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Self-organised Postgraduate Study (exploration and planning)

Project Information
Created on: 24th October 2012

I'm interested in getting a group of people together who are willing to commit to collaboratively planning and carrying out a Masters-level course of part-time, online, self-education in social science over two years, starting in autumn 2013.

The advantages over studying at an institution would be the lower costs (we might still need to buy some books, journal access etc, but can try and minimise use of expensive resources and blag stuff where possible), the freedom to choose precisely what we think is most important to study, not being detached from the 'real world' of jobs, childcare and so on.

The advantages over isolated studying would be the structure and support provided by a group that can hold each other accountable, the pooled resources and experiences of participants, and hopefully some advice from experts that would be harder to solicit as individuals.

For this to work participants would need to be able to make a real commitment. For me this project would be instead of spending £3000 to study a part time masters at a local university, and I would be taking it as seriously and making it as much of a priority, spending around 20 hours a week on it. However at this stage no one needs to commit to anything, it would be good to explore ideas with interested people, so please join the project and get in touch even if you know you wouldn't be able to commit yourself to that but have some ideas. If you're interested but could only commit to say, 10 hours, then please do say so because I'd like this to happen and I'm sure there'd be lots of ways of making it work for different people.

I have done some preliminary thinking about course content, but that is something completely open to change. The focus would be on social change from a socialist perspective, (very) broadly speaking. I've also thought a bit about the format, but again that could be negotiated to suit people that are up for being involved. I thought that three 10 week terms a year, based on a weekly Skype seminar and a blog where we regularly share and comment on each others' work would be a good bare bones structure. I also think that we could probably find an expert to volunteer to be an academic supervisor for each module - just to check there's no gaping holes in reading lists and maybe to take part in one or two of the seminars.

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