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Quality Assurance in Doctoral Programmes and Research Training at Newcastle University

Quality Assurance in Doctoral Programmes and Research Training at Newcastle University

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Quality Assurance in Doctoral Programmes and Research Training at Newcastle University

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  1. Quality Assurance in Doctoral Programmes and Research Training at Newcastle University Dr Robin Humphrey Director of Research Postgraduate Training Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences Newcastle University, UK EUROPOS SĄJUNGA Europos socialinis fondas MYKOLO ROMERIO UNIVERSITETAS

  2. Who am I? • Active researcher • Have a PhD! • PhD Supervisor and Examiner • PGR Director in Sociology, then GPS • Director of PG Training – Social Sciences , and then Arts and Humanities too • EUA Doctoral Project, Coordinator • Bologna Process, Brussels and Nice

  3. Lessons from International Work • UK Most experience with QAA and Training issues • But, much to learn from others (Progression and Examination) • However, Beware best practice from other contexts! • Embedded in Institutions, and developed in own cultural and political national and local contexts • So, Learn from others, but adapt to own circumstances

  4. UK Context: What is a Traditional UK PhD? • Three years of Registration • One or two supervisors • 80,000 - 100,000 word thesis • Examined by thesis • And a viva • Internal and external examiner

  5. City of Newcastle • Largest city in the North East of England • Population of 284,000; 33,000 are students • Three hours by rail from London • International airport, 10km from campus

  6. Newcastle University • Established 1834 • City centre campus in North East of England • Employs over 4,000 people • One of UK’s top 20 research universities; member of the Russell Group. • 13,500 full-time students • Over 2,500 international students from more than 100 countries • Low living costs in comparison with rest of UK

  7. University Research • Very strong research ethos • Over 50 research centres • Ten academic Schools awarded top ratings in UK govt. research assessment exercise (RAE) • “Russell Group” member, major research universities in the UK

  8. Newcastle University • Gender and Women’s Studies • Geography • Geomatics (Surveying) • History • Languages • Law • Mathematics • Medicine • Music • Philosophical Studies • Physics • Politics • Psychology • Religious Studies • Sociology • Social Policy • Speech • Town Planning • Accounting • Agriculture • Archaeology • Architecture • Art • Biology • Biomedical Sciences • Business • Chemistry • Classics • Combined Studies • Computing • Dentistry • Economics • Education • Engineering • English • Environmental Sciences • Film Studies • Food (nutrition)

  9. Postgraduate Culture • In top ten of UK Universities for numbers of research postgraduate (2,200; 850 in HASS) • Extensive recognition by ESRC, AHRC and NERC (UK Govt. Research Councils) • Recognised research masters programmes • Funded studentships

  10. Faculty of Humanities, Arts, and the Social Sciences • Schools • Architecture, Planning and Landscape • Arts and Cultures • Business School • Education, Communication and Language • English Literature. Language and Linguistics • Geography, Politics and Sociology • Law School • Modern Languages

  11. Newcastle University: Code of Practice for Research Degrees • Code of Practice approved in October 2003 for implementation in September 2004. • Policy and procedures revised slightly in Spring 2006.

  12. Research Degree Programmes: Code of Practice • Code of Practice for Research Degrees ensures equity and good practice across University; • Clarifies expectations of the University staff and students; • Copy of Code of Practice included in Research Student Handbook.

  13. Newcastle University: Code of Practice • Enquiry/Application/Admission • Registration • Induction • Research Training Portfolio • Learning agreement (within 3 months) • Supervisory arrangements • Approval of Research Project and Supervisory Team (within 9 months) • Faculty Research Training Programme • Annual Progression Panel • Examination • Complaints, Appeals, Disciplinaries

  14. Newcastle UniversityPostgraduate Research Training Programme Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

  15. Postgraduate Research Training in the Social Sciences in the UK • The Government Research Council: The Economic and Social Research Council • Concerned about submission, completion and employment (Knowledge economy) • About 700 Postgraduate Research Studentships: • Of these 700 studentships. Around 500 studentships allocated through Quota System. • About 100 studentships will go to special schemes eg CASE, • About 100 studentships Open Competition (one per ‘outlet’)

  16. ESRC Recognition • ‘outlets’ (ie Sociology, Politics, Law) apply for recognition to apply for studentships • Benchmark for RPG recruitment, and Gold Standard Based on • Institutional provision for PGRs (Code of Practice) • Critical mass of PGRs • Submission and Completion rates • Quality of Research Environment • Meeting Research Training Guidelines • To maintain recognition, Submission rate (60% of research studentships they fund)

  17. ESRC Research Training Guidelines • Generic guidelines • Discipline specific guidelines • 1+3 system (1 year research masters, 3 years PhD)

  18. Postgraduate Culture • Intensive, Multi-disciplinary Research Training Programme • To gain specialist knowledge to help you complete your research degree successfully • To gain a broad range of research and research management skills that will help you compete in the Global Knowledge Economy

  19. Impetus behind Faculty provision • Economies of scale • Drawing on expertise across Faculty (see academics contribute from disciplines) • Interdisciplinarity • Multi-disciplinary learning environment

  20. JSS Skills Agenda • Research Skills and Techniques • Research Environment • Research Management • Personal Effectiveness • Communication Skills • Networking and Teamworking • Career Management

  21. Research Training Modules: Year 1 Semester 1 • Managing your PhD • Information Skills • The Nature of Explanation and Enquiry Semester 2 • Introduction to Qualitative Methodology • Introduction to Quantitative Methodology • First year conference (oral presentations)

  22. Years 2 and 3 • The Research Training and Research Development Programme: Year 2 • Progressing Your PhD • Research in the Wider Context • Second Year Research Postgraduate Conference (posters) • The Research Training and Research Development Programme: Year 3 • Final Stages of Your PhD • Research Ethics in a Wider Context

  23. Roberts Generic Skills Researcher Development • Academic Writing and Self-Editing Your Thesis • HSS8010: Research Ethics in a Wider Context • Learning by Doing • Researchers in Residence • Mentoring Training – Becoming and Being a Mentor • Netskills: How to Design Your Own Website • Collaborations and Partnerships • Peer Review • Innovation in Research Skills Awards • UK Grad and Resources for Researchers

  24. Monitoring • ESRC • Apply for recognition every four years • Submission rate survey (70% of research council-funded students) • HEFCE • Institutional Audit • Completion Rates (from 2008)