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Information on the Upgrade Process

At the beginning of term 3 students prepare and submit written work for the Thesis Upgrade Interview. It is the responsibility of your supervisor to arrange for two members of staff to read your submission, and your responsibility to ensure that those two members of staff receive it in good time before the interview.

You should prepare:

i) a draft chapter of your thesis, at least 5,000 words in length;

ii) a 2,500 Research Proposal, which will include a synopsis of your research project.

iii) attached to this material should be a planned and detailed timetable for the completion of your thesis.

iv) a bibliography of relevant secondary material.

v) the History Department Research Degree Upgrade Ethics Review Document

Your work is read by the two members of staff, who will discuss it jointly and separately with you and your supervisor. After you have read and signed their Report it is placed in your file, and we then ask the Warwick Graduate School office to upgrade your registration to PhD status. Very occasionally the interview panel may recommend that upgrade be deferred until it is clearer that a student is ready to proceed to PhD.

If a candidate fails to upgrade to the degree of PhD at the first attempt, s/he will normally be permitted to submit a further upgrading proposal. If following this second attempt, a candidate fails to upgrade to the degree of PhD, the department may recommend that the student be required to withdraw in accordance with the Regulations Governing Student Registration, Attendance and Progress, or the student may be allowed to continue his/her registration but only for the degree of MPhil. A student shall have the right to appeal to a Preliminary Review Panel against a decision that s/he be allowed to continue registration only for the degree of MPhil, following the procedure set out in Regulation 38.4.

Research Proposal

A formal Research Proposal, with a working dissertation title, will be approximately 2,500 words long, and contain as an appendix a full Bibliography of works and research materials to be consulted. The Research Proposal will help you to clarify a number of considerations crucial to the design of a successful research project. (It is essentially the first draft of your dissertation introduction.) You will need to show:

a) central research questions you plan to address and what kinds of answer you are looking for;

b) the ability to situate your work within the existing scholarship and to show how your research engages with this body of research, methodologies or ideas;

c) what methods you plan to use;

d) what your source-base will be (printed primary sources, major secondary works, manuscripts, etc);

e) where you will be consulting these materials (this may involve letters or reconnaissance trips to relevant archives in advance);

f) your preliminary chapter plan;

g) a detailed timetable for the research and writing up.

Try to cover as many of these areas as possible in your proposal. You may find it useful to use these italicised topics as section headings in your writing. When your supervisor has read through the Research Proposal, you should go through it together.