UWS offers innovative new doctoral program

Date: 12/10/2009

The University of Western Sydney will offer postgraduate students the opportunity to enrol in an innovative new doctoral research program in 2010.

The University's new Doctoral Program in Political and Social Thought will be offered through the UWS Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy (CCPP).

Professor Anna Yeatman, Director of CCPP says, unlike other PhD programs in Australia which traditionally follow the British system, the new doctoral program will take up the best aspect of the North American model of doctoral education.

"Students enrolled in the new program will complete one full year of substantive coursework before embarking on three years of independent research," says Professor Yeatman.

"The rationale is to give PhD candidates the opportunity to develop their theoretical knowledge and analytical skills before attempting to research and write their major thesis".

"Ultimately, each student will benefit from the extra time they have spent incubating, testing and developing their ideas; building on and strengthening their knowledge base; and accessing the experience, wisdom and expertise of their lecturers and peers."

The new Doctoral Program in Political and Social Thought will be taught by internationally regarded researchers and academics including Professor Katherine Gibson; Professor Tim Rowse; Professor Jack Barbalet; Professor Nikolas Kompridis and Professor Anna Yeatman.

Professor Yeatman says many students find the PhD experience rather isolating, as research and study is largely conducted autonomously with limited interaction from a supervisor.

"In offering advanced seminar coursework, this program engages students in rigorous intellectual conversation on important topics in political and social thought with both their teachers and their peers," she says.

"An undergraduate/honours base of coursework is no longer adequate preparation to enter contemporary academic life, and the thesis will be more intellectually sophisticated if it is prepared for in this way."

The Doctoral Program in Social and Political Thought is intended for students from a broad range of backgrounds who can demonstrate a past record of academic achievement and an interest in the role of ideas in improving human society and its capacity to engage non-destructively with its wider environment.

The 2010 suite of courses are: Indigeneity and Modernity (with Tim Rowse), Cosmopolitanism, Provincialism and Pluralism (with Nikolas Kompridis), Thinking and Politics (with Anna Yeatman), and Emotions and Politics (with Magdalena Zolkos).

According to Professor Yeatman, the key prerequisite for the students is the desire to be challenged intellectually and interested in contributing to contemporary debates.

"The program is ideal for anyone with a thirst for knowledge and an inherent interest in the political and social issues that challenge our world," says Professor Yeatman.

For more information about the UWS Centre for Citizenship and Public Policy, or the new Doctoral Program in Social and Political Thought, visit: http://www.uws.edu.au/ccpp/ccpp_home



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