Candidates will normally be expected to have a bachelors (‘first cycle’) and masters (‘second cycle’) qualifications of high standard. However, because the programme is committed to a life-long learning culture and a diversity of access, candidates who can demonstrate appropriate formal/non-formal/informal learning and experience of an equivalent level will be considered on the basis of a detailed portfolio.
The consortium wishes to encourage a balance of male and female applicants, candidates with disabilities and from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. Because of the nature of the programme and its emphasis on global and cultural approaches, the fact that the candidates themselves are a teaching and learning resource, gender balance and a diversity of cultural and social backgrounds are seen to be an important element in the overall success of the programme.
Applicants MUST submit BY THE APPLICATION DEADLINE the following documentation:
■ A DCGC Application Cover Sheet: all the relevant sections in the Cover Sheet must be complete.
■ A Research Proposal of the appropriate length (approx. 2000 words)
- The Research Proposal should be within the research themes of the DCGC. Applicants who have innovative proposals which are not clearly inside the research themes but within the spirit of the DCGC will also be considered, though they should ensure that we have the supervisory capacity. If applicants are in any doubt, then they should seek advice from the consortium. For further guidance on the shape of the Research Proposal, see below.
■ A letter of motivation / purpose of the appropriate length (approx. 500 words).
- The letter of motivation/purpose must give reasons why the applicant wants to undertake study and research in the DCGC programme. In this letter, applicants are also expected to give a brief justification of the first-choice mobility pathway.
■ A Curriculum Vitae in the recommended European format. If you have any additional relevant documents, such as a list of publications, then you should include them as an annexe to the CV. See
■ The names of two referees who can attest to your academic ability, standing and potential (please do not send reference letters: we will contact referees direct).
■ Copy of a bachelor’s degree certificate and master’s degree (or equivalent) certificate(s), the final grades of which are ranked in the highest or second highest category in the national classification.
- If the degree certificates are not in English then they must be accompanied by certified translations.
- The bachelor’s and master’s degrees must be either in an appropriate social science or in law.
- Appropriate social science degrees will be relevant to the research themes, training elements and supervisory expertise of the DCGC; they will include criminology, sociology, social policy, anthropology, cultural studies, economics (in the appropriate field), history, media studies, politics and international relations. If applicants do not possess degrees in these areas, then it is their responsibility to seek guidance from the consortium on whether their degree(s) is/are appropriate.
- Applicants who are in the process of undertaking postgraduate studies in the required subject area must demonstrate clearly that they will finish and the results be known in good time prior to the commencement of the DCGC programme. It is recommended that applicants in this position submit confirmation of this requirement signed by the postgraduate programme director.
- Applicants who do not possess the requisite Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees may consider an Alternative Route application (see below).
■ Official transcripts of marks for all courses in both the Bachelor’s and the Master’s degrees. These transcripts must be detailed. If not in English then they must be accompanied by certified translations.
■ Official evidence of a recognised English language qualification to the level required by the DCGC (see Candidate Life > Language) and taken no longer than two years prior to application. If a test has not already been taken, then it is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that it is taken in good time. Only in exceptional circumstances will the consortium vary this rule, but in this case the applicant must contact the consortium prior to application, and in good enough time for the exception to be considered and to receive written permission.
- Applicants from majority English-speaking countries are not required to submit an English language qualification.
- Applicants who have taken a whole degree (and not just individual courses) where the medium of instruction is entirely in the English language are not required to submit an English language qualification. In this case, the applicant is required to furnish evidence that the degree was taught in the English language.
■ A copy of your passport and/or identity card.
PLEASE NOTE that applicants are not required to contact individual supervisors, but they are invited to look at staff profiles on the DCGC web site and nominate proposed supervisors. Decisions about supervision will be made at a later point. Research proposals will be shown to potential supervisors at the short-listing stage.
Alternative Route applications
Because the DCGC programme is committed to a life-long learning culture and a diversity of access, applicants who (a) submit excellent research proposals and (b) can demonstrate appropriate alternative learning and experience of an equivalent level will be considered on the basis of a detailed portfolio.
The Alternative Route applicant will submit a special portfolio which gives details of experience and alternative learning equivalent to the conventional Higher Education route expected as an entry requirement to the DCGC programme. In this portfolio such applicants will be expected to demonstrate that they have the same intellectual capacity and associated skills to undertake the DCGC doctoral programme as conventional route applicants. All Alternative Route applicants must contact the DCGC consortium well in advance of the submission date in order to discuss their eligibility and to confirm the kind of portfolio the Selection Committee will expect. Alternative Route applicants must receive written confirmation from the consortium in advance of the application deadline that their application will be considered. Any applicants who do not possess the required Higher Education qualifications, but who have not contacted the DCGC consortium in sufficient time prior to the application deadline in order to be considered and confirmed as Alternative Route candidates, will be regarded as ineligible.
Alternative Route applications will be evaluated by the Selection Committee in the same way, will go through the same nine-step process described above, and will be in fair competition with applications following the conventional route.
You will be applying through the University of Kent online application system run by Kent Admissions. There is a generic online ‘application checklist’ available on the general admissions page which you are encouraged to consult for further advice on the various stages of the application. But please be aware that this checklist is used for over 200 different programmes of study within the University of Kent, so it may not at all points correspond to the advice given on this page. If you encounter any differences, the information on the DCGC pages is to be considered authoritative.
At various points in the application you will be required to upload documentation. Generally, each stage will only allow the upload of a single file. Thus, if, for example, your transcripts are in multiple documents, then you must assemble them into a single file (preferably pdf). The same applies, for example, to degree certificates, which must be submitted in a single file.
If you have any difficulties with the technology, you may receive advice from Kent Admissions, but ensure that enquiries like this are made well in advance of the application deadline.
Applicants must be aware that failure to submit ALL the required documentation BY THE APPLICATION DEADLINE is liable to render their application INELIGIBLE.
Because the on-line application process will take time -- including the completion of the DCGC Application Cover Sheet, scanning and attachment of documents, etc. – applicants are STRONGLY ADVISED to ensure they give themselves SUFFICIENT TIME to complete the process in GOOD TIME before the deadline. The technical operation of the on-line application has been proven to work well, but occasionally applicants may have problems arising from technical issues at their end or in a failure to follow the precise instructions. It is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that they overcome these problems. The Kent Admissions staff are happy to help with any problems applicants may experience BUT they can only answer queries in office hours (UK time). It is for reasons like these that applicants are advised to give themselves plenty of time to complete the application process and to communicate with Kent Admissions staff should any problems arise.
Kent Admissions staff will not deal with any queries AFTER the application deadline. Any application received AFTER the deadline will be INELIGIBLE.
Only in exceptional circumstances will the Selection Committee consider applications that do not have ALL the required documentation. In these cases, the applicant MUST (i) inform the consortium of the circumstances in advance of the application deadline AND (ii) seek permission to submit an incomplete application. UNLESS such permission has been explicitly given in writing IN ADVANCE OF THE APPLICATION DEADLINE, an incomplete application will be regarded as INELIGIBLE.
The final decision on eligibility is made by the Selection Committee.
DCGC APPLICATION & SELECTION
How do we select successful applicants and nominate for Erasmus Mundus Fellowships?
For each application round the DCGC Selection Committee is appointed specially by the Academic Board of Studies, and will include at least one member from each consortium partner. The Committee will evaluate applicants in a nine-stage process. The aim of this process is to identify the successful applicants who are offered a place on the DCGC programme in this round and then to rank successful applicants in order to nominate them either for Erasmus Mundus Fellowships or for a Reserves List. The nine stages are as follows.
- An initial collective decision on the eligibility of applicants (see notes below).
- An initial quantitative scoring of eligible applications conducted by all four partners. At this stage a further ineligibility judgement is possible.
- A discussion of the eligible applications by the Selection Committee, thus adding qualitative evaluations to the quantitative scores.
- A short-listing decision for Category A (including those who are may be considered in any special ‘window’ identified by the EACEA) and Category B applicants.
- Interview of short-listed applicants by Skype; they will be interviewed by at least two different members of the Selection Committee.
- Selection Committee discussion leading to the identification of successful applicants who will be offered a place on the DCGC programme in this round.
- Ranking of successful applicants. The top-ranked successful applicants in each Category will be given the opportunity to be nominated for Erasmus Mundus Fellowships. The remaining successful applicants will be given the opportunity to be nominated (in rank order) for the Reserves List in each Category.
- The Committee will write to the nominees in the Fellowships and Reserves list and ask them to confirm their nominations. If any nominee does not take up the offer, the ranked lists will be adjusted accordingly and a Reserve candidate will be nominated for the Fellowship. A final Selection Committee decision will follow.
- The Committee will inform the DCGC Programme Coordinator of the final decision and the Coordinator will make the nominations of Fellowship and Reserves List (both in rank order) to the EACEA. The DCGC Programme Coordinator will also give to the Agency aggregate statistics on the nationality and gender of non-selected applicants. These statistics will not identify the non-selected applicants.
The overall evaluation of applications combines, first, a quantitative scoring of key application documents; second, a discussion of the applications by the Selection Committee where qualitative considerations will make an important contribution; and, finally, interview. The initial quantitative scoring will take account of the Research Proposal (50%), the Letter of Motivation/Purpose (20%), the CV plus grading of degrees and transcript marks (20%), and the quality of the written expression (10%). The quantitative scores, together with qualitative judgement by the Selection Committee, will contribute to subsequent stages of the evaluation.
At the interview stage, the letters of reference from your chosen referees will also be considered.
Nominations for Fellowships must be approved by the EACEA. This approval will normally take place in mid-April (about 45 days after the end-February deadline for the submission of nominations by the consortium to the Agency). The Agency emphasises that for all Erasmus Mundus doctoral programmes, the final number of Fellowships awarded at the end of the application and selection process depends on budget availability. In other words it is possible that the Agency, due to budgetary constraints, may not give Fellowships to all those nominated by Erasmus Mundus doctoral programmes.
Notwithstanding their status on the Reserves List, those applicants offered a place on the DCGC programme in this round but not nominated for Fellowships will be encouraged either to self-fund or to apply for External Funding and given appropriate support by the DCGC consortium.
Applicants of a sufficient quality who have identified, or intend to identify, External Funding but who have not been short-listed for interview or have not been offered a place on the DCGC programme after interview will be encouraged to apply again in a subsequent External Funding Round, the date of which will be announced by the consortium. Again, appropriate support will be given in the application for External Funding by the DCGC consortium The application process will follow a similar procedure, and applicants will be expected to improve their applications in order to meet the same quality threshold if they are to be offered a place in the DCGC programme on an Externally Funded basis.
Entry criteria and eligibility
Applications will be judged ineligible if they
- do not meet basic entry criteria (see above) and/or
- are insufficiently complete and/or
- do not address the research themes of the programme.
If, by the deadline for applications, applicants do not supply the Selection Committee with sufficient documentation to fulfil the basic entry criteria, their applications are liable to be judged ineligible.
The eligibility decision is confirmed by the Selection Committee and is final. Ineligible applicants will be informed of the decision.
The shape of the Research Proposal
There is no single, expected formula for the shape of the Research Proposal. Applicants are expected to observe the (approx.) 2000-word limit (excluding bibliography; including title and footnotes). Research Proposal must contain the following elements (not necessarily in this order).
- Title of proposed research project.
- Brief statement of aims.
- Review of literature.
- Research question(s).
- Outline methodology.
- Issues ethics and safety.
A brief statement of aims should be no more than a short paragraph.
The review of literature is an important part of the proposal. It should critically analyse the debates in the academic literature relevant to the central research question/hypothesis. In this way applicants will show their understanding and mastery of the ‘state of the art’ in their chosen research area. Applicants should certainly know the relevant criminological literature and, in the spirit of the multi-disciplinary aims of the programme, may bring in academic literature from other fields, provided it is relevant to the central research question. The review of literature will also demonstrate the originality and relevance of the research question(s) by showing how they emerge from the key debates in the field. Associated with these debates will be more or less explicit theoretical dimensions. In a critical analysis of the literature, applicants will also show their ability to bring out and understand the theoretical issues at stake. Applicants will also be expected to show their engagement with a ‘social problem’ , which is more than just a technical issue.
In their analysis of the literature, applicants should bear in mind that a cultural and/or global criminology seeks to look at crime, harm and control in their broad social and political contexts. In this way the research will examine issues of wider critical relevance and not just related to crime fighting or legal processes (for example) considered in isolation. We expect our successful graduates to emerge from the programme with far more than than just technical expertise. DCGC graduates will possess the intellectual skills of high-level critical analysis that include consideration of ethical and political issues. Employers interested in the high-quality graduates of our programme will expect nothing less.
There will be a central research question. As indicated above, it will emerge from a critical analysis of the key academic debates in criminology and related fields. There may also be one or two ancillary research questions. In broad terms, the research question(s) will address a ‘problem’ of significance to the DCGC as reflected in one or more of our four research themes. Research questions that see policy issues embedded in more general political, social and cultural frameworks are encouraged.
The methodology will involve a brief description and justification of the research method or methods. In essence the method or methods will be capable of answering the central research question (and may address any ancillary questions) in a reliable, valid and feasible way. The applicant should also give brief consideration to practical issues including those of language, access and time. At this point the applicant may add a brief, outline timetable of work over the three years.
Applicants will also a briefly describe any ethical and safety issues that may be encountered in the course of the research.
The Selection Committee will evaluate the ability of the applicant to write their Research Proposal in a way
- that clearly demonstrates its originality and relevance;
- that is lucid, focused, properly structured and concise;
- that gives a clear narrative proceeding from the review of literature to the central research question (emerging from the critical analysis of the literature) and on to the methodology, which reliably, validly and feasibly answers the central research question;
- that is appropriate in terms of its style of expression to a proposal for academic, doctoral research.
Applicants must observe the 2000-word limit. Any Research Proposals that are significantly over or below this limit will be considered by the Selection Committee as weaker. Remember that the Selection Committee not only evaluates the originality and relevance of Research Proposals but also the skill of applicants to express themselves in a focused, clear and concise way.
Academic staff of the DCGC are willing to give general guidance about whether or not a research proposal falls within the themes of our programme and may help you with further with academic orientation, identifying supervisors and mobility pathways. However they are not obliged to collaborate with you on developing the details of the proposal because this is evaluated as part of the application process.