Doctoral programme in Literacy Studies

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1 Doctoral programme in Literacy Studies Literacy Studies is the study of the role of reading and writing in culture. Literacy Studies is to be understood with the qualifications described below regarding perspective and domains. Literacy Studies spans a continuum from research into reading ability to the study of the use of texts and textual culture in society. Literacy Studies adopts a multimodal perspective on texts. Within the field of written culture, Literacy Studies addresses organisation and change at the level of the individual as well as at diverse social levels. Literacy Studies, as construed at the University of Stavanger (UiS), is relevant to textual cultures in domains such as school and working life, as well as historical, political, and aesthetic domains. Literacy Studies as a thematic research field constitutes a part of other programmes elsewhere in Norway, but the programme offered at Stavanger is the sole Norwegian programme with the role of reading and writing in textual culture as its defined object of research. In view of this position, UiS has a national responsibility for training researchers in this field. Literacy Studies (Norwegian: Lesevitenskap ) is a PhD programme clearly identified with the humanities at the Faculty of Arts and Education. The programme is organisationally attached to the Department of Cultural Studies and Languages (IKS), but has academic ties with most of the Faculty's units. The programme has a broad recruitment profile targeting diverse fields of the humanities and social sciences. At UiS, the programme especially addresses graduates of the master's programmes in Literacy Studies and history didactics. Research at the University is to a large extent structured around programme areas for research, which support the doctoral training. Literacy Studies research at the Faculty may be described as building on four core areas, which in various ways address the above domains: (a) Reading and writing in society and history (b) Reading and interpretation (c) Development of reading and writing ability (d) Writing systems a) Reading and writing in society and history Literacy Studies builds on a broad definition construing reading and writing as the use of texts in historical-contextual perspectives. Reading and writing are thus studied as something other than an individual competency. The objective is to understand and explain how such activities interact with the external factors surrounding the individual. b) Reading and interpretation The historical-contextual perspective described above of necessity always impacts on an aesthetic-hermeneutic perspective. However, within this area, attention will be directed more toward text and less toward context. The aesthetic-hemeneutic perspective will likewise take the study of diverse forms of literacy (texts, notes, other symbolic systems) as the starting point for

2 reading and interpretation. Readings of texts exclusively based on rhetorical or narrative studies will to a larger extent be actualised. Such text-oriented methodologies will at the same time be related to an overarching hermeneutic perspective. c) Development of reading and writing ability Research into the ability to read and write may adopt various frameworks, theories and methodologies, but they are so closely connected to each other that it has been natural for the environments to emphasise both skills in their research. The academic environment is interested both in the reading ability of mother-tongue readers and foreign-language readers as well as in circumstances affecting the reading abilities of various groups. Increased attention on the development of reading and writing ability in children has also led to an increased focus on the linguistic development of pre-school children and emergent literacy. As a field, reading and writing research has expanded in recent years as a consequence of increased interest in secondlanguage and foreign-language acquistion, as well as of the focus on assessing and evaluating reading and writing skills. d) Writing systems Reading is based on writing systems: systems made up of visual symbols in use as media for communication. These systems are related to other systems of communication in complex ways, principally speech. The study of writing systems is a core component of Literacy Studies and normally involves a linguistic framework. In addition to studies focussed on writing systems in a strict sense, our definition of the field includes all kinds of linguistic, sociolinguistic or philological studies addressing texts specifically selected by virtue of their constituting written utterances. At the turn of three of the UiS programme areas for research especially relate to the doctoral programme in Literacy Studies: Minnestudier/Memory Studies, which focusses on perspectives a) and b); North Sea Language History, which focusses on perspectives a) and d); Programme for the Study of the Performance of Skills (P2S2, Program for studier av ferdighetsutøvelse), which focusses on perspectives b) and c). All research, supervision, and teaching based on the programme areas are key contributions to the development of the PhD programme in Literacy Studies Nature of the programme Doctoral programme in Literacy Studies 1.2. Designation of the programme The programme is designated as the doctoral programme in Literacy Studies. Candidates are awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) based on a completed and accepted defence. The programme is in Norwegian designated as Ph.d. i Lesevitenskap Number of study points and duration The doctoral programme comprises 180 credits (ECTS) referred to as study points (sp). The progress plan should be structured such that the doctoral programme will normally be completed within three years (discounting statutory leaves of absence).

3 1.4. Target group The programme is aimed at well-qualified candidates with a background in the humanities and social sciences who wish to qualify for the highest level of education in the field Objectives and learning outcomes for the programme The doctoral programme in lesevitenskap /Literacy Studies qualifies candidates to undertake research or research-oriented activities at a high academic-scientific level but also for other activities in society greatly demanding scientific methodologies and scientific insights. The programme s pertinence within a number of areas of modern life, such as schools, the educational and research sector, mass media, publishing, and so forth, provides candidates with varied career opportunities upon completion. The doctoral programme has as its objective for the candidate to carry out an independent research project within a specialised field and complete an academic dissertation of high quality. In addition, the doctoral candidate will receive theoretical and methodological training to add depth as well as breadth to the project and situate the project within a wider context. The doctoral programme will provide the candidate with the following learning outcomes (see the table of learning outcomes): Knowledge The candidate is at the cutting edge within his or her specific field within Literacy Studies and commands theories of science and methodologies current within this field. Is able to assess the appropriateness and application of diverse methodologies and processes/analytical strategies within his or her specific field within Literacy Studies in respect of research and development projects. Is able to contribute to the development of new knowledge, new theories, methodologies, interpretations, and forms of scientific documentation within Literacy Studies. Has a wide knowledge of the field of Literacy Studies Skills Is able to identify research questions, plan and carry out research and academic development projects. Is able to initiate research and academic development projects at a high international level. Is able to handle complex academic issues and challenge received knowledge and praxis within the field of Literacy Studies. General competence Is able to identify and reflect upon ethical issues and pursue his or her research with academic integrity. Is able to contribute to complex interdisciplinary activities and projects Is able to disseminate research and development activities by way of recognised national and international channels Is able to assess the need for, initiate, and conduct innovation 1.6. Admission An applicant must have a five-year master s degree in a humanities or social sciences subject to

4 qualify for admission to the programme. An applicant with a degree from a Norwegian university/university college must have attained an average mark of B or higher at the master s level. An applicant should have a strong academic background. In addition to formal qualifications, the quality of the project plan and relevant professional experience will be taken into account in the evaluation of an applicant for admission. An applicant with a master s degree (principal field) in a field other than one accepted as a basis for admission to the programme or with a lower average mark may be admitted on special consideration. The admission requirements stated in the UiS Ph.D. Regulations otherwise apply Language of instruction Instruction and supervision will primarily be given in Norwegian. Instruction and supervision may partially be given in English Learning environments, methods of instruction and learning Candidates in the programme are attached to active learning environments organised as research groups and programme areas. Independent endeavour is the principal mode of work in doctoral studies. The programme has set mandatory presentations as a combination of practical exercises and quality assurance in respect of the independent dissertation project (cf. item 1.10). In the case of doctoral candidates whose principal affiliation is with another establishment, the degree-awarding and collaborating establishments must enter into a contract regulating the candidates working conditions, including ensuring their participation in an active research environment. Modes of working and course requirements in the individual subjects are prepared by the course convenor(s) and are subject to the approval of the Doctoral Committee at the Faculty of Arts and Education. All buildings on campus meet the standards of universal access Structure The doctoral training should be structured such that it will normally be completed within three years of full-time study. The training should, by way of its components, support the dissertation project in depth and breadth. The doctoral training mainly consists of active, supervised research and includes: A dissertation based on independent research pursued in active collaboration with supervisors and other researchers. A recognised training component. Collaboration with active research environments, nationally as well as internationally. Dissemination related to the ongoing research project. The dissertation must be an independent academic contribution of international quality. This presupposes a high academic level with respect to research questions, conceptual clarity, methodological, theoretical, and empirical underpinnings, scientific documentation, analysis, and presentation. The dissertation must also demonstrate, in all the above areas that it relates critically to current national and international research. It must contribute new academic knowledge and meet the standards of international publication. The dissertation may take the form of a monograph or articles. It must include a synopsis detailing the basis, approach,

5 coherence and unity of the dissertation and relating the research to international research in the area. Further reference is made to the Ph.D. Regulations for UiS, which discuss the dissertation. The training component provides the theoretical and methodological training necessary for supporting the dissertation project. The training component in the doctoral programme in Literacy Studies comprises a minimum of 30 study points (ECTS credits) divided up as follows: theory of science and ethics, 10 study points research methods, 10 study points thematic courses, 10 study points (mandatory courses and electives) It is the responsibility of the Doctoral Committee to ensure that the doctoral programme in Literacy Studies offers a broad range of courses of diverse scope. Literacy Studies and Educational Sciences share a course catalogue which is brought up to date on a regular basis. Credited courses require written documentation. The table below offers a guide and suggests a correlation between days of instruction, literature, written documentation, and study points. Days of instruction Indicative reading list Courses leading to written documentation Work load 1-day course pages 2-3 pages hours of work = four days of work 1 sp 2 days pages 3-5 pages Approx. eight days of work 2 sp 3 days pages 5-7 pages Approx. twelve days of work 3 sp 4 days pages 7-10 pages Approx. sixteen days of work 4 sp Etc. Study points (sp) = (ECTS credits) According to The Norwegian Association of Higher Education Institutions (UHR) guidelines and the international ECTS scale, 1 study point (ECTS credit) is equivalent to a normal work load of between 25 and 30 hours of work. In addition, reference is made to Universitets- og høyskoleloven (Act of no. 15 relating to universities and colleges), whose item 3.8 lays down one year of studies as 10 months (approx. 40 weeks or approx. 1,500 weekly hours, and 37.5 hours per week) and one year of full-time studies as normally equivalent to 60 sp (ECTS credits). The most common form of written documentation is an academic text or a paper. Theory of science and ethics: The course is mandatory and it is organised as a joint course for all doctoral programmes at the University of Stavanger. Topics related to research ethics should constitute a minimum of 2 study points (ECTS credits). Research methods: All candidates enrolled in the programme should receive general training in both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. In addition, candidates must select specialised courses addressing methodologies used in the dissertation project. Thematic courses: Thematic courses should contribute to ensuring the quality of the dissertation project and to widening the candidate s knowledge of research in Literacy Studies. Two thematic courses are mandatory: an introductory course for fresh candidates and a course in literacy

6 studies. Methodological courses addressing relevant issues may upon application be recognised as thematic courses. Courses with few registered participants may be held as reading courses/tutorials. As with other courses, it requires the Dean s approval of the course description for a course to be held as a reading course/tutorial. PhD courses offered at other universities/university colleges may upon application be recognised as a part of the training component. Scientific dissemination. To qualify for the doctoral examination, the candidate must have experience with scientific dissemination. Examples of recognised scientific dissemination are: Series of lectures or seminars Popular science works (for example, newspaper articles, popular science articles, talks, or the like) Conference presentations Dissemination activity/-ies may relate to either assignments mandatory for the training component or to the dissertation project itself. The contents of the dissemination part must be approved by the supervisor. The training component must be accepted by The Faculty Doctoral Committee and acceptance must be received prior to submission of the dissertation Course combinations This section gives a tabular presentation of activities (courses and requirements) included in the doctoral programme. The activities are elaborated on in the text below. The research process Courses/subjects mandatory 1. semester 2. semester 3. semester 4. semester 5. semester 6. semester Revising, project description Literacy Studies, introductory course Theory of science and ethics 50% seminar Courses/subjects methods < > Courses/subjects elective < > Dissemination < > < > 90% seminar Requirements (mandatory, cf., item 1.9) A. Requirements 1. Progress/project seminars Project description Quality review of the research process, 50% and 90% seminars

7 2. Dissemination Taking the form of presentations at international conferences 3. Study abroad Internationalisation (see item 1.18) B: Training component 1. Theory of science and ethics (10 sp) 2. Research methods (10 sp) Introductory course: qualitative and quantitative methodologies (2-3 sp) Specialisation: methodology and design (5-8 credits) 3. Thematic courses (10 sp) Mandatory courses Introductory course (1 sp) Literacy Studies as a profession and field of research (3 sp) Electives Are selected from the course catalogue (revised annually) Requirements for continuation of studies progress reporting The candidate and the supervisor must both write biannual reports after every semester. The reports are subject to the approval of the Doctoral Committee. In cases of slow progress and/or a departure from the training plan, the Doctoral Committee may request additional information and/or that follow-up interviews be conducted (by Vice-Dean or Coordinator) with a candidate Types of evaluation The individual course descriptions stipulate how the course is evaluated (cf. the Examination Regulations of the University of Stavanger). The dissertation can be a monograph or be based on articles unified by means of an overall introductory chapter ( mantle ). The mantle is a synoptic text laying out the basis, methodological approach, and thematic coherence of the dissertation. The dissertation should preferably be written in Norwegian or English, alternatively Danish or Swedish. Candidates wishing to use another language should state this in their application for separate assessment. For the purposes of the evaluation of the dissertation, its defence, and the trial lecture, the Faculty appoints an academically competent assessment committee with a membership of at least three. The composition of the committee is such that both genders are represented, to the extent possible. At least one member must have no association with the University of Stavanger and at least one member must be affiliated with a university/university college abroad, to the extent possible. All members of the committee must hold a PhD or have equivalent qualifications. The degree of Ph.D. is awarded on the basis of: an accepted academic dissertation and a satisfactory public defence recognised completion of the training programme an accepted trial lecture on a given topic

8 1.14. Any relationship between theory and application (Not applicable) Independent work See item 1.13 of this document Recognition/transitional arrangements The revised curriculum for the PhD in Literacy Studies takes effect on 1 August The training component will be continuously revised up until 31 December 2012 in accordance with item 1.11.B of this document. Candidates enrolled in the programme prior to 31 July 2011 may apply for recognition of the training programme up until 31 December Quality assurance and student evaluations All Ph.D. courses must be evaluated in writing following their completion. The course convenor synopsises the course participant feedback and forwards a written report to the Doctoral Committee by way of the PhD administration. The evaluation forms the basis for any revision. Within the PhD programme, doctoral candidates should as a norm be represented in committee work related to the PhD programme. A regular survey will be implemented for supervisors and candidates to have the opportunity to comment on matters related to their general satisfaction, ethical issues, quality, and communication. Based on reports, evaluations, etc., the Coordinator of the doctoral programme in Literacy Studies prepares an annual report for presentation to the Doctoral Committee Internationalisation The PhD programme makes provisions for the doctoral candidate to spend at least three months at a recognised foreign university/university college offering the possibility to work on questions related to the research project/dissertation. Should this not prove possible, a stay at another Norwegian university/university college may be recognised, alternatively other arrangements ensuring that the doctoral candidate gains a broad insight into (alternative) disciplinary and research traditions related to research questions of relevance to the dissertation Faculty and Department responsible for the programme The doctoral programme in Literacy Studies is hosted by the Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Cultural Studies and Languages in cooperation with other departments/centres based in the Faculty Other information Admission may be subject to financing, capacity, individual training plan, additional qualifications, and intellectual property agreements.

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