Perspectives on Submission and Completion of the Doctorate
Confronting the Mysteries of Withdrawal and Delayed Submission/Completion in Doctoral Degrees
Shane Dowle, Academic Quality Officer, University of Surrey
Shane will present a summary of existing literature, reports and other information on the topics of withdrawal from doctoral degrees and of submission and completion beyond the usual required period. He will address issues such as alternate definitions and the different ways in which institutions/organisations translate into practice requirements or guidelines before leading a discussion on how we might explore these issues further. It would help all concerned that is students, supervisors, institutions and funders, if it were possible to identify critical factors that we might address to reduce the negative effects these problems cause.
What works for completing your thesis on time?
Dr Siân Lindsay, City University London
Writing your PhD thesis is one of the most challenging activities that you will do in your lifetime. The sheer enormity of the task can represent a barrier to you completing your PhD on time, which subsequently leads to a range of negative feelings and behaviours, not helped by funding and institutional pressures. To understand the factors that support or obstruct the process of thesis writing, Siân interviewed several doctoral students at her University who were writing up their thesis. She will share with you what ‘worked’ for them, looking at their intrinsic behaviours, study environment, relationships with their supervisors and other non-psychological factors (such as working part-time) that helped or hindered this key stage of their doctoral journey. Discussions that follow should draw on the value of a continuous or ‘serial writing’ (Murray, 2011) approach to thesis writing, writing to develop knowledge (Wellington, 2010); in addition to understanding how your supervisor could support your writing.
Murray, R. (2011) How to Write a Thesis (Maidenhead, McGraw Hill and Open University Press).
Wellington, J. (2010) More than a matter of cognition : an exploration of affective writing problems of post-graduate students and their possible solutions. Teaching in Higher Education, 15(2), 135-150.
Submission and Completion: The Frustrations and Dilemmas of Supervisors and Examiners
Professor Pam Denicolo, University of Surrey
Timely submission and completion is a concern for supervisors but even for those who value this role and perform it assiduously it can be a process fraught with frustrations and dilemmas. Examiners, on the other hand, are more concerned with receiving, and enjoying, a well-written thesis that meets the essential criteria and most of the yardsticks that identify a satisfactory one. These are uncommon and seemingly becoming rarer, so examiners too face frustrations and dilemmas. Pam will draw on her extensive experience in both roles to present the perspectives from these viewpoints.
Participants will have opportunities to ask questions after each presentation and then will be encouraged to debate about how the situation can be improved for all those taking part in the final stages of the doctorate.
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