Students whose primary supervisor belongs to the Social Anthropology section of the
department will be able to proceed to fieldwork and upgrade their status from
MPhil/PhD to full PhD status according to the following procedure:

Submit a piece no longer than 10,000 words to their supervisors by the summer term in
the first year of their MPhil/PhD registration.
For the year 2007-2008 the date for submission is 26th May 2008 or 15th September 2008.
The oral examination will be held on 2nd /3rd June 2008 or 22/23 September 2008.

The viva will be conducted by a committee of three members of staff including the
student’s supervisors. Other members of SA staff will try and attend as many of these as
possible to enhance the discussion with suggestions and to provide a larger well-
informed audience.
The viva will also be open to all staff and students to attend and will be held in the

At the end of each viva, a short break will be taken to determine the future course of
action for the student who has just been examined and this will be communicated to the
student straight away. Students should expect to make at least minor revisions to their
piece after the viva. (See NOTE below).

The upgrade piece will be expected to contain (i) a thesis title, outline and the main
research questions; (ii) a critical survey of the existing secondary literature; (iii) a detailed
outline of proposed research and research methods to be employed to address the
research questions iv) a timetable for completion of the thesis. The aim of the upgrading
proposal is to establish that the proposed research topic is of the PhD level and that the
student is capable of organising a project of research and completing it within FOUR
YEARS from the date of registration. If the upgrade is successful, the student will be
allowed to proceed for fieldwork/data collection. Time spent registered for the MPhil
counts towards the period of study for the PhD. Unsuccessful students may attempt a
second upgrade; in some cases, it may be recommended that students remain in the
MPhil track.

All students will be expected to upgrade at either of these two dates in the academic year.
If however, due to exceptional circumstances any student is unable to make these dates,
an independent viva, consisting of a similar committee as normal will be convened. This
arrangement will be possible only when the student has a strong case for requesting this.

MRes students who start an MPhil/Phd will be able to upgrade to proceed to the field in
November/December of the first term of the year in which they start their MPhil/PhD
degree ie the one following their MRes year.

NOTE: The term ‘upgrade’ is used loosely in this document. According to UCL rules, no
student is allowed to formally upgrade to full PhD status in the first 12 months of their
MPhil/PhD registration. The procedures described above therefore describe the process
through which the student needs to pass before being allowed to ‘proceed to fieldwork’.
This is a NECESSARY condition for the formal upgrade procedure that will be
completed after 12 months from registration, when an additional 2/3,000 word field
report will be required.

The upgrading procedures in material material follow that of social anthropology.
Students are reminded that there are two stages to upgrading:

1. Submission of project proposal and examination by viva voce; successful completion
of this stage will give students the permission to go to the field.

2. About three months into the field, students send back a report and/or addition to the
project proposal - content and length agreed by examining committee and supervisor - to
complete upgrading to PhD.

Dates for submission or re-submission of project proposal:

1. September 18th 2009 - with examination taking place on Tuesday September 29th

2. May 21st 2010.

MR will coordinate a schedule both on and as soon after these dates as possible.

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