Postgraduate Course: Theory and Practice of Political Research (PLIT11001)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||The aims of the course are:
- to link training requirements for Research degrees in Politics (MSc by Research and the training year of PhD) with the independent learning required to prepare a dissertation or extended research proposal;
- to expose students to the issues and dilemmas encountered in the pursuit of academic research through presentations by Edinburgh Politics and International Relations staff, advanced postgraduate students and invited academic guests;
- to provide a forum for presentation and discussion of postgraduate students' research;
- to provide a forum for discussion of seminal works in Politics;
- to provide a forum for discussion of professional and other issues of interest related to the pursuit of a successful academic career in the social sciences.
This course is a two-term professional development seminar for students in the first year of a research degree in politics and international relations. The aims of the course are to link training requirements with the independent learning required to prepare a dissertation or extended research proposal; to expose students to the issues and dilemmas encountered in the pursuit of academic research through presentations by Edinburgh Politics and International Relations staff, advanced postgraduate students and invited academic guests; to provide a forum for presentation and discussion of postgraduate students' research; and to provide a forum for discussion of professional and other issues of interest related to the pursuit of a successful academic career in the social sciences or research work outside the academy. Students registered for the PhD or the Master┐s by Research in this subject area are required to attend.
The course also involves a student-run conference (┐Showcase┐) that is entirely the responsibility of students on the course. This event will take place about a month after the end of the course. Further discussion of how this can be organised will take place in one of the weekly classes.
The seminar consists of scheduled research presentations by seminar participants and discussions of key professional development topics. Topics typically covered include: what makes a good presentation and research proposal, staff perspectives on PhD research, what to expect from your PhD, a workshop on Zotero, research supervision, funding, developing research proposals, research ethics and safety, getting writing, preparation for the dissertation, progression review boards and the viva, managing fieldwork, going to conferences and academic networking, teaching, publishing, knowledge exchange, and post-graduation careers within and outwith academia.
The course is taught through seminars and presentations. You will be expected to read your peers' written summaries of their research. There will be opportunities to build your skills in presenting and discussing your work and to reflect on numerous professional development topics.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Attendance is compulsory, as is the requirement to make presentations on the research project in each semester and in the end of course Showcase event. Students are also required to provide written and oral comments to other students. Feedback will be provided by academic staff, course peers and more advanced research students, but no formal assessment will be made.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate an ability to plan, design, and conduct an advanced research project
- Demonstrate an ability to respond to, as well as to offer criticism on, academic work in progress in the spirit of open and constructive debate
- Demonstrate knowledge of the skills required to present academic work in progress to an interested professional audience
- Demonstrate an awareness of accepted professional practices in modern academic life
|Gilbert GN (ed.) (2006). From postgraduate to social scientist. Sage, London.|
[This book has been written specifically to help students meet the ESRC training guidelines for research students and offers a wide variety of perspectives from various researchers.]
Other books which are recommended include the following:
Rugg G and Petre M (2010). The unwritten rules of PhD research (2nd edn). Open University Press, Buckingham.
Phillips EM and Pugh DS (2010). How to get a PhD (5th edn.). Open University Press, Buckingham.
Dunleavy P (2003). Authoring a PhD thesis. Palgrave USA, Basingstoke.
Cryer P (2006). The research student's guide to success (3rd edn.). Open University Press, Buckingham.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Ewan Stein
Tel: (0131 6)50 4264
|Course secretary||Ms Aikaterini Charvala
Tel: (0131 6)50 4296