Tag Archives: methodology

Preparing my Application to Transfer

It’s been a long intensive summer of writing, researching and interviewing for my research project. This tended to move forward frustratingly at times in fits and starts but overall has been really quite enjoyable. I’m now at a stage where I need to hand in the work I’ve completed so far for assessment.

This is an internal type of verification and assessment system where the work is read by a few academics at the University before research students are asked to defend their work in front of a panel. This process is put in place to ensure that the work is an original contribution to knowledge and of a PhD standard. If it is deemed to pass this scrutiny then the candidate is allowed to transfer from an MPhil (Master of Philosophy) to a fully fledged PhD student.

The deadline for hand-in is Friday 21st and I want to get everything in a couple of days early. There are a lot of requirements for submission including many associated documents and signatures that accompany the written work. These are then compiled into one final document which needs to be copied and bound five times. The three main writing requirements are a literature review, a methodology chapter and 3,000 word application to transfer report..

I’ve finished the second draft of my 23,000 word literature review in July and have spent August writing the methodology chapter. On Monday I met with my supervisor to go through the methodology chapter and apart from some minor changes no major problems. The application to transfer report is done too. This was a laborious task as I need to recount and explain all of the processes I’d been through to get to this stage and give examples of why my research was original. It wasn’t difficult to do but I slightly frustration as I want to keep moving forward and, as a result of all this written work, I’ve had to delay progressing with the rest of my empirical research. However, I know this is an important and necessary process if I am to move forward.

Starting Registration

Yesterday we were told that this was ‘Day One’ of our research. So, as I’ve got some lecturing to do over the next few weeks, I thought I’d get stuck in. But first went down to collect and then deliver my student council tax exemption form. Knowing I don’t have to pay this for three years gives me great pleasure.

On a PhD in the UK, research students are given up to three supervisors, who are people that give advice and mentoring throughout the research process. I’m lucky to have highly qualified supervisors. I’ve met two of them once already a week before my induction (and before I got this diary online). We all got on well and I’m hoping our relationship will blossom.

We’ve been told that in four months we will need to register our research proposal. Registration consists of developing a research question, a methodology and a plan of work. So how do I begin? Where do I start with my research? I spend the afternoon on the web searching for some statistics that indicated web use in the UK, hoping also that this would give a breakdown of generational differences. One of my supervisors suggested I look on the Oxford Internet Surveys site and low and behold a 75 page 2009 OxIS report into internet use.

The site is linked to the Oxford Internet Institute and while having a good look around I noticed a lecture on Using the Web to do Social Science in Oxford on Friday 23 October, so book myself on it.

Then found an interesting online video of Jonathan Zittrain author of The Future of the Internet which I’m currently reading.