PhD – Week One

Well, the first week of study on my PhD is complete.  As a minimum I will be on this programme for at least four years, so in some ways I’m 0.5% of my way through the course!

I’ve already got back in the habit of ‘critical reading’, and it will come as no surprise that I’m preparing mind maps of the important articles which we are reading, at present as a cohort.  Very soon we will split into learning groups, and focus on a particular area.  Later we select our own ‘research question’, and move onto a mini research project.

This is a ‘professional doctorate’ course – with the same rigours as a conventional PhD, but with a more structured first couple of years.  I need to get at least 60% in all of the assessments to be able to progress onto the PhD route, otherwise I will be offered a transfer onto the MPhil course.  Still worthwhile of course, but a poor second prize.

It’s exciting, and I am also looking forward to the residential in March – I’ve booked student accommodation on Campus, so I can re-live, or in my case live my student days… well as long as I’m tucked up by 10:00.

Interestingly, the doctorate has separated the e-learning system (moodle) from the social networking side (ning).  Ning gives you the chance to upload photos and videos as well as all the usual blogging and online forums.  This keeps the ‘proper’ system uncluttered.  It is different to other e-learning environments I’ve encountered, but it does work.

Of course it’s early days, but so far, so good, and don’t worry, I won’t be posting each week – here anyhow, what happens in ning, stays in ning”

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