Lancaster UniversityGraduate School
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

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FASS619 Advanced Thesis Writing (Second Year Students only): Refocusing the Thesis


Module description

This course is workshop-based, and is aimed at students in the second year (or equivalent for part-time students). Because of the workshop based / interactive format, places are limited to 25. Places will be allocated in the following order of priority: FASS students; students who need to take the module this year; order of date of receipt of application. Students' attendance record at previous RTP modules will also be taken into consideration. Unsuccessful applicants will be placed on a waiting list; alternatively they may register for the online version of the module. As places on the module are limited, please inform the RTP Administrator as soon as possible if you no longer wish to take it, so that your place can be offered to another student.

This intensive one-day course is aimed specifically at PhD students in their second year (or part-time equivalent). The middle / end of the second year is typically the stage in the PhD process when students start to lose their way - for a variety of reasons - and the purpose of the workshop is to identify, share and trouble-shoot a variety of obstacles to writing. I have supervised 36 PhD students to successful completion during my time at Lancaster and will draw upon the experience this has granted me to offer advice on specific problems. The morning session will begin with group discussion of a 'real-life' case study of a doctoral student who encountered problems in their second year, following which participants will debate how these problems could have been avoided and / or remedied. In the afternoon session, participants will be invited to share their own particular 'writing challenges' with the group after which I will offer more advice on overcoming obstacles, writers' block - and an example of how to re-focus a project that has got out of control.

The 'case-studies' and other hand-outs will be made available on the VLE in advance of the course and participants will be requested to print them off and bring them along. Instructions on how to access the VLE will be circulated a week or two in advance of the course.


Timing and Location





Number of sessions:

1 x 3 hours and 1 x 2 hours

Timing and Location:

Friday, Week 14, 10.00-1.00 and 2.00-4.00, Management School A217


Additional information

For 2nd year full-time students, and part-time students at the equivalent stage ONLY

Minimum quota: 6

Maximum quota: 25


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