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Factors for success: Physics students from non-traditional pre-university education


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Dr Alison Voice
Additional supervisors
Dr Emma Pittard
School of Physics and Astronomy
Research groups/institutes
Physics Education
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

This project will explore the factors involved in students settling into a physics degree and making a success of it. Arriving at university can be overwhelming for some students. And especially so if they are from a non-traditional background, making them feel different from the start. In this context traditional entry routes are with A levels in Physics, Maths, and a related science (eg Further Maths, Chemistry, Computing) at age 18 or 19 years. Non-traditional routes are from a Foundation/Access year, from overseas, with a Baccalaureate, mature students and those with a gap since previous study, or even those with a non-science 3rd A level subject. Success will be defined from a combination of 1st year marks, progression to higher years, degree classification/grade, employment attainment, along with feelings that they are accepted and good enough, and able to establish a social support network.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p>The aim is to understand the needs of non-traditional entry students. Are they different to traditional entry route? How can curriculum and support activities level the playing field? Do these students have advantages over traditional routes? How can these be maximised for them? How can curriculum delivery bring these advantages to traditional entry route students?&nbsp; The research will use a mixed methods approach to analyse existing data and survey/interview students from varied backgrounds.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The earliest start date for this project is 1 October 2020.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &lsquo;Factors for success: Physics students from non-traditional pre-university education&rsquo; as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Dr Alison Voice</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information regarding your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions by&nbsp;email:&nbsp;<a href=""></a>&nbsp;or by&nbsp;telephone: +44 (0)113 343 5057.</p> <p>For further information regarding the project, please contact Dr Alison Voice by email:&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>