School of Media, Film
Research students and supervisors:
an outline of Responsibilities and Good Practice
…from the Head of School
Professor Sue Thornham
Welcome to the School of Media, Film and Music. We are delighted to
have you here at Sussex, and hope you find your time with us exciting,
fulfilling, and enjoyable.
This handbook tells you about the people and organisation of the School of
Media, Film and Music.
Please take some time to read the handbook thoroughly, as it will help you
find your way around in your first week. After that, it also serves as a source
of information to refer to as you progress.
During this first week you will meet the people who will guide you through
your degree programme, and receive a wealth of information about the
School and University. This handbook will serve as a memory aid. But we will
also make sure that throughout the year there will be plenty of other
occasions on which we will introduce ourselves to you and offer help and
support as you move through your first year.
In the meantime, we hope your first days at University are enjoyable. If you
have any worries or queries, don‟t hesitate to ask. We wish you the best of
Aim and Contents
This handbook will give you some useful information about the School of Media, Film
and Music (MFM) at the University of Sussex – where to find things, who does what,
who you can speak to about various issues. The information given here, and a lot
more detail, can be found on the School website.
Further information is provided in the Student Handbook published by the Student
Services Division, and available online at http://www.sussex.ac.uk/studenthandbook/
Aim and Contents ............................................................................................ 3
About the School of Media, Film and Music ..................................................... 4
Organisation of the School of Media, Film and Music ...................................... 5
How we communicate with you ........................................................................ 6
Where to get advice and support ..................................................................... 7
Resources ........................................................................................................ 8
Term dates ....................................................................................................... 8
Research ethics approval of student research ................................................. 9
Student Life Centre ........................................................................................ 10
Beyond the University .................................................................................... 10
The Doctoral School ..... Error! Bookmark not defined.Error! Bookmark not
Introduction to research degree study in MFM ............................................... 13
The Administrative Structure of DPhil and MPhil Research Degrees in the
School of Media, Film and Music ................................................................... 14
Supervision, Supervisors and Students ......................................................... 14
The Responsibilities of the Supervisor(s) ....................................................... 16
The Responsibilities of the Student................................................................ 18
The First Year ................................................................................................ 19
All Years ........................................................................................................ 21
Attendance at Research Seminars ................................................................ 21
Student Progress ........................................................................................... 22
The Annual Review ........................................................................................ 22
Student Progress from Year to Year .............................................................. 24
Registration Issues ........................................................................................ 26
The Viva-Voce Examination ........................................................................... 29
Complaints and Appeals ................................................................................ 29
Research Training in the School of Media, Film and Music ........................... 30
Appendix 2. Guidelines for the selection of research students ..................... 32
About the School of Media, Film and Music
The School of Media, Film and Music was established in 2009 and aims to
provide an interdisciplinary framework for the study of media (television, the press,
film, radio and digital media), music and culture in Britain and internationally. It also
provides a basis for the study of media, music and culture in their historical
development, as institutions, technologies and social forms, and a context within
which to develop specialisations in critical/creative practice.
The School‟s internationally respected research explores questions around the
materiality and politics of cultural forms and formations. Researchers work on, across
and through a range of media: film, television, radio, photography, and 'new' and
interactive forms, and specialise within three interlocking fields: media, technology,
form and experience; cultural histories/cultural politics; and the politics of
representation. Research in music is organised around three research groups:
Critical Musicology, Composition and Music Theatre, and much of our research is
interdisciplinary. All of these research groups are well funded from a variety of
sources, and all have specialist facilities or resources.
Besides benefiting from a large number of research active faculty and a vibrant
community of doctoral research students, the School‟s research culture is also
strengthened by its involvement in several research centres: the Sussex Centre for
Cultural Studies, the Centre for Research into Digital Material Culture, the Centre for
Visual Fields, and the Centre for Research in Opera and Music Theatre.
Our new School is committed to preserving Sussex‟s long-standing tradition of
interdisciplinarity, and encourages students to pursue study opportunities outside
particular disciplinary and School frameworks. To this end, you will be kept informed
about a wide range of extra-curricular seminars and events, both within the School
and beyond, and you are encouraged to attend as regularly as you can.
Faculty research interests can be grouped into the following key research areas:
Media and cultural histories (Ben Highmore, Kate Lacey, Andy Medhurst, Nick
Till, Janice Winship);
Popular culture and consumption (Thomas Austin, Michael Bull, Niall
Richardson, Ben Highmore, Andy Medhurst, Sharif Mowlabocus, Sally Munt, Sue
Thornham, Nick Till, Janice Winship);
Gender and sexuality (Caroline Bassett, Niall Richardson, Kate Lacey, Kate
O‟Riordan, Andy Medhurst, Sharif Mowlabocus, Sally Munt, Sue Thornham, Lizzie
Thynne, Janice Winship);
Documentary narrative and 'realisms' in photography, film & TV (Thomas
Austin, Wilma De Jong, Melanie Friend, Adrian Goycoolea, Lizzie Thynne);
Film and cultural practices (Thomas Austin, Niall Richardson, Rosalind Galt,
Frank Krutnik, Sue Thornham, Dolores Tierney)
Digital media practices and theories (Caroline Bassett, Michael Bull, Ed
Hughes, Mary Agnes Krell, Sharif Mowlabocus, An Nguyen, Kate O‟Riordan,
Martin Spinelli, Nick Till)
Composition, opera and music theatre and critical musicology (Ed Hughes,
Martin Butler, Nick McKay, Nick Till)
Organisation of the School of Media, Film and Music
The School is made up of 4 overlapping subject areas, and the different aspects of
the academic life of the School are the responsibility of the various Directors,
supported by the Admin team:
Head of School Sue Thornham
Head of Media Kate Lacey (Kate O‟Riordan Acting
Head in Autumn 2011)
Head of Media Practice Mary Agnes Krell
Head of Film Thomas Austin
Head of Music Nic McKay
Senior Production Tutor Lee Gooding
Director of Teaching & Learning Janice Winship
Director of Student Support Janice Winship
Director of Research Caroline Bassett
Director of Doctoral Studies Nicholas Till
Head of School‟s Coordinator Elaine Saunders
School Administrator Carmen Long
Curriculum & Assessment Officer Sarah Green
Research & Enterprise Coordinator Sarah Maddox
Clerical Assistant, School Office Anjuli Daskarolis
Clerical Assistant, School Office Sally Mitchell
BA Programme Coordinator Eddie Anderson
BA Programme Coordinator Terry Bryan
MA Programme Coordinator Pat Mounce
MA Programme Coordinator (Journalism) Julie Fletcher
Resources Co-ordinator Gail Taylor
Production Tutors and Technicians
Practical teaching and other practice support is offered by the team of Production
Tutors and Technicians. These are:-
Paul Vincent SB 254 2530 email@example.com
Lee Gooding SB 252 3181 firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul McConnell SB 254 7187 email@example.com
Andrew Duff SB 254 718 firstname.lastname@example.org
David Kilkelly SB 254 7187 email@example.com
Kevin Clarke SB 246 4860 firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Effner SB 242 3434 email@example.com
How we communicate with you
We will contact you by …
You will get details of your email account from IT Services
Most faculty and administrators will use email as the primary method of
communicating important information to you, and communications direct
from central University offices will also tend to be via email
If you have your own computer, find out how you can set it up to access
your Sussex email
If you already have an email account, you can forward your Sussex email
A lot of information is on our School website http://www.sussex.ac.uk/mfm/internal
Other materials such as administrative forms you may need are on the Study Direct
site called School of Media, Film and Music Documents and Information.
Look at the noticeboards in Silverstone Building for information on student reps,
student mentors, etc.
There are postgraduate student pigeonholes located on level 3 of the Silverstone
Building. You should check these regularly.
Keeping your contact details up-to-date
You are able to maintain your own contact details via Sussex Direct. It is very
important that you keep your current term-time and „home‟ addresses and telephone
(including mobile) contact details up to date, and also provide a contact point for
emergencies. We need to be able to contact you in and out of term-time.
Sometimes communications can be very urgent – either to you as part of a group
(e.g. a public health problem) or an emergency that‟s related to you individually.
A note on telephoning from outside the University
All extensions: dial 01273 606755, then dial the extension when asked to.
Or for extensions starting with 8: dial 01273 67 followed by the extension.
Other extensions: dial 01273 87 followed by the extension.
Office hours All members of faculty have regular office hours when you can drop by
without an appointment. Most members of faculty are very willing to help, but are also
extremely busy. Please do try to keep to office hours (posted on office doors) or
make individual appointments. Check noticeboards for availability of technical
assistance for practical projects.
Where to get advice and support
The Research and Enterprise Coordinator
Deals with all administrative queries relating to M.Phil and D.Phil studies.
Who? Sarah Maddox
Where? Silverstone Building 228
How? Tel: 01273 873525
The Director of Doctoral Studies
Deals with all academic matters relating to M.Phil and D.Phil studies.
Who? Professor Nicholas Till
Where? Silverstone 216
How? Tel: 01273 678693
Head of School
If you have a problem, and no one else seems able to sort it out satisfactorily, then
ask to see the Head of School Sue Thornham. Her assistant is Elaine Saunders.
Tel: 01273 678019
If you find that you are getting nowhere with trying to solve your problem or have a
complaint to make please contact the School Administrator.
Who? Carmen Long
Where? Room 226, Silverstone Building
How? Tel: 01273 678023
The Silverstone Building, formerly the Education Development Building (EDB),
was renamed in August 2009 in honour and memory of the first Professor of Media
Studies at Sussex, Roger Silverstone. This is the centre of gravity for the School and
houses most of the practice studies.
The Media Resources Centre in SB 302 houses a collection of DVDs, video and
audio tapes etc. which you can borrow. There is also a viewing room in the
Silverstone Building. (Note that the collection primarily serves undergraduate
courses). For enquiries, contact Gail Taylor, tel. (87)2574; e-mail:
There are further audiovisual resources and other research resources in the main
Term dates 2011-2012
Autumn 3rd October 2011 – 9th December 2011
Spring 9th January 2012 – 16th March 2012
Summer 16th April 2012 – 22nd June 2012
For future term dates see: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/aboutus/keydates/termdates.php
Note that the University also lists „closure days‟ when all university services will be
closed, including the Library and the mfm facilities; please note these dates when
planning your research and practice work. See
Your feedback and student representation
We strongly encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities available to
participate in student representative bodies -- both within your academic units and via
the USSU. Sussex wants its students to exercise their rights in terms of voting and
standing for representative positions, and welcomes and listens to students' views.
The Student Representative Scheme is run jointly by the students union (USSU) and
the University. Student 'reps' provide an essential link between students, the
University and the Student's Union. Because reps are themselves students, fellow
students are often happy to seek assistance from them when they have concerns or
opinions about their education and experience at the University.
Each student cohort year will elect both Department /Subject Area level reps and
School level reps. Subject area reps will liaise with and represent students at local
level. School level reps will also be elected to take forward relevant issues to School
and University level committees. All reps will meet together with tutors once a term
at the School Student Experience Group to exchange information and ideas.
Further information on the student representation scheme, including voting dates can
be found at www.studentreps.co.uk
Research ethics approval of student research
In 2010, the University established a revised research governance structure in order
to ensure that ethical review procedures take into account: best practice with regard
to ethical considerations in research; to meet all legislative, regulatory, and funder
requirements; and to safeguard the reputation of the University.
There are different pathways for ethical review of research, depending on whether
the project is low or higher risk. These apply to undergraduate, postgraduate taught
and postgraduate research students.
Please consult carefully the guidelines and procedures on the University Research
Governance website. http://www.sussex.ac.uk/res/1-6-12.html
Student Life Centre
The new Student Life Centre will be based in the heart of the campus: on the ground
floor at the front of Chichester 1, giving it an accessible, central location for all
students. The Student Life team will cover general student information, advice and
guidance; general money advice; and specialist advice in relation to hardship funds,
scholarships and bursaries and non-UK student-finance schemes (e.g. US loans).
Specialist financial advice services will be provided by the Student Union Advice and
Representation Centre. The team will also bring together the curriculum advice work
that is currently located in the arts, social science and science clusters. The team
will include a dedicated role for health and well-being to ensure effective information
and guidance is provided to whole the student community.
Open Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm, the Student Life Team will be the first port of
call dealing with:
Access to Learning Fund
All Scholarships, Bursaries and Vice Chancellors loans
Student needing information about taking a temporary break from their
studies (temporary withdrawal) or those thinking about withdrawing from their
Submission of Mitigating Evidence
Help with understanding University procedures
Tel: 01273 87 6767
Fax: 01273 87 3344
Text „slcentre‟ to 88020
Twitter: sussexslc and on Sussex Mobile app.
Beyond the University
You will find details about all the services we offer from part-time jobs and work-
insight opportunities, careers review to workshops and events at the Careers and
Employability Centre: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/careers or call in at Falmer House to
find out more.
The Doctoral School
Supporting researchers at Sussex
As a researcher, the Doctoral School is your second home at Sussex, after
your academic school. We bring together researchers from all disciplines and
career stages: Junior Research Associates; Doctoral Researchers; Research
Staff, Supervisors and Principal Investigators. We are the central point of
support for the researcher community and for issues such as funding,
professional development and cross-disciplinary researcher activities &
What does the Doctoral School do for doctoral
- Coordinate central provision of researcher development;
- Interdisciplinary, university-wide academic and social events;
- Promote researcher events in schools and departments;
- Support and administer funding applications and studentships;
- Policy development and regulations, e.g. attendance monitoring; electronic
Further information and resources on the Doctoral School website:
Professional Development for Researchers
The Doctoral School coordinates professional development activities and
events that are delivered by central units at Sussex (e.g. the Library, Careers
and Employability Centre, Teaching & Learning Development Unit, Staff
Development Unit, IT Services, Enterprisers, and the Sussex Centre for
Language Studies). These activities provide for all skill and experience levels,
and are often delivered within a discipline context, or within academic schools.
These opportunities that take place throughout the year include:
- Technical skills: SPSS, LaTeX, UNIX, Matlab, Emacs, STATA, EndNote, NVivo,
Dreamweaver, Writing your thesis in Word;
- Engagement skills: Measuring research impact & bibliometrics, Preparing a
paper for publication, Poster presentations, Science journalism, Presenting at
conferences, Public engagement, Peer review, Getting published, Media skills,
Personal webpages, Communicating research to non-specialists;
- Researcher skills: Literature review, Writing your thesis, Preparing for the Viva,
Preparing for your final year, Becoming an effective researcher, Getting
research funded, Research ethics & integrity;
- Professional skills: Professional relationships, Personal effectiveness, Project
Management, Career management, Bringing creativity to your career,
Applications & CVs, and the Doctoral School Mentoring programme (research
staff mentor doctoral researchers over the course of an academic year);
Booking: Book yourself a place on any of these professional development
events from a single page on the Doctoral School website at:
Further information and resources:
Introduction to research degree study in MFM
This handbook outlines some of the conditions and structures governing the
responsibilities of supervisors and research students in the School of Media, Film
and Music. It should be read in conjunction with The Handbook for Research and
Professional Doctorate Students 2011/2012 which is issued by the Academic
Office and contains valuable information on responsibilities of the student and their
Supervisors, registration matters, research progress, examination matters and
completion and appeals and complaint procedures. Copies of the Handbook will be
available on line by the start of the new academic year.
What follows is the agreed code of practice for the School of Media, Film and Music.
This code of practice deals with the following issues:
o The administrative structure of DPhil or MPhil research in the School of
Media, Film and Music.
o Supervision, supervisors and students
o Research Training in the School of Media, Film and Music.
o The First Year: Research Plan and Paper
o Student Progress from Year to Year
o Registration Issues
o The Viva Voce Examination
o Complaints and Appeals
The following documents offer further information on the relationship between
students and supervisors, and on the regulations governing research degrees:
o Regulations for the Award of the Degrees of Master of Philosophy and Doctor
o Ordinances and Regulations of the University
o Handbook for Research Students
The Administrative Structure of DPhil and MPhil Research
Degrees in the School of Media, Film and Music
The Director of Doctoral Studies, Nick Till, has overall academic and administrative
responsibility for MPhil and DPhil programmes within the School of Media, Film and
Music. Research students can consult Nick for advice on issues related to their
studies. He also welcomes enquiries and suggestions from students and supervisors
in the School about the policy, institutions and material conditions affecting student
Professor Nicholas Till, Director of Doctoral Studies
(01273) 678693, Internal Extn 7787
Silverstone Building 216
Sarah Maddox, Research and Enterprise Coordinator, deals with the
administration of MPhil and DPhil research degrees and is the first „port of call‟ for
postgraduate research students and the first recourse for all administrative questions,
including issues of registration, intermission, extension of registration, or submission
of work. Sarah can also be consulted about requests for research support,
workspace and requests for financial aid from the University‟s funds, student
complaints, and personal problems. She is the initial contact for admissions. She
collects and distributes advance information about MPhil and DPhil programmes and
research seminars, manages publicity, and is involved in monitoring student
Sarah Maddox, Research and Enterprise Coordinator
(01273) 873525, Internal Extn 3525
Silverstone Building 228
Supervision, Supervisors and Students
Supervision of MPhil and DPhil research students is the responsibility of two
supervisors. One will act as lead supervisor, the other will provide additional support
and back-up as required (this arrangement is distinct from the formal provision of
joint supervision: see below).
Supervision - What is it?
Supervision should take the form of regular meetings between the student and
supervisors, at which academic advice is given (sometimes in both directions), and
progress monitored. Supervision may include the discussion of key concepts or key
texts, resources and field trips, feedback on pieces of writing or drafts of chapters,
debate about a conference or seminar attended.
How often does a student have supervision?
This will depend on the nature of the student's work, and the stage it has reached,
but as a general rule full-time students should see their supervisor once a month and
part-time students once every two months. In the first term or two, when the field is
being surveyed and the mode of study established, supervisions might be expected
to be more frequent.
The first meeting should be used to agree what will take place in supervisions and to
set up a timetable for future meetings. At this meeting, arrangements will be made for
the writing, reading and discussing of any written work. The meeting should also
agree on what research skills training will be necessary; these might include generic
research skills programmes offered by the Doctoral School and the Profolio
programme, or the auditing any relevant MA programmes. Discussion should also
take place concerning any relevant external research events (such as discipline-
specific programmes, symposia and conferences).
In the case of joint supervision, the areas of specialisation will be decided along with
the theoretical orientation and the time and mode of teaching that each supervisor
will undertake. The second meeting might usefully be used to discuss the research
infrastructure available in libraries and other holdings, as well as on line.
As the thesis progresses, student and Supervisors should regularly review progress
towards completion, adjusting the plan and timetable. This is especially important at
the beginning of the second and third year.
In addition to the annual report on progress, students and Supervisors must keep
records of progress, tasks set and plans. The student must complete a report of each
supervision session that will record progress since the previous meeting, agreements
made about reading and writing and other research, outcomes expected of the
student, and any commitments by the supervisor. This record will form a basis for the
annual report and for monitoring progress. The report must be agreed and signed off
by the Supervisor before being sent to Sarah Maddox. A copy of the report form
template is appended to this document; electronic copies of the template can be
downloaded from the Study Direct Website called School of Media, Film and Music
Documents and Information.
Joint Supervision (with an internal or external Supervisor)
Where the student is jointly supervised, it is advisable to commit to writing an outline
statement of the different responsibilities of each Supervisor. Regular sessions must
be set up for the student to meet both supervisors, and for all three to meet together.
Records must be provided for both supervisors of all supervision sessions.
Any difficulties encountered during the course of the supervisory process, including
disagreement between student and Supervisor, should be brought into the open and
discussed between them in the first instance. If and only if this produces no outcome
satisfactory to both parties, the matter should be referred to the relevant Convenor of
Research Degrees and then the Director of Doctoral Studies. If there is a need for
the student to change Supervisors, the Director will try to assign a replacement. It
should be born in mind that (i) there may be difficulties in finding a substitute within
the field of the thesis subject; and (ii) that any alleged inadequacy of supervisory or
other arrangements during period of study would not normally constitute grounds for
an appeal against the result of a research-degree examination.
The Responsibilities of the Supervisor(s)
The Supervisor has distinct responsibilities, which can be described under the
headings of professional, pedagogical and administrative (the categories are not
Within in this role the supervisor will make sure that the student understands the level
of work necessary for the award of an MPhil or DPhil. In the case of an MPhil degree
the supervisor will be evaluate the subject being considered in terms of its
contribution of a fresh critical review of the existing knowledge. In the case of a DPhil
degree, that it will make a distinct contribution to the relevant field of knowledge.
The supervisor should know the field and those working in it sufficiently well to be
able to advise the student
o on how to find archives and other sources
o on where to seek help and advice both inside and outside the institution
The supervisor should also be able
o to make an appropriate choice of external and internal examiner
o to judge when the student's work is likely to be ready to be examined.
Where appropriate and judged to be helpful, supervisors should ensure that students
know of the relevant professional society and networked user groups, and should
encourage them to attend conferences, and to respond to calls for papers when their
research is judged to be sufficiently advanced. Where appropriate, the supervisor
should encourage and assist the student in publishing material relating to their
research. The supervisor, except with the written permission of the student, who
should be fully acknowledged and credited, should not use a student‟s unpublished
Pedagogical responsibilities begin with advice to students on how to organise their
material into effective written form, within a framework of regular supervisions.
The supervisor needs to establish a schedule of supervisory meetings that will be
maintained even while the supervisor is on leave. The supervisor will normally be
available to meet regularly to advise the student in areas such as,
o the facilities available within the Library and the University (for example for
electronic bibliographical searching, computation, data processing, word
processing and on how to find instruction in these techniques);
o the preparation of a realistic timetable for the student's reading into the field,
o locating and using archival and printed sources and analysing data;
o advising the student on the preparation of a workable research outline and
how to complete it to the deadline and in the format required by the School;
o the review of written work including annotation and discussion in sufficient
detail so as to leave the student in no doubt as to whether it conforms to the
standard expected and the schedule as agreed;
o to maintain an awareness of the student's progress;
o to advise a student presenting any personal, financial or health problems on
where to seek help.
Administrative responsibilities include
o knowing the University regulations for registering and re-registering research
o knowing the minimum and maximum periods for full-time and part-time MPhil
and DPhil registration;
o knowing the criteria and procedure for change of registration, intermission
and extension of registration;
o reviewing the research plan;
o reporting on the student's progress on time to the Director of Doctoral Studies
and (where relevant) to the funding authority;
o consulting in good time on the appointment of internal and external
o processing all necessary paperwork in good time and order;
o logging all meetings on the Sussex Direct Event Booking system.
The Supervisor’s workload
Normally the supervisor is not assigned more than six full-time research students
(whether MPhil. or DPhil), or a proportionate number of part-time or joint supervisees,
each counting as half time for this purpose.
It is always good to remember that the supervisor's work extends beyond
postgraduate supervision, into undergraduate teaching, administration -- and not
least his or her own research. Students should give supervisors as much notice as
possible of any demands on their time, keeping to posted office hours and scheduled
times for supervisions whenever possible.
Supervisors will take periodic study leave, of course, and it may well fall within the
student's period of research registration. The agreed normal practice will be for
supervisors on one - or two-term leave to continue to meet their research students as
scheduled. There may be exceptions to this rule. The supervisor may need to be
out of the country, or have secured an award funding a longer period of unpaid leave.
In these latter cases, temporary or even permanent alternative supervision will be
found, following consultation between the departing supervisor, the student and the
Director of Doctoral Studies. The alternative arrangements will be put in place as
soon as the departing supervisor's plans are known.
The Responsibilities of the Student
Academic responsibilities entail
o working conscientiously and independently within the guidance offered by the
o setting out the limits of the field of study and surveying it thoroughly,
o consulting relevant printed and electronic bibliographies;
o taking the initiative to identify and consult holdings of printed books, serials,
manuscripts and other resources;
o planning a research project which is achievable within the registration period set by
the University and (where relevant) the funding authority;
o producing a research plan setting out the limits of the field, what contribution the
student intends to make to it and why it is necessary, the data to be consulted and
the issues to be analysed, and a realistic schedule of research and writing
o joining and participating in the activities of the relevant Learned Society/ies where
appropriate and judged to be helpful,
o taking part in seminars, symposia and conferences, whether at Sussex or elsewhere,
in which the student may both receive and impart knowledge of the research field.
Pedagogical responsibilities include
o thorough preparation for every supervision, completing any assigned reading or
writing set, keeping or organising extensive notes of research done, of the
supervisor's comments on it, and of the discussions between student and Supervisor;
o keeping all essays and draft chapters, together with comments on them by both
o maintaining a running bibliography of works and other materials consulted in the form
in which it will appear on the completed thesis;
o keeping an eye on progress, matching the actuality against the schedule set out in
the research outline and taking steps to correct any discrepancies.
Writing presented to the supervisor for comment and discussion should be professionally
presented, and use a recognised reference system consistently. It should be presented in
good time for the supervisor to read and annotate.
Administrative responsibilities include
o completing supervision reports after all supervision meetings, and ensuring that this is
approved and signed by the supervisor and a copy sent to the Research Coordinator,
o The student should draw to the supervisor‟s attention any problem with health,
finances or personal life that and should take the advice or direction given seriously.
The First Year
On entry, the student and supervisor should plan the work to be undertaken during
the first year. This will include the successful completion of two pieces of formally
assessed work. From the first term onwards, the student should be writing regularly.
At first, the writing may take the form of essays surveying the field, setting out
theoretical problems, reporting on field trips to archives or attendance at
conferences, or analysing data. Later it will include more extensive surveys and
drafts of chapters. The writing should be sent or handed to the supervisor in good
time for it to be read and annotated by the next scheduled supervision. The
importance of regular writing cannot be too strongly emphasised. This will help with
the student's fluency, the monitoring of progress and the sense of a project being
progressively defined and completed.
The annual reports on student progress will ask both student and supervisors to
detail the written work completed, and alarm bells will ring if the answer is indistinct
or falls short.
Two pieces of work are required for formal assessment: the
Research Plan and Research Paper.
The Research Plan
All first-year research students, including part-time students, are required to submit a
Research Plan to their supervisor. The Research Plan and provisional title must be
approved by the supervisor and by the Director of Doctoral Studies.
A cover sheet must be attached to the Research Plan to enable the supervisor,
Convenor and Director to approve it. Cover sheets can be obtained from Sarah
The Research Plan should not normally consist of less than six or more than ten or
pages (not including bibliography). It should be divided into seven sections:
1. The title of the thesis or project (this can be changed subsequently if
necessary, but any changes need to be formally notified to the University
through the completion of a form and with the supervisor‟s approval so that
records can be altered).
2. A statement of the scope, aims and basic approach of the thesis or project
(though you should bear in mind the possibility that accumulated evidence
and/or your matured thinking may suggest a change of scope, direction or
emphasis as the work proceeds). This may well be a more detailed and more
fully considered version of the original proposal submitted with your
application. It needs to be sufficiently specific to indicate the distinctiveness
of what you hope to do, bearing in mind that the criteria for the award of
research degrees specify an „original‟ (MPhil) or „substantial original‟ (DPhil)
„contribution to knowledge or understanding‟.
3. Identification of key research questions (the “what?”, “how?”; “why?” of your
project). It would be normal to present about three main research questions,
although these may be broken down into sub- questions for clarification.
4. Research Context. An indication of how the proposed investigation relates to
existing work in the field, and how it will advance such work. If there is no
immediately relevant work, how it relates to work in adjacent areas or parallel
investigations and case studies. Alternatively, more general accounts of the
discipline or disciplines involved in this sector might be included, including
theoretical models to be employed. In the case of creative practice projects,
relevant artistic practices or technical models should also be identified, with
critical discussion of their significance, and how the issues they raise they will
be engaged with and developed.
5. Methodology. How you hope to achieve your research aims and outcomes.
How you will answer your research questions. An indication of the materials,
published or unpublished, online sources, images, artefacts that will be
examined; questionnaires or interviews that will be employed; for creative
projects practical processes of investigation or experimentation on which the
project will be based. The description of methods should seek to address
each of your key research questions directly, and should contain a statement
of how you will gain practical access to particular research sources or
6. A list and description of proposed chapters or practical outcomes and a
realistic timetable, term by term, showing how you expect to complete all the
phases of the work within your period of registration (maximum four years full-
time, maximum six years part-time). This should allow for both writing draft-
chapters or interim reports, or practical work-in-progress, as you go along and
for revising, checking and if necessary pruning when you have a complete
7. A specimen bibliography, discography, videography, or inventory of online
resources, including where appropriate unpublished materials, formally
arranged and presented according to a standard format. Care should be
taken here, as in the text of the thesis proper when it is finally submitted, to
guard against inconsistencies or inaccuracies (including spelling mistakes).
The Research Plan must be presented professionally with the selected reference
system used consistently.
The Research Plan formalises what a research student will be doing and defines the
project. It should highlight any particular difficulties at an early stage, allowing plenty
of time for discussion, reconsideration and refocusing if necessary. You should be
as precise and specific as possible whilst remembering that the Research Plan is not
written in stone: all research projects undergo change and revision as they proceed.
Revised portions of the Research Plan may eventually feed into the introduction and
bibliography of the thesis proper.
The Research Plan Submission Dates for 2011/2012 are:
For full time students registering in October, the deadline is 16th January 2012.
For part time students registering in October, the deadline is 20th April 2012.
For full time students registering in January, the deadline is 20th April 2012.
For part time students registering in January, the deadline is 13th July 2012.
For full time students registering in April, the deadline is 13th July 2012.
For part time students registering in April, the deadline is 12th December 2012.
The Research Paper
The test of an effective Research Plan is whether it can be put to work. Evidence of
this is to be demonstrated by the completion of a Research Paper. This comprises a
piece of substantial written work (e.g. a draft chapter, the draft of the introduction, a
substantive section of a chapter, or a lengthy interim report or a position paper), or
for practice and composition students a substantial piece of creative or composition
work accompanied by a piece of related critical or theoretical writing, of a standard
regarded as acceptable by the supervisor. There is no Cover Sheet for this piece of
The completion of the Research Plan and the Research Paper act as evidence of the
student‟s progress. Supervisors should provide a report to the Director of
Doctoral Studies confirming that this Research Paper has been received and
that it is of appropriate standard. If the quality of the Research Paper gives cause
for concern, a copy of the Research Paper should accompany the report. If the
paper has not been received by the specified time this should also be reported.
There is no length specified, but for full time students the Research Paper should be
approx 15-20,000 words; for part time students it should be approx 10,000 words.
For practice-based and composition students the length of the creative work should
be agreed with the supervisor, whilst the written work should be between 5-10,000
Failure to produce by the specified time, or inadequate work, will inevitably raise
questions about whether registration should be renewed for the following year.
The Research Paper should be completed within 8 months of registration.
The Research Paper Submission Dates:
For full time and part time students registering in October, the deadline for submitting
is 15th June 2012.
For full time and part time students registering in January, the deadline for submitting
is 24th August 2012.
For full time and part time students registering in April, the deadline for submitting
is 28th November 2012.
Attendance at Research Seminars
The School and Research Centres run a comprehensive programme of research
seminars with talks by visiting speakers and by members of faculty. DPhil students
should make every effort to attend these seminars. If you are unable to attend some
of the talks will be available on online after the event. A full of programme of School
research seminars is circulated at the beginning of every term. Further information
and updates can be found on the MFM website: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/mfm/
In addition, there are work-in-progress seminars for research students taking place in
alternate weeks to the School research seminar programme. This programme is
organised by students for students. These are an opportunity to share your research
with your peers, to develop your presentation skills, and to get feedback on your
work. All students are expected to attend these seminars unless they are overseas or
on intermission, and all students are expected to contribute a presentation on their
project at least one of these seminars during the year.
Students should also look out for information on research seminars held in other
Schools which may be of interest or relevance to their field of study. Interdisciplinarity
is an important characteristic of intellectual enquiry at Sussex, and staff and students
in other schools may often be researching in fields that are related to yours.
Information on university-wide research events is published on the Doctoral School
The School of Media, Film and Music fosters a „culture of completion‟, encouraging
every student to finish his or her thesis in good time. Students funded by the funding
bodies are required to comply with the completion times imposed by the acceptance
of an award, except where personal circumstances intervene. Successful completion
of a thesis has much to do with the devising of the subject in the early stages, and
students and supervisors are recommended to factor in, from the beginning, a
timetable for progress towards and completion of the thesis.
Student progress is carefully monitored to ensure that the student and the supervisor
regularly assess the situation. All doctoral students will normally be interviewed each
year regarding their progress as part of the Annual Review process.
The Annual Review
Your research progress is reviewed annually and is an important process. The review
is intended principally as a means to review your progress, thought it does also
provide an opportunity to draw attention to any problems you may be experiencing,
or any areas where you might be better supported by your supervisor, Department or
School. At the beginning of the Summer Term (April) you will be sent a Student
Annual Review report form to complete. The report form, to be completed within the
specified time, should be returned to the Research and Enterprise Coordinator‟s
The Student Annual Review Report should provide detail in the following areas:
1. the current stage of your research and the production of your thesis, project or
portfolio. You should relate this account to the plans given in your research outline,
explaining any changes from those, and indicating the most recent developments. If
you are on fieldwork, or have completed it in the past year, you should outline its
successes and problems;
2. any special problems in your research which might need access to further
specialised advice or resources;
3. whether your work has been significantly impeded by any non-academic factors
or if you expect it to be so in the next few months;
4. how many times have you been in contact with your Supervisor and whether
that has been satisfactory;
5. whether you feel that you have been receiving adequate and appropriate
feedback and advice;
6. any courses or training you have undertaken in the past year and whether there
are any further requirements that you feel you need;
7. your funding arrangements;
8. when you realistically expect to submit your thesis, project or portfolio;
9. any other factors that you would like to draw to the attention of the Director of
Your main supervisor will also be asked to complete an Annual Review report on
The Annual Review Meeting:
You will be required to attend a formal annual review meeting with a member of
faculty nominated by the Director of Doctoral Studies who is not your main
supervisor, although your supervisor(s) may also attend with the agreement of the
Director. The meeting is to discuss your academic progress and any other issues you
may wish to raise. Subsequent to the annual review meeting, a recommendation will
be made to the Director of Doctoral Studies on your registration status for the
following academic year.
The Director of Doctoral Studies is responsible for ensuring:
that all reports have been duly completed by both the student and the
that the annual meeting has taken place; and
that a decision has been taken on your registration for the following
Please remember that the Student Annual Review Report Form has to be returned to
the Research and Enterprise Coordinator by the agreed date.
Please note - if the Student Annual Review Report Form is not completed and
returned you will not be able to re-register online for the next academic year.
It is advisable to review progress again at the beginning of every academic year, and
each term if needed, and to plan and later review goals and objectives to be
achieved. Any research or skills training should be considered and research visits,
conference papers and publications planned. Any applications to the Director for
financial assistance for attendance at conferences or other research activities should
be made as part of a structured plan and to maximise the benefit of the limited
amounts of money available.
Student Progress from Year to Year
Towards the end of the first year, a decision is made concerning the student‟s
progress, based on the Annual Review.
The Annual Review process takes into account the following components:
The Research Plan
The Research Paper
The Student Annual Review Report, from the student
The Supervisor Annual Review Report, from the supervisor
Interview with a faculty member other than the supervisor.
Annual Review Reports must be submitted before Friday 4th May 2012.
The Annual Review Reports and Annual Review Interview reports, which are sent
directly to the Director of Doctoral Studies, ask detailed questions about the
frequency of meetings, the amount of research and writing done, the quality of work,
and other questions about the supervisory relationship. Progress towards completion
must be indicated. Questions for the Supervisor to answer include the student's
attitude to her/his work and to the Supervisor's response to it.
The decision about the student‟s progress includes the following steps:
On the basis of the Research Plan, the Research Paper and the Annual Review
reports the supervisor makes a recommendation for or against continuation to the
second year of registration.
Following this recommendation the Director of Doctoral Studies will take the final
decision on progress to the next year. If there is any mismatch between the reports,
or evidence of problems, this will be investigated.
Please note that students who have not submitted the Research Plan and/or the
Research Paper, and/or whose Annual Review reports are not submitted, are
missing or unsatisfactory will not be allowed to re-register for the following academic
Towards the end of the second year, i.e. after six terms of research full-time, a
decision is required about the student‟s progress into the third year of studies. This
decision is based on the following material:
The Annual Review process
The submission of at least one substantial piece of research produced during the
year deemed satisfactory by the Supervisor, and received not later than the
beginning of the sixth term.
At this stage, the decision about the student‟s progress may include the following
i. The Supervisor‟s recommendation, made on the basis of submitted work and
her/his own annual report.
ii. A further interview as at the end of year one, if necessary.
Following any recommendation, the Director of Doctoral Studies will take the final
decision on progress to the next year. If there is any mismatch between the Annual
Review reports, or evidence of problems, these will be investigated.
Third and Following Years
In the third, and for part time students or students on intermission or continuation
subsequent, years the student‟s progress will be monitored by the Annual Review
Process. Following any recommendation, the Director of Doctoral Studies will take
the final decision on progress to the next year. If there is any mismatch between the
Annual Review reports, or evidence of problems, these will be investigated.
The progress of those students supported by any funding body, including the
University, will be particularly scrutinised. Their Annual Review Reports, along with
the supervisor‟s reports on their Research Plans and Research Papers and the
comments of the appropriate Convenor of Research Degrees should be forwarded to
the Director of Doctoral Studies, who will conduct an annual interview on student
progress with the student, and if needed a faculty member other than the supervisor.
The minimum period of registration for full-time DPhil students is a minimum of
two years (6 terms) and a maximum of four years (12 terms).
The minimum period of registration for part-time DPhil students is a minimum of
three years (9 terms) and a maximum of six years (18 terms).
The minimum period of registration for full-time MPhil students is a minimum of
one year (3 terms) and a maximum of three years (9 terms).
The minimum period of registration for part-time MPhil students is a minimum of
two years (6 terms) and a maximum of four years (12 terms).
Please note that for part-time students the maximum will depend on a number of
factors, such as whether the student has combined full-time and part-time
registration. The maximum time allowed for unmixed part-time registration is six
years for DPhils and four years for MPhils.
Altering Registration Status
MPhil to DPhil
Students who wish to apply to transfer from the MPhil to DPhil should consult their
supervisor in the first instance and obtain Form RF010 from Sarah Maddox.
Applications to transfer, which will not normally be considered until the second year,
must be accompanied by evidence of competence to identify and explore the more
substantial questions appropriate to the DPhil, and evidence that the issues or data
are indeed appropriate for more extended treatment. Students will be asked to
submit a detailed structure and timetable for completion of the proposed DPhil
thesis, together with two draft chapters, or the equivalent. A formal interview with the
student, the supervisor and another nominated member of faculty must be
held, and a change in registration will depend on the satisfactory outcome. Reports
should be forwarded to the Director of Doctoral Studies for approval.
The Student Progress and Assessment Office will write to the student to inform the
of the outcome of their application.
A student who has been refused permission to change registration from MPhil
to DPhil or vice versa shall have the right to appeal against such a decision
and to request that it be changed.
DPhil to MPhil
A student who wishes to transfer from DPhil to MPhil must consult his/her supervisor
and obtain the necessary form from the Research and Enterprise Coordinator to
Full-Time to Part-Time / Part-Time to Full-time or Transfer to Continuation
Students wishing to change their registrations from full-time to part-time or part-time
to full-time or to continuation status should consult again their supervisors in the first
instance. In effect, the minimum periods of registration constitute the threshold for
the payment of full-time (or part-time) fees in return for full teaching and library
privileges. After two years (or three, in the case of part-time students) DPhil students
may apply to change to continuation status for a much lower fee, but receiving no
computing or library services (though library membership can be retained on
payment of a supplementary fee) and minimal supervision. Normally continuation
status is granted if the student and supervisor can show that the research has been
completed and the thesis fully roughed out – in other words, that the rest can be
done by the student working largely unsupervised. Another possibility, which should
be considered if a student needs to undertake substantial amounts of paid work for
financial reasons, is for the full-time student to move to part-time status, thus halving
the fees required. This preserves access to teaching and the library. All full-time
DPhils who have reached the two-year minimum of their registration and who wish to
proceed should discuss the next step with their supervisor and with the appropriate
Convenor of Research Degrees, if in any doubt; it is advisable to consult with the
Director of Doctoral Studies.
Intermission from Research Studies
Intermission in the period of registration can only be granted by the Director provided:
(i) the student can show good cause for the application - personal trouble,
authenticated evidence of illness, or some other interruption of the work;
(ii) the supervisor has been consulted and agrees and supports the application in
writing. Any written evidence must also be provided. Fees already paid in relation to
terms for which intermission has been granted are normally carried forward as a
credit against future fees.
Research Degree Registration Extension
Extension of the maximum permitted period of registration (see i. and ii. above)
requires a more elaborate procedure. The student must
1. show good cause and secure the supervisor's written support, as above,
2. must write a formal letter giving:
a) the reason for the need for the extension,
b) a detailed account of research and writing completed to date,
c) a realistic outline of the work still to be done,
d) estimated dates for the completion of each phase in the work remaining.
The Director will then make the decision. It should be noted that extensions are for
one, two or three terms and that normally only one extension can be granted. There
is a form to be completed this is usually done by the Research and Enterprise
Coordinator on behalf of the student.
Application to proceed to Fieldwork
Fieldwork may be part of the investigative research for a thesis and the student may
need to go on research visits. A formal application form, made in consultation with
the Convenor of Research Degrees, and supported by the supervisor should be
made well in advance, to the Director. The application must give a rationale for the
period of absence.
All decisions made by the Director will be copied to the appropriate Convenor of
Research Degrees. Supervisors are asked to discuss individual cases with the
Convenor of Research Degrees before the formal application is made to the Director.
All applications must be made on paper, and using the correct form. Submissions by
email from student or supervisor will not be considered.
Remain on Fieldwork
A student can request to remain on Fieldwork. Again, a formal application form has
to be completed, approved by the Supervisor(s) and the Director of Doctoral
The various forms mentioned above can be obtained from the Research and
Enterprise Coordinator or the Student Progress and Assessment Office. The student
should complete the form and obtain his/her supervisor‟s approval. The form should
then be submitted to the Director of Doctoral Studies for approval. Once approval is
granted, the Student Progress and Assessment Office will inform the student in
The School has some funds available to enable students to attend conferences, visit
archives and libraries, carry out research and attend training events. These are
limited funds and are allocated on an individual basis by the Director. If financial
assistance is requested it should be supported by a supervisor and agreed in
advance with the Director. It is extremely rare that the School can meet full costs
especially in the case of expensive visits outside the UK.
If you would like financial assistance, please email the Director giving details of the
event and, very importantly, how much it will cost. The Director will consider your
request and may be able to contribute towards the overall cost. Please remember
that you must request financial help before the event. All contributions are paid after
the event – the student must complete an Expense Claim Form and attach the
receipts to the form. Submit the form and receipts to the Research and Enterprise
Coordinator who will process it and send it to the University‟s Management Accounts
Office for payment. Please remember to keep the receipts – if there are no receipts,
Management Accounts will not reimburse.
Working to completion
Ideally the completion of a thesis is envisaged during the planning stages. Shaping
and reshaping the project to ensure satisfactory completion is part of the process.
The annual report should indicate progress being made towards completion and
steps should be taken if the thesis is off course.
Preparing the bibliography as research proceeds, organising any illustrations as each
chapter is completed, considering any appendices (perhaps for documentary
materials) early on are all good strategies. It is important to decide at the outset
which reference system you will use and to apply it consistently. Remember to back
up all your data and writing. You are strongly advised to write up as you go. In the
final stages, leave plenty of time for printing, collating and binding.
The Viva-Voce Examination
Arrangements are made for this as soon as the student has notified the University's
Student Progress and Assessment Office of her/his intention to submit a completed
thesis (this notification should normally be two months before the expected
submission date). Forms for this procedure are available at the Student Progress
and Assessment Office. On receipt of these forms, the supervisor is asked to make
arrange internal and external examiners, both of whom will be formally approved.
Supervisors may well discuss possible examiners with individual students, but it
should be remembered that prominent experts in particular fields are not always
available to examine and not always suitable as examiners even if they are. Copies
of the thesis are then sent to both examiners when they have been selected and
have agreed to examine.
The internal examiner takes responsibility for arranging the Viva-Voce, and for
notifying the student and the Student Progress and Assessment Office as to when
and where it will take place. The supervisor can be invited to attend the Viva-Voce,
but may not take part in the examination process. The Viva-Voce should normally
take place within two months of the thesis being sent out. Supervisors will discuss
the Viva-Voce procedure with the student, and explain what to expect.
Information on paperwork can be found in Regulations for the Award of the Degrees
of Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy, which is provided by the Student
Progress and Assessment Office when students notify the Student Progress and
Assessment Office of their intention to submit. At the same time the Student
Progress and Assessment Office issues the student with a guide to thesis style.
Complaints and Appeals
Students have the right to appeal against decisions of the Research Degree
Examination Board or against a decision not to continue the student's registration.
Details of the appeals procedure can be obtained from the Student Progress and
Assessment Office, and are included in Regulations for the Award of the Degrees Of
Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy.
Complaints other than those relating to examination or registration decisions should
be referred in the first instance to the appropriate Convenor of Research Degrees,
and when needed to the Director. According to good practice, the Directors will
investigate these complaints in full and will present a confidential report to the
appropriate authorities within the University, and to the tutor(s) and student(s) who
are involved in the case. Complaints and investigations are of course treated and
conducted with utmost confidentiality.
Research Training in the School of Media, Film and
To complete your thesis, you will need specific and generic research skills.
Research Training is offered at School level, cross-School level, and by the Doctoral
School. In providing research training, the university recognises that almost all
issues related to „research training‟, „method‟ and ‟methodology‟ are debatable and
contestable. Thus the main objective of a policy on „research training‟ or „training in
research methodology‟ is not merely to offer advice and guidance, but also to give
room to a plurality of voices and to stimulate discussion and reflection on some of the
central issues concerning research and its practice.
Academic and English Language Support
There are free workshops - 5 each term, starting in the third week of term, on
academic writing and study skills; individual tutorials, and writing workshops for all
overseas/international students, studying full-time, who come from academic
systems with somewhat different customs and writing styles.
For further information and to register please go to the Academic Development Study
For General enquires please email: Acadev@sussex.ac.uk
In addition, if English is not your first language and you would find it useful to improve
it by further tuition; there are special 'English for academic purposes' courses. Please
see Dan Quin in Arts A68 for further information.
Professional Researcher Portfolio (“Profolio”)
A series of four seminars offering personal and professional development to DPhils
starts in week 4 of the Spring Term. We cover the skills detailed in the Research
Council's Joint Skills Statement and build an individual on line researcher profile for
each participant. These seminars are essential for all students. If you are AHRC
funded or receive funding from other sources, they are compulsory as the funding
bodies expect their researchers to receive this training as part of their doctoral study.
You can find out more at: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/dr2/ where registration will also be
The University offers a lively and stimulating research culture through an exciting and
diverse programme of seminars, lectures and events organised by schools and
departments. Participants will include distinguished scholars and leading academic
figures alongside academics and students at the outset of their careers. Attending
these events, and not just those in your own area, enables you to reflect on central
issues in research and theory, debate questions of critical method and discuss
research problems. Whether as informal debate or in the setting of an academic
conference, students will be offered the opportunity to develop the important
academic skills of presentation and discussion.
Undertaking a research degree can be a lonely experience, and many students miss
the close community of taught programme studies. Participating in the vibrant and
rigorous research community of the University as well as working on campus, will
help to counteract the isolation of independent research.
Appendix 1. Guidelines for the appointment of research Supervisors
The School of Media, Film and Music has access to a list of faculty who have been approved
as recognised Supervisors.
New members of staff can apply to their Head of School for recognition. Heads of School will
consult the relevant Director before agreeing to add a name to the list. Heads of Schools
and/or Convenors of Research Degrees will recommend the appointment of Supervisors for a
particular thesis and the recommendation has to be agreed by the Director of Doctoral
The following are the criteria the University recommends as appropriate both for the
recognition of Supervisors and their appointment to supervise a particular thesis:
i. Supervisors should normally possess a research degree (normally a
DPhil or equivalent experience (e.g. evidence of publications).
ii. Supervisors should have expertise in the proposed research topic.
iii. Supervisors should be active in research.
iv. Supervisors should normally have experience in research supervision. Inexperienced
Supervisors or probationary faculty should be allowed to co-supervise in conjunction with
an experienced Supervisor who is a permanent member of faculty or a member of faculty
of similar status holding a (long-term) research appointment.
v. Lead Supervisors should be permanent members of faculty or have equivalent
experience and status acceptable to the Director of Doctoral Studies.
vi. Supervisors should have adequate time for uninterrupted supervision and be reliably and
frequently available. It is essential that they ensure that replacement supervision is
available during any significant period of absence.
vii. It is desirable that Supervisors should have experience of examining doctorates
viii. Supervisors can expect to have received training in research supervision and to receive
Appendix 2. Guidelines for the selection of research
The following are criteria for the selection of research students:
i. A performance in a first and/or subsequent degree, or where appropriate, in a field of
educational, professional or industrial experience relevant to the research, which is strong
enough to indicate the student should be able to complete a research programme
ii. An area of research within the University's expertise.
iii. A proposed area of research which is capable of being studied to the depth required
within the designated time scale and for which proper supervision can be provided and
iv. A proposed area of research for which appropriate University resources (e.g. library,
computing, technical resources) and student resources (e.g. funds to cover field trips) are
v. Satisfactory recommendations from external referees.
vi. A level of competence in English sufficient to undertake and write up the research
satisfactorily (or a requirement to undertake the language tuition identified as necessary
prior to and, where appropriate, after registration as a research student).
In addition, the following criteria and procedures should be adopted as best practice:
i. All applications for admission as a research student should be considered by the
appropriate Convenor of Research Degrees who should, after assessment and
consultation, make recommendation as to admission and supervision to the Director.
ii. Where possible all candidates should be interviewed by two members of the School
(normally the Convenor of Research Degrees and the potential Supervisor).
iii. The assessment of suitability for admission should normally be based, in addition to
interview, on the assessment of written work; and on the receipt of written references,
ideally from more than one institution. The latter two criteria are particularly important in
cases where an interview is not possible.
iv. All students should have an annual interview to discuss progress with the appropriate
Convenor of Research Degrees and/or a member of faculty who is not the Supervisor.
Note: This handbook is published by the University of Sussex School of Media, Film and
Music. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information given here is
correct at the time of writing (September 2011), but neither the University nor its employees
can accept responsibility for any errors which may appear. Higher education is going through
a period of rapid change, and the School of Media, Film and Music is committed to innovation
and seeks constant improvement in its courses and its teaching, so we cannot guarantee that
the courses, members of staff, facilities or other items outlined in the booklet will remain as