicated area for postgraduates and research students. The School of Education provides well equipped workrooms for doctoral students, open-access computer rooms, and a Doctoral Studies BlackBoard site for online support. This is complemented by online resources provided by the University Student Learning Centre.

Probation Review

PhD research students are registered on probation for the first 12 months (full-time students), or 24 months (part-time and distance learning students), of study after initial registration.  Over this period you will complete your research skills training and your overall suitability for a PhD programme will be monitored.

At the end of this period your progress will be assessed and, subject to this being satisfactory, you can then continue with your degree.

You will be required to visit Leicester both for your probation review and for your viva exam at the end of your degree.

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