Research Degrees (MPhil/PhD) in History of Art and/or Archaeology SOAS University of London
The year-by-year requirements for full-time MPhil and PhD research students are as follows:
During Year 1, the student refines the research proposal and decides in conjunction with his/her Supervisory Committee whether the research project should be directed towards the goal of an MPhil or a PhD degree. Students who wish to work towards the PhD must pass the process of upgrading registration from MPhil to PhD candidacy. They must provide the following to the Supervisory Committee by the May deadline (the exact date is set each year by SOAS Registry):
- Written work for the HAA Research Skills (15 PAR H061) Term 1 obligatory course (5,000 words).
- Draft chapter(s) (15,000 words).
- A chapter outline and a time plan for each chapter’s completion.
- A year 2 fieldwork and research plan.
- A bibliography of relevant sources.
- A regional research seminar presentation.
The student undertakes fieldwork or data collection. Regular reports must be submitted to their supervisor, via email or in person. A second chapter will normally be completed.
Students complete a full draft of their thesis. They are required to undertake the following:
- Term 1: Required informal presentation in HAA Research Skills seminar on the outcome of fieldwork and its impact on their research project.
- Term 2: Required presentation in HAA Department 3rd-year PhD students’ fieldwork research seminar in March.
- Term 3: Submission of the draft thesis by 15 September, along with a Completed Approval Form. If the Supervisory Committee is satisfied that the draft thesis can be developed into a thesis of a quality worthy for submission for examination in the subsequent academic year, the student will be allowed to register on Extension of Writing-up (Continuation) Status in Year 4.
Students complete and submit their thesis. At the viva (thesis examination), the examiners aim to confirm that:
- They have satisfied themselves that the thesis is genuinely the work of the candidate.
- The thesis forms a distinct contribution to the knowledge of the subject and affords evidence of originality by (i) the discovery of new facts and/or (ii) the exercise of independent critical power.
- The thesis is satisfactory as regards literary presentation.
- The thesis is of a standard to merit publication in whole or in part or in a revised form.
The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.
What have our recent graduates gone on to do?
Our graduates have gone on to a range of different roles, mainly in academia and the museum world. Quite often, after completing a doctorate, there is a transitional stage during which an early career researcher will work as a postdoctoral researcher, sometimes with a fellowship, before securing a teaching post. Some graduates do go straight into teaching positions in universities around the world. Many of our graduates have ended up working in museums, galleries and libraries, or else they carried out their degrees part-time while working in one of these, and remained working there on completion. Changes to the way research are carried out and disseminated through forms of publishing, brought on by the arrival of the digital age, would suggest that many new types of professional career will open up in the near future which can only be guessed at now.
English Language Requirements
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