MPhil to PhD upgrade

As part of the process of a PhD you have to upgrade from the MPhil level to the PhD part. To do so you submit documentation internally. This is then reviewed by your supervisors and in my case two additional academics, I had two as my PhD is within WebScience and thus crosses disciplines. Ian Dawson was my Design/Art internal external and Les Carr was my WebScience internal external. After the documentation has been reviewed you present to the panel of these academics and take questions from the internal external academics, your own supervisors only observe. There is a break and then the internal external academics come back with approval, recommendations or rejection.

Here is the full document I submitted in December all housed on my Manifold instance and below are the set of slides I presented.

I didn’t record my presentation, annoyingly, I had completely planned to but I forgot with the nerves.

The presentation takes the format of a viva, and this was one of the most stressful moments in my life as an academic. I was ‘grilled’ in a number of ways and it was really hard to take some of the criticism. I will not go into detail here however on reflection the critique was well founded, although I still feel a number of my points where not really heard or understood, my presentation was praised as to saving the day and actually making things much clearer to the internal externals, but due to the specific issues they had I didn’t get much chance to explain all the detail as I had to defend and explain some simple concerns. I was scored with recommendations. At the end there was overall excitement about the project but this was certainly held back until after the official paperwork was signed!

I am of course very worried about my final viva which I hope to be Summer 2021. My supervisors however said that this upgrade one had really helped them solidify the cross disciplinary nature of my project and gave them some thoughts on how to package up the written work along side the practical stuff. I must say it will be great to just get on with making next which is what is the encouragement, once I am allowed to progress.

In the end I had some recommendations which ended up in the form of this document to be allowed to progress.