School of Social and Political Science

Postgraduate Research Courses (PhD and MScR)

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Choosing courses (PhD and MScR)

For PhD and Masters by Research (MScR) students starting in September, you must choose your courses by Friday 10th September 2021, 23:59 BST, following discussion and agreement with your Principal Supervisor (PhD) or Programme Director (MScR).

The course choice form has now closed

Your choices are reviewed and uploaded before Week 1 of Semester 1. Submissions will not be reviewed before the closing date.

Please allow processing time and log in to your MyEd account to check your record just prior to Week 1. You will have access to the courses you have been registered on via your Learn pages. If there are any issues with your elective courses, we will be in touch.

Please see information on changing, auditing, or withdrawing from courses below.

 

PhD students

For PhD students, course choices are discussed with your supervisor/s (and your subject area Postgraduate Advisor if required), bearing in mind the requirements of your particular degree programme, Research Council requirements, and any particular training needs raised by your anticipated research. You can have a look at available courses in Path and should consult the core and specialist training courses for postgraduate research students here.

Details of your PhD programme can be found in the Degree Programme Tables.

In general, you should bear in mind:

  • Students with practical command of particular research skills should not take courses which reproduce what they have already learned; exemption from the core courses is available for students who can demonstrate proficiency in that area (through previous qualifications and/or work experience).
  • The Graduate School's training in research methods assumes existing qualifications or experience in social sciences; courses are not generally suitable for students with no prior knowledge.
MSc by Research students

For MSc by Research students, your particular degree programme will require that certain courses are taken. If your programme has optional courses, these are discussed with your subject Programme Director and, where appropriate, your supervisor bearing in mind any Research Council requirements, and any particular training needs raised by your anticipated research. You can have a look at available courses in Path.

Details of your MScR programme can be found in the Degree Programme Tables.

Questions about the suitability of a course for a particular student are decided by the Course Organiser, in consultation if necessary with the Director of Postgraduate Research.

Students from other schools

If your degree is in another School, but you need to register for an SSPS Research Training course, you must:

  • Check with your Supervisor/Programme Director that the courses you wish to take are appropriate;
  • Seek approval from the Course Organiser (named on the individual course webpage);
  • Contact your own School's Graduate School Office, who will register you on the course.
Course changes

You may be able to change courses from Monday 13th September 2021, if places on the course you wish to change into are available.

Important: ESRC-funded students with specific courses noted in their award letter, cannot substitute these courses.

The course change request form can be accessed here.

Auditing courses

It may be possible for students to audit a course. Auditing means that students sit in on a course they are interested in without being formally assessed for their performance. Audited courses appear on the final transcript as 'class only' and do not incur any course credits. Students still need to register for the course.

Please note that not all courses accept auditing students. The decision of whether or not to accept auditing students is at the Course Organiser's discretion. Some may only allow auditing students to attend lectures, while others may expect them to play a full role in seminar discussions. It is each student’s own responsibility to contact Course Organisers before signing up for their course to clarify whether auditing is possible and under what circumstances.

If you wish to audit a course you must email the Course Organiser to obtain permission. Course Organisers can be found at the bottom of the selected course page here.

Please note that we typically do not permit a student to audit more than one course in any semester. If you wish to audit more than one course per semester you will need to email your MScR Programme Director or PhD Supervisor to obtain permission.

For students from outside SSPS who wish to audit an SSPS course, your own Graduate School Office will need to register you. However, you still need to ask the Course Organiser's permission, and the SSPS PG Support Team still needs to be informed.

Students wanting to audit a course must follow this process:

  1. Student submits a course change form, accessed here.
  2. Student sends email to relevant Course Organiser requesting permission to audit course
  3. Student sends email to their Programme Director (MScR) or PhD Supervisor requesting permission to audit course
  4. Once approval has been received via email from both the Course Organiser and the Programme Director/PhD Supervisor, the student must forward both emails (as ONE email) to the PG Support Team (pgtaught.sps@ed.ac.uk).
  5. Once received, the PG Support team will update the student record accordingly.
  6. The course will appear on student record as 'class only'.

Important: ESRC-funded students with specific courses noted in their award letter, cannot substitute these courses.

Please note, it is students’ own responsibility to check their course record on MyEd to ensure that they are signed up in the correct study mode for each course.

Please also note, a request to audit a course may be accepted provisionally, but may be withdrawn if that place is needed by a student taking the course for credit.

We aim to process course auditing requests within 3 working days. From Week 1, please check your EUCLID record – if the course is not listed on your record after 3 working days from your request, you have been placed on the waiting list. If a space becomes available, we will notify you.

Withdrawals

It may be possible for you to withdraw from an elective course, provided there is a valid reason for the withdrawal. 

Please note, any withdrawals made after week 6 each semester remain visible on your record.

Student category
Postgraduate