Tag Archives: PhD

Transcription time!

So we’re well into 2012 and I’ve been busy transcribing my interviews since before Christmas along with arranging the last phase of interview participants. Transcribing is a slow and laborious process. I’ve tried plenty of transcription software which managed to recognise words in the recordings (although often not the correct ones) but the real problem was that the words didn’t make any sense when put in sentences! Pretty useless really. It’s what you’d imagine using William Burroughs book writing software would look like. I could use a commercial transcription service to produce them for me but, apart for the fact that it costs money, I don’t think this is a good way of getting a rich understanding of the text. If you transcribe the interviews yourself it enables a greater understand of the themes that are developing within the data. It’s very time-consuming but necessary… I think.

On Monday I conducted an interview Peter Oakley who is well known for his YouTube channel geriatric 1927. He’s been broadcasting his thoughts through self-recorded online videos since 2006 and he regularly gets over 1600 hits for every video he posts. Pretty impressive. He’s a warm, easy-going and very approachable man who’s in the 9th decade of his life and still extremely alert and on the ball. It was a pleasure and a privilege to interview him. He gave me permission to mention him on this blog and to embed one of his videos.

After the interview we compared notes on our experiences of Art Foundation courses and going to Art College in different times and at different ages. Like Peter, my Art Foundation course was one of the most enjoyable and creative periods of my life. Anyway, here is Peter describing his thoughts and the experiences of his art education in one of his videos.

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.

A Little Background

And you may ask yourself… how did I get here? Well, this PhD study has been a couple of years in development. Last September I finished an MA in Digital Media and previous to this a PGCE, but I decided I needed more time to work out what I really wanted to do. I’d previously been working in the television industry for many years and found the rather vacuous and rigidly structured environment too restrictive for my future development. The egos and empire building had become tiresome.

After my MA I wanted time to re-discover areas that I hadn’t had time to explore with constant submission deadlines nipping at my heels. I took a mortgage holiday to take the financial pressure off. While considering my next move I earned some money lecturing but also spent part of the year on Jobs Seekers Allowance. It’s a risky strategy.

During this time taking a PhD really interested me. I’d already found an area of media that aroused my curiosity, along with a deeply held interested in the media. I was encouraged to go forward and apply by my university tutor. The application and funding process was long and drawn out. I applied for a grant with the AHRC,was offered a place on the PhD and gained funding for three years.

My journey starts here.