Signup date: 29 Jan 2006 at 2:15pm
Last login: 06 Jan 2007 at 7:13pm
Post count: 444
I really feel for you! I think the viva sends most people into panic, no matter how hard they worked on the thesis. I guess the main thing is to think how far you've come - a finished thesis, X number of years of research, and that you are really in the last stages and it will all be over soon! My Christmas has been taken up with trying to finish my thesis so I'm envious that you are already there, but the thought of the viva is still petrifying! It sounds like you're doing the right things - reading through your thesis, re-familiarising yourself with the material, mock viva etc. So just keep going and try and relax as best you can, eat well, go for a walk etc, and visualise your successful outcome!
Hi Gareth, I also did my masters dissertation on media portrayals of refugees and asylum seekers! My PhD is on a different topic though!
From your previous qualification it sounds as if you are certainly qualified to do a PhD and I imagine you would be successful in gaining a PhD place, should you decide to go for it.
In terms of where, when and how, these are difficult questions that only you can answer. A PhD is a big commitment and its important that you find something that you're happy doing for 3+ years. You could have a look on jobs.ac.uk and see if there are any studentships advertised in areas that you are interested in. I found a CASE studentship in this way, in exactly my area of interest, it linked me with a great agency (plus the chance to see how research is done outside of a university environment) and it came with good funding!
What careers are you interested in?
One of my friends recently completed his PhD and afterwards his examiners made it pretty clear that his viva performance was the reason he only got minor corrections (3 months) rather than major corrections. This is because he didn't include a discussion of some particular literature that they felt was important (he hadn't felt that it was relevant when writing his thesis). Because he could talk about it in the viva and explain the main issues they knew he understood it, hence less work to do.
I suppose on some occassions it might be decided before (i.e. it's a clear cut case) but I would suggest the viva is usually pretty important.
P.S. I realise this post is about PhD students but I imagine that the school system is important background context in any literature review etc. Also another issue is the small proportion of professors who are black. There is some literature on this but I think it's mainly from the US. There was a radio 4 programme about small number of black professors in England about a year or so ago.
I was just reading through this thread and thinking of Tony Sewell's work and then I noticed that Goods has already referenced him. Anyway here is a recent article from the Voice titled 'Education System Failing Black Children'.
There has also been some interesting work done at Bristol on the education experience of mixed heritage pupils.
Tony Cline has also published a study on 'Minority Ethnic Pupils in Mainly White Schools'.
Hope this is of some use Jenny
I sympathise, this has been my most difficult chapter to write! (I'm social sciences)I think its partly because I've been discussing all the way through too (as my supervisor told me to) but that then risks the discussion chapter being repetitive. I have gone through 3 drafts of my discussion chapter(8000 words) and each time it hasn't been quite right. At first I discussed the policy implications from my findings but then I was told that should really be in the conclusion. Then I concentrated on how my findings related to the previous literature and theory, but apparently that was a bit too repetative of the earlier chapters. I also related my findings back to the aims and objectives of the research. The main thing I've learnt from the feedback I've had is that its important to be clear about what's original about your work.
I'm struggling with motivation too. I complain that I never have time to finish my thesis because of too much teaching etc, but when I do I just can't get going and then I feel terrible about the wasted time (and lack of life outside of work). The never-ending revisions are scaring me. My friend who started with me just submitted but I think I'll be working all over Xmas, sob sob. I don't have any magic answers, but you're not alone.
I've just decided that I won't be able to submit before Xmas without having a nervous breakdown! I sat down with my diary and what I need to do and worked out that I just don't have enough days in between teaching etc. I'm going to make all my changes before Xmas and then proof-read in the first week after Xmas. As long as submit before term starts in Jan I'll be happy.
I hate moving deadlines! But I suppose its better than submitting without having time to proof-read!
Hi Hillyg, many thanks for your reply. I've been told quite a few different things I need to do, some of them are more analysis of my findings in one area (!), perhaps looking at a theorist I did not cover (!), and writing more about what my research says about the usefulness of the theories I used. I am also going through and checking my references, page numbers for quotes etc, which is taking ages, and I need to do proof-reading, I keep finding so many mistakes! Good luck with submitting, are you tempted to try and hand it in before Xmas?
Masters DegreesSearch For Masters Degrees
An active and supportive community.
Support and advice from your peers.
Your postgraduate questions answered.
Use your experience to help others.
Enter your email address below to get started with your forum account
Enter your username below to login to your account
An email has been sent to your email account along with instructions on how to reset your password. If you do not recieve your email, or have any futher problems accessing your account, then please contact our customer support.
or continue as guest