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PhD by Public Works

Learn about the course below
October 2023
January 2024
£3,150 per year (UK flat fee)*
£7,850 per year (INT flat fee)*

Why study PhD Public Works at Middlesex University?

A PhD by Public Works is a research degree gained by candidates with a body of work produced prior to registration equivalent in originality, coherence and significance to a PhD. It consists of the submission for examination of works that are the outcome of a research process and that are accessible in the public domain (or for which evidence of their existence and significance is publicly accessible) as well as a context statement, also called critical commentary, of up to 30,000 words which contextualises the works and explains their contribution to knowledge in a particular research field, topic or at a interdisciplinary level.

Both the works and the context statement are assessed by examiners at the viva against the QAA level 8 descriptors for doctoral degrees. Examples of Public Works are: peer-reviewed scholarly publications, books, artworks in various formats, including performances, artefacts, other scholarly texts or reports. Requirements of what is accepted as a public work for this programme vary according to the discipline The PhD by Public Works is a part-time degree in which the expected submission time is 18 months and the maximum candidature period is 24 months. As per our Regulations, the minimum candidature period is 12 months. The PhD by Public Works is available in any discipline (subject to availability of supervision arrangements) and in any Faculty of the University.

How is the PhD Public Works taught?

As a PhD by Public Works student, you will produce a context statement, also called critical commentary, of up to 30,000 words. The context statement provides a reflective and analytical discussion of the works presented and explains why such works embed creation, interpretation or exposition of knowledge that can be or have been considered as being at the forefront of their field. The context statement contextualises the works within the field of research; provides an overview of the main themes, and significance; discusses the methodologies employed in the presented work. It also establishes a comprehensive narrative that ties together the individual publications, illustrating how they collectively form a coherent body of work.

Further, it outlines the consistency and continuity of the research themes, concepts, or methodologies across the publications. The context statement critically examines the limitations of the research embodied in the works, acknowledging any challenges or constraints encountered during the research process and suggests potential avenues for future research. Finally, it outlines the original contribution to knowledge and the theoretical and practical implications of the body of work.

Panel Review

Six months into the programme, you will submit your work in progress to a Stage 1 Review Panel. This will normally consist of a draft of the context statement of 6,000 words. The Review Panel considers whether the work submitted demonstrates the necessary skills and abilities to complete the context statement to the required doctoral level. The review also determines the adequacy and sustainability of supervision arrangements and of resources and training needed by the candidate to complete the submission. The Review Panel considers any ethical implication raised by the Public Works (though already in the public domain) and the context statement.

  1. UK
  2. EU/International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU/International

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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