School of Advanced Study, University of London
Institute of Advanced Legal Studies
PhD Masterclass: Constructing a thesis
Dr John Stanton-ife
The PhD Masterclass
What is it?
An opportunity to discuss PhD research with colleagues, with expert input from senior academics experienced in PhD research. The discussion is informal and round-table. Topics may be suggested in advance via the Convenor. Although colleagues may not be able to give expert advice on the specific subject matter of your PhD, they may be able to give advice on research generally.
What have it?
PhD Research can sometimes feel isolating, both physically and intellectually. We are focused on one relatively narrow legal question, a subject that perhaps most others will have little interest in. We have to motivate ourselves and direct the course of our own study. A Masterclass can hopefully ameliorate the sense of isolation and make us feel more part of an academic community. Even hearing that other people are having the same problems as us can diminish those problems in our own heads. We can also hear useful tips from others on how they have solved problems that may be devilling us.
When and where?
Masterclasses are held approximately once every month in IALS. An email will be sent to all IALS PhD students in advance informing them of the date and time. They are generally held during the day.
Who is eligible to attend?
at present, the focus is on IALS PhD students. However, if you are studying for a PhD in law at another institution and would like to attend, please contact the Convenor. Provided that the numbers are sufficiently small, there will be no difficulty with having students from outside IALS present.
Sample topics for discussion
- What happens in a Viva?
- How should I select my external examiners?
- Should I use Endnote, Zotero or neither?
- At what point should I stop reading and start writing?
- How much of my own personal experience and opinion should I include?
The Masterclasses should not be seen as an alternative to the advice and instruction received from your Supervisors, but should rather complement them.
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