Aims and Methods Research Class for MPhil Students

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Michael Savage STC S210


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 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.

Teaching arrangements may be adjusted if online teaching is required at any point.

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 MT.

Paper due in the MT of 2nd year of study.

10,000 word Upgrade paper on the 'aims and methods' of the thesis including preliminary data collection and analysis, and a viva voce examination. For full-time students, this Upgrade paper is submitted through Moodle by Friday of Week 6 of the MT in Year 2. The viva voce examination will be conducted by the end of the MT in Year 2. Satisfactory completion of the Upgrade paper and the viva voce examination are necessary in order to Upgrade from MPhil to PhD student. Part-time students may elect to be evaluated in Year 2 or Year 3.

Key facts

Department: Sociology

Total students 2021/22: 3

Average class size 2021/22: 3

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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