Aims and Methods Research Class for MPhil Students

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Carrie Friese STC213


This course is compulsory on the MPhil/PhD in Cities Programme and MPhil/PhD in Sociology. This course is not available as an outside option.

Course content

The research seminar aims to provide students with a conceptual and practical framework within which to think through planning their research. This includes devising research questions, how to do a literature review, selecting appropriate methods for research, linking theory and practices, ethical issues and writing. The course will comprise workshops and student presentations. By the end of the course students should be able to formulate clear aims and methods for their own research. All first year MPhil students must attend.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of seminars in the LT.

Reading Weeks: Students on this course will have a reading week in MT Week 6 and LT Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

A 5,000 word formative paper is due by the first Friday in May of Year 1, to be submitted to the Course Convenor and Supervisors.


Paper (100%) in the ST.

10,000 word paper on the 'Aims and Methods' of the thesis, and a viva voce examination. For full-time students, three copies of this typed and paginated essay must be submitted to the Sociology Administration Office, Room S116, by the Friday of Week 6 in the Michaelmas Term of the 2nd Year. The viva will be held approximately one month after the submission date. Satisfactory completion of the 'Aims and Methods' paper and the viva are necessary in order to Upgrade from MPhil to PhD Student. Part-time students may elect to be evaluated in Week 6 of the MT in Year 2 or 3.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2018/19: 10

Average class size 2018/19: 11

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information