Physical Geography – Streatham Campus

Your 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.
  • An outline of the proposed methods of data collection and analysis demonstrating how these will address the research aims. Where appropriate this should include details of the field or laboratory sampling strategy and the role of theory in informing both data collection and analysis. It should also highlight relevant key methodological issues (practical or ethical), and include references to all methods.
  • A summary of data collection and analysis conducted during year one, including a critical assessment of the limitations of the proposed methodology and identification of possible problems that may be encountered in years two and three.
  • A thesis plan including a brief summary of the material that will be dealt with in each chapter. This is to show how data and/or theory will be presented to address the project aims and research questions.
  • A timetable of the thesis as a whole. This should show the student’s work plan for the remaining period of study.

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 – students will not be scrutinised in terms of the quality of their presentation. However, the seminar is a compulsory part of the students’ programme, providing an opportunity to tell the rest of Geography what they are doing, and giving them a chance to polish their presentation skills.