It’s amazing to think that after two years (all but a few weeks), I’m nearly at the end of the first part of my PhD Journey. I’ve just completed the first draft of my final mini-research project. This will be peer reviewed and draft comments from a tutor, and the final version submitted on the 14th December. A really tight schedule, but achievable.
This whole module has been a mad dash, compared to the near-leisurely five months for the previous module. The assignment word count reflected this somewhat, ‘only’ 4,000 words, but this has been tempered by the pressure that by this point all of the writing should be at ‘good’ PhD level.
There is a brief respite over Christmas, and I will be taking the chance to reflect on the whole process without being deadline driven. Then in January there is a flurry of activity, some of which controlled by me, some of which is completely out of my control. Firstly is the confirmation that I will be allowed to proceed to Part II, and not have to stop the course with an MRes. This is a possibility, though I’ve received reassurances that (so far) all should be OK. I also have to select a supervisor, and whilst I may have my preference, there is no guarantee that this will happen.
The next stage is then the creation of a confirmation document. This is nothing to do with Christian confirmation, but rather the final transition from part one to part two, and ‘confirms’ that I am indeed a PhD student, and not ‘only’ on an MPhil programme.
There is a fly in the ointment at the moment, it appears that the organisation that I approach to carry out my primary research is struggling with how they can provide the access that I wanted to develop. I have some alternatives that I will pursue, but it shows it’s always better to have a Plan B as well as a Plan A.
This aside, I’ve not been idle. I’ve submitted another paper to OERJ, after the good reception that my first one received there. My module four paper has also been worked upon by two collaborative authors, and will be submitted soon to a print journal. I’m hoping to collaborate and turn my current mini-research project into publishable research, and am also writing a paper that has nothing at all to do with educational research, and much more to do with the subject of my ‘day’ job.
As if this isn’t enough to keep me busy, on the 10th December I have a four hour exam which is the first (very large) step towards becoming a Certified IS Auditor. The next couple of weeks will be focused on that exam. I cannot attend the revision days for this as I am at another conference next Thursday and Friday, so will have to muddle through on my own. The manual has nearly 450 pages… hmmm.
Finally (finally!) I’ve been fortunate enough to be invited to a British Library event for PhD researchers down at London. As well as workshops and networking, it provides the chance to see how the British Library ‘works’, and they are feeding and paying travel expenses too! I am determined to blog separately about this, as I think it will be a really good day.