Human Geography – Streatham Campus

The upgrade procedure should be started no later than 9 months after initial registration, 18 months for part-time students.

In brief, the upgrade report (maximum 13,000 words excluding references and appendices) should normally include discussion of:

  • A brief description of the research problem, its background and its relationship to existing scholarship/literature, with brief definitions and discussion of central concepts.
  • A review and critique of the existing scholarship/literature (usually around 5000 words)
  • A statement of the research aims, questions or hypotheses and an indication of the sort of argument(s) that will be made and the sort of evidence that will be used to reach any conclusions.
  • An outline of the proposed methods of data collection and analysis with any key methodological issues, (such as ethical or access) highlighted and with references on methods.
  •  A brief statement of the way in which the study will use or relate to theory and the theoretical/conceptual framework(s) which will be used for the study.
  • An abstract of the thesis and chapter plan. This is to show where the pieces of work submitted (see below) fit into the structure of the thesis as a whole.
  • A timetable of the thesis as a whole. This should show the student’s work plan for the remaining period of study.
  •  One or two pieces of work, which have already been written and which will form substantive parts of key chapters in the final thesis.
  • A working bibliography should be included to show the sort of sources being used.

In addition, all MPhil students are required to present a seminar (20-minute presentation, 10 minutes for questions) to peers and members of academic staff.

This seminar is NOT part of the formal procedures of upgrade – you will not be scrutinised in terms of the quality of your presentation.  However, the seminar IS a compulsory part of your programme, providing an opportunity to tell the rest of Geography what you are doing, and giving you a chance to polish your presentation skills.