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MRES Handbook

Welcome to the Masters of Research Programmes

This handbook is designed to provide an overview of our Masters of Research (MRes) programmes. It summarises the essential information on the two programmes.

You must read this guide in conjunction with the SSEES Student Handbook, where you will find very important general information about Masters-level studies. You should also read the Response plan to coronavirus for UCL's Postgraduate Research students, which details the changes to policies and procedures that have been instituted due to the pandemic.

Full details of the SSEES postgraduate modules running in 2022-23 are available on the Module Catalogue.

You should also read the UCL Academic Regulations for Taught Programmes.

We wish you the greatest success in your studies and look forward to meeting you during induction week.

Dr Kristin Roth-Ey  k.roth-ey@ucl.ac.uk 

MRes Programme Coordinator and Head of Postgraduate Research

Svetlana Smirnova   ssees-research@ucl.ac.uk

MRes Programme Administrator

Introduction: Masters of Research at SSEES

MRes in East European Studies (2 years)

This programme is our flagship postgraduate training programme in interdisciplinary area studies. The programme was originally developed through the government-funded Centre for East European Language-based Area Studies (CEELBAS) launched in 2006 and has since provided the starting point for a number of students to progress into research oriented careers.

The two-year MRes has two internal ‘pathways’ - one in social science and one in arts and humanities. Common to both pathways is a core of beginners and intermediate language (one of our East European languages) and courses in interdisciplinary area studies. Around this core, each pathway incorporates a full suite of discipline-specific research-methods training augmented with a choice of electives from SSEES’s rich offering of content- based courses. Finally, of course, the second year of the programme is defined by the extended research- based dissertation, benefiting from dual supervision. For many students, this dissertation forms the basis of future doctoral studies.

MRes in The Politics and Economics of Eastern Europe (1 year)

This intense programme is specifically aimed at social science students with a background/interest in economics and/or politics and a commitment to developing a career (in academia or elsewhere) in empirically-oriented research work. The core of the programme consists of a suite of social science research methods training (with some flexibility included to allow for different levels of econometric interest), which may also include language training. This core, augmented with an elective course of your choice from the Economics, Business, Politics and Sociology range of courses is intended to prepare you for a genuinely innovative research based dissertation during the second half of the 12-month programme. As with the two-year MRes, the dissertation process benefits from dual supervision arrangements.

MRes in East European Studies (2 years)

The Master of Research in East European Studies is a two-year programme of area specific, language oriented, advanced research training in the methodologies and approaches of economics, politics, history, culture and literature. Graduates of the programme will possess the attributes to complete a PhD within three years or to enter the labour market directly with advanced analytical and research skills, regional expertise and proficiency in a language of the area.

Students on the two year MRes must take 330 credits during the two years, comprising of 60 language credits, 30 credits in Interdisciplinary Area Studies Research (IAS), 75 specialist research methods training, 60 subject electives and a free-standing dissertation worth 105 credits. In addition, all MRes students are obliged to attend regular Research Centre Seminars.

All MRes students are also encouraged to attend the MA/MRes Dissertation Preparation Programme. This programme is not compulsory for MRes students, but it will help to review and update your library and information management skills (essential for undertaking good research) and provide you with a detailed, subject-specific dissertation briefing. Although attendance is not compulsory, all MRes students will be automatically registered on the Programme in order to give access to Moodle resources and timetable information for particular sessions.

You can find information about the modules below on the Module Catalogue

First Year:

CreditsSocial Sciences: year one (150)Arts and Humanities: year one (150)
30 Language (compulsory)Beginners – various (full year)Beginners – various (full year)
75 Methods (compulsory)

SEES0117 Political Sociology (15 credits, term 1)

SEES0083 Quantitative Methods (15 credits, term 1)

SEES0095 Advanced Quantitative Methods (15 credits, term 2)

NB: Advanced Quantitative Methods may only be taken if Quantitative Methods taken in term 1

SEES0107 Understanding and Analysing Data (15 credits, term 1)

SEES0103 Comparative Analysis in Social and Political Research (15 credits, term 2)

SEES0128 Qualitative Methods (15 credits, term 2)

SEES0117 Political Sociology (15 credits, term 1)

SEES0047 Literary and Cultural Theory (30 credits, term 1)

SEES0107 Understanding and Analysing Data (15 credits, term 1)

SEES0052 Historical Methods and Approaches (30 credits, term 2)

SEES0103 Comparative Analysis in Social and Political Research (15 credits, term 2)

SEES0128 Qualitative Methods (15 credits, term 2)

SEES0006 Introduction to Hermeneutics: How to Read and Interpret Texts (30 credits, term 2)

 

45 Electives*Various from SSEES Social Sciences programmesVarious from SSEES Arts & Humanities programmes
Summary30 Language 1- 75 Methods 1- 45 Electives30 Language 1- 75 Methods 1- 45 Electives

Second Year:

CreditsSocial Sciences: year two (180)Arts and Humanities: year two (180)
30 Language** (compulsory)Intermediate – various (full year)Intermediate – various (full year)
15 SEES0096 IAS  (Non Condonable)

SEES0096 IAS: Interdisciplinary Area Studies (term 2)

SEES0096 IAS II: Interdisciplinary Area Studies II (term 2) 

105 Dissertation (Non – Condonable)20,000 words20,000 words
30 Electives*Various from SSEES Social Sciences programmesVarious from SSEES Arts & Humanities programmes
Summary30 Language + 15 IAS  + 105 Dissertation + 30 Electives30 Language + 15 IAS  + 105 Dissertation + 30 Electives

* On approval of the MRes Programme Coordinator one MA-level module (up to 30 credits) may be selected from another SSEES course or other UCL Departments.

** This should be the same language as in year one.

UCL SSEES is committed to providing our students with stimulating, high quality, research-led courses, however please be aware that we are not always able to guarantee that all courses will be available every year.

If you have queries about the programme or its courses please contact the MRes Programme Administrator for further information.

 

MRes in The Politics and Economics of Eastern Europe (1 year)

The MRes in the Politics and Economics of Eastern Europe is a one-year research training degree in methods and approaches for studying politics, economics and society in post-communist Europe (including Russia and other post-Soviet states). It is intended primarily for applicants planning to do a PhD or MPhil or make a professional career in research, who already have a good knowledge of one or more of the languages of the region as well as some background in the social sciences.

Students on the one year MRes must take 180 credits during the year, comprising 60 methods and/or language credits, 15 specialist electives and a free-standing dissertation worth 105 credits. In addition, all MRes students are obliged to attend regular Research Centre Seminars.

All MRes students are also encouraged to attend the MA/MRes Dissertation Preparation Programme. This programme is not compulsory for MRes students, but it will help to review and update your library and information management skills (essential for undertaking good research) and provide you with a detailed, subject-specific dissertation briefing. Although attendance is not compulsory, all MRes students will be automatically registered on the Programme in order to give access to Moodle resources and timetable information for particular sessions.

You can find information about the modules below on the Module Catalogue.

CreditsTask
105 Dissertation (Non Condonable)18,000 words
60 Methods and/or Language (compulsory)

SSEES Language (30 credits, terms 1&2)

SEES0117 Political Sociology (15 credits, term 1)

SEES0083 Quantitative Methods (15 credits, term 1)

SEES0107 Understanding and Analysing Data (15 credits, term 1)

SEES0095 Advanced Quantitative Methods  (15 credits, term 2)

NB: Advanced Quantitative Methods may only be taken if Quantitative Methods taken in term 1

SEES0128 Qualitative Methods (15 credits, term 2)

15 Electives*Various from SSEES Social Sciences programmes (Economics or Politics)
Summary105 Dissertation 1- 60 Methods and/or Language 1- 15 Electives

* On approval of the MRes Programme Coordinator one MA-level module (up to 15 credits) may be selected from another SSEES course or other UCL Departments.

UCL SSEES is committed to providing our students with stimulating, high quality, research-led courses, however please be aware that we are not always able to guarantee that all courses will be available every year.

If you have queries about the programme or its courses please contact the MRes Programme Administrator for further information.

Supervision and Dissertation

Dissertation Timeline (Exact dates tbc)

Dissertation Introductory Session:       1st week of Dec

Dissertation Proposal Deadline:           Mid-Dec for PEEE students

                                                             Feb  for 1st year EES students (Moodle submission)

Dissertation Workshop:                        Early June (after examinations, end of term 3)

Please note, the Dissertation Workshop in early June is compulsory for MRes PEEE students and second-year MRES EES students. You will be required to prepare short presentations (10 minutes, 5 slides) covering your research question(s), expected outcomes, methodology etc. The sessions will be arranged according to topic and attended by your supervisors.

Aims and objectives of the dissertation

The aims of the Dissertation are:

  • To provide an opportunity to pursue independent research on a subject of your choice;
  • To provide experience in identifying a clearly focused research question and developing a thesis around it, over an extended period;
  • To enable students to test their skills in producing a substantial piece of written work of potentially publishable quality (high level of analysis, judgment and clarity of expression);
  • To develop and showcase your academic development achieved during the MRes programme;
  • To prepare you for MPhil, PhD or any other research project you might do in your future career.

The objectives of the Dissertation are:

  • To choose an original topic for your research and to identify a relevant and appropriate research question within that topic;
  • To search for and understand existing literature on the subject (including classic works, up-to-date publications, periodical and internet sources);
  • To demonstrate knowledge of secondary sources on the chosen subject as well as your ability to assess critically other authors' views and to structure your own argument;
  • To take into account, as appropriate, relevant historical background and theoretical frameworks;
  • To develop your organizational, analytical and stylistic skills;
  • To work towards making an independent contribution on a particular subject.

Supervision

It is essential for you to begin planning for the dissertation in the first term, in order to locate appropriate literature, data and other documentary materials and to hold an informed discussion of your proposed topic with the MRes Programme Coordinator and any members of staff you approach regarding supervision.

You will be taught by some of the staff working in your area in the first term, but you might not necessarily come into contact with all of them immediately. So you should consult the staff research profiles on the SSEES website in order to identify any members of academic staff whom you might wish to consult in their office hours for additional advice. More details on SSEES academic environment, research centres and seminars can be found in the SSEES Postgraduate Student Handbook.

Because of the enhanced role that the dissertation plays in the MRes programme, MRes students benefit from dual supervision and have the opportunity to approach potential supervisors directly. During the first term, all MRes students should start writing a draft dissertation proposal and approaching members of staff to discuss the possibility of supervision. Students only need to find a principal supervisor – an appropriate secondary supervisor will be chosen by the principal supervisor and the MRes Coordinator. All MRes students need to complete the MRes Dissertation Provisional Proposal Form (available on the Moodle page for SEES0092 MA/MRes Dissertation Preparation Programme, on which you will automatically be enrolled) and get this signed by their principal supervisor to confirm the supervision arrangement. The completed form must be submitted via Moodle by the published deadline. If a supervisor has not been found by the stated deadlines, the student must contact the MRes Programme Coordinator immediately.

Since the dissertation has to be the result of independent effort, supervision is available for guidance only. Advice will consist of consultation in respect of research questions, design, research methods, the plan, structure and focus, and bibliography. Supervision will consist of a maximum of 5 meetings for students on the 1-year MRes programme and 7 meetings (3 in the first year, 4 in the second year) for students on the 2-year MRes programme, so please ensure that you are well prepared for the meetings and use this time wisely. It is your responsibility to email your supervisor and arrange these meetings, which should take place during term-time over the second and third terms.

Supervisors will give advice on the outline of the dissertation and, as far as they are able, on bibliographic and other resources. They will also comment on the initial drafts of chapters. Please be aware, however, that supervisors may be away for parts of the summer vacation and that arrangements should be made accordingly. Staff availability at that time will depend on their commitments to research activity. All students are therefore strongly encouraged to provide a detailed research plan BEFORE the end of the third term.

All MRes students will be registered for SEES0092 MA/MRes Dissertation Preparation Programme. This programme is not compulsory, but all MRes students are strongly encouraged to attend.

Finally, make sure you familiarise yourself in good time – before you start writing – with the relevant guidance on style, referencing and presentation as described in the MA Dissertation Style Guidelines, available on the Moodle page for SEES0092.

Length of the Dissertation

The length of the dissertation varies between MRes in East European Studies (2 years) and MRes in The Politics and Economics of Eastern Europe (1 year).

MRes in East European Studies (2 years) - 17,000 - 20,000 words (including all notes and appendices, but excluding the bibliography).

MRes in The Politics and Economics of Eastern Europe (1 year) - 15,000 – 18,000 words (including all notes and appendices, but excluding the bibliography).

Any word count within these ranges is permissible. All text in the dissertation, including captions, footnotes and appendices, is considered part of the word count

EXCEPTION: Students writing dissertations on Economics or Business who wish to include tables with descriptive statistics etc. may include these in appendices which will not count towards the word count.

For information on the format of the dissertation, submission (including penalties for late submission) and extenuating circumstances, please refer to the MA/MRes Dissertation Preparation Programme webpage. 

Scheme of Award

Taught Masters Programmes: MRes 1 Year & 2 Year

For all the above Masters Programmes the final Award is calculated using an Overall Average Mark. Individual Modules are weighted according to their credited value and the overall mark represents the mean average of the 180 credits/330 credits undertaken. (Credit-weighted mean average rounded to two decimals.) 

SSEES MRes programmes use the Research Masters Classification Scheme in the UCL Academic Manual, Chapter 4, Section: 7.7 Research Masters (MRes) Classification Scheme. 

Numerical Marking SchemeLetter Grade Marking Scheme 
Distinction

A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 69.50%
and
A mark greater than or equal to 70% in the Dissertation

OR 
A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 68.50% 
and
Module marks of at least 70.00% in at least 50% of the taught credits 
and
A mark greater than or equal to 70.00% in the Dissertation.

Merit

A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 59.50% 
and
A mark greater than or equal to 60% in the Dissertation.

OR 
A Final Weighted Mark greater than or equal to 58.50% 
and
Module marks of at least 60.00% in at least 50% of the taught credits 
and
A mark greater than or equal to 60.00% in the Dissertation.

PassMeets Award Requirements. 

If a Student does not meet the above requirements they will be considered for an interim Qualification if they meet the required learning outcomes and credits. Please see the Academic Manual for more details. 

Consequences of Failure of a Module

Students who obtain a mark below the condoned mark range will be required to re-enter that examination at the next normal occasion. Students with no (EC) Extenuating Circumstances will be permitted one re-assessment opportunity.

Students awarded the degree or who have passed a module will not be permitted to repeat assessment of that module.

Progression (for the 2-year MRes only)

In order to progress to the second year of the degree students must normally have passed modules worth 150 credits.

 

Other Handbooks and Guides: 

UCL Academic Manual, Chapter 4, Section: 7.7 Research Masters (MRes) Classification Scheme 

SEES Marking Criteria (chapter 10.3 of the SSEES Handbook)

UCL Student Assessment Criteria Guide for Taught Programmes - an illustrative guide (PDF)

Study Skills Guide

Useful Programme Contacts

The SSEES building is located at 16 Taviton Street, London WC1H0BW.

The mailing address of the Department is:

School of Slavonic and East European Studies

University College London

Gower Street

London WC1E 6BT

Key Contacts at UCL

MRes Programme Coordinator and Head of Postgraduate Research: Dr Kristin Roth-Ey 

Room 527, 16 Taviton Street

k.roth-ey@ucl.ac.uk 

tel: + 44 (0) 20 7679 8823

Programme Administrator: Svetlana Smirnova 

Student Administration Office – Room 341, 16 Taviton Street

ssees-research@ucl.ac.uk 

tel: +44 (0)20 8138 7027 

Please note that due to the Coronavirus pandemic, both the Programme Coordinator and Postgraduate Administrator will be working remotely and available only by phone and email, though a video meeting can be arranged.

IMPORTANT! If you encounter any academic or personal problems that may affect your studies, please contact Kristin, Svetlana or your supervisor as soon as possible! We are here to listen and help you. Always use your UCL email to contact UCL staff and include your student number; make sure you regularly check the UCL account (including Moodle) also during the second year.

Personal Tutors

You will be assigned a Personal Tutor. The name of your Personal Tutor will be listed on your Portico record at the beginning of the first term. You should feel free to see your Personal Tutor during their office hours or at other times (by appointment) whenever you require help or advice in resolving a problem. Your personal tutor provides you with pastoral and academic support and guidance.

Education and Student Support Office

The Education and Student Support Office (ESSO) is based in Room 341 on the third floor of the SSEES building.   

Contacting the Office

Emailing MRes Programme Administrator: ssees-research@ucl.ac.uk  is the preferred and most effective method of communication with the Education and Student Support Office. The ESSO aims to provide a response or an update email to all student queries within 3 working days. While contracts will vary, UCL’s core working hours are Monday to Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. You should not expect academic and administrative staff to be available, check e-mail, and/or to respond to non-emergency requests outside these hours. For out-of-hours welfare support, please see www.ucl.ac.uk/students/support-and-wellbeing/evening-and-weekend-support

If you need to visit the Education and Student Support Office in person, the front desk is open during the following times: 

10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Monday-Friday

How we contact you

Email Communication

SSEES will mainly use email to contact you about various matters. When you register with Information Systems you will be allocated a UCL email address - this is the address which will be used to contact you. It is very important that you check your UCL email regularly.

Once your email has been set up, please ensure that you have set up a standard signature that shows your name, student number and programme. This will speed responses to your queries up when you email the Programme Administrator or other departments at UCL.

If you are unsure who to contact, please email ssees-student@ucl.ac.uk

You can also book an appointment in for a MS Teams call with the MRes Programme Administrator.

Other Administrative Departments you may need to Contact

The academic administration of your course is managed locally at SSEES, but for most other administrative tasks you will need to contact central UCL administrative departments. Offices that it may be useful to be aware of include:

Student Enquiries Centre

Student Fees

Student Funding

Student Accommodation

Term Dates

TERM                           DATE

First term           Monday, 26 September 2022 to Friday, 16 December 2022

Second term      Monday, 9 January 2023 to Friday 24 March 2023

Third term          Monday, 24 April 2023 to Friday, 9 June 2023

College Reading Weeks are the weeks beginning Monday 7 November 2022 and Monday 13 February 2023

Closures and Bank Holidays

Christmas: 5:30pm on Friday 23 December 2022 to 9:00am on Tuesday 3 January 2023

Easter: 5:30pm on Wednesday 5 April 2023 to 9:00am on Thursday 13 April 2023

Bank Holidays: Monday 01 May 2023, Monday 29 May 2022 and Monday 28 August 2023

The UCL Calendar 2022/23

Key Documents

There are several important documents that include key information relating to your programme, your responsibilities as a student, and the rules and regulations that govern your registration. These can all be accessed via the ‘Current Students’ page of the SSEES Website.

Student Handbook

This contains key information relating to operation of your programme within SSEES, including details about key dates, coursework submission, penalties that may be applied to your assessment, and contact details.

This document is updated annually to reflect any changes in policy and it is important that you ensure you refer to the handbook for the appropriate academic year.

Timetable

You can find the timetable online.

Please ensure that you check the timetable regularly for any changes, including changes to the location of your classes.

Extenuating Circumstances and Reasonable Adjustments 

UCL recognises that some students can experience serious difficulties and personal problems which affect their ability to complete an assessment such as a sudden, serious illness or the death of a close relative. Students need to make sure that they notify UCL of any circumstances which are unexpected, significantly disruptive and beyond their control, and which might have a significant impact on their performance at assessment. UCL can then put in place alternative arrangements, such as an extension or a deferral of assessment to a later date. The Extenuating Circumstances Panel will determine the nature and timing of the deferral, which may be offered with or without tuition/ attendance. 

More information can be found in the UCL Academic Manual.

You must notify SSEES, no matter which department teaches the module(s) concerned, You can make an EC claim through PorticoFor intial enquiries regarding your EC requests should go to the Student Support Officer and sent to the email address ssees-extenuating-circumstances@ucl.ac.uk

You should attach appropriate supporting evidence. Forms of appropriate evidence are set out in the SSEES Documentary Evidence Requirements available on the Current Students website.

The same form should be used to apply for all forms of mitigation for short-term unexpected circumstances, including short extensions to coursework deadlines of up to one week, special assessment arrangements such as extra time in examinations, or other forms of mitigation, including longer extensions, or deferral of an examination to a later date.

Further information is available in the Grounds for Extenuating Circumstances 

Requests for extensions or other mitigations in examinations will only be considered where the circumstances meet the definition of an extenuating circumstance. Guidance is provided (Grounds for Extenuating Circumstances) to help you assess whether an EC claim might be considered – you are encouraged to review this guidance before submitting your claim. You will be contacted once a decision has been made about your request. Wherever possible such requests should be submitted well before the deadline. Please note that routine computer problems such as viruses, disk corruption, printer problems, and short term network problems are not acceptable grounds for an extension. You are expected to take proper precautions and make back-up copies of your work and allow enough time to produce your work in hard-copy.

If you do not present evidence your claim it is likely to be rejected.

Extensions cannot be granted retrospectively or by individual Course Tutors and must be submitted to ssees-extenuating-circumstances@ucl.ac.uk.

Reasonable Adjustments and Special Exam Arrangements. 

UCL will make Reasonable Adjustments to learning, teaching and assessment to ensure that students with a disability are not put at a disadvantage. UCL also provides Reasonable Adjustments for students who might not consider themselves to have a ‘disability’ but who nevertheless would benefit from additional support due to an ongoing medical or mental health condition. It is the responsibility of the student to request Reasonable Adjustments, and students are encouraged to make a request as early as possible. please see link above for more details. 

You can find further information about Reasonable Adjustments in the Academic Manual.

You should request Reasonable Adjustments via Disability Services. You can find futher information on Disability Services' website

Further information:

Late Submission Penalties    

Extenuating Circumstances

Support for Students

Starting a course at a new university, possibly in a new city or even country can be a daunting experience for anyone, regardless of age or background. The most important thing to remember is that there are many sources of advice and support available for every aspect of your life at UCL from the moment you arrive until you graduate and beyond.

Full details of the support available to you can be found on the New Student pages and on the Support & Wellbeing pages. You’ll also find some key links below. 

Students with physical or mental health concerns are encouraged to make contact with the available support services as early as possible so that UCL can put in place reasonable adjustments to support them throughout their studies. However, there may be occasions when a student’s physical or mental health, wellbeing or behaviour is having a detrimental effect on their ability to meet the requirements of their programme, or is impacting on the wellbeing, rights, safety and security of other students and staff. In such cases UCL may need to take action under the Fitness to Study Procedure.

Further Information

Examination Procedures 

The examinations period is provisionally scheduled from the start of Term 3 until the second week of June. Students must be available to attend examinations throughout this entire period. 

All modules registrations must be completed on Portico by the end of the second week of teaching. From this point students must not change the registration of Term 1 modules. The registration of Term 2-only modules may be changed until the end of Reading Week of Term 1.

All students are required to reply to any request, whether from their department or from UCL Registry (via Portico) to confirm their module registration as correct.

The SSEES MA (Umbrella) Board of Examiners decides on the class of degree you receive.

Academic Misconduct

Make sure you do not plagiarise anyone elses work, even accidentally, as the consequences can be severe. Plagiarism is defined as the presentation of another person's thoughts or words or artefacts or software as though they were your own. Any quotation from the published or unpublished works of other persons must, therefore, be clearly identified as such by being placed inside quotation marks, and you should identify your sources as accurately and fully as possible.

You can find more about plagerim and how to avoid it on the Current Student pages.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I choose courses from other (non-SSEES) departments in UCL?

You may only choose from the courses listed by the department. Even if a tutor is willing to accept you, it will not be possible to take the course. You can, however, audit a course, if a tutor allows for it.

How do I decide which courses to take?

You can read about courses on the SSEES website, ask your Programme Administrator for more advice.

Can I change courses once lectures have begun?

You are encouraged to find out as much as possible about the courses on offer. Course changes will be allowed only in exceptional circumstances. If, you must change a course, please contact the Programme Administrator immediately. All modules registrations must be completed on Portico by the end of the second week of teaching. From this point students must not change the registration of Term 1 modules. The registration of Term 2-only modules may be changed until the end of Reading Week of Term 1.

How many classes should I attend?

On the timetable you will notice that there is more than one tutorial group for each course. You only need to attend one group (in addition to the lecture). Tutorials can take place every week or every fortnight, please check carefully. You will be allocated to a group, please check your online timetable for information. You must ask your tutor and inform the administrator if you need to switch groups. Switching of groups is not usually permitted and would be only allowed in exceptional circumstances. Attendance at classes is monitored.

Please speak to your course tutor or administrator if you experience any problems with your courses.