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Research Degrees

Handbook for Postgraduate Research 2013-14

There are over 70 students carrying out research in the School for the doctoral degree (PhD). They are investigating a wide range of issues on a full- or part-time basis and are in receipt of bursaries from a number of sources or are supporting themselves.


All research students have access to work stations and other facilities in the School. Pigeon holes are available at the School Office in College Park. Postgraduate students in the School have set up their own Facebook page


Interaction with other students and staff is an essential part of postgraduate life. As well as having formal meetings with your two supervisors, you will be part of one of the School’s research clusters organised by a Director of Research. Clusters have their own programme of meetings and contribute to a School-wide seminar series led by both internal and visiting scholars. There are also many less formal opportunities to meet with academic colleagues, including on Thursday afternoons (4-6pm) for the student-led seminar series and coffee time.


Postgraduate research is regulated by a number of external bodies such as the Economic and Social Research Council and the Department of Education and Learning, as well as by Queen’s itself. There are timetables for completion and a number of milestones on the way to ensure satisfactory progression. Research training requirements (the equivalent of 10 days per year) must be met, involving courses, conferences, seminars and workshops.  Your supervisor will discuss the available choices and guide you through the requirements. Below you will find a description of one part of the training requirement set by the School. Other courses are available centrally, organised by the Postgraduate Office.


Inevitably, regulation involves an element of form-filling and record keeping. For instance each time you meet a supervisor, an agreed record of the meeting will be made and signed off. This will include a note of what you and your supervisor have agreed to do before the next meeting. You will also be asked to complete an annual progress report to which your supervisor contributes. When near to completion you fill in a form declaring your intent to submit, which in turn triggers off the examination process.


A PhD examination involves external and internal examiners reading your thesis and then holding an oral examination at which your main supervisor may be present but not formally participate in. The examination is chaired by an independent Director of Research.

  Record of supervision form