The Faculty of Social Science provides a wide range of training opportunities for our Postgraduate Research (PGR) students. The Personal and Professional Development (PPD) programme features approximately 100 taught sessions per annum and provides high quality training in research and professional skills. Between 45-50% of its annual attendees are drawn from other UEA faculties.
We also provide online PPD training, which is currently delivered across UEA, the SeNSS ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership, and to 35 additional subscribing institutions. Approximately 4300 Postgraduate researchers and academic staff, drawn from right across the UK, attended the online training series last year, and eight new institutions joined the programme in the summer of 2019. The overall PPD programme duly provides UEA’s Postgraduate researchers with many opportunities for networking, as well as cross-disciplinary and cross-institutional contact, which exceed those ordinarily experienced at other institutions.
The Faculty also provides a package of advanced training each year - which is delivered by leading researchers and supporting academic staff drawn from across our seven schools - and has, in the last two years, established an independent training fund for its Postgraduate researchers. Exploiting income generated by subscriptions to the online training series, the Social Sciences Postgraduate Researcher Training Fund enables our postgraduate researchers, particularly those without a studentship/bursary or other means of financial provision, to attend training events, or to make conference presentations, at other institutions across the world. In these and other ways, the Faculty of Social Science is continually seeking to create a vibrant training environment for its own postgraduate researchers, but also one which is accessible to postgraduate researchers from across UEA and the country as a whole.
Our training programme aligns with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) guidelines. We have also designed a series of training pathways, aligned to subject-areas, to guide you through your professional development.
You will follow a training programme that satisfies your individual needs and equips you for your future career. Your individual pathway will combine a range of developmental activities that will support and enhance your postgraduate research. Your goal will be to develop a range of research, discipline-specific and professional skills and attributes that will support the development of your research project, the timely completion of your thesis and equip you for a variety of future careers.
Whatever the subject and focus of your doctoral research, the expectation is that you will graduate possessing basic skills and abilities in a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods and techniques of the type that are commonly used across the social sciences. Our training programme will support you to gain an understanding of how to combine various methods and techniques through mixed methods research. The programme aims to develop your understanding of the basic principles of research design and strategy, the connection between research questions or hypotheses and the methods required to address them, enabling you to formulate researchable problems on your own initiative.
This pathway within the programme will provide you with training opportunities that will give you direct practical experience of analysing data, using a range of methods and tools, including appropriate computer packages, and be capable of managing, conducting and disseminating research in a way that is consistent with both professional practice and the ethical principles of your discipline. Our aim is also for you to develop and demonstrate a collegiate appreciation of alternative epistemological positions and approaches to research.
Subject-Specific and/or Relevant Theoretical Issues
This pathway focuses on your acquisition of a competent and well-rounded understanding of the debates within disciplines which inform your field of study. This knowledge will help you to appreciate the potential use and impact of your research within and beyond academia and to engage and communicate effectively with relevant stakeholders and users at all points in the research process.
Within this professional skills pathway, we support you as you develop a portfolio of more broadly based skills that will equip you to manage your future career. This pathway includes training in generic research skills, such as bibliographic and computing skills, teaching and other work experience, ethical and legal issues, skills for engaging with users and for maximising the impact of your research, and the exploitation of research and intellectual property rights. We also seek to develop your communication, networking, leadership and relationship management skills. All of which will be of use in your future career, whether inside or outside academia.
You might need to master the use of an unusual research method or piece of software in order to complete your doctoral research or find yourself in need of very specific work experience relative to your chosen career path. All of these examples present opportunities for advanced training. Advanced training takes you beyond the skills or knowledge that are typically expected or considered to be ‘core' within a particular discipline or interdisciplinary training pathway, but which is nonetheless very necessary for you if you are to complete your studies successfully.