Foundation Training Requirements

In addition to developing expertise in your subject specialism, the ESRC requires that funded students receive well-rounded research methods training that extends beyond the methods that are central to your specialist doctoral project.  Both the 1+3 and +3 Studentship Case for Support forms will ask you to outline your existing and proposed research methods training and students successfully recruited to CASE Studentships will also have their training backgrounds and needs assessed.

If you are successful in your application for a 1+3 studentship, LISS DTP will work with you to ensure that you receive adequate foundation methods training as stipulated by the ESRC.  You can find detailed information on what will be expected here, but generally this training would include: research design, literature review and bibliographic methods, qualitative methods, quantitative methods and social theory.  Each of these areas is broken down to give example methodologies for each below.  This training would be undertaken during your Masters year or in your first year of doctoral study.  If you are successful in your application for a +3 studentship, but do not have foundation level training (generally seen as Masters level) to ESRC standards, LISS DTP will work with you to arrange any necessary training in your first year of doctoral study (or second year if you are part-time).  You will have access to a range of Masters level programmes run at our three institutions and LISS DTP’s own doctoral level training programme to cover your additional training needs.

Deciding whether to apply for a 1+3 or +3 studentship

If you feel that you cannot demonstrate on your Case for Support form that you have covered at least 75% of the key social science perspectives and methods listed below, please contact liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk to receive guidance on whether you will be able to ‘top up’ your existing training in the first year of your doctoral programme or whether you will be required to undertake additional Masters level study (apply for a 1+3 award).

It is impossible to provide an exhaustive list of social science perspectives and methods, but foundation training should cover a significant proportion of methods such as the following:

Research design in the social sciencesincluding a conceptual understanding of how to formulate research questions using qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods and understanding the concepts of theory/evidence links, generalisability, validity, reliability and replicability.

Data collection, management and dissemination in ways that are consistent with both professional practice and principles of research ethics.

Social theory & epistemologypositivism, experimental approaches, interpretivisim, feminism, postcolonial critique, Marxism, poststructuralism, ethnography, ethno-methodology, case study analysis, policy oriented and action research, mixed methods.

Qualitative methodsarchival methods, e-resources & social media, auto/biography, interviews, focus groups, participant observation, content analysis, narrative methods, visual methods, discourse analysis, conversation analysis

Quantitative methodsquantitative research design, sampling, questionnaire design, descriptive statistics, probability, data manipulation and handling, non-parametric statistics, basic inferential statistics, analysis of variance, linear regression with continuous DV