Tuition and Attendance
Tuition is provided through a combination of research supervision, attendance at Saturday workshops, and related e-learning support.
All candidates are allocated a supervisor when they join the programme. The supervisor will have expertise in the candidate’s area of research, as well as in research processes and methodology. The supervisor will be the candidate’s main point of contact throughout the whole duration of the programme and will guide the overall direction and progress of the research. In most cases a co-supervisor is also allocated in order to provide a different perspective on the research at the various stages when this might be required.
Candidates clearly need to maintain regular contact with their supervisor. The form of this will be negotiated between candidate and supervisor according to individual circumstances and then recorded in a learning agreement. Some combination of meetings, telephone, email and e-learning or conferencing would be normal, depending on the location of the candidate.
The Saturday workshops
Candidates attend a series of all-day workshops in Central Manchester on Saturdays. They are one of the defining characteristics of the programme and provide a common framework for candidates as they develop the early stages of their research in particular. They also provide a supportive and enjoyable environment in which to study with other candidates from similar professional backgrounds who have embarked on the same journey.
The workshops provide a varied combination of lectures, tutorials, exercises, presentations and informal discussions. The content of each workshop is chosen so as to provide maximum support for the particular assessment that candidates are then working on within the modular structure. The workshops are led by a regular team of three academics (including me) but our input is always supplemented by guest lecturers, tutors and facilitators who are chosen for their specialist expertise in particular fields.
Six workshops are held during year 1. They then progressively decline in frequency as candidates increasingly rely on their supervisors for the specialist support necessary to pursue their individual research projects to a successful conclusion. Four workshops therefore take place in year 2, three in year 3, and then two in each of years 4 and 5.