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The CRMEP has a research degree community of 30 PhD students of whom about one quarter study part-time. Research students are encouraged to attend regular research seminars, and to participate in student-led reading groups that take place each year. Students are welcome to attend classes, events or courses in other Kingston programmes in Kingston School of Art.
Research degrees (full-time or part-time) mainly involve independent study and preparation of a dissertation. In the case of a PhD, the dissertation should qualify as an independent and original contribution to scholarship, in principle worthy of publication in either complete or abridged form. A PhD dissertation should run to around 80,000 words (maximum), and normally takes three to four years of full-time study to complete, or around six years part-time. An MPhil thesis is normally around half the length of a PhD thesis, and is less bound by the criteria of originality.
Research students prepare their dissertations under the supervision of a Director of Studies, with the additional support of a second supervisor. The emphasis in the first year is usually on background reading and further development of the research proposal. After the first year, supervision meetings usually begin with discussion of a piece of the student's written work, eg. a draft or partial draft of a dissertation chapter.
There are no taught components for the PhD or MPhil programmes, though new research students are encouraged (and often required) to sit in on MA modules which might be relevant to their projects. All students are required to attend a number of research skills workshops, normally in their first year of enrolment.
At the end of each academic year, in late May or early June, all research students are required to attend a collective annual review, to discuss the development of their work over the course of the year.