skip to content

Department of Land Economy

Environment, Law & Economics

Candidates undertaking a full-time PhD within the Department are required to undertake a minimum of nine terms of study (i.e. three years). Candidates are not registered for the PhD programme in the first instance. They are required instead to come into residence and commence their research, and to be assessed towards the end of their first year of full-time study. This assessment is based on a written report submitted by the candidate and a discussion with two assessors. The assessment will take stock of the progress made by the candidate to date, the scope and method of the research and the expected contribution to knowledge. For those then registered for the PhD programme, credit is usually given for all the terms of full-time study successfully completed.

Early in the seventh term there will be a further formal assessment of progress. This assessment follows a similar format to the first year assessment.


Examination for the PhD is by submission of a thesis (up to 80,000 words) and oral examination. The Degree Committee will usually appoint one internal and one external examiner to undertake the examination. Depending on the time of year, the thesis can be “under examination” for between two to four months.

Additional research training

Whilst there are no mandatory taught elements to the PhD degree, on the recommendation of their supervisor Candidate’s may be required to undertake specific additional research training. This will usually be undertaken in the first year of the PhD and may range from advanced research methods to more generic skills. Such training may be desirable either to build upon existing skills, or to equip a Candidate with essential new skills (i.e. those not gained through their Masters course or other relevant prior experience). Students may draw upon modules offered by the Social Science Research Methods Centre (SSRMC) Training Programme, as well as those run by other Departments.

The Department also operates a series of weekly seminars throughout the Michaelmas and Lent terms aimed specifically at PhD students. These seminars cover areas such as the development of individual research programmes, choice of research methodologies, ethics, as well as other transferable skills such as presentation, career development and publication. This programme compliments the University’s own Graduate Development Programme.

Related Links