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Postgraduate Research - Faculty of Business and Law
The general aims of MPhil or PhD study are:
• to provide you with an opportunity to acquire expert knowledge in a special field or a specific academic discipline;
• to train you in research methods, including the use of technical literature and published materials, and the techniques of empirical research (e.g. experimental methods, and the use of records and documents); to enable you to design, implement and report upon an independent research project;
• to foster your capacity for constructive criticism, originality and independence of thought;
• to provide experience of participation in the activities of an academic department (e.g. through seminar work, poster presentations etc).
Supervision Arrangements and Progression Monitoring
All registered research students are allocated an appropriately experienced supervision team of either 2 or 3 supervisors who work as a team with the student. One of these supervisors is appointed as Director of Studies with responsibility to supervise the student on a regular and frequent basis.
Progression monitoring is undertaken both formally and informally by the supervision team on an ongoing basis. Each Faculty has procedures in place to monitor the progress of their research students. On an annual basis the University Research Degrees Committee will ask Faculties to monitor progress of all eligible postgraduate research students and provide a summative report to the Research Degrees Committee.
Registration Periods and Programme Routes
MPhil and PhD awards are offered on either a full-time or part-time basis. The minimum and maximum registration periods for each programme route are as follows:
MPhil Minimum Maximum
Full Time 12 months 24 months
Part Time 24 months 48 months
PhD (via progression from MPhil registration and including the period of MPhil registration)
Full Time 33 months 48 months
Part Time 45 months 84 months
PhD (direct route not via MPhil)
Full Time 24 months 36 months
Part Time 36 months 72 months
The programme route you are enrolled upon will depend upon your qualifications and experience. The majority of LJMU students initially register for MPhil/PhD and go on to complete their PhD via successful progression from MPhil.
The University offers a comprehensive Research Student Induction programme, together with a varied programme of generic skills training opportunities. Attendance at Research Student Induction is a compulsory condition of research degree registration. Examples of other current generic skills training opportunities are as follows:
• Advanced Presentation Skills
• Applying for Ethical Approval
• How to be an Effective Researcher
• Postgraduate Employability Skills
• Project Management
• Scientific Writing
In addition to this individual Faculties offer subject-specific research training depending on individual students’ needs.
Information for postgraduate research students can also be found on the Research Support Office.
How will I be assessed?
If you are studying for MPhil there is the possibility of progression to PhD, via a written and oral assessment in year 2 for full-time students and in year 3 for part-time students (the transfer stage). The MPhil differs from the PhD in terms of the depth of study required and the extent of the personal contribution to knowledge. It requires competence in conducting an independent enquiry as well as in the use of appropriate research methods and techniques, and examiners will expect you to display satisfactory background knowledge of the subject.
To gain a PhD you are expected to show mastery of a special field and to have made an original personal contribution to the understanding of a problem, or to the advancement of knowledge, or to the generation of new ideas. Examiners will expect you to be at the forefront of understanding in your chosen topic.
Final examination for the awards of MPhil and PhD is by thesis and oral examination, following research on an approved topic
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