Programme Specification: MPhil/PhD Media and Communications

1. Awarding Body / LSE
2. Details of accreditation by a professional/statutory body, e.g. ESRC; BPS etc / The Department is recognised by ESRC for FT+3 research training (Open Competition) and may from time to time be eligible for a PhD award under the LSE’s AHRC Block Grant.
3. Name of final award / MPhil/PhD
4. Programme Title / Doctoral Programme in Media and Communications
5. Duration of the course / 3-4 years; minimum 2; maximum 4
6. Based in the Department/Institute: / Media and Communications
7. Relevant QAA subject benchmark statements / N/A
8. Application Code / P4ZM
9. First written/last amended / October 2000 / November 2010
10. The programme aims to:
·  to provide a high quality research training and education leading to a doctorate in media and communications;
·  to provide a stimulating intellectual environment which enables students to engage with cutting edge theory and debates in the field;
·  to prepare students for a career in academic life or in a related area.
11. Programme outcomes: knowledge and understanding; skills and other attributes
·  to produce an internally and externally assessed MPhil/PhD in Media and Communications;
·  to provide students with the critical and practical skills necessary to develop and implement an original research project at doctoral level;
·  to enable students to develop an advanced understanding of a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of media and communication;
·  to provide students with access to knowledge of conceptual developments and debates in research on media and communications;
·  to ensure that students develop significant expertise in their chosen sub-field as well as broad competence in the field of media and communications as a whole;
·  to provide transferable skills in critical evaluation, marshalling of varied evidence, organisation of complex materials and effective written and oral communication;
·  to provide a stimulating and supportive learning environment for students on an individual basis, in groups and in collaboration with supervisors.
·  Information relating to careers.
12. Teaching, learning and assessment strategies to enable outcomes to be achieved and demonstrated
·  supervision: regular individual supervision throughout the student's period of registration;
·  attendance at, and fulfilment of assessment requirements of, courses as required by Programme regulations and those determined by the supervisor;
·  the management of student progress by the Thesis Committee consisting, normally, of the principal supervisor, second supervisor and a senior member of the department as Chair;
·  the assessment of student progress on required courses on the basis of submitted assignments, but not normally unseen examinations;
·  participation in, and presentations to, the weekly research seminar in media, communications and culture;
·  Upgrade to PhD, normally at end of Year 1 for full-time students, conducted by the Thesis.
13. Programme structures and requirements, levels, modules and awards
See MPhil/PhD Media and Communications programme regulations.

Additional information

14. Criteria for admission to the programme
Applications from well qualified students are welcomed. Candidates should have an overall grade of at least 65% or equivalent in an appropriate master’s degree from a British university or equivalent qualification. Students need to have a clear sense of their research topic so that their interests can be matched with a supervisor. Students are encouraged to discuss their application in advance of formal submission.
15. Indicators of quality
·  The School participates in the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) which provides indicators of student satisfaction with various aspects of their research degree programme;
·  Examiners’ reports from viva examinations are considered centrally within the School and provide indicators on the quality of the research student experience and supervision quality;
·  The LSE Careers Centre website provides data on career destinations of LSE research graduates;
·  Admission requirements and strong demand for the programme;
·  Members of the department are authors of key texts in the programme subject area;
·  Members of the department are recipients of research grants in the programme subject area;
·  Publication in journals or in book form of work deriving from graduates’ theses.
16. Methods for evaluating and improving the quality and standard of teaching and learning
School mechanisms:
·  The Teaching and Learning Centre (TLC) runs the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) and distributes results to departments. Survey results are considered by School Committees (Research Degrees Sub-Committee & Teaching, Learning and Assessment Committee) as well as within academic departments. Any issues arising from the PRES would be addressed by the appropriate body/department;
·  Taught courses on MPhil/PhD programmes are included in the School’s internal student satisfaction survey, where such courses are provided at the Masters’ level, as conducted by the Teaching Quality Assurance and Review Office;
·  Departments review their programmes according to their own system of periodic review;
·  In addition to the Department’s compulsory courses in research methodology (see 12 above) the Methodology Institute offers a wide range of methodological training across all MPhil/PhD programmes and a wide range of training courses and workshop are offered by the TLC in its Academic and Professional Development
Programme for all MPhil/PhD students: this central resource enhances the standard of teaching and learning for all research students across the School;
·  TLAC review of the Department once every five years.
Departmental mechanisms:
·  Media@lse student survey feedback in addition to School survey of teaching quality.
·  Staff-student Committee termly meetings.
·  Involvement of junior (pre-major review) faculty with appropriate research expertise as second supervisors.
·  Mentoring of junior faculty involved in teaching and supervision of research students.
·  Annual reviews of research student progress conducted by School and programme.
·  Programme Director monitors frequency and quality of supervisory interaction via the online PhD log.
·  Media@lse Teaching and Learning Resources Committee.
·  School complaints/consultation procedure.
·  Participation of faculty as internal and examiners of PhDs outside the programme.
·  Joint supervision arrangements with other departments in appropriate cases.