In addition to making progress on your PhD project, you are expected to take the listed training and transferable skills courses. You may take courses in addition to those listed and should discuss this with your supervisor. All programmes of study should be agreed with your supervisor at the start of the year.
The first “coursework” year prepares students for research in philosophy and the completion of a central thesis chapter. At the end of this first year the progress of students is reviewed, to establish that they are on track to upgrade from MPhil to PhD status. In consultation with their academic supervisors, PhD students also settle on a definite research topic by the end of the first year.
(* denotes half unit)
Compulsory (examined/not examined)
Introduction to Quantitative Analysis
Covers the foundations of descriptive statistics and statistical estimation and inference. At the end of the course students should be able to carry out univariate and bi-variate data analysis and have an appreciation of multiple linear regression.
Applied Regression Analysis
Focuses on deepening the understanding of the generalized linear model and its application to social science data. The main topics covered are linear regression modelling and binary, multinomial and ordinal logistic regression.
Qualitative Research Methods
Prepares students to design, carry out, report, read and evaluate qualitative research projects. Students learn how to collect data using methods including interviewing, focus groups, participant observation, and documentary and historical work.
Set Theory and Further Logic (if you have previous logic training)
Examines ‘working’ set theory as a tool for use in formal reasoning, and also some ‘conceptual’ set theory of philosophical interest in its treatment of infinite sets, cardinals and ordinals.
Reasoning and Logic (if you have not already completed an undergraduate course in formal logic)
The course aims to give a precise formulation of correct deductive reasoning – of what it means for a sentence to follow from a set of other sentences taken as premises – and to investigate on this basis other important logical notions such as that of consistency.
Evidence and Policy*
Good policy decisions - whether concerning climate, conservation, international development, poverty, education, medicine, health, or whatever - require a rationally-based view of whether the proposed policy will (or is likely to) bring about the intended outcome. These are the central issues addressed in this course. It might seem initially that only experts, only scientists involved in the field, can tell what counts as good evidence. But this is not true. You can learn how to be ‘evidence-savvy’, how to ask the right questions about evidence, without needing to know the detailed science involved.
One thesis chapter (approximately 10,000 words)
A Research plan for your thesis (approximately 3,000 words)
You must also attend a Research Seminar in the Department
Years 2–4 is the time when PhD students dive deep into the research and writing of their thesis. While writing the thesis students attend the Department’s Popper Seminar, but also any of the wealth of regular research seminars that may be relevant to their research.
Students in their 2nd year aim to write two or three further chapters beyond the chapter they completed in their first year.
As well as this, Philosophy of the Social Sciences MPhil/PhD students must take, and be examined in, an additional two courses in their 2nd year.
Multivariate Analysis and Measurement
Examines the application of modern multivariate methods used in the social sciences, with particular focus on latent variable models for continuous observed variables, and their application to questions of measurement in the social sciences.
Fundamentals of Social Science Research Design
Examines the theoretical and practical foundations of empirical social science research.
Years Three and Four
In the 3rd year students produce a draft of the entire thesis, while writing papers, submitting to conferences, and getting to know the dynamic field of philosophy and their place in it. In the 4th year, students polish their material and prepare to go on the job market.
Completion of your thesis
At the end of your second year (full-time), you will need to satisfy certain requirements and if you meet these, will be retroactively upgraded to PhD status.
You can find the most up-to-date list of optional courses in the Programme Regulations section of the current School Calendar.
You must note however that while care has been taken to ensure that this information is up to date and correct, a change of circumstances since publication may cause the School to change, suspend or withdraw a course or programme of study, or change the fees that apply to it. The School will always notify the affected parties as early as practicably possible and propose any viable and relevant alternative options. Note that that the School will neither be liable for information that after publication becomes inaccurate or irrelevant, nor for changing, suspending or withdrawing a course or programme of study due to events outside of its control, which includes but is not limited to a lack of demand for a course or programme of study, industrial action, fire, flood or other environmental or physical damage to premises.
You must also note that places are limited on some courses and/or subject to specific entry requirements. The School cannot therefore guarantee you a place. Please note that changes to programmes and courses can sometimes occur after you have accepted your offer of a place. These changes are normally made in light of developments in the discipline or path-breaking research, or on the basis of student feedback. Changes can take the form of altered course content, teaching formats or assessment modes. Any such changes are intended to enhance the student learning experience. You should visit the School’s Calendar, or contact the relevant academic department, for information on the availability and/or content of courses and programmes of study. Certain substantive changes will be listed on the updated graduate course and programme information page.