Graduate Research Degrees
Why choose SSEES?
Overview of the Degree Programme
Funding Opportunities at UCL SSEES
Why choose SSEES?
The UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies is a large, interdisciplinary department that offers research supervision in the politics, economy, sociology, literature, culture, history, and anthropology of Central and Eastern Europe. The research interests of your potential supervisors thus cover the entire region and most of the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences. The possibility of joint supervision of doctoral students (within SSEES or from other UCL departments) extends the range of area and disciplinary combinations possible at PhD level.
More Information on Staff Research Interests.
The School has a large and vibrant community of postgraduate students, and we welcome research students as full members of our scholarly community. Your research will be supported not only by expert supervisors, but also by a great variety of seminar series, conferences, lectures, and workshops. Visitors to SSEES include Central and East European and Russian politicians, top academics from around the world, and writers and intellectuals from all the geographical areas covered by the School.
SSEES is ideally located within the UCL campus in Bloomsbury. The SSEES library is one of the leading research libraries in the UK for the study of Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. Comprising around 357,000 volumes of books, pamphlets and periodicals, the Library is unique in this country for the quantity of research material on open access and for the extensive collection of newspapers from the region. Students are also offered all the library resources of UCL, including unparalleled access to electronic journals and databases; and the British Library is located just a five-minute walk away.
SSEES offers two advanced research degrees requiring the submission of a thesis: the MPhil and the PhD. Both full-time and part-time students are welcome. In addition, students are encouraged to consider the two-year MRes, which is designed for students wishing to acquire language skills and advanced research training before beginning a doctoral programme. Another option is the International Masters in Economy, State, and Society (IMESS), a two-year programme in which students spend a full year at a partner institution in Central or Eastern Europe. Any potential applicant who does not yet possess the requisite language training for the topic and field is encouraged to consider the MRes or IMESS programme first.
The MPhil thesis must be of between 40,000 and 60,000 words in length and form a record of original investigation or an ordered and critical exposition of existing knowledge. The PhD thesis, which must be of between 80,000 and 100,000 words in length, is required to form a distinct and original contribution to the knowledge of the subject. It is a piece of work which a capable, well-qualified and diligent student, who is properly supported and supervised, can produce in three years of full-time study.
Theses must be written in English and presented in accordance with the UCL guidelines. The examination for both MPhil and PhD includes a viva voce.
Overview of the Degree Programme
Research students are registered for the MPhil in the first instance. Each student is assigned a principal supervisor who will arrange an individual programme of study and provide regular consultation. A secondary supervisor is also appointed. Where appropriate, students may have joint supervisions either within SSEES or in cooperation with a different UCL department.
All MPhil/PhD students at SSEES follow the Skills Development Programme of the UCL Graduate School. Although there are no pre-determined academic course work requirements for research degrees, students are required to fulfil the training guidelines of the Research Councils. In order to provide the best, individualized research training, supervisors will direct students to attend appropriate lectures, seminars, and courses within SSEES or elsewhere in the University, and students' training needs are reviewed annually. An extensive array of training courses in social science methodology and humanities is provided by SSEES itself. Teaching experience is also available, especially in politics, economics, and sociology, and many students in later years of their research work as Postgraduate Teaching Assistants (PGTAs).
The progress of students is monitored closely, with students regularly presenting their research at seminars and supervisors reporting three times annually to the Postgraduate Teaching Committee (Research). The upgrade to PhD status takes place 12-15 months after initial registration (for full-time students) or 24-27 months (for part-time students). (Please note that UCL Guidelines allow upgrades for part-time students at between 20 and 30 months, but SSEES considers 24 months after the initial registration to be standard. Earlier upgrades for part-time students will be allowed, but students should be aware that upgrades are not normally held during the summer months.) While most students pass the upgrade at their first attempt, all have the right to make a second attempt, which normally occurs approximately three but no longer than six months after the first attempt. All SSEES students are expected to upgrade within 18 months of registration (full-time) or 30 months (part-time), except where a delay until up to 24 months (40 months part-time) has exceptionally been agreed in advance. For detailed information on the upgrade procedure please see the SSEES PhD Handbook.
Students at SSEES often need to consult necessary resource material away from London, and field work is typically carried out during the second year. The School has considerable experience in sending graduate students to its countries of study, and visits to institutions, archives and to meet researchers in those countries can normally be arranged, including through the Socrates framework. The college requires that a minimum of one-third of the registered research time should be spent in London. Most students choose to be in London during their third year of study, and the submission of the thesis normally occurs at the end of the third year.
Intellectual life at SSEES is lively and diverse. Numerous events occur over the academic year, whether large international conferences or more informal workshops. The Centre for East European Language Based Area Studies (CEELBAS) sponsors lectures, workshops, and conferences as well as collaborative events with partner institutions, the University of Birmingham and Oxford University and network partners (Bath, Cambridge, Kent, Manchester, SOAS, and Sheffield). A number of other specialized Research Centres also hold regular seminar series and workshops, where experts from around the world present their research:
A wide range of other forums also encourage intellectual exchange, including the Post-Soviet Press Group, Central European Press Group, and the Russian Cinema Research Group. Students regularly present and discuss their research in the Research Student Seminar Series. In recent years, research students and members of staff have regularly set up study groups, and a weekly coffee hour in the SCR offers an informal setting for socializing and discussing research. London itself offers numerous other possibilities for intellectual exchange, and research students often attend seminars, workshops and conferences organized by other UCL departments or London colleges.
Research students at SSEES also have the opportunity to contribute to two major student-run ventures, thereby gaining important academic experience beyond the realm of the individual research project. Postgraduate students produce the peer-reviewed journal, Slovo, which publishes articles and book reviews written by research and Masters students as well as established scholars. In addition, postgraduates at SSEES co-organize the International Postgraduate Student Conference, which is held every second year at SSEES (and at other universities around the world in alternate years). The 2006 conference programme at SSEES was so successful that a volume is being published. The 9th International Postgraduate Student Conference occurred at SSEES, 18-20 February 2009. These two ventures are student-run, with advice and guidance provided by members of staff.
The normal entry requirement for a research degree is at least an upper second-class Honours degree, and an MA/MSc in a relevant subject. Students intending to seek Research Council funding are strongly advised to undertake an MA first. Knowledge of the relevant language(s) (according to the norms of the discipline and the requirements of the topic) is expected.
Overseas students will be expected to hold an equivalent qualification; those whose native language is not English will be required to demonstrate appropriate competence according to UCL regulations. It is recommended, however, that overseas students without educational experience at an Anglo-American university complete a relevant MA in the first instance. Not only will these studies help students to acquire the very high level of language competence necessary for the successful completion of the research degree; they will also give students a better grounding in the norms and expectations of British academic culture in their given discipline.
If you are thinking about taking an Research Degree, then please come along to our Masters/Research Open Evening on 15th November 2012, to be held in the Senior Common Room, 4th Floor SSEES Building from 4pm. There will be the opportunity to speak with academic and administrative staff about our exciting programmes, in an informal setting.
To book your place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org stating which area of study you are interested in.
Students interested in applying for a research degree at SSEES should request an admissions pack from the UCL admissions office or download the admissions application. Applications should be sent to the address specified in the application.
Applications for a research degree at SSEES must include a formal research proposal of 1,000-1,500 words. Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to review the research profiles of SSEES staff and to contact the academic with the appropriate specialization to discuss their application. The best research proposals are written in consultation with a specialist. Questions about the application process can be directed to the Postgraduate Administrator, Anastasia Barsukova. Questions about potential supervision can be directed to the Head of Postgraduate Research, Professor Martyn Rady.
A research proposal varies somewhat among the disciplines, but all good proposals must be both informative and persuasive. You thus need to describe the topic, its aims and objectives, and its methodology in clear and correct prose.
More information on how to write a well-structured proposal.
Applications are accepted throughout the year but students usually begin their studies in September. In exceptional circumstances students are allowed to start in January.
Students interested in applying for funding MUST submit their initial application for admission to UCL by 25 January.
Please note: The application for admission must be complete by 25 January, including all references and any supporting documents. This means that students should formally submit the online application by approximately 15 January in order to give their referees enough time to submit their references before 25 January. (An e-mail is sent to the specified referees inviting them to submit their references only after the application has been submitted.) Students can track their applications online to ensure that they are complete, and only completed applications will be considered for funding.
Funding Opportunities at UCL SSEES
Students interested in applying for funding should be aware that competition is intense. Success depends not only upon an outstanding academic record and excellent academic references but also upon a considered, well-written, and hence convincing research proposal. Such a proposal should be written (and revised) in consultation with your prospective supervisor.
UCL SSEES Staff and their Research Interests
Details of the MRes programmes
Application Procedure for Admission to Research Degrees
The following scholarship competitions are currently open to students beginning a research degree at SSEES. Please note that funding opportunities vary according to applicants' residency status (UK, EU, Overseas). All studentships will begin by 1 October 2013.
Further Funding Opportunities
- AHRC Doctoral Competition (for students working in the Arts and Humanities).
SSEES is able to offer one scholarship for Masters study (1 year) and at least three scholarships for MPhil/PhD scholarships research (3 years).
Deadline for submission of the UCL admissions application and statement of intent to apply for the AHRC in Slavonic Studies or History at SSEES: 25 January
- ESRC Doctoral Competition (for students working in Economics and the Social Sciences)
SSEES anticipates that it will offer two studentships at the following levels: MPhil/PhD (3 years); MRes + MPhil/PhD (2+3 years or 1+3 years).
Deadline for submission of the UCL admissions application and statement of intent to apply for the specific ESRC award at SSEES: 25 January
- SSEES Foundation Scholarship (one three-year entrance scholarship awarded annually) with value of £15,000 p.a.
Deadline for submission of UCL admissions application and statement of intent to apply for the SSEES Foundation Scholarship: 25 January
- SSEES Studentships (fees only): SSEES anticipates that it will be able to offer up to six entrance awards to the value of tuition fees at Home/EU level:three for MRes (2 years) and three for MPhil/PhD (3 years).
Deadline for submission of UCL admissions application and statement of intent to apply for the SSEES Scholarship: 25 January
- Wolfson Postgraduate Scholarships in the Humanities
Applications are invited for three 3-year research studentships in the humanities, funded by the Wolfson Foundation. One studentship will be available in each of the following areas: language, literature, and history.
Deadline for submission of UCL admissions application: 25 January
Further information may be obtained from the Head of Postgraduate Research at SSEES, Professor Martyn Rady (email@example.com).
This page last modified
Wednesday 8 May 2013.