Imperial college phd thesis word count

Phd thesis minimum word count

he feels some phds have become a demoralising “conveyor belt”, with students convinced that as long as they “churn out 300 pages”, they will “get through”. those he has supervised or examined have consisted, he estimates, of only 30,000 to 40,000 words (plus figures). although the student “sailed through”, farrar was struck by how much time he had spent writing up his thesis compared with carrying out experiments. how to write specifically for the phd, being ready to adjust once it is finished to the numerous other genres required in academic publishing etc. jeremy farrar, for instance, is concerned at ‘how much time [a phd student] had spent writing up his thesis compared with carrying out experiments’. in my experience of about 35 phd examinations to date, i have read the whole thesis and marked it up with notes for the viva. how to write specifically for the phd, being ready to adjust once it is finished to the numerous other genres required in academic publishing etc. and whilst the ukgce report notes ‘a “general consensus” that the bundle of papers submitted “needs to be coherent and to demonstrate explicitly the candidate’s individual contribution to knowledge”, there is more to a ‘traditional’ phd than structure and layout of the ‘bundle’. leigh argues that unlucky students with no results “shouldn’t be getting a phd anyway”, since the degree is awarded “for a contribution to knowledge, not for a good try”. pigott is pursuing an integrated format phd in the laboratory of simon hay, professor of epidemiology at the university of oxford. economics, phd candidates at the london school of economics are examined on the basis of a thesis formed of papers (which may have been published), together with an introduction and an integrating conclusion. disagree with views which expressed phd theses as"conveyor belt"., this thesis is copyright: a lewis, 1994 and is provided for information only.“it makes no sense to rewrite the work in a way [that was not intended] and dissect out just your own little contribution to the team’s work in order to report it in a phd thesis,” he says. some universities also want to eliminate the “opportunity cost to the institution if the phd regulations forced candidates to rewrite…pre-published material”. the traditional requirement that chapters fit together explicitly has been relaxed, thesis writing, in oswald’s view, still helps instil in students the idea that “different parts of one’s thinking should be consistent”.

Imperial college phd thesis word count

admits the integrated approach can encourage the publication of several smaller papers rather than one big one, but hopes his final chapter will consist of a “higher impact” paper that synthesises his previous publications. in my experience of about 35 phd examinations to date, i have read the whole thesis and marked it up with notes for the viva. this reason, he is contemplating trying to convene a discussion with other major uk biomedical phd funders to “think about what we want individuals to [gain from] a classic three- or four-year phd in order to enhance their careers and the science contribution they are making during [it] and afterwards”. pigott is pursuing an integrated format phd in the laboratory of simon hay, professor of epidemiology at the university of oxford. therefore it is necessary for a phd thesis to contain more information than other types of publication that researchers might produce later in their careers when they become more established. despite all that, he estimates that the amount of material candidates have to write from scratch under the integrated format is about a fifth of that required for a traditional thesis.’ a major genre issue here, for instance, that was recognised in the ukcge survey, and signalled in the article, is; “it is necessary for a phd thesis to contain more information than other types of publication that researchers might produce later in their careers when they become more established’. shares farrar’s concerns about the amount of time it takes to write a traditional thesis in science and engineering: “in their fourth year, candidates are at their most effective and productive, with high technical expertise, writing skills and research judgement. a start, he doubts that the typical science thesis is “anywhere near” as long as the 80,000-word maximum. debate about the doctoral thesis so far seems to be focussed almost entirely in lab-based research where teams produce ‘findings’ and individuals have to sort out their own ‘contribution’ if they want to submit some of it for a phd. those he has supervised or examined have consisted, he estimates, of only 30,000 to 40,000 words (plus figures). and he is struck by a story he heard about a phd student who was censured for self-plagiarism after including one of his papers in a conventional thesis. accepts that a good thesis is no longer enough to secure an academic job, but he is unclear about the extent to which a good unpublished writing sample, culled from a thesis, can make up for a lack of publications. university of oxford’s faculty of philosophy gives dphil candidates two choices: they can submit a traditional thesis or one consisting of several journal-style papers (which may have been published) that “collectively represent a coherent and focused body of research into a single subject”. communication within the science world and with the public is becoming shorter and snappier, yet our phds still seem to be stuck in the 1960s. fact that papers typically have much lower word counts than thesis chapters also “teaches the skill of culling everything that is not necessary but you feel obliged to write about because it took you two weeks to do”, he adds.

PhD (including MPhil)

Thesis Submission & Vivas | Imperial College London

Phd thesis word count

the traditional requirement that chapters fit together explicitly has been relaxed, thesis writing, in oswald’s view, still helps instil in students the idea that “different parts of one’s thinking should be consistent”.“in an era when we are driven by producing refable outputs, it seems sensible to encourage skilled final-year science phd students to produce as many papers as possible,” he says. and supervisors in the field of education where i work and have supervised 50+ phds in recent years continually address this through the years of a student writing a phd and beyond. and i would hope that as the debate continues it can broaden out to take account of such perspectives. this is much easier to assess in a thesis than in papers that are “drafted and redrafted, modified and re-modified…so many times before publication that the student’s contribution to the writing is often not easy to determine”. robert eaglestone, professor of contemporary literature and thought at royal holloway, university of london, sees himself as a progressive on most academic issues, but still considers the thesis – and, relatedly, the monograph – as the “gold standard”, since it remains the best means by which to capture “the unfolding of the mind” that a doctorate constitutes. although the student “sailed through”, farrar was struck by how much time he had spent writing up his thesis compared with carrying out experiments. phd researchers put in so much hardwork to get awarded the degree. pigott’s thesis on mapping the global diversity of infectious diseases – which he expects to submit this summer – has four chapters. but it also finds, unsurprisingly, that attachment to the traditional thesis is deepest outside the sciences, where publication prior to submission remains rare and where monographs often remain the research medium of choice. university of oxford’s faculty of philosophy gives dphil candidates two choices: they can submit a traditional thesis or one consisting of several journal-style papers (which may have been published) that “collectively represent a coherent and focused body of research into a single subject”. leigh argues that unlucky students with no results “shouldn’t be getting a phd anyway”, since the degree is awarded “for a contribution to knowledge, not for a good try”. he does not require his students to produce any particular number of papers (five is typical but numbers range from three to nine) and insists that the level of results they have to achieve is no different from that required for a traditional thesis. he adds that a previous student of hay’s was able to combine several papers on which she was second author into a single thesis chapter. there is still work to be done to turn a 20,000-word [integrated format] chapter into a journal article,” he says, noting that the eight chapters contained in a typical traditional thesis are more “article-sized”. according to christianson, such measures make it harder for students to “fudge” their own contributions, as they can in the traditional thesis.

PhD (including MPhil)

Imperial college phd thesis word limit

but leigh accepts that other labs and disciplines in which order is determined by often fraught judgements about each author’s contribution could run into problems with the integrated format – if a university department insisted on a particular authorship position before a paper could be submitted as part of an integrated thesis. academic to respond to farrar’s tweet was simon hay, professor of epidemiology at the university of oxford, who said that doctoral theses should consist of “a series of linked chapters, prepared like peer-reviewed articles with strict word limits” – as they do in his lab. knows that the time it will take to turn his thesis into journal papers or a monograph could slow down his job search. appears to accept that the integrated format is not appropriate for all students, labs and disciplines, and that the traditional thesis still has its merits. harrison, chief executive of the diamond light source synchrotron in harwell, oxfordshire – which offers phds in collaboration with numerous universities – also thinks there is “some merit in testing how well students can express themselves through the written word without the intervention of the paper’s editors”. within the science world and with the public is becoming shorter and snappier, yet our phds still seem to be stuck in the 1960s. communication within the science world and with the public is becoming shorter and snappier, yet our phds still seem to be stuck in the 1960s. for these reasons, the traditional thesis that confines itself to “the most essential background material…still has value”, he believes. also hopes that recruitment committees will be more willing to flick through the abstracts of his papers than they would be to engage with a long thesis. meanwhile, according to the ukcge report, arts students are typically permitted to submit a “wide range of exhibits or performances” such as novels, paintings and musical scores as part of their phds, provided they can “show how the artefacts relate to the thesis and its defence”. estimates that the average doctoral student spends about six months of their four-year programme writing their thesis, and another three “waiting for it to be examined”. but that is not about whether the thesis is a valuable thing to write, and more about what is valued in academia in terms of getting a job,” brunning says. and supervisors in the field of education where i work and have supervised 50+ phds in recent years continually address this through the years of a student writing a phd and beyond. it is often the thesis writing and examination process itself that identifies the data and observations that might be publishable, he adds. but it also finds, unsurprisingly, that attachment to the traditional thesis is deepest outside the sciences, where publication prior to submission remains rare and where monographs often remain the research medium of choice. what about going further and abolishing the thesis entirely, and instead allowing students to submit a bundle of papers?

PhD: is the doctoral thesis obsolete? | Times Higher Education (THE)

’ a major genre issue here, for instance, that was recognised in the ukcge survey, and signalled in the article, is; “it is necessary for a phd thesis to contain more information than other types of publication that researchers might produce later in their careers when they become more established’. this reason, he is contemplating trying to convene a discussion with other major uk biomedical phd funders to “think about what we want individuals to [gain from] a classic three- or four-year phd in order to enhance their careers and the science contribution they are making during [it] and afterwards”. however, according to the role of publications and other artefacts in submissions for the uk phd, a report published earlier this year by the uk council for graduate education, 72 per cent of 50 uk universities surveyed sometimes saw published papers incorporated into phd submissions – although it was the norm in just 2 per cent of cases and was rare or absent in 83 per cent. Absolute length measurement using multiple-wavelength phase-stepping interferometryPhD thesis, Andrew J Lewis, Imperial College, London, 1994OK, for those who are interested (or desperately bored! entire thesis runs to over 300 printed a4 pages (sorry folks if you have us letter, but it was formatted for a4). shares farrar’s concerns about the amount of time it takes to write a traditional thesis in science and engineering: “in their fourth year, candidates are at their most effective and productive, with high technical expertise, writing skills and research judgement. within the science world and with the public is becoming shorter and snappier, yet our phds still seem to be stuck in the 1960s. admits the integrated approach can encourage the publication of several smaller papers rather than one big one, but hopes his final chapter will consist of a “higher impact” paper that synthesises his previous publications. he stresses the importance of doctoral candidates putting together a body of work “that supports a thesis – in the ‘proposition’ sense of the word – because this demonstrates a rather broader approach and a more in-depth view of problems than would be common in individual papers”. also hopes that recruitment committees will be more willing to flick through the abstracts of his papers than they would be to engage with a long thesis. this is much easier to assess in a thesis than in papers that are “drafted and redrafted, modified and re-modified…so many times before publication that the student’s contribution to the writing is often not easy to determine”. a spokeswoman for imperial says that the institution “does not currently accept a series of papers for submission as a thesis, although we are continuing to explore the possibility of accepting alternative phd thesis formats”. jeremy farrar, for instance, is concerned at ‘how much time [a phd student] had spent writing up his thesis compared with carrying out experiments’. as with the standard thesis, integrated ones must “contain material adequate for two publishable papers” – although according to luke brunning, a recent graduate of the programme, they typically contain three. harrison, chief executive of the diamond light source synchrotron in harwell, oxfordshire – which offers phds in collaboration with numerous universities – also thinks there is “some merit in testing how well students can express themselves through the written word without the intervention of the paper’s editors”. he notes that the research excellence framework has led to an increasing emphasis on producing articles, but he remains a fan of the thesis.

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    economics, phd candidates at the london school of economics are examined on the basis of a thesis formed of papers (which may have been published), together with an introduction and an integrating conclusion. robert eaglestone, professor of contemporary literature and thought at royal holloway, university of london, sees himself as a progressive on most academic issues, but still considers the thesis – and, relatedly, the monograph – as the “gold standard”, since it remains the best means by which to capture “the unfolding of the mind” that a doctorate constitutes. accepts that requiring students to write an overarching introduction and discussion under the integrated format could address many of his objections – “but then you might argue that is just a conventional thesis, with the results chapters as papers”. i would not say that the phds that i have supervised nor those that i have examined were part of a "conveyor belt". concludes: “i am not necessarily in favour of overregulating things, but it is fascinating how if you look at the whole educational piece from primary school, the phd is the last bastion of stuff that is totally wild west. concludes: “i am not necessarily in favour of overregulating things, but it is fascinating how if you look at the whole educational piece from primary school, the phd is the last bastion of stuff that is totally wild west. therefore it is necessary for a phd thesis to contain more information than other types of publication that researchers might produce later in their careers when they become more established. “integrated format”, as the ukcge calls it, is already common in many european countries, for which reason it is sometimes known as the “continental model”. fact that papers typically have much lower word counts than thesis chapters also “teaches the skill of culling everything that is not necessary but you feel obliged to write about because it took you two weeks to do”, he adds. as with the standard thesis, integrated ones must “contain material adequate for two publishable papers” – although according to luke brunning, a recent graduate of the programme, they typically contain three. sees the thesis as the ‘gold standard’, since it remains the best means by which to capture ‘the unfolding of the mind’ that a doctorate constitutes. debate about the doctoral thesis so far seems to be focussed almost entirely in lab-based research where teams produce ‘findings’ and individuals have to sort out their own ‘contribution’ if they want to submit some of it for a phd. appears to accept that the integrated format is not appropriate for all students, labs and disciplines, and that the traditional thesis still has its merits. according to christianson, such measures make it harder for students to “fudge” their own contributions, as they can in the traditional thesis. but leigh accepts that other labs and disciplines in which order is determined by often fraught judgements about each author’s contribution could run into problems with the integrated format – if a university department insisted on a particular authorship position before a paper could be submitted as part of an integrated thesis. he feels some phds have become a demoralising “conveyor belt”, with students convinced that as long as they “churn out 300 pages”, they will “get through”.
  • Minimum requirements for a PhD thesis

    rise of doctoral training centres across the disciplines – with their increased focus on student employability – has prompted some of the academics running them to start to question whether the thesis is still the best means for a phd candidate to demonstrate their ability to undertake independent research.“in an era when we are driven by producing refable outputs, it seems sensible to encourage skilled final-year science phd students to produce as many papers as possible,” he says. he is concerned that the approach risks turning the phd into a “paper machine” that disadvantages candidates who are unlucky with their experiments and pushes supervisors to avoid any project that doesn’t obviously hold out the promise of a paper – “and there is already too much of that in science”. meanwhile, according to the ukcge report, arts students are typically permitted to submit a “wide range of exhibits or performances” such as novels, paintings and musical scores as part of their phds, provided they can “show how the artefacts relate to the thesis and its defence”. the latter provision allowed one of hay’s current doctoral candidates, oliver brady, to include a nature paper on which he was a minor author as an appendix to his thesis, and to write a chapter expanding on his role in the project based on ample “supplementary information” published alongside the paper. this year, jeremy farrar, director of the wellcome trust, examined a phd candidate at imperial college london. however, according to the role of publications and other artefacts in submissions for the uk phd, a report published earlier this year by the uk council for graduate education, 72 per cent of 50 uk universities surveyed sometimes saw published papers incorporated into phd submissions – although it was the norm in just 2 per cent of cases and was rare or absent in 83 per cent. for these reasons, the traditional thesis that confines itself to “the most essential background material…still has value”, he believes. the latter provision allowed one of hay’s current doctoral candidates, oliver brady, to include a nature paper on which he was a minor author as an appendix to his thesis, and to write a chapter expanding on his role in the project based on ample “supplementary information” published alongside the paper. some universities also want to eliminate the “opportunity cost to the institution if the phd regulations forced candidates to rewrite…pre-published material”. “integrated format”, as the ukcge calls it, is already common in many european countries, for which reason it is sometimes known as the “continental model”. farrar sees the rise of the integrated thesis as “progress”, he is wary of going too far down that road. estimates that the average doctoral student spends about six months of their four-year programme writing their thesis, and another three “waiting for it to be examined”. sees the thesis as the ‘gold standard’, since it remains the best means by which to capture ‘the unfolding of the mind’ that a doctorate constitutes. am surprised to hear the view that examiners do not read all of a phd. what about going further and abolishing the thesis entirely, and instead allowing students to submit a bundle of papers?
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      it is often the thesis writing and examination process itself that identifies the data and observations that might be publishable, he adds. he does not require his students to produce any particular number of papers (five is typical but numbers range from three to nine) and insists that the level of results they have to achieve is no different from that required for a traditional thesis. farrar sees the rise of the integrated thesis as “progress”, he is wary of going too far down that road. accepts that a good thesis is no longer enough to secure an academic job, but he is unclear about the extent to which a good unpublished writing sample, culled from a thesis, can make up for a lack of publications. saward, director of warwick’s economic and social research council-funded doctoral training centre, believes the thesis remains the “ideal vehicle” to articulate and explore “the overarching issue” in the various aspects of candidates’ research – even if supervisors and students are “becoming increasingly skilled at seeing the thesis as a source of (ideally) two or three good journal articles”. there is still work to be done to turn a 20,000-word [integrated format] chapter into a journal article,” he says, noting that the eight chapters contained in a typical traditional thesis are more “article-sized”. he stresses the importance of doctoral candidates putting together a body of work “that supports a thesis – in the ‘proposition’ sense of the word – because this demonstrates a rather broader approach and a more in-depth view of problems than would be common in individual papers”. of education and professional studies,King’s college london,Franklin-wilkins building,Waterloo bridge annex,#3 submitted by akin on may 21, 2015 - 5:31pm. and i would hope that as the debate continues it can broaden out to take account of such perspectives. rise of doctoral training centres across the disciplines – with their increased focus on student employability – has prompted some of the academics running them to start to question whether the thesis is still the best means for a phd candidate to demonstrate their ability to undertake independent research. he adds that a previous student of hay’s was able to combine several papers on which she was second author into a single thesis chapter. he is concerned that the approach risks turning the phd into a “paper machine” that disadvantages candidates who are unlucky with their experiments and pushes supervisors to avoid any project that doesn’t obviously hold out the promise of a paper – “and there is already too much of that in science”.) here is my entire phd thesis, as separate microsoft word documents, converted to pdf format, one per chapter/appendix. and he is struck by a story he heard about a phd student who was censured for self-plagiarism after including one of his papers in a conventional thesis. a spokeswoman for imperial says that the institution “does not currently accept a series of papers for submission as a thesis, although we are continuing to explore the possibility of accepting alternative phd thesis formats”. this year, jeremy farrar, director of the wellcome trust, examined a phd candidate at imperial college london.
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      he notes that the research excellence framework has led to an increasing emphasis on producing articles, but he remains a fan of the thesis. academic to respond to farrar’s tweet was simon hay, professor of epidemiology at the university of oxford, who said that doctoral theses should consist of “a series of linked chapters, prepared like peer-reviewed articles with strict word limits” – as they do in his lab. saward, director of warwick’s economic and social research council-funded doctoral training centre, believes the thesis remains the “ideal vehicle” to articulate and explore “the overarching issue” in the various aspects of candidates’ research – even if supervisors and students are “becoming increasingly skilled at seeing the thesis as a source of (ideally) two or three good journal articles”. but that is not about whether the thesis is a valuable thing to write, and more about what is valued in academia in terms of getting a job,” brunning says. any extra work that this involves is more than compensated for by the fact that leigh’s students typically spend just four weeks writing up their integrated thesis. am surprised to hear the view that examiners do not read all of a phd. of education and professional studies,King’s college london,Franklin-wilkins building,Waterloo bridge annex,#3 submitted by akin on may 21, 2015 - 5:31pm. a start, he doubts that the typical science thesis is “anywhere near” as long as the 80,000-word maximum. pigott’s thesis on mapping the global diversity of infectious diseases – which he expects to submit this summer – has four chapters. knows that the time it will take to turn his thesis into journal papers or a monograph could slow down his job search.“it makes no sense to rewrite the work in a way [that was not intended] and dissect out just your own little contribution to the team’s work in order to report it in a phd thesis,” he says. and whilst the ukgce report notes ‘a “general consensus” that the bundle of papers submitted “needs to be coherent and to demonstrate explicitly the candidate’s individual contribution to knowledge”, there is more to a ‘traditional’ phd than structure and layout of the ‘bundle’. disagree with views which expressed phd theses as"conveyor belt". accepts that requiring students to write an overarching introduction and discussion under the integrated format could address many of his objections – “but then you might argue that is just a conventional thesis, with the results chapters as papers”. i would not say that the phds that i have supervised nor those that i have examined were part of a "conveyor belt". phd researchers put in so much hardwork to get awarded the degree.

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