Postgraduate Research

General PhD Information

The postgraduate community within the School is lively, energetic and diverse. It includes many of our own graduates, as well as graduates of British and Irish universities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oxford, and UCD, and international institutions such as Princeton, Georgetown and Minzu University Beijing.

What is a PhD?

Doctorates are awarded for the creation and interpretation of knowledge, which extends the forefront of a discipline, through original research. This requires the ability to conceptualise, design and implement projects for the generation of significant new knowledge and/or understanding.
Entry to the PhD programme requires at least an honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline, and usually also a masters level degree (or equiavlent). The programme runs for 3 year's full-time or 6 years part-time study, leading to a dissertation of c.80,000 words.

How do I apply?

Applications to study for a PhD are handled centrally by the University’s Postgraduate Admissions Office.

To apply, you should use the online application system available here.

We encourage applicants to apply early to be considered for either Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Programme scholarships (NBDTP), Northern Ireland and North East (NINE) or DEL studentships.

Please choose your referees carefully, as they are contacted for their opinion as to your suitably for research. Also, take care to describe clearly the level of your primary degree. If you obtained your primary degree from a university outside the UK it can speed up the application process if you can relate your qualification to the UK system.

Before submitting an online application form, applicants are strongly recommended to contact the member of academic staff that they feel best suited to discuss their research interests to discuss supervision possibilities, and/or the postgraduate research advisor for the discipline (see below).

Why A PhD?

In addition to allowing you to pursue your research interests to an advanced level, a PhD in History or Anthropology offers an essential qualification for entry to academic and academic-related careers, as well as key transferable skills in extended research methods, project organisation and communications, applicable to a wide range of careers in the arts, administration and business. As well as academia, our recent PhD graduates hold posts in professional representation bodies, overseas-development NGOs, research libraries, management consultancy, public relations, heritage management etc. For more information on PhDs and employment, see What do PhDs do? on the Vitae website.

Contacts

Inquiries about PhDs in Anthropology should be direct to Dr Maruska Svasek

Anthropology PhD & MPhil

Anthropology Studies at Queen's is internationally renowned and a long established and repidly expanding centre for postgraduate teaching and research training.

Anthropology postgraduate life centres around the weekly Anthropology seminar, and a regular postgraduate seminar, as well as regular events in the Institute for Cognition and Culture and the Institute of Irish Studies. Recent doctoral graduates in Anthroplogy have gone on to postdoctoral positions in a range of institutions, including the University of Stirling, University of Oxford, Minzu University, University of Waterloo, Masaryk University, University of Sydney and University College Cork; PhD graduates also find employment with a very wide range of employers, including the Council for International Educational Exchange, Handelsbanken Bank, the Institute for Conflict Research, US News and World Report and the Bangladesh Civil Service.

Anthropology PhD

Prerequisites: Applicants should normally have completed or be in the process of completing an MA in a relevant discipline.

Aim: To train the student in the methods of independent research, and provide them with a professional credential at the highest level. The research normally will be based upon an analysis of original field research materials.

Support and monitoring: The student will be allocated a first supervisor and a second supervisor, with whom they will work to develop the research. Each student will present twice-yearly progress reports to PAG and annual progress reports to the Faculty of Humanities Postgraduate Committee. PAG will recommend registration for PhD on the basis of a research proposal and interview.

Research students may be required to undertake coursework (lectures and tutorials) or ethnomusicology practical work, if, in the opinion of the supervisor and the Head of School, it is in the student's interest to do so.

Assessment: By examination of the thesis by a panel of internal and external examiners normally appointed by the Faculty of Humanities Postgraduate Committee. This panel will not normally include either supervisor. The thesis shall be no longer than 80,000 words or 400 pages in length, including footnotes and appendices. Three copies must be submitted, and the format must follow the conventions prescribed by the Examinations Office.

The candidate will normally attend a viva voce (oral) examination by the internal and external examiners; this examination may be attended by the first supervisor. The Examiners may decide,
1) to recommend the acceptance of the thesis as submitted,
2) to recommend that it fail,
3) to accept the thesis as submitted for the award of the degree of MPhil,
4) to recommend acceptance of the thesis for the PhD on the condition that the candidate makes minor alterations,
5) to refer the thesis back to the candidate for more substantial alterations; the candidate must then resubmit the revised thesis for re-examination.

Anthropology MPhil

(N.B. This is a brief Guide only. All students enrolled for a higher degree are bound by the full University regulations.)

Duration: The minimum period of enrolment is one year full-time or two years part-time. Students should know that it frequently takes more than the minimum period to complete a degree by research and thesis. It should be completed within two years (full-time) or four years (part-time) from the date of admission as a research student. Admission is always to undifferentiated research status, and acceptance for MPhil depends on the recommendation of the Postgraduate Advisory Group (PAG) and the Faculty Postgraduate Committee.

Prerequisites: Students should have a good Honours degree in an appropriate subject, and evidence of a substantial academic background in the field of Social Anthropology or Ethnomusicology in which they propose to work.

Aim: To train the student in the methods of independent research, and provide them with a professional credential. The research normally will be based upon an analysis of original field research materials, or a re-analysis of published work.

Support and monitoring: The student will be allocated a first supervisor and a second supervisor, with whom he/she will work to develop the research. Each student will present twice-yearly progress reports to PAG, and annual progress reports to the Faculty of Humanities Postgraduate Committee. PAG will recommend registration for MPhil on the basis of a research proposal and interview.

Research students may be required to undertake coursework (lectures and tutorials) or ethnomusicology practical work if, in the opinion of the supervisor and the Head of School, it is in the student's interest to do so.

Assessment: By examination of the thesis by a panel of internal and external examiners (which shall not normally include the supervisor) appointed by the Faculty of Humanities Postgraduate Committee. The thesis shall be no longer than 50,000 words or 250 pages in length, including footnotes and appendices. Three copies must be submitted, and the format must follow the conventions prescribed by the Examinations Office.

The candidate will normally be invited to attend a viva voce (oral) examination. The Examiners may decide:
1) to recommend the acceptance of the thesis as submitted,
2) to recommend that it fail,
3) to recommend acceptance of the thesis on the condition that the candidate makes minor alterations, or
4) they may refer the thesis back to the candidate for more substantial alterations; the candidate must then resubmit the revised thesis for re-examination.

Ethnomusicology

Queen’s has been an international centre for Ethnomusicology since the 1970s, when the subject was introduced by the late Professor John Blacking. Blacking’s lasting legacy was his contention that humans are naturally musical beings. For this reason, people all over the world engage in the production of ‘humanly organized sound’.

Ethnomusicology explores the diverse ways in which different societies and cultures around the world structure their musics and organize their musical activities in an effort to understand why music is so central to being human. Through fieldwork and musical analysis, Ethnomusicology looks at how music is used by individuals and social groups to mediate their life experiences, from immediate family and community activities to national and international engagements. Ethnomusicologists are interested in the ways music is implicated in gender, racial and ethnic identities and relations; they look at the ways music is used in organizing daily lives at individual, group and society levels; they investigate the formation of aesthetic trends, and the links between music and emotional states and motivations.

Students studying for a Social Anthropology degree have the opportunity to study Ethnomusicology in each of the three years. At Level 1, they must take ‘Expressive Cultures: Sound, Music and Text (ESA1001), which provides an introduction to song, dance and art of Papua New Guinea, Aboriginal Australia and Brazil along with some of the interpretive models developed in the Anthropology of Performance and Ethnomusicology which underpin the expressive cultures of these areas. At Levels 2 and 3 students can choose from a range of different modules whose themes encompass the politics of performance, local musics, medical ethnomusicology and the anthropology of dance and movement.