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The University of Southampton
Southampton Education SchoolPostgraduate study

Supervision & Progress

In the Southampton Education School we offer the support students need in order to achieve research work of the highest calibre.

As a postgraduate we will expect you to take a high level of responsibility for your own progress. However, you will be working within a well-considered, accountable supervisory structure. This should help you to identify and manage any issues - academic or otherwise - that may arise during your research work.

Research students are allocated two research supervisors with either subject or methods expertise in the chosen area of study. You will be expected to attend regular supervision meetings. At an early stage, this will include an Academic Needs Analysis. Training events and research seminars are held at School, Faculty and University level. Your supervisor will advise on which events you could usefully attend as part of your research training and professional development.

Irrespective of programme, all students have to demonstrate satisfactory progress at the end of each year that they registered. Supervisors will complete an annual progress report that takes into account how students have progressed against their agreed targets. The targets and activities will vary depending on the programme.

MSc Education Research Methods

You will need to have achieved at least a masters level pass for each module, and fulfilled any other conditions in each academic year, before being able to progress to the dissertation module.

PhD

Your supervisor will complete an annual progress report that takes into account your progress against your agreed targets, which include any development needs you may have. By month 24 (full –time; month 48 part-time), you must demonstrate that your initial work has been satisfactory in order to obtain ‘confirmation of PhD’. The process requires you to submit key elements of your work (typically 3-4 draft chapters of the thesis). You also attend a viva voce, where the advisory panel asks questions and makes a judgement on whether the work completed to date demonstrates sufficient potential for PhD level. This gives you valuable advice and feedback on your ongoing work. After confirmation of PhD, you will continue work on the same thesis. Your final assessment is based on your thesis plus a further viva voce.

Integrated PhD

In order to progress, students must achieve an average mark of 60% (based on Master’s performance indicators) on the taught study undertaken during Year 1, and the research project module that follows (consisting of the research proposal; journal article; and presentation).

Thereafter, your supervisors will complete an annual progress report that takes into account your progress against your agreed targets. By the end of Year 3, you must demonstrate that your initial work has been satisfactory in order to obtain ‘confirmation of PhD’. The process requires you to submit key elements of your work (typically 3-4 draft chapters of the thesis). You also attend a viva voce, where the advisory panel ask questions and make a judgement on whether the work completed to date demonstrates sufficient potential for PhD level. This gives you valuable advice and feedback on your ongoing work. After confirmation of PhD, you will continue work on the same thesis. Your final assessment is based on your thesis plus a further viva voce.

Taught modules in research degrees

These cover essential procedural, technical and ethical aspects of all high-quality research.

These modules are not compulsory for students on the PhD programme. However, following an Academic Needs Analysis at the start of the programme, supervisors may recommend certain modules in order to develop specific skills.

Students on the Integrated PhD are required to follow a programme of taught study in Year 1. This includes modules from both our Research Training and Master’s Programmes, as specified on our course page.

Modules are also more generally available on an open learning basis.

Assessment is normally through a written assignment.

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