STUDENT MANUAL 2009/2010
Distance Learner Students
POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE / DIPLOMA /
MASTER OF RESEARCH (MRes)
RESEARCH METHODS FOR THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
The Graduate School
University of Bradford
01274 – 236552 / 233149
CONTACTS IN THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
Name Extension Email
Dr Judi Sture
Head, Graduate School
Course Leader and Module 3
Dr Inna Kochekova
Module 1 Leader
Dr Roberto Espíndola
Module 2 Leader
Dr Mansour Pourmehdi
Module 4 Leader
The majority of The Graduate School’s academic staff work part-time in the School. We keep
some working hours each week in The Graduate School offices, or our own offices elsewhere
on campus, for you to visit for advice and support. Each of us announces our own hours of
availability to students at the beginning of the academic year, so you can make appointments to
see us if necessary.
During term time we understand that arranging appointments with us, with your ‘home
department’ supervisor (if you are a PhD student) and with other people, can be awkward, but
we appreciate your patience in co-ordinating that. We always endeavour to do our best for you,
but please be patient with us as we have large numbers of students to deal with, especially
during block teaching weeks when we have all of a cohort present at one time. It is not always
possible to see you at short notice, but we will do our best. If you have any concerns that you
wish to speak to us about, please email the tutor concerned. A copy to either Julie Easterbrook
or Sandra Hall will also allow them to alert you if a tutor is away or otherwise unavailable.
You will submit your work through Blackboard and the Turn-It-In system. You will be
shown how to do this at the beginning of your studies. We do not accept work submitted through
any other means. Your work should be submitted as a Microsoft Word document (although it
may contain inserts from other programmes such as databases, spreadsheets and so on) or a
The Hub (Student Administration and Support) is located in the Richmond Building. This is
where Sarah Hargreaves and Karen Bailey work. You will probably have had contact with them
during your University application or registration process, or through enquiries about visa or fees
If you have any queries over your fees or registration with the University, you can contact The
Hub at: Hubfirstname.lastname@example.org
Or try phoning ext 5141 or 3051, where one of the staff will try to help you. Emailing The Hub
email address is the best way to get help.
PLEASE NOTE that Sarah Hargreaves and her colleagues HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THE
GRADUATE SCHOOL MODULES. If you need to speak to anyone about the modules, classes,
or assignments, you should contact one of the tutors mentioned above.
Welcome from the Staff of The Graduate School
We are happy to welcome you to your programme of postgraduate study at the University of
Bradford, which includes modules in The Graduate School. In this Manual we offer a summary
of the year’s teaching; instructions on submitting assessed work and advice on how it is marked;
and regulations for the various awards that form part of the MRes programme. These
regulations are correct as of the date of printing (Summer 2009) but are subject to revision and
updating. We will alert you to changes either in class, by email or through Blackboard.
This Manual covers On-site students doing the PG Cert, the PG Diploma and the MRes. Please
note that there are some differences in the arrangements for the different programmes. If you
are on the Distance Learning programme, some differences in attendance, submission and
teaching delivery will be noted. There is a different Manual for the Distance Learning
Programme and you should refer to that if this is your mode of registration.
Please use this Manual as an introduction to your coursework modules. You will also have
another manual or handbook from your ‘home department’ if you are registered for MPhil
leading to PhD in another School. If this is the case, you also need to communicate regularly
with your Departmental contacts (your supervisors and your postgraduate secretary). As well as
our own Graduate School students, we take students from Peace Studies, the Department of
Development and Economic Studies (DES), Social Sciences and Humanities, the School of
Health Studies, the School of Management, and others.
We are a multicultural, cross-disciplinary, international community of scholars. Every year
approximately half of our students register with us as On-site students and half as Distance
Learners, so you belong to a large cohort of around 90 new students in total this year. We
advocate the practical application of knowledge as well as the development of new knowledge
through research. The University has among its aims celebrating diversity, which we do by
respecting the needs of diverse students and the various cultural networks into which they are
linked; and challenging inequality. In The Graduate School attention is paid to links between the
curriculum and the wider issues of diversity and inequality in society at large. This is inherent in
your research training, through which you will be encouraged to develop in ways that allow you
to recognise and address the needs of a wide range of people and groups. Without such skills,
you will be a researcher of limited scope. We welcome your input and suggestions on these
During your attendance at classes you will meet fellow students from all over the world, and
probably make some lifelong friends. In the past we have taught researchers from the rest of
Europe, USA, South America, Australasia, Africa, the Middle East and the Far East, as well as
UK students. We hope you will make the most of this wide range of cultures and research
interests. We value the enrichment that all of our students bring to The Graduate School.
Please remember that students have a variety of registrations with The Graduate School.
Around two thirds of our students are registered for full time study, with the remainder being
part-time, in the sense that it will take at least two academic years to complete the taught
modules. There is also a mode of registration known as ‘credit accumulation’ in which people
take longer to finish all the modules. Most of you will complete The Graduate School modules in
around 12 - 15 months (including Modules 5 and 6 which are done with your supervisors), but
do remember that not everyone begins with Modules 1 and 3 in Semester 1. When you meet
your fellow students, do not become confused by this! Students take the modules in the order
and time frame that is appropriate to their time of registration, or by arrangement with their
department, so there is nothing wrong if your colleagues are taking a pathway that is not quite
the same as yours.
While the majority of our students are studying for the PG Diploma in Research Methods as part
of their PhD studies, it may be possible to add a dissertation to the Diploma at some point in the
future, and to upgrade the Diploma to a Masters degree. This is not automatic, and is subject to
a number of conditions, but it should normally be considered only after you have completed your
PhD, unless you are on an ESRC 1+3 scheme. The MRes degree has several pathways, which
are named in the degree title students will receive, but we also offer a general MRes
dissertation which covers a range of broadly social sciences research methods. All masters
degrees and doctoral degrees include the writing of a thesis or dissertation, whereas the
Certificate and Diploma awards take students up to a level just preceding the undertaking of
such a large project.
At The University of Bradford
The University has some special provision for international students, which you can find on the
University website at: http://www.brad.ac.uk/international. For all students, whether international
or not, the Students’ Union is also available for advice and help, and you can find them on the
student services web site http://www.ubuonline.co.uk/. There is also a page about personal
safety at: http://www.brad.ac.uk/admin/estates/security.php. A variety of services for students
are provided on the main campus and you can take advantage of many of these when you are
in Bradford. Services available to students are described at:
http://www.brad.ac.uk/admin/student-engagement/. The refurbished University has recently re-
opened Sports Centre and is now known as Unique Fitness and Lifestyle. Full details of all the
facilities available can be found at: be found at http://www.brad.ac.uk/unique/.
From the first day of a teaching Semester, (this may not be the first day of teaching itself), you
have a period of four weeks in which you can withdraw from, or defer your registration from, a
module. After this, if you do not submit work for the module, you will automatically receive a
mark of 0 for the module (for non- or late-submission) and any subsequent submission at a
future date will count as a resubmission. This is a University regulation.
As a Distance Learner you will be required to undertake a considerable amount of independent
learning. This will be augmented by resources and teaching material made available over the
internet (primarily using Blackboard the University’s Virtual Learning Environment) and directed
reading. However it is also necessary to attend two sessions of intensive teaching each lasting
five and a half days. This year’s “Distance Learner Weeks” are:
Monday 23rd November – Saturday 28th November 2009
(Research and Scholarship Skills GS-1001D; Philosophy of Research GS-1003D)
Monday 8th February – Saturday 13th February 2010
(Data Collection GS-1002D; Data Analysis GS-1004D)
In both cases teaching will commence at 09:30 on the Monday morning, with typically two, three
hour sessions per day. On the last day (Saturday) teaching will finish at 12:30 (lunchtime). On
Wednesday afternoons there will be no scheduled teaching so that you have an opportunity to
meet your supervisor. Throughout the week, our teaching staff will try to be available (wherever
possible) during the lunchtime breaks, so that you have an opportunity to arrange meetings with
You are expected to arrive at classes on time. The register will be closed after 10 minutes and
no further admissions will be allowed after this unless by prior arrangement.
Assessment of learning
All modules are assessed by the submission of a number of written assignments. Typically you
will be asked to complete two pieces of work per module, with a total of around 5,000 words.
This may vary but the Module leaders will elaborate on the requirements for each module.
There is no set deadline for submission of the Research Proposal module (GS-0005D) or the
Research Paper and Presentation module (GS-0006D) unless your department sets one. You
must decide with your supervisor when you want to complete these modules but you should aim
to do so by the end of the second semester (or by the end of summer) if you are a full time
student. We cannot process the marks for these two modules (and have them awarded if
successful) until we have received both the work and the completed mark sheets from your
department. We will then put them before the subsequent Board of Examiners (usually
October). Your work and the relevant mark sheets must reach us from your department two
weeks before the Board. The mark sheets must be the current version (available on
Blackboard) or we will not accept them.
Submission dates for Distance Learners
You will be informed of all the submission dates by the first week of teaching.
All submission days are usually SUNDAYS unless otherwise stated. The deadline for
submissions is 23:55 on the date indicated via Blackboard. Normally submissions can be posted
at anytime in the two weeks prior to the deadline. You will be informed of all the submission
dates by the first week of teaching.
All work must be submitted into the Blackboard system on or before the submission date. Any
submissions shown on the system as having been submitted later, without an extension having
been agreed prior to the submission date, will not be accepted and will be given a mark of 0.
It is YOUR responsibility to access Blackboard. If for any reason your personal internet
connection is unavailable, you must attempt to find an alternative.. If for any reason you are
unable to access Blackboard to submit an assignment you should send the Module Leader an
email, explaining the problem and attaching a copy of your submission. If circumstances prevent
this, you should ring the Graduate School at the first possible opportunity.
Marking, feedback and awards
We will mark your work according to the details given below (see Statement on Double
Consideration of Marks [p.17]). We will send to you, via email, and also by post, a comment
sheet for each marked assignment. This sheet will contain feedback from either one or two
tutors, and a provisional mark. Copies of this sheet also go to the postgraduate secretary in your
home department (if this is the case for you).
This mark will then be placed before the subsequent Assessment Committee in The Graduate
School. The Assessment Committee considers the marks of the whole cohort, and ratifies them
if approved. Occasionally the Assessment Committee may change a mark, or defer a decision
on a provisional mark for further investigation.
The Board of Examiners meeting follows the Assessment Committee and accepts the ratified
marks. It considers student progression. The Board of Examiners will take into consideration
any accepted claims of Mitigating Circumstances, and will recommend student progression
through the course, and make awards of modules or named awards. Once the decision has
been made by the Board of Examiners, we will write to you formally with the decision. That letter
will tell you if your mark has been ratified, if you are allowed to progress, and which modules or
award you have been awarded. If you need to resubmit an assignment, the letter will give you
the resubmission date.
About The Programme
The purpose of the MRes programme (or any part of it) is to train you for a career in research. It
is not the purpose of the training simply to show you how to complete your own PhD. You are
taking these modules because you have chosen to register as a stand-alone student in The
Graduate School specifically to do them, or, your department requires you to complete them as
part of your postgraduate studies.
The programme of study for which you are registered with The Graduate School leads, in its
entirety, to the degree of MRes. The whole programme is known as the Social Sciences
Research Training Programme, or SSRTP. You are taking all or some of the modules on this
programme, as part of your own overall programme of study. Most of you are registered for the
degree of MPhil leading to PhD, and will not proceed to the MRes but simply take the Diploma,
which consists of the first six modules of the programme. Some of you are taking the PG
Certificate only (three of the four core modules). You will find that some of your colleagues are
simply taking some of the modules as individual studies.
Over the years we have found that some students are slightly confused as to the nature and
purpose of the MRes programme. We want you to understand the purpose of doing these
modules as part of your doctoral studies (if this is relevant to you). The University set up The
Graduate School, and the MRes programme within it, to offer a generic research training that
covers a range of research methodologies and methods. We aim to produce well-rounded,
informed and capable researchers with a broad understanding of the research options available
to them. We want you to be able to make informed choices about methodological and method
options available to you as a researcher. This means that you will learn about some aspects of
research which are of little interest to you now in terms of your own PhD. For example, those of
you who are carrying out largely qualitative research projects will usually have little interest in
statistics. Conversely, quantitative-oriented students may not have much interest in qualitative
approaches. Some students find this frustrating, as most people simply want to be shown how
to do their own research project. However, it is important to remember that this training will
serve you as a foundation for the rest of your research career. Just because you are not using a
certain technique or approach now does not mean that you will not need it later. Throughout
your PhD you will engage with a wide variety of literature on your subject and will come across
studies conducted using different methodological approaches to your own. In order to critically
engage with such studies and position your research in relation to a wider body of knowledge,
you need to have a good understanding of various methodologies.
Once you have grasped the nature and the wide range of the programme, it is also important to
remember that some modules will seem a little difficult to relate to your own work, even when
we may make reference to your own speciality. For example, many students find Module 4
(Data Analysis) quite difficult to undertake. This is not because the contents are difficult, but
simply because it is relatively hard to grasp analysis techniques before you have even collected
any of your own data. Trying to anticipate problems when you have not even been ‘out there’
yet, is not easy. However, we do understand this, and will do our best to help you. Many final
year PhD students come to us and say “Now I get it!”, once they have been out in the world and
done it for real. So if some of it seems less than useful at first, don’t despair.
We hope this helps you to understand the course, and explains clearly why you are doing it. We
hope you enjoy your studies with us, and look forward to working with you.
Committees of The Graduate School
The following bodies meet regularly in The Graduate School. In addition, many students also
have a Student Representative in their Departments or home Schools.
The Social Sciences Course Team
The Staff-Student Liaison Committee
The Research Committee
The Social Sciences Course Team (SSCT) is the course committee in of the MRes programme
in The Graduate School. It is chaired by the Head of The Graduate School. The Director of PG
Research from each School or Department with students on the programme sits on the
committee. The Graduate School tutors are also on the committee.
Dr Behrooz Morvaridi Development and Economic Studies
Dr Sarah Perrigo Peace Studies
Prof Brid Featherstone Social Sciences and Humanities
Dr Nelarine Cornelius School of Management (PhD)
Prof Rob Newell School of Health Studies
Dr George Sheeran SLED
Prof Peter Hartley Centre for Academic Practice (LSS)
Arrangements will be made for student representatives to sit on the Staff-Student Liaison
Committee once the first semester gets underway. We will speak to you in the first week of the
year about electing student representatives to sit on the committee. A Graduate School tutor will
chair the Staff-Student Liaison Committee and we are always open to comments and
suggestions from all students about any concerns, or questions which you may wish to raise.
Any concerns about the course or specific work may be addressed to the appropriate tutor. You
may, of course, contact a tutor or the Head of The Graduate School at any time with any
concern or question that you may have.
Our academic staff
Dr Judi Sture is an anthropologist, trained in archaeology and biological anthropology. She has
worked in The Graduate School for several years and sits on the University’s Social Science
Research Committee. She is a Senior Lecturer in Research Methods. Her PhD (Durham)
focussed on biological anthropology and archaeology. Her research interests continue to be
diverse. She is heavily involved in Ethics in Research, sitting on the University’s Committee for
Ethics in Research, the former Sub-Committee for Ethics Involving Human Subjects, and a
recent Working Group on Ethics. She is a partner with the Bradford Disarmament Research
Centre in a bioethics project aiming to develop a framework to guide bioethical deliberations
related to the dual-use of biotechnology problem. She retains involvement in the study of
disease in human remains, and is also involved in modern health and social research, recently
investigating the needs of alcohol-dependent individuals on behalf of Bradford Metropolitan
Council. Her current research activities include development of a research proposal for a
medical anthropology study looking at birth defect rates and urbanisation; at the same time she
is writing a book addressing the power relationships associated with the control of human
remains in the UK. Other work involves the development of research training programmes
across the region with UKGrad, and publishing in this area. She works full time in The Graduate
Ian Fouweather is the MRes Course Leader. He also works as a Management Consultant,
Business Researcher and Lecturer in Production and Operations Management. Research in
both the commercial and academic sectors is focussed on Supply Chain Management, Process
Management and Change Management. He has published research on Change Management,
Supply Chain Management, the use of Internet Technologies, Virtual Networks and the
application of Statistical Process Control within industry. Ian has particular interest in the
philosophy of knowledge creation the application of quantitative methods within research and
the application of statistical techniques in the formulation of conceptual models, theory and
‘truth’. He has also read widely on epistemology, with a special interest in the philosophy of
science, the work of Karl Popper, and the philosophy of contemporary management research.
Current research interests include the Healthcare Sector, the effectiveness of post graduate
management education and the role of critical realism within management research. He has
lectured in various institutions including the University of Bradford, The University of New York
(Prague), and the Groupe Ecole Superieure de Commerce et de Management (Poitiers). Ian
works part time for The Graduate School.
Dr Roberto Espíndola is a political scientist, specialising on comparative politics and the politics
of development, but with a career that started from law and has included journalism, sociology
and political marketing. One of his present research foci is on the problems of poverty,
inequality and democratic governance, and he chairs the European Network on Poverty and
Democracy; work on this area also includes a leading role within EuroMix, the European
network on migration, integration and xenophobia, as well as the convenorship of the Standing
Group on Latin American Politics at the European Consortium for Political Research. Another
research focus is on the links between media and governments in new democracies, working
with colleagues from Leeds, Sheffield and Berlin on a project funded by the British Academy. He
has been a visiting professor at several universities overseas including Athens, Complutense de
Madrid, Andalucía, Salamanca, Wroclaw, Boğaziçi of Istanbul, Free of Brussels, Genova,
Austral of Valdivia, Eötvös Loránd of Budapest, Babes-Bolyai of Cluj, Charles of Prague,
Warsaw, Havana and Valparaíso. Having been external PhD examiner at Essex, LSE,
Salamanca and Complutense in recent years, he is presently external examiner at the
University of Ulster.
Dr. Inna Kochetkova is a sociologist with a long standing interest in qualitative research
methodology. Her PhD research (University of York) ‘The intelligentsia myth in Post-Soviet
Russia: the Sixtiers and others in biographical discourse’ explored the narrative construction of
identity by prominent Russian intellectuals. While at York, she also worked at the Social Policy
Research Unit (SPRU) and contributed to two projects: ‘Carers aspirations and decisions
around work and retirement’ (commissioned by DWP) and ‘Knowledge review on outcomes
focused services for older people and their carers’ (commissioned by SCIE). After completing
PhD she joined QUALITI – a Cardiff based node of the newly established ESRC National
Centre for Research Methods. Working in the National Centre for Research Methods gave her a
unique opportunity to be at the forefront of new developments in qualitative research
methodology. She undertook research on various innovative projects (science, technology and
medicine; education and social care). The projects explored the relations between novel
methodological approaches and innovation, integration and impact of qualitative research. One
project: Talking Treatments: Involving Citizens in Deliberations About Innovative Medical
Treatments explored the differences that exist between the views of various lay and expert
groups about innovative health technologies and investigated the extent to which these
differences can be reconciled through dialogue and interaction. Prior to coming to the UK she
worked as a senior marketing research consultant with GfK Rus, Moscow.
Dr Mansour Pourmehdi has taught both qualitative and quantitative research methods and data
analysis since 1999, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Other teaching has
covered sociological theory, and globalisation. He gained a Masters degree in Social Research
Methods at the Centre for Applied Social Research University of Manchester, and worked with
many leading scholars notably Professor Peter Halfpenny and Professor Wes Sharrock. His
PhD thesis was about migration and refugees, utilising a case study design. The thesis
contended that existing theories of migration and refugees were inadequate, as they were too
externalistic and sacrifice the point of view of actors (migrant & refugees). An attempt was
made to lay the basic foundations for a new beginning in theorising migration and refugees by
going back to the roots of sociological theory. His current research interests include social
movements, globalisation, transnationalism and diaspora.
PATHWAYS THROUGH THE PG CERT TO THE PG DIPLOMA AND MRES
Pathway A Pathway B Pathway C Pathway D Pathway E
G generic (Graduate School Modules & Gradate School marking/supervision)
C collaborative (Graduate School module with Graduate School and/or home supervision)
SS subject specific module & supervision
E elective modules (for example, from another course; may be two single modules or one double).
C C E SS C
C E SS SS SS
G SS C
POSTGRADUATE CERTIFICATE / DIPLOMA / MRes
In Research Methods For The Social Sciences
These regulations should be read in conjunction with the pathway diagram. They are based on
general University regulations for taught Masters degrees and any particulars not explicitly
defined below default to the University regulations.
Admission and Registration
Admission to the Postgraduate Certificate/Diploma/MRes may be on the basis either of a single
registration with The Graduate School or a dual registration in conjunction with an academic
School (for example, the School of Management, the School of Social and International Studies,
the School of Health Studies and so on). Single registration students study for the Certificate,
the Diploma or the MRes. Double registration students are usually registered for the degree of
MPhil in their “home” school, and come to The Graduate School for their research training (the
Diploma). Applicants for single registration should normally possess a first degree (in the upper
second or first class) or equivalent qualification in a relevant area of the social sciences,
management or humanities. Applications will be judged in terms of the candidate’s previous
knowledge and experience, and ability to benefit from the training programmes offered.
For single registration in The Graduate School, admission will be either to the PG Certificate or
Diploma in the first instance, subject to the availability of supervision in the case of the Diploma.
Registration may be full-time, part-time or by credit accumulation, either on-site or in Distance
Learning mode. The Graduate School will only offer admission to the Diploma and MRes when
it is satisfied that appropriate arrangements have been made for supervision, if necessary by
co-supervision with a member of another academic School. Progression from the PG Diploma
to MRes registration is conditional on a level of attainment above the minimum required for the
award of the PG Diploma, as specified below.
Dual registration is offered automatically to candidates admitted to the degree of MPhil (or,
exceptionally, direct to PhD) in an associated academic School or Department. Such research
students are normally required to complete the PG Diploma as a precondition of re-registration
for the PhD. Dual registration may be full-time or part-time, either on-site or in Distance Learning
Prior Certificated or Experiential Learning (APL)
Candidates who have successfully completed certified research training courses at an
appropriate level elsewhere, or who have relevant work experience, may apply to import specific
academic credit, according to the University regulations in force at the date of admission.
Usually we will not import more than 20 credits-worth of prior awards. Application should be
made, before registration or at the earliest opportunity thereafter, to the Head of The
Graduate School, Dr Judi Sture. Applications for import of credit must usually be agreed before
registration becomes effective. Any students who believes that she/he has appropriate prior
learning should first raise the matter with her/his own department and prepare a case in full for
APL before approaching the Graduate School.
The course of study for the Postgraduate Certificate requires study of 60 credits at Level M
consisting of three core double modules of generic training in research methods. The diet
requires the inclusion of Module 1, plus any two others of the four core modules (Modules 1 –
4). Guidance will be given on the most suitable combination.
To qualify for the award of the Postgraduate Certificate, the graduate must comply with the
above requirements for study and achieve at least 40.0% in two of the modules and at least
35.0% in the third. Graduates who wish to progress to the PG Diploma and who have a mark in
any module below 40.0% may be advised or required by the Board of Examiners to undertake
supplementary assessment in that component.
The course of study for the Postgraduate Diploma requires study of 120 credits either all at
Level M, or with a maximum of 20 credits made up from elective modules at Level 3. There are
several pathways to the PG Diploma, as indicated on the diagram.
Pathway A requires study of 120 credits in The Graduate School consisting of six double
modules in research methods, the core generic modules (1-4) and the co-supervised modules
Pathway B requires study of 100 credits in The Graduate School consisting of the core generic
modules (1-4), the co-supervised Module 5, and 20 elective credits (one double module or two
single modules) selected
either from subject-specific modules currently approved at Level M in a discipline relevant
to the social sciences, management or the humanities,
or from currently approved Level 3 modules with a demonstrable skill component (such
as a language module).
Pathway C requires study of 80 credits in The Graduate School consisting of the core generic
modules (1-4) and a further 40 credits, of which 20 elective credits (one double module or two
single modules) may be selected
either from subject-specific or generic modules currently approved at Level M in a
discipline relevant to the social sciences, management or the humanities,
or from currently approved Level 3 modules with a demonstrable skill component (such
as a language module);
and 20 credits must be selected from among subject-specific modules at Level M in a discipline
relevant to the social sciences, management or the humanities.
Pathway D requires study of 80 credits in The Graduate School consisting of the core generic
modules (1-4) and a further 40 credits which must be selected from among 20-credit subject-
specific modules at Level M in a discipline relevant to the social sciences, management or the
Pathway E requires study of 80 credits in The Graduate School consisting of the core generic
modules (1-4) and a further 40 credits made up of the home-supervised GS Module 5, and a
subject-specific 20 credit module of M level standard. The GS Module 5 comprises the
preparation of a postgraduate-standard Research Proposal, a training exercise which some
To qualify for the award of the Postgraduate Diploma, the candidate must comply with the
requirements for one of the above pathways and achieve at least 40.0% in individual units
amounting to 100 credits and at least 35.0% in the other 20 credits.
Degree of Master In Research Methods
Admission or progression to the degree of Master of Research Methods (MRes) is conditional
on attainment which would qualify the candidate for the award of the PG Diploma with at least
40.0% in individual units amounting to 160 credits and at least 35.0% in the other 20 credits
(including imported credit where appropriate). In addition, the MRes requires the submission of
a dissertation equivalent to 60 credits which attains a mark of at least 40.0%.
Graduates following pathways A or B usually register for The Graduate School dissertation
module (GS0007Z) specializing in the methodology of research, although they may choose an
alternative appropriate dissertation in agreement with The Graduate School. Those following
pathways C, D, or E usually select a 60-credit dissertation module from those currently
approved in the social sciences, management or other suitable source; such a dissertation must
be also agreed with The Graduate School. All dissertation candidates may choose to have
collaborative supervision if they wish, in which supervision is shared between a member of
Graduate School staff and a supervisor from the subject specific area.
A specialist MRes degree may be granted based on the specialist content of the Modules 5 and
6 as well as on the dissertation. A specialist dissertation alone will not be sufficient to grant a
specialist named MRes degree. The discipline areas that may be recognized, by an additional
phrase in parentheses after the main title of the degree, are:
Applied Social Studies
Students wishing to achieve a variant of the MRes with a subject-specific title, for example,
“MRes (Conflict Resolution)”, or “MRes (Political Science)” must get permission to register
for such a degree BEFORE study commences. This should be arranged in conjunction
with The Graduate School, the PhD supervisor and The Hub, who will advise on all
Merits And Distinctions
Candidates for the Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MRes may qualify for their award with
Merit, if their average mark for the course, at the initial attempt, is between 60 – 69.9%. An
award with Distinction is made if, at the initial attempt, they attain an average of at least 70% in
the assessments specified for the pathway.
Graduate students who have single registration with The Graduate School and who are studying
by credit accumulation may apply to consolidate credits into a named award at any point before
the eighth anniversary of the date on which the Board of Examiners awarded credit in any of the
modules to be so incorporated.
Taking the MRes Dissertation
The majority of our students are with us to take the PG Diploma as part of their PhD studies.
Some students are funded by the ESRC and will also take the dissertation. These students
should refer to the schedule on the following pages to see the timetable for the completion of
the dissertation. You should not otherwise consider the dissertation until you have finished your
PhD. All students taking the dissertation must abide by the attached MRes schedule. This
ensures adequate time to arrange and deliver supervision, and to produce drafts and a final
version in time for submission by early September. This submission deadline is allocated due to
the requirements of marking, access of the External Examiner to the dissertations, and to allow
time for students to organise degree ceremony attendance if appropriate. Graduate School staff
do not arrange attendance at Graduation ceremonies.
If you wish to add the dissertation to your PG Diploma, you will be charged for it at the
appropriate rate in the year for which you register for it (except for ESRC 1+3 students).
NB. Registration for the MRes entails a short suspension from your registration for your PhD.
This must be arranged with The Hub (Sarah Hargreaves’ office, see front page). This is
because you cannot be registered for two M level degrees at the same time (MRes and MPhil).
Usually this suspension is arranged over the summer, for three months, after which your initial
MPhil registration must re-activated with The Hub. We will advise you on how to do this if you
If you are registered for MPhil-PhD, and you take the Diploma with us, or any of the individual
modules within the programme, then you are receiving the Diploma “free” in with your PhD fees.
HOWEVER, if you then leave the universitybefore completing your PhD, you will be charged IN
FULL for the Diploma, MRes or the modules that you have taken.
Timetable for MRes dissertation completion 2009-10
The following timetable has been devised to serve the needs of students, supervisors and
examiners. You can only register for the dissertation if you agree to abide by this schedule. If
you miss the Christmas deadline in one year, you can apply to do the dissertation in the
following academic session. The Graduate School retains the right to refuse access to the
dissertation for any students who decline to abide by this schedule.
December Students signal their intention to complete MRes
dissertation to supervisor(s) and the Head of The
Graduate School. List closes on MONDAY 7
January Students agree arrangements for fees and
suspensions with The Hub by the end of this month
at the latest. Initial meeting of academic staff
(supervisors, Directors of Research and Head of
The Graduate School) and students, to distribute
schedule of work and announce expectations, and
to confirm final submission date. Attendance at this
meeting is required of all students who are on
campus. DL students must discuss this with the
The Graduate School. We recommend that
students who cannot attend one of these meetings,
or in the case of DL students, discuss the
arrangements with the Head of The Graduate
School at this time, should seriously consider their
continued intention to complete the MRes in this
February-April Students complete PG Diploma work at The
Graduate School. Some initial work towards the
dissertation may be undertaken (literature review,
early plans for title perhaps).
START OF DISSERTATION WORK
May Students meet with supervisor(s) and Graduate
School tutors to confirm the topic of their
dissertation and to agree which dissertation unit
they will take. The Graduate School tutors to
ensure topic is suitably methodological in nature if
taking the generic dissertation. Outline of chapters
suggested by supervisors and Graduate School
tutors to guide student. Student to show literature
review so far and any other work completed or in
progress towards the dissertation. Students to
suspend their PhD registration with The Hub.
June Work continues on the dissertation. Meetings of
student with departmental supervisor as arranged.
July Work continues on the dissertation. Meetings
between the student and dept. supervisor as
arranged. A Graduate School tutor will review
each individual student at one meeting to
ensure methodological application and focus
are appropriate, and advise if necessary. Other
meetings with Graduate School tutors will be
arranged if necessary.
REVISE FINAL DRAFT
August Student to revise final draft. As this is staff
research time, no meetings will be planned with
Graduate School tutors.
SUBMISSION OF DISSERTATION
September Submit by Monday August 16th 2010 to The
Graduate School, no later than 15:30. No
extensions will be granted except in the case of
serious unforeseen circumstances
September – October The dissertation will be marked twice: once by
the PhD supervisor in the home department,
secondly by a Graduate School tutor. The
dissertation will be made available to the
External Examiner. Students to reactivate their
PhD registration with The Hub.
November The Board of Examiners meets to make
awards. If the award is made, students may
attend the December degree ceremony.
It is the student’s responsibility to indicate their
intention to graduate, if successful, in response
to communications from The Hub.
In the case of students wishing to apply for the
ESRC +3 funding scheme, or who are
completing year 1 of the ESRC 1+3 scheme,
notification of the MRes result to the ESRC will
be made by The Hub.
December Successful students graduate at the degree
ceremony if suitable arrangements have been
made by them.
STATEMENT ON DOUBLE CONSIDERATION OF MARKS
Marking is anonymous. We only see your UB number when marking your work.
All assignments submitted to The Graduate School will be first-marked by a single tutor or other
appropriately qualified individual. As marking is done to a set of learning outcomes, not
specifically to class content, work may be marked by someone other than the tutor who
delivered the teaching. The marker’s initials will be noted on the comment sheet. Markers are
prepared to discuss their comments with you after you have received them, but we must
emphasise that a mark cannot be changed once it has been made for a given piece of work.
Each mark is provisional and subject to confirmation by The Graduate School Assessment
Committee, which may also choose to amend it in agreement with the External Examiner, and
subject to University guidelines.
Each cohort of assignments is subject to second consideration in accordance with the policy of
the University: (http://www.brad.ac.uk/admin/acsec/QA_Hbk/QAH5_11.html):
2.5 A minimum 10% sample of scripts for individual assessments for units at Level 2, 3 and M
should be subject to double consideration as defined in 2.6 below, with all units being subject to
this process within a two year cycle, and at least 50% of units being subject to double
consideration in any one academic year.
2.6 Double Consideration has been defined by Senate as 'a process to confirm the quality of
marking, which involves a second member of academic staff using their professional judgement
to confirm the validity and equity of the marks, taking into account the marks and comments of
the first marker'.
This means that at least 10% of every cohort of assignments will be reviewed by a second
marker as a quality assurance exercise to confirm the validity of the first markers’ marks and
comments. In practice, we second-consider all fail-grade assignments, all distinction
assignments, plus around 10% of the remainder of the cohort.
We will not re-mark work simply because you disagree with the comments of the marker, or with
the mark. All work is made available to the External Examiner prior to the Assessment
Committee and Board of Examiners’ meetings. We automatically send all failed work to the
External Examiner in advance of the meetings to ensure ratification.
The Bradford grade scale looks like this:
Less than 40 Fail
40 - 49 Satisfactory
50 - 59 Good
60 – 69 Merit
70 + Distinction
Please note that this is quite different to many overseas grade schemes.
While the full range of marks is available in every assignment (0 – 100), anything over 70 is
considered a distinction. It is unusual, but not impossible, to get marks in the 80s and 90s, so
please do not be disappointed if you get 70. Here in the UK, that is an excellent mark.
SUBMISSION OF WORK
On the following page [p.20], you will find a SAMPLE COVER PAGE that should be included at
the front of all your assignments. There are copies available on Blackboard under
“Assignments” in each module section, where you will find exemplar cover sheets for you to
You will see that the cover sheet requires the following details:
University of Bradford
The Graduate School
Title of Essay i.e. QUESTION BEING ANSWERED (you must write out the whole
Your UB number
I confirm that the work in this essay is all my own, and that I have not plagiarised the
work of others in any form whatsoever.
By submitting through Blackboard, you are confirming that this work is all your own.
Word Count (not including bibliography or appendices)
Marking is anonymous, so please do not include your name. However it is essential that you
provide your UB number correctly.
You must state the word count on each cover page.
Please note that we do not accept formal submissions by fax or e-mail.
No matter how well you have written an assignment, or what degree of understanding or
intellect it shows, if you have not answered the question as it is set, you cannot pass an
assignment. You must copy out the question at the front of each assignment. Make sure you
answer it fully. Your own version of the question will not be acceptable.
You should try to develop, from the start, good habits in the presentation of your
assignments. The general model for an essay is that of the academic journal paper. An essay
should address the question clearly and concisely, should have an evident logical progression,
and should keep to the specified length and follow the specification below. Marks may be
deducted for essays that are hard to understand or do not conform to the standards specified (in
terms of content and presentation). You will lose marks for poor English.
All assignments should be word processed or typed in double spacing, and using characters
no smaller than 12 point. Use 25mm margins all round and add page numbers. You must
also include your UB number on every page. If you do not do this, we will not accept your
You are required to use ONLY the Harvard Bradford system for your bibliographic references
in all your assignments, except for the dissertation. It is fully detailed in a document provided by
the University’s Learner Support Services (LSS) entitled “Cite ‘em Right”, which is available on
the University’s Intranet: http://www.inf.brad.ac.uk/internal/eimc/docs/misc/cite.pdf.
Students completing the MRes dissertation may use the referencing system of their choice.
If quoting, do so exactly, giving the reference and precise page number(s). Quotes of less than
two lines should be put in quotation marks within the main text. Longer quotes should be put
into a separate block, in smaller type, and indented. Any tables and figures may be embedded
in your essay at the appropriate place and clearly labelled correctly as “Table x” or “Figure x” as
appropriate. The alternative (which would probably be required if you were submitting an article
to a journal) is to print each table and figure on a separate sheet at the end, with a clear
indication in the text as to where it should be located.
Footnotes are allowed in your assignments, but are to be included in the word count.
Each module is assessed by means of an essay, or an essay and a second assessment. A new
list of questions is approved each year. The list will be given to you in the first teaching week.
Please check that you are working from the correct list.
Submission dates for Graduate School taught modules
Dates for the submission of assignments for the core modules 1 – 4 are set each year to take
account of the needs of each cohort of graduates and will be given to you at the earliest
opportunity (usually on the first day of teaching if not before).
It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that essays are submitted through Blackboard and Turn-It-In
by the due date and in the required format.
All work submitted after the due date, without an agreed extension, will receive a mark of
All assignments that exceed the maximum length set will be penalised by the appropriate
percentage. For example, if you write 20% too many words, you will lose 20% of the marks
allocated. (http://www.brad.ac.uk/admin/acsec/assu/regs_changes.html#standard_penalties ).
Marks are normally expected to be available to students around five weeks after the submission
deadline date. A degree of flexibility is needed over this due to public holidays and demands on
staff time due to their responsibilities in their home departments (all of our staff except the Head
are seconded or have other non-University work). A copy of the comment/marks sheets for the
taught modules will be sent to you and to your supervisor (via the PG secretary in your
department), with whom you should discuss your work. Please note that the marks are not
definitive until they have been ratified by the Board of Examiners. All failed assignments are
automatically second-considered and reviewed by the External Examiner.
You may of course submit an assignment earlier than the due date.
UNIVERSITY OF BRADFORD
The Graduate School
TITLE OF ESSAY
ie. QUESTION BEING ANSWERED
you must write out the whole question
Your UB number
Date of submission
By submitting this assignment through Blackboard,
I confirm that the work in this essay is all my own, and that I have
not plagiarised the work of others in any form whatsoever.
Date of Submission
Word count (not including bibliography and appendices):
Extensions to the due date for submission
Extensions will only be granted for the occurrence of unforeseen circumstances. This is a
University regulation. If an extension to the due date for submission is required, an Extension
Form should be completed. This should detail the grounds for your request and must be
submitted to The Graduate School prior to the due date for submission. The Head of The
Graduate School may grant an extension of up to a maximum of 2 weeks. Longer extensions
must be discussed and must have very strong grounds in order to be approved. This is in the
interests of equality for all students in the cohort. The Extension Form is available on
Blackboard under “Assignments” and is also included at the back of this Manual. You may be
advised to suspend, intercalate or otherwise delay your submission.
Any extension must be agreed in writing prior to the due date for submission. You cannot ask
for an extension on the submission date.
If there are personal circumstances that you feel have adversely affected your performance
and/or assessment outcomes, an explanation should be submitted in confidence to the Head of
The Graduate School, via the secretary, no later than seven days after the deadline for your
assignment(s). There is a Mitigating Circumstances form for this purpose. You can find it on
Blackboard and at the back of this Manual. Wherever possible any request for mitigating
circumstances should be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentary evidence, (Such
as a “sick note”, a letter from your doctor or employer, a report from the Police or a national
consulate/embassy). A sub-group of the Board of Examiners (the Mitigating Circumstances
Committee) will then consider your claim for Mitigating Circumstances. The claim may or may
not be approved. If it is approved, then the committee will recommend an appropriate response
to the Board of Examiners. Your work will be marked normally meanwhile and a mark allocated
as normal (this may be a 0 for late or non-submission). Any mitigating circumstances submitted
after the seven day limit will not be considered. Acceptance of a claim for Mitigating
Circumstances will not alter the mark awarded to your work, but it may allow the Board of
Examiners to act with discretion when considering your progress through the programme.
Resubmission of Work
If you have to resubmit an assignment, please follow these procedures again. BUT, you must
also write the word “Resubmission” in bold type or block capitals, clearly, on the front pages of
your resubmission. You should also contact the relevant tutor once you know you have to
resubmit any work, as some supervision will usually be offered to help you.
When you complete all of your Graduate School modules, we will send you, with your final letter
from the Board of Examiners, a transcript of your marks for future use. If you need further
copies of a transcript, we will charge £25 per transcript.
The Graduate School uses a Virtual Learning Environment called Blackboard. You can access it
from the front page of the University internal website. As a Distance Learner, when not on
campus, this is available at the following address: http://www.bradford.ac.uk/internal/index.php. The
link is in the column of links at the right hand side of the page under “Quick links”.
When you click on the link you will be taken to the log-in page. Your log-in is your University
email username and your own password. You will not be able to log in until your registration
with the University has been completed on the University student system called SAINT. Please
note that SAINT registration is completed by The Hub, not The Graduate School, and
sometimes delays are out of our hands at the beginning of the year.
Once logged on, you will be able to view all the modules for which you are registered. We will
give an introduction session to the use of Blackboard, including submission of assessments, in
class. If you have any problems accessing Blackboard, please contact Sandra Hall and she will
We know that the vast majority of students now have access to the internet when off campus
and so are able to access Blackboard. As a distance learner you must ensure that you have a
reliable link to the internet. If you do not have this facility at home, please make alternative
arrangements. We suggest that all distance learners have an alternative means of connecting to
the web as a contingency. On the main campus the JB Priestley Library has numerous
computer clusters which are available around the clock during term time.
Please use your University email account. Many students have private email accounts and do
not wish to use their University email address. However, in the past we have had many
problems in communicating with students who change their private email addresses and do not
tell us. When directly emailing you, we will use your University contact email address. It is your
responsibility to check this account regularly and make sure you are up to date with the inbox.
The Graduate School
MRes / PG Dip/ PG Cert Research Methods/DBA
EXTENSION FORM for ASSIGNMENT SUBMISSION*
SECTION 1: (to be completed by the Student)
wish to apply for an extension to the due date for submission of my assignment(s) on the following
grounds (please continue on another sheet if necessary):
Module Title Module Leader Due date for submission
Signed: __________________________________ (Student) Date: __________
SECTION 2:(to be completed by Module Leader/ Head of The Graduate School )
The application for an extension has been agreed / has not been agreed** for the following Module(s):
Module Title Due date for submission New submission date
Signed: ___________________________________(Module Leader/Head of The Graduate
Head / Module Leader / Student file
* To be given to the Module Leader / Head of The Graduate School prior to the due date for submission
** Please delete as appropriate
The Graduate School
NOTIFICATION OF MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES
NAME: UB No Course/Stage: Personal Tutor:
NOTIFICATION OF MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES
If there are circumstances which have affected your performance in any of your assessments, please
give details below. Please provide as much detail as you can, as decisions will be based on this
information - you may attach a separate letter if you wish. Submission of this form does not mean your
mitigation has been accepted. PLEASE NOTE:You must submit this form no later than 7 days after
the hand-in or exam date.
Module code Module Title Semester
Details of the mitigating circumstances
Please note: Independent evidence must be attached if requested by the Graduate School (eg. a
medical certificate or other proof in support of the claim) before this can be considered. If you do not
provide required evidence the mitigation will not be accepted.
Evidence attached? (please circle): Yes No To follow
PLEASE RETURN FORM TO: The Graduate School, Richmond Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire,
BD7 1DP, or to Sandra Hall on email@example.com .
Accepted Yes No
THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES - GUIDELINES
In order to ensure fairness and equality of treatment for all students, our practice on the
acceptance of mitigating circumstances follows University policy. Claims for mitigating
circumstances relate to your performance in the course as a whole, although they may be
specific to a certain module or part of the course.
Section 9 of the University’s Regulations Governing Postgraduate Taught Courses refers to
“unforeseen circumstances” which could prevent a student from submitting assessed
coursework on time. These are the only grounds for agreeing extensions to coursework
deadlines. The mitigating circumstances process is not the same as the extension request
process, but it works along similar lines. Therefore, mitigating circumstances must be
unforeseen. No other circumstances will be accepted.
Your request for mitigating circumstances to be taken into account will be put before a Mitigating
Circumstances Committee before a Board of Examiners meeting. Your work will go through the
usual Assessment Committee meeting as normal, and will receive the mark allocated to it by the
markers. Following this, the case will be brought up (if it has been accepted by the Committee)
at the subsequent Board of Examiners.
The request for Mitigating Circumstances to be taken into account will be considered by the
Board of Examiners on the basis of students’ performance in their other assessments. Should
the Board decide that their performance in the affected modules has been significantly
impaired due to mitigating circumstances, they will take this into account when making
decisions about progression or the award of degrees.
All requests for mitigating circumstances to be taken into account must be submitted no
later than 7 days after the normal hand-in date for coursework or the scheduled date of
an examination. There will be no exceptions to this rule, as students are made aware of
these regulations at the beginning of every year.