mphil-phd-agri-environmental-economics by lanyuehua


									                                     UNIVERSITY OF KENT

                               FACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES

                                DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMICS

             Research Programme: MPhil/PhD Agri-Environmental Economics

1.   Award and Title
     MPhil/PhD: Agri-Environmental Economics

2.   Length and Mode of Registration
     PhD: A minimum of three consecutive years full-time, five years part-time. In exceptional
     circumstances the period of registration could be reduced with the approval of the Faculty
     Committee by not more than one year.

     MPhil: A minimum of two years full-time, three years part-time.

3.   Entry Requirements
     The normal entry requirement for the registration for MPhil/PhD in Agri-Environmental
     Economics is either:

     (i) a good honours degree in Economics or other relevant discipline of a UK university or an
     equivalent standard obtained overseas extending over not less than three years in a
     University or educational institution of equivalent rank
     (ii) MSc/MA degree in economics or another relevant discipline from a UK university or an
     equivalent standard obtained overseas

     An applicant for registration must produce satisfactory evidence of having attained a
     standard equivalent to that demanded in (i) or (ii) above.

     Candidates also need an appropriate English language qualification and an acceptable
     research proposal.

     Applications for admission to postgraduate research are considered by the Department’s
     Director of Graduate Studies and the potential supervisor(s). Where practicable, an interview
     takes place. The Director of Graduate Studies gives careful consideration to the suitability
     and qualifications of applicants and has to be satisfied that there is appropriate expertise for
     supervision and adequate resources for the proper conduct of the research are available.
     Students without an appropriate education in Economics may be admitted to the Doctoral
     programme, which entails students taking a minimum of 4 MSc modules during the first year,
     as well as making a start on the background to their research.

     Where the applicant’s first language is not English, the Director of Graduate Studies
     considers evidence (for example from the results of TOEFL or IELTS tests taken by the
     applicant) that the applicant has a sufficient command of the language to embark on the
     proposed programme.

4.   Registration
     A candidate for a research degree in Agri-Environmental Economics will be registered initially
     for the MPhil degree.

     The Director of Graduate Research may give permission for registration for the MPhil/PhD
     degree with exemption from part of the course of study to a person who has commenced a
     course of study for the MPhil or PhD degree at another university in the UK, provided that the
     course of study at the Department of Economics is not less than one calendar year or its
     equivalent in part-time study. In cases of exceptionally qualified candidates, the Department
     Director of Graduate Studies can recommend a direct registration for PhD degree.

5.   Anticipated Total Student Registrations
     Up to five per annum. In most cases funding is externally generated by research grants from
     the UK Research Councils’ disciplinary and multidisciplinary programmes (eg rural economy
     and land use - RELU); UK public institutions (eg DEFRA, FSA); the EU Framework research
     programmes; and industry funding bodies.

6.   Programme Management
     The Department of Economics is responsible for the programme. The responsibility for the
     programme is managed by the Director of Research Students (DoRS) and the Director of
     Graduate Studies (DoGS). The DoGS is in charge of the admissions process and is involved
     in the Doctoral programme as Director of the MSc programme; the DoRS is responsible for
     research students after they arrive at Kent. The DoRS reports to the Department’s Research
     Studies Committee, a sub-committee of the Department’s Research Committee.

7.   Proposed Start Date
     2009/10 academic year (some MPhil/PhD students, currently registered for the PhD
     programme in Agri-Environmental Economics at KBS, may transfer to the /PhD programme
     in Agri-Environmental Economics at the Department of Economics during 2008/09 academic

8.   Evidence of Need and Demand for the Programme
     In the 2007/2008 academic year, the MPhil/PhD programme in Agri-Environmental
     Economics was launched at KBS. With the transfer of agri-environmental economists and the
     Centre for European Agri-Environmental Studies (CEAS) from KBS to the Department of
     Economics, there is a need for an MPhil/PhD degree in Agri-Environmental Economics at the
     Department of Economics. This will allow utilising in full the academic expertise which was
     added to the Department with the transfer.

     The MPhil/PhD programme in Agri-Environmental Economics will train students in high
     quality scientific and research skills which will make, upon successful completion, the
     individuals capable of assuming positions of responsibility in academia, public administration,
     international organisations – specialised and general – and industry. It may also provide a
     useful and attractive postgraduate qualification for those young practitioners wishing to
     continue their professional development and become prepared to deal with the complex agri-
     environmental issues which face policy-makers and industry. Assessment will be undertaken
     in accordance with the University’s Assessment Criteria for Research Degrees.

     Currently, the Department of Economics offers registration for the graduate programmes by
     research in Economics. The Department has adequate procedures for training and
     supervision of research work of MPhil/PhD candidates. The MPhil/PhD programme in Agri-
     Environmental Economics is cognate to the existing Department’s graduate programme by
     research in Economics and will be resourced from within the existing resources of the

     The Department of Economics PhD programme has been successful in terms of completion
     of PhDs and in terms of training professional economists.

9.   Aims and Objectives
     The general aims of the graduate research programme in Agri-Environmental Economics are
     identical with the aims of the existing MPhil/PhD programme at the Department of
         To attract high-calibre students from home and overseas.
         To provide all students with the opportunity to gain a range of economic, agri-
             environmental and generic social science research skills to enable them to make an

                 original contribution to knowledge and which will be of value in future research
                 careers or other professional employment.
                To provide a stimulating, supportive, flexible, structured and progressive educational
                 environment in which well qualified graduates can develop the skills of a research
                To provide effective research supervision by well-trained research active economists
                 in a research-oriented environment.
                To provide all students with the necessary resources to enable them to complete their
                 research effectively.
                To offer advice on career development.

       Learning Outcomes
       On successful completion of their programme, all students will have:
        Acquired advanced skills appropriate to the professional agri-environmental economists
          beyond the level of a Masters degree and demonstrated their ability to carry out an
          effective independent research project using appropriate methods and make an original
          contribution to knowledge.
        Demonstrated the ability to present the results of research in written form and to defend
          the findings in an oral examination.
        Demonstrated wide knowledge of their field of research and of the appropriate
          economic and social science methods which can be used to address these problems.
        Developed knowledge of agri-environmental economics outside the immediate area of
          their chosen field of research.

      For the award of the degree of Master of Philosophy a candidate:
        is required to show in the thesis appropriate ability to conduct an original investigation,
           to test ideas, whether the candidate's own or those of others, and to understand the
           relationship of the theme of their investigation to a wider field of knowledge. The
           candidate is also required to show appropriate ability in the organisation and
           presentation of their material in the thesis.

      For the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy a candidate:
        is required to present a thesis which should be an original contribution to knowledge or
           understanding in the field under investigation and should demonstrate the candidate's
           ability to test ideas, whether their own or those of others, and to understand the
           relationship of the theme of the investigation to a wider field of knowledge. It should be
           of such scholarly merit as would on that ground justify publication either in its entirety or
           in part in the form of journal articles.

10.   Programme Outline

      (a)       Details of the research training that the student will be expected to complete
                On the doctoral programme, students are required to take a number (no more than six)
                MSc modules during the first year (this could be a combination of modules taught in the
                different MSc programmes in the Department, including Agricultural Economics, Agri-
                Environmental Economics and International Development) and complete the set
                coursework. At the same time, they start work on the background to their research.

                Students on the MPhil programme are invited to attend relevant modules; in some
                cases this is required by the supervisor. The Econometrics modules are frequently
                used as a way of giving direct induction to the University computing system and the
                econometrics packages available.

                All research students are required to present at least a one hour workshop per year to
                a group of staff and all other research students. Suitable contributions are submitted to

      the Discussion Paper series. The intention of the discussion is for research students to
      participate fully and improve their analytical, critical and presentational skills.

      Each year, one or two reading groups are run. These groups extend the students’
      methodological, theoretical and empirical training. The groups are based upon reading,
      presentation and discussion of a core seminal advanced textbook. Group members
      work through the relevant chapter and, every three weeks, they meet to discuss the
      chapter. Two students present the work and one student chairs the meeting. Every
      student is expected to present and chair at least once. Supervisors/doctoral
      committees decide whether students should attend and this then becomes a formal
      requirement. The intention of the reading groups is to improve students’ learning,
      research, communication, dissemination and team-working skills.

(b)   Details of other courses students may benefit from, eg health and safety, IT,
      writing skills, English language, library skills
      Students receive Library and information retrieval training from the Economics

      Students are advised by their supervisors and the Director of Graduate Studies on
      career and personal development.

      If the student and supervisors consider it appropriate, research students undertake an
      appropriate amount of teaching. Training, advice and teaching observation is provided
      by the Department and University, and is supervised by the Director of Learning and
      Teaching. For those students who are graduate teaching assistants, this is compulsory
      and part of their contract.

      Where appropriate, students will receive advice and training on writing and language
      skills from their supervisors/doctoral committee and/or UELT.

      Students may also attend modules from the Faculty’s MA in Methods of Social
      Research. The possibility of following the European Computer Driving Licence
      qualifications exists.

      If a student’s research raises ethical and/or legal issues, these are considered by the
      Research Students Committee, and appropriate advice and training is given.

(c)   Details of progression milestones that the student will need to reach and
      successfully pass (to include transfer from a lower qualification to a higher
      qualification, eg MPhil to PhD)
      All students are admitted to either the Doctoral programme or registered for an MPhil.

      For doctoral programme students, there is an initial progress meeting of the Graduate
      Studies committee at the end of the first year to assess both research progress and
      performance in the taught modules. The student makes a short presentation to the
      Graduate Studies Committee at which the supervisors are present. Upon satisfactory
      performance, the Committee makes a recommendation of transfer to the MPhil
      programme, backdated to the initial registration.

      MPhil students whose research training prior to entry is not considered sufficient to
      complete their PhD programme are required to take a range of appropriate modules
      from the MSc programmes.

      All students prepare twice yearly reports on their progress, which along with the
      supervisor’s report are considered by the Supervisory Panel which then meets with the
      student to discuss progress and set targets for the coming six months.

            Upgrading from MPhil to PhD consists of four stages:
            Application. The student submits a formal application to the Graduate Secretary
            (including a plan of the overall thesis and a research paper, which can be a core
            chapter but also a joint paper, eg with the student’s supervisor).
            Seminar presentation. The student presents the paper in the department’s research
            workshop in the 4th or 5th term of their registration.
            Revision. Summarising the comments made at the seminar, the supervisor(s) will
            determine the revisions to the paper required for upgrading and propose an appropriate
            revision period.
            Interview. Having submitted the revised paper, the Director of Research Studies
            convenes an Extended Supervisory Panel involving a further member of staff not
            involved in the supervision of the student. The interview seeks to investigate whether
            the student is capable of completing a thesis which meets the requirements of the PhD
            for making an original contribution to knowledge. The Supervisory Panel may
            recommend that (i) the student’s registration be upgraded, (ii) the student’s registration
            should not be upgraded at the time but a further review be held at a later date, (iii) the
            student’s registration should not be upgraded but the student may submit for an MPhil;
            or (iv) the student’s registration be terminated.

      (d)   Details of the assessment method (eg by thesis)
            Students will be assessed on the basis of a thesis of not more than 100,000 words,
            following the rules and procedures laid down in Regulations for the Degree of Doctor of
            Philosophy and Instructions to Candidates for Examination for the Degree of Doctor of

11.   Approved Supervisors
      Each student has a Supervisory Panel which consists of the Director of Research Studies (as
      Chair) and two supervisors, one of whom must be an approved supervisor. Four approved
      supervisors in the Department of Economics have scholarly interests exclusively in the area
      of Agri-Environmental Economics. The list of currently approved supervisors and co-
      supervisors with research interests exclusively in Agri-Environmental Economics is
      presented in Appendix 1. The list of other approved supervisors from the Department of
      Economics is give in Appendix 2.

12.   Research Environment
      The new MPhil/PhD degree will bring research students into a research-active environment
      of a high standard. In the Department, together with the agri-environmental economists,
      there are 23 permanent members of staff who are all research active. In the Research
      Assessment Exercise 2008, 70% of research in the Department was judged to be world
      leading or internationally excellent. Most major research areas in Economics are included
      and are now expanded with agri-environmental economics. The Department has particular
      strengths in labour economics and applied microeconomics, has a long standing reputation
      in macroeconomics and development economics, and has developed interests in various
      aspects of European economics (in line with the University’s focus on Europe given its
      geographical location). The research Centre for European Agri-Environmental Studies, now
      at the Department of Economics, has five core members, all of them research active. The
      CEAS members work both on the development of new methodologies for the economic
      analysis of natural resource-based industries, and the application of such methodologies to
      analyse specific research issues in these industries. This analytically strong group of
      economists and policy analysts works primarily on the economic development of the
      European Union and specifically on the role, impact and performance of its agricultural and
      food industries. An additional component of this research is the role of government policy in
      relation to the problems both of environmental damage in the agricultural landscape and the
      positive externalities associated with the production of food, fibres and energy.

      Full details of our research activities with a selection of recent publications can be viewed on
      the Department website (, which also includes details of the

      Department's active Discussion Papers series, producing 15-18 papers a year.

      All research students are provided with personal computers suitable to their needs, running
      Windows XP with Microsoft Networking. There is a wide range of econometric software
      available; from STATA to TSP, as well as a University Microsoft Product campus licence.
      The University has a high-speed campus network linking central computing facilities as well
      as links to JANET, and the internet generally. The library is well stocked and there are
      facilities for on-line catalogue search, CD-ROM access and so on.

      All research students are currently provided with a desk in a shared offices, on-line
      computing facilities, telephone, access to a photocopy and a fax. A small budget is available
      to fund attendance by research students at UK and overseas conferences (if presenting a
      paper). All research students and Department members are housed in Keynes College
      mostly close together. The PhD students are fully integrated and are expected to absorb and
      contribute to the research culture.

      The Department holds a regular staff seminars series with mainly external speakers (about
      15 a year) which research students are expected to attend. Workshops are held where
      members of the Department, research staff and research students present and discuss their
      own work in progress. Research students are encouraged to contribute work to the
      Discussion Paper series. Recent research students have published in Applied Economics,
      Economics Letters, Journal of Development Studies, Journal of Labour Research, Kyklos,
      Manchester School, Savings and Development, and World Development.

13.   Student Support and Guidance
      The MPhil/PhD in Agri-Environmental Economics will build on the Department’s existing
      research strengths to maintain and enhance the quality of its postgraduate research
      programmes. It is envisaged that principal source of support and guidance for students will
      be provided by their academic supervisors. MPhil/PhD students in Agri-Environmental
      Economics will use all the facilities available to the Department’s students in the other
      research programme, including the Templeman Library. Students can also avail themselves
      of the IT training provided to university staff via the Computing Service and the Unit for the
      Enhancement of Learning and Teaching.

      In addition to the support students receive in the Department, the University’s support
      services include: the English Language Unit (ELU) which in addition to providing pre-
      sessional courses also provides English language support to registered students; the Unit for
      the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (UELT) which provides both training and
      guidance in effective learning; the Careers Advisory Service is able to offer advice and
      support as students progress from university to employment; and the Student Development
      Unit in the Students’ Union which houses the Jobshop (a job centre for students), supports
      the Kent Student Certificate for Volunteering (an award bearing voluntary scheme) and an
      Advice Centre. The University Medical Centre, Counselling Service, the Chaplaincy, the Day
      Nursery and the Disability and Dyslexia Support Service are all available to students in the
      support of their health and welfare. In addition, the International Office has specific
      responsibility for the induction and oversight of the welfare, to include the management of
      any available hardship or scholarship funds and immigration advice, of overseas students.

14.   Departmental Quality Assurance and Enhancement
      Each individual student’s progress is monitored by the supervisors, the Director of Research
      Students (DoRS) and the Department’s Research Students Committee. Student feedback is
      sought and monitored on the taught modules. Supervisors and students are required to
      complete bi-annual progress-monitoring reports, which are overseen by the Department’s
      Director of Research Students, the Department’s Research Students Committee and the
      Faculty’s Postgraduate Research Sub-Committee. The Department’s research programme is
      also subject to periodic review. External examiners oversee the taught components of the
      programme, which are subject to thorough monitoring and review in accordance with the

      University’s Code of Practice for Quality Assurance. Research students are represented at
      the Postgraduate Student-Staff Liaison Committee where any matter relating to postgraduate
      study in the Department can be considered, and at the Department’s Research Students

15.   Departmental Resource Implications
      With the transfer of the agri-environmental economists and the Centre for European Agri-
      Environmental Studies from KBS to the Department of Economics specialised staff expertise
      is already in place. Students are provided with supervision, access to computers, library and
      appropriate research facilities to complete the planned programme of study and research.

16.   Professional Accreditation
      Not relevant.

Appendix 1

Approved Supervisory Chair (this staff list has been formally approved as supervisors for
the MPhil/PhD programme in Agri-Environmental Economics at KBS)

Dr Alastair Bailey
Dr Sophia Davidova
Dr Iain Fraser
Professor Rob Fraser

Dr Salvatore di Falco

Appendix 2

Other approved supervisors in the Department of Economics

Professor Alan Carruth
Professor Jagjit Chadha
Dr William Collier
Dr Amanda Gosling
Professor Francis Green
Professor Christopher Heady (from 1 April 2009)
Dr Miguel Leon-Ledesma
Dr John Peirson
Professor Anthony Thirlwall
Professor Roger Vickerman
Dr Yu Zhu

Appendix 3

Academic staff – members of the Centre for European Agri-Environmental Studies

Core Members

Dr S Davidova – CEAS Honorary Director
Dr A Bailey
Dr S Di Falco
Dr I Fraser
Prof R Fraser

Associated member

Dr D Souza Monteiro - KBS


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