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Research degrees: ISSR Graduate School

LSBU Research Degrees offer innovative opportunities for personal, academic growth

LSBU's Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR) has research centres and sub groups that are based around a range of themes:

Each student is supervised by a team of two or three supervisors. Some students get all or most of their supervision in the centre to which they are attached. Others have second or third supervisors from other disciplines, those who are currently in practice or from other countries. Each research project is reviewed individually for the best way it can be supported. Our supervisors have a broad range of research interests and publish at the forefront of their fields.

The ISSR currently has around 80 students from 15 countries and is very strong with its offer of support. There are study facilities and institute-wide events such as our PhD Summer School which brings students together during the year. Students are also encouraged to participate in the rich educational opportunities that London offers. These include accessing the extensive resources of the British Library, attending public lectures and being affiliated  to professional groups.

Course structure

Here is an outline of a typical structure of a PhD course taken at LSBU through the ISSR.  

Application for registration of research proposal
This is a formal application to the University Research Degrees Committee and involves setting out the rationale for research (literature review) and summary of research methods. It is essentially distilled from a draft of Chapters 1 and 2, the Literature review and Research Methods. This is normally submitted six to nine months after enrolment.
Application for ethics approval
If research requires ethics approval your application follows the process above but requires more detail particularly on methodological issues. This is necessary for fieldwork and is also submitted six to nine months following enrolment.
Application for transfer from MPhil to PhD
You'll need to demonstrate that you are making an original contribution to knowledge that is generally based on completed drafts of data chapters. This is normally submitted 18 to 24 months after your initial enrolment.
Submission of thesis, viva, corrections and conferment
This is the final stage that you're required to go through to complete your PhD.

Training programme for PhD students

During their time at LSBU, research degree students are encouraged to participate in a wide-range of available training opportunities. The leading events are:

Research methods
All students are required to take at least one unit in research methods at the start of their course.
Further research methods training
Students spend four full days a year on a range of methodological issues - one each semester plus two attached to our Summer School in June.
Lecturing skills
One full day's training is attached to our Summer School in June.
Personal interest
Students are fully entitled to take any MSc-level unit in the university (although on a not-for-credit basis) or at any partner institution in the New London Graduate School (NLGS).
Key skills portfolio
Completed by each student and submitted at enrolment, the portfolio documents all training the student undertakes that has been agreed with supervisors and this is re-evaluated on a rolling basis. Portfolio entries will cover events such as professional associations, attending conferences and it considers training needs associated with both the substance and the method of the thesis.

Postgraduate Research Summer School

The ISSR Graduate School takes part in LSBU's Graduate Summer School that brings together our research students and those from the New London Graduate School (NLGS) university network for a week of activities. There are three full training days and a two-day conference in June each year.

Conference days include plenary sessions, parallel workshop presentation sessions, a student forum and a poster competition. This year we have introduced the Michal Lyons Award for the Best Poster. The prize is an iPad Mini and the award is in memory of Professor Michal Lyons, who has been instrumental in the development of the annual summer school from a small event based around social sciences to one that now includes all faculties in the University as well as our partners in the NLGS.

How to apply

Visit the website's section on Research Degrees at LSBU for full details and a breakdown of the application process. 


Dr. Beverley Goring – Senior Research Administrator, ISSR
Tel: 020 7815 5796

For an informal chat about studying a PhD also contact Prof. Ian Albery, ISSR Director.
Tel: 020 7815 5856

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  • Research degrees: ISSR Graduate School