Re: [xmca] Research Degrees in Europe

From: Wolff-Michael Roth (
Date: Sun Mar 18 2007 - 07:04:48 PST

Hi David, isn't the problem that you want to have the cake and eat it
too? And what does an academic supervisor get from a relation where
the student is not available to interact, wants to do his own thing,
but yet wants to interact?

> A lot of British unis offer research and/or distance Ph.Ds (e.g.
> Birmingham and Nottingham). But you really DON'T get much
> supervision; you meet your advisor, and that's pretty much it. Now,
> if you've got a good advisor, or if you don't need much
> supervision, that's okay, but I know people whose advisors meet
> them only a few times a year and don't have much to say beyond "No,
> do it again." They've been at it for years, and the university
> doesn't care; it's free money as far as they're concerned. So one
> thing to look at is whether or not there's a time limit (Open
> University has a six year limit, including the coursework).

I haven't written before, but my university, for example, has an
interdisciplinary degree program where you are supervised by profs
from at least 2 departments, e.g., English and education, or
linguistics and education. You design your program entirely, which
could be of research apprenticeship or distant type.

But again, why would someone want to supervise you if you don't have
something for the supervisors in return? Aren't all parties to learn?
And if so, wouldn't you and your supervisor(s) have to negotiate to
frame what the collective experience could and should be?

Just some food for thought

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