Postgraduate Research Opportunities - Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies MPhil or PhD
Modes of study: Full Time & Part Time
Start date: Options throughout year
- The programme
- Supporting information
- Entry requirements
- Finance and fees
- How to apply
- LJMU and Liverpool
Supervision Arrangements and Progression Monitoring
All registered research students are allocated an appropriately experienced supervision team of either 2 or 3 supervisors who work as a team with the student. One of these supervisors is appointed as Director of Studies with responsibility to supervise the student on a regular and frequent basis.
Progression monitoring is undertaken both formally and informally by the supervision team on an ongoing basis. Each Faculty has procedures in place to monitor the progress of their research students. On an annual basis the University Research Degrees Committee will ask Faculties to monitor progress of all eligible postgraduate research students and provide a summative report to the Research Degrees Committee.
Registration Periods and Programme Routes
MPhil and PhD awards are offered on either a full-time or part-time basis. The minimum and maximum registration periods for each programme route are as follows:
MPhil Minimum Maximum
Full Time 12 months 24 months
Part Time 24 months 48 months
PhD (via progression from MPhil registration and including the period of MPhil registration)
Full Time 33 months 48 months
Part Time 45 months 84 months
PhD (direct route not via MPhil)
Full Time 24 months 36 months
Part Time 36 months 72 months
The programme route you are enrolled upon will depend upon your qualifications and experience. The majority of LJMU students initially register for MPhil/PhD and go on to complete their PhD via successful progression from MPhil.
The University offers a comprehensive Research Student Induction programme, together with a varied programme of generic skills training opportunities. Attendance at Research Student Induction is a compulsory condition of research degree registration. Examples of other current generic skills training opportunities are as follows:
- Advanced Presentation Skills
- Applying for Ethical Approval
- How to be an Effective Researcher
- Poster Presentation/Design
- Postgraduate Employability Skills
- Project Management
- Writing Skills inc Creative Planning for Writing your Thesis
- Surviving the Viva
- Speed Reading
In addition to this individual Faculties offer subject-specific research training depending on individual students’ needs.
Information for postgraduate research students can also be found on the Research Support Office web site.
Staff research interests
Supervision for the degrees of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is available in the following subject areas:
School of Humanities and Social Science
- English Literature and Cultural History including 17th, 19th and 20th Century British Literature and Cultural History; Women’s Writing; Critical and Feminist Theory; National Literatures (Irish & Scottish); Postcolonial Literatures; Prison Writing and Working-Class Writing; 19th and 20th Century American Studies; 21st Century Literature and Culture.
- History including history of the British Empire in the 19th Century (especially India and Southeast Asia); Business history; 18th and 19th century Irish history; history of Co-operation; 19th and 20th century history of the British Economy; US Politics and post-1945 history, Presidential policymaking and American foreigh policy; the history of sexuality, gender and LGBT communities in 19th and 20th century Britain.
- Criminology including policy responses to young people in trouble; child welfare; penal systems; illegal and problematic drug use; corporate crime; night-time economies in the city; social policy and social exclusion; masculinity; criminological theory; environmental geography; medical criminology; qualitative and quantitative research methods
- Sociology including race, higher education and employment; work-life balance and women’s health; childbirth - caesarean birth in particular; informed choice in health services; sustainable development; gender; participatory and visual research methods; racism and the state; biopolitics and the contested politics of space in the neoliberal city; disability and illness; identities, audiences and fandom; ageing and the life course; sport and social movements
- Crime, Criminalisation and Social Harm including issues of crime and criminalisation; the production and organisational responses to social harm; the social production and effects of social exclusion; injustice and social justice; critical considerations of ‘rights’; critical interrogations of criminal justice and broader state responses to crime and social harm on local, national and international levels; gender/sexual violence and Human Rights
- Media, Culture Communication including popular culture; print culture; identity and representation; youth culture; cultures of consumption; media policy; digitial cultures, ethnography
- Policing Studies including police governance and accountability; police diversity; police education and training; police cultures; police reform; multi-agency working; police privatisation and private securities; technology and policing; community engagement; mental health and policing
- Further information about research within the School can be found here
Liverpool Business School
- Human Resource Management; Human Resources Development & Leadership; Performance Management
- Social Enteprise; Corporate Social Responsibility
- Operations Management including Project Management; Quality Management
- E-Business; Information Management; Knowledge Management
- Marketing; Digital Marketing
- Strategic Management
- Public Sector Management
- Supply Chain Management
- Educational Research
- Intercultural Communications
Liverpool School of Art and Design
- History of Art
- Exhibition Studies
- Curatorial Practice and Theory
- Architecture (especially Urbanism and Place Making)
- Fine Art Practice and Theory (especially Sonic Arts, Installation, Socially Engaged Practices, Printmaking and New Technologies)
- Art and Design Pedagogy
- Graphic Design and Illustration (especially Digital Typography and Graphic Authorship)
Liverpool Screen School
- Drama including Popular Theatre; Multicultural Theatre; Television Drama; Performance, Applications of Drama and Playwriting
- Media production; covering TV production and TV video documentary
- Creative writing
- Film studies covering theory of film, film production technique, and cinema
- Popular Music Studies and Ethnomusicology
- Journalism: practice based research in print, broadcast or online journalism; journalism studies including history, future developments, journalism technology, journalism ethics, freedom of expression, journalism training and education and various forms of specialist journalism
School of Law
- Research is conducted in two different fields: Law and Criminal Justice.
- Research in Law includes the following areas: criminal law; legal history; corporate governance; banking and finance; global finance law; obligations; media law; comparative private/public law; EU law; international law; commercial law; sports law; German public law; Italian public law; medical ethics; bioethics; legal theory; human rights; terrorism; police powers; transnational crime; gender studies; family law; law and religion.
- Criminal Justice research activity covers two core themes; firstly, work concerned with the organisation and delivery of criminal justice institutions and secondly, research that examines the broader social context of the social and cultural impact of criminal justice.
- The first theme includes the history, organisation and governance of the National Probation Service; the impact and delivery of community penalties/sentences; innovation and creativity in developing models of criminal justice; the use and effectiveness of community justice approaches; drug interventions in criminal justice and the subsequent management of drug misusing populations; multi-agency and partnership work within youth justice; reviewing and informing sentencing policy; the political dimensions to criminal justice policy creation.
- The second theme includes the nature, complexities and challenges of criminal justice engagement with its publics; the symbolic and cultural significance of real and imagined exchanges with the criminal justice system in negotiations of belonging and identity; critically examining fictional and factual media representations of criminal justice; the application of criminological theory in practice; the connections between research and the criminal justice policy making process.
- To obtain further details on the research interests of Law School staff, visit the Research profile pages of the Law School web-site.
How will I be assessed?
If you are studying for MPhil there is the possibility of progression to PhD, via a written and oral assessment in year 2 for full-time students and in year 3 for part-time students (the transfer stage).
The MPhil differs from the PhD in terms of the depth of study required and the extent of the personal contribution to knowledge. It requires competence in conducting an independent enquiry as well as in the use of appropriate research methods and techniques, and examiners will expect you to display satisfactory background knowledge of the subject.
To gain a PhD you are expected to show mastery of a special field and to have made an original personal contribution to the understanding of a problem, or to the advancement of knowledge, or to the generation of new ideas. Examiners will expect you to be at the forefront of understanding in your chosen topic.
Final examination for the awards of MPhil and PhD is by thesis and oral examination, following research on an approved topic.
Other related courses
MRes Art & Design
MRes Critical Social Science
MRes Literature & Cultural History
MRes Modern History
MRes Screen Interactive Media
Applicants for MPhil or MPhil/PhD should normally hold, or be expecting to obtain, a first or upper second-class Bachelor’s honours degree in a relevant subject; those applying for PhD direct must hold a Master’s degree with a research dissertation in a relevant subject, and have had research training directly related to the PhD project.
Some Faculties may require applicants who do not hold a relevant Master’s degree to complete an MRes programme before going on to register for PhD direct. Applicants are advised to check this with the relevant Faculty before applying.
Applicants holding qualifications other than those above will be considered on their merits. Appropriate research and previous experience will be taken into account.
International students must also hold an IELTS qualification of at least 6.5 or equivalent. For research programmes in the Screen School, Humanities and Social Sciences and in Law the requirement is for a minimum score of 7.0 in the written component.
All research degree registrations are subject to approval by the Faculty and University’s Research Degrees Committee.
Will I be interviewed?Yes
Fees for the 2013/14 academic year are as follows:
Full-time Home/EU Students: £3732
Part-time Home/EU Students: £1886
Full-time International Students: £11055 (Band 1 for programmes in the School of Humanities & Social Science, the School of Law and the Liverpool Business School) or £12040 (Band 2 for programmes in the Liverpool School of Art and Design and the Liverpool Screen School)
Part-time International Students: £5528 (Band 1 for programmes in the School of Humanities & Social Science, the School of Law and the Liverpool Business School) or £6020 (Band 2 for programmes in the Liverpool School of Art and Design and the Liverpool Screen School)
Note 1: students from the Isle of Man or the Channel Islands will pay the same fees as International students.
Note 2: in exceptional circumstances some Faculties may charge bench fees and applicants are advised to check this with the relevant Faculty when applying.
Securing funding is one of the main hurdles you may have to face when considering postgraduate research. However, there is help available and information about sources of funding is available from the Research Support Office website. Please click here for details.
In addition to this the Faculty you are applying to may have information about locally available funding opportunities.
Advice and Support at LJMU
LJMU employs a team of staff that are experts in fees and funding who can offer advice based upon your personal circumstances. You can contact them on 0151 904 6056/6057 or via firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance and support.
Click here for further information relating to funding and support
How to apply
Please apply via the online application form
LJMU's Admissions policy is in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy and applications are welcome from all candidates who fulfil the entry criteria.
Research Proposal Enquiry Form
Before you write up your research proposal, we'd recommend you get some feedback from LJMU by completing this Research Proposal Enquiry Form
Please note that because of UK visa restrictions, ‘International’ students wishing to come to the UK to study may only do so on a full-time basis. However, if you are interested in doing a part-time research degree programme under some circumstances you may be able to do this from your own country and come to LJMU for short periods of approximately 6 weeks each year.
International students wishing to apply for research degree programmes in this Faculty do not require ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) clearance.
For further information please visit the International Students website.
Application and Selection
What happens next?
Your application will be sent automatically to the Faculty Admissions Hub for processing. You will receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your application and it will be considered by the relevant Postgraduate Research Admissions Tutor. We will ask your academic referees for a reference and you may be asked to provide further information or be invited to interview. If you are successful a formal offer letter will be sent to you that will explain any conditions of acceptance. If your application is unsuccessful you will be notified of this.
Initial enquiries should be addressed to the Faculty Admissions Hub where they will be logged and forwarded to the relevant research contact for further information at the academic department where you wish to undertake the research.
Faculty Admissions Hub
Tel: +44(0) 151 231 5175
If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:
Tel: +44(0)151 231 5090
LJMU offers a superb environment for postgraduate study and top level research.
Whether you are studying on a taught master's course or embarking on a research degree, LJMU offers you a supportive, flexible academic environment, well-structured programmes and round-the-clock access to extensive resources.
Our research environment is rated as 'world-leading' in a majority of our subjects and all of our postgraduate programmes are taught by academics actively involved in research or consultancy projects with business and industry.
It is this combination of academic expertise and 'real world' experience that ensures LJMU's courses have real currency with potential employers and why over 95% of our postgraduates are in work or further study six months after they graduate (HESA 2010).
We believe this expertise – coupled with world-class academic standards – 75% of LJMU's research is rated as internationally important – puts us in a league of our own.
To find out more about our postgraduate courses and research opportunities plus the range of facilities and support we offer, click on the links opposite.
Liverpool is a fantastic student city, bursting with opportunities and lots of things to do: a legendary music scene that's bigger than just the Beatles, a city centre bursting with clubs, pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes. Plus award-winning shopping facilities, museums, galleries and theatres, not to mention two Premier League football clubs, golf courses, beautiful parks and outstanding countryside a few miles up the motorway.
The city recently won Trip Advisor’s Best Nightlife Destination Award 2011, beating Manchester, London, Glasgow and Brighton. The city has also achieved Purple Flag accreditation, commending Liverpool as a safe place to enjoy a night out.
Liverpool is also a city that is very supportive of all the students who live, work and study in its universities. With such a warm and hospitable culture – Liverpool is the perfect 24-hour student city.
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