The Presentation

The upgrade normally involves the production of a sample chapter of the proposed thesis, or a similar extract from the research. This (or a section of it) is presented as a paper of 50 to 60 minutes’ length at the Department’s Postgraduate Seminar, where the audience consists of students and staff from the Department, other members of the scholarly community, and an invited outside expert. Upgrade candidates are then expected to answer questions from the audience.

In addition to the oral presentation of their upgrade paper, students must submit the following items not less than one week before the seminar:

  1. A written version of the upgrade paper. This can include material not in the seminar presentation due to time constraints but should not normally exceed 8000 words (excluding notes). The paper must be presented with appropriate scholarly apparatus and include any necessary images (black and white photocopies are sufficient).
  2. A workable plan or thesis proposal which locates the upgrade paper within the project as a whole and, on a preliminary and provisional basis, locates the project in the relevant literature, identifies a methodology, defines a body of evidence, and breaks down the thesis into chapters or describes a similar workable division. The form that this proposal takes is open. Some students produce one document; others divide this into a thesis plan and a separate literature review. Students and their supervisors can determine the most appropriate presentation. The length of these documents also vary, but are usually in the region of 2500 words total.
  3. A list of Skills Development Training Programme courses, events or other eligible activities undertaken. By the time of the upgrade, students need to have accrued 20 points of skills training (the first year’s requirement).