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Introduction to the Faculty and the Research Training Programme

Registration for the 2014-15 Programme is now open, and must be done on the RTP registration form, which is available from the link on the right.

What is the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences?

The Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences is an organisational, decision-making, resource-allocating and policy-formulating entity comprising all staff and students from the following departments, centres and institutes:

Educational Research; English & Creative Writing; European Languages & Cultures; History; Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts; Law; Linguistics & English Language; Politics, Philosophy & Religion; Sociology.

There is provision for student representation on the Postgraduate Studies Committee. Ask your department, centre or institute research students' tutor for details of how to become a student representative.

What is the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences Research Training Programme?

The Research Training Programme (RTP hereafter) is a specially designed suite of modules, short courses and workshops for research students, regardless of whether you are planning to acquire an MPhil or a PhD, and for research staff. The Programme offers both on-site taught modules and short courses as well as distance learning units and so is accessible to both full-time and part-time students and staff. Please note that the distance learning modules are provided for part-time and away students in the first instance, and they will be given precedence on these modules.  Some modules include provision for work to be assessed and commented upon by the appropriate module tutor.  The RTP modules are designed to complement more specialised subject or discipline-based training modules offered in the departments.

The modules and short courses designed for beginning students aim to provide you with an introduction to PhD study, a grounding in research design, introductions into different research methods, and methodologies as well as an understanding of different philosophies and theories underpinning  the humanities and social sciences. Each module/course in the programme is designed to be free standing but there are also a number of advanced modules and short courses which are intended for more experienced research students already engaged in data gathering and data analysis.  All our teaching is designed to help you considerably with aspects of your research, presenting your research results or applying for jobs.  

Who teaches on the Programme?

Tutors are all research-active academic staff currently working in one or more areas of the arts and social sciences and they have considerable experience of supervising research students. The RTP has two core tutors, Lynne Pearce from the Department of English & Creative Writing and Uta Papen from the Department of Linguistics & English Language. Together they teach the majority of the RTP modules and they cover both the arts & humanities and the social sciences.  In order to ensure that the full range of expertise available in the Faculty is offered to our research students, the RTP includes several modules taught by other staff with expertise in specific areas or methods.

Who attends RTP modules?

The modules in the programme are designed for research students. Several of the modules are utilised by Masters schemes, so a few Masters students may also be present in class; in addition some research staff may attend. The RTP modules are designed for students in FASS but they can also be attended by students from other Faculties.

Do students have to pay to attend these modules?

No: taught modules are provided free to FASS research students registered at the Bailrigg campus (but the departments of non-FASS students will be expected to pay for most modules).

How do I enrol? Is there a lot of bureaucracy involved in registering for modules?

No; it's a quick and straightforward process.

  • For research students registered in a department, centre or institute based in the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences (check this list if you are not sure about this), there are just two simple steps to be taken. First discuss the courses in the Modules Handbook with your supervisor(s), who will help you to assess your training needs. Then simply complete the registration form (available by October 2014) and email it to

    Please make sure to register for any modules you wish to take, whether or not you intend to undertake assessment for them.

    NB  You should not assume that you definitely have a place on a module for which you have signed up, as if modules are oversubscribed we will need to operate a quota, and it may be necessary to give precedence to other students.  We will contact you towards the end of Michaelmas Term to remind you of your enrolments for Lent Term, and towards the end of Lent Term to remind you of your enrolments for Summer Term.
  • Students registered in departments, centres or institutes outside the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences should also sign up for modules in the same way, but they must also ask their  Head of Department to email to confirm that the Department is willing to pay for their attendance on the modules.  Where the number of students wishing to take a module exceeds the maximum quota of students who may enrol, students from the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences will be given first preference.
  • We would advise that, as far as possible, you should apply as soon as you are able, rather than waiting until the term in which modules run.  This gives you a better chance of being given a place on the module, and allows us to plan better. .

Important note it is essential to register for those modules you wish to take and to deregister from any you decide you no longer wish to take.  This helps us to prepare for modules (eg booking a suitably-sized room) and ensures that students who wish to take a module on which a quota is applied don’t miss out because other people accepted on to the module don’t turn up.  It also means that students have access to online module materials for the appropriate modules, and that, if we need to contact students about a module, we are contacting all the correct people.   In addition, students’ attendance at previous RTP modules will be taken into consideration when we are applying quotas to modules that are oversubscribed. 

If you wish to withdraw from a particular module, or if you are unable to attend one or more individual sessions of a module on which you have registered, please email fass‑ to let us know.

Latest RTP News

Teaching development opportunities for postgraduates

Information about the teaching development opportunities for postgraduates, researchers and others involved in teaching in 2014-15. More>>

RTP 2014-15

Information about the RTP for 2014-15 is being added to these pages as and when it becomes available. Registration is now open, and must be done on the RTP registration form.

RTP Administrator

The RTP Administrator is located in Room C09 FASS Building. She is usually available to talk to students at the following times: 10.00-12.00, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. More>>

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