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Fully-Funded MPhil Scholarship

School of Education and Lifelong Learning

Fully-Funded MPhil Scholarship

Aberystwyth University School of Education and Lifelong Learning invites applications for a fully-funded MPhil scholarship, funded by Tenovus Cancer Care. The aim of the research will be to evaluate the Teaching and Learning Resource developed to support Tenovus’ Here Comes the Sun Campaign. The successful applicant will begin their studies in January 2016, and the research will run for one academic year. The MPhil scholarship includes:

  • University fees paid for the duration of the MPhil degree (January 2016 - January 2017), at the University’s EU / UK rate for research degrees (namely £4,052).
  • A stipend of £10,434 to cover living expenses for the year.

The successful applicant will also be provided with the necessary equipment and resources to conduct the research. The deadline for submission of applications is the 30 November 2015.

Project Background

Each year over 10,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with malignant melanoma, the most dangerous and potentially lethal form of skin cancer. In Wales alone there are around 500 cases each year with over 100 deaths. In Wales, between 1999 and 2009 the number of cases in both men and women has more than doubled, and this trend shows no sign of abating.

Tenovus Cancer Care is particularly concerned about young people as research has shown that sunburn in childhood can double the risk of getting skin cancer later in life. Each summer, Tenovus Cancer Care runs a summer long campaign called Here Comes the Sun which promotes sun safety messages through a number of different channels. To help support the teaching of sun safety in schools, Tenovus Cancer Care commissioned the development of a schools resource for primary and secondary school children in both English and Welsh based on the awareness campaign Here Comes the Sun. The resource (http://www.tenovus.org.uk/schools/index.htm) was launched in 2011, and the purpose of this MPhil research will be to determine:

  • Whether or not the resource meets the needs of schools in its current form.
  • What additional support/training/materials would help support the use of the resource in schools?
  • What do the pupils think of the resource?
  • The effectiveness of the resource in increasing awareness of sun safety issues.
  • The effectiveness of the resource in altering behaviours in relation to sun safety.
  • The effectiveness of the resource in increasing awareness of public health issues in schools.

The successful applicant will be responsible for conducting this research under the supervision of Professor Malcolm Thomas and Dr Andrew James Davies of the School of Education and Lifelong Learning, Aberystwyth University. 

Core responsibilities of the successful applicant

  • To work with the academic supervisors to finalize the research design, early in the project cycle.
  • To conduct a full literature review of available and relevant research.
  • To develop appropriate research instruments and tools to enable data collection (both quantitative and qualitative).
  • To negotiate and secure access to the school research sites, and act as a point of contact and liaison for schools throughout the duration of the project.
  • To collect data at all identified research sites, and to liaise with Tenovus representatives regarding the implementation of the school resources at each site.
  • To transcribe, process and analyze all data collected (as appropriate).
  • To write up the findings of the research in an MPhil thesis of no more than 60,000 words (excluding references and appendices), and defend the thesis in an oral examination.
  • To meet with the academic supervisors regularly to provide progress reports and updates.
  • To provide information to inform progress reports to Tenovus at agreed intervals.
  • To undertake other duties associated with the MPhil research as can be reasonably expected.
  • The successful candidate will be expected to undergo an enhanced DBS disclosure, as this role will involve conducting research in school settings. The awarding of the scholarship is conditional on the outcome of a DBS check.

Applying for this Scholarship

Applicants should apply for this scholarship by submitting an application for an MPhil via the University’s postgraduate applications system, details of which can be found at the following link:


In addition to the standard information required on the University’s postgraduate application form,  all applicants will need to submit a document, no longer than 1,000 words, outlining their:

  • Understanding of health promotion in school contexts.
  • Understanding of research methods in education.
  • The experience, skills and personal qualities they possess that make them suitable for this scholarship and research project.

Under the funding and student support section of the University’s application form, applicants should add the words ‘Tenovus scholarship’ to ensure that they are considered for this scholarship.

For an informal discussion about this scholarship, please contact Dr Andrew James Davies,  Director of Postgraduate Studies and CPD: ajd2@aber.ac.uk / 01970 628743. 

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