This studentship allows the student to dive deeper into the areas of student learning in computer science.
- Qualification Type: PhD
- Hours: Full Time
- Title of project: An Investigation of Student Learning in Computing Education Research
- Placed On: 25th February 2022
- Closes: 15th May 2022, or until places have been filled.
Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Department of Computer Science. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work on Computing Education Research.
This project is in the area of computing education research where it will investigate ways of improving student learning of core computer science topics such as fundamentals of programming; algorithms and data structures.
This will be achieved through investigation of how students understand, misunderstand (and form misconceptions) and the difficulties they face in developing coherent mental models that support computational thinking.
It is a discipline-based education research project and it draws philosophy, traditions and methods from education research, educational psychology and learning sciences.
Recent computing education research has enabled us to develop well-grounded hypotheses or study designs for improving student learning of computing topics. However, the research area needs further theorization and empirical evaluation in the classroom.
The research will focus on student misconceptions, understandings and misunderstandings of core CS concepts from CS1 through to CS3.
This will be investigated through the ways in which students use computational thinking in their learning activities such as labs and exercises.
This will include reference to: the role of visualisation learning in CS; the relationships between students’ wider characteristics (e.g. ability, motivation); and methods of improving learning and teaching activities to address misconceptions and misunderstandings.
The output from the research will be of interest to teachers and researchers, particularly those concerned with the undergraduate curriculum.
Eligibility and requirements
The candidate should have the following educational profile:
- An upper second-class honours BSc (or equivalent, or higher) degree in Computer Science and some research experience in computing education, science education, general education, educational psychology, or learning science. This may through undergraduate research, a MSc or through work-based research.
The position may be particularly attractive to candidates with some experience in teaching computer science at undergraduate or secondary school level.
They should demonstrate an aptitude for conducting both qualitative and quantitative research.
The candidate should have sound knowledge of first and second year undergraduate Computer Science curricula, particularly in the area of programming and algorithms and data structures. The candidate will be encouraged to actively be involved with ACM, SIGCSE (Special Interest Group in Computer Science Education), The European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (Earli), and Psychology of Programming Interest Group(PPIG).
A doctoral candidate is expected to meet the following pre-requisites for their PhD:
- Demonstrate a sound knowledge of their research area
- Achieve and demonstrate significant depth in at least a few chosen sub-areas relevant to their primary research area
- Demonstrate the ability to conduct independent research, including a critical assessment of their own and others’ research
Previous publications in high-quality papers in reputable peer-reviewed conferences and journals are desirable.
The studentship is for 3 years and will provide full coverage of tuition fees (Home and Overseas) and an annual tax-free stipend of £12,000.
Each student would also have the opportunity to earn around £2.2K pa on an average (max. is around £4.3K pa) through a teaching assistantship. We shall prioritise these scholarship holders while allocating the teaching assistantships.
How to apply
Initial informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr Marjahan Begum or Professor Jo Wood.
Visit our Computer science research degrees web page for further information on making a formal application.
When submitting your application, enter the title “An Investigation of Student Learning in Computing Education Research” and you will automatically be considered for this studentship.
You do not need to submit a proposal as part of your application as the project has already been outlined.
The online application can be found in the ‘How to apply section’ in the web link above and should include the following supporting documents:
- Copies of Degree Certificates and Transcripts in official English translation - original will be requested before an offer is made.
- Official work e-mail addresses (not private ones) for two referees (one of which must be an academic).
- Proof of English Language proficiency (minimum average score of 6.5 IELTS, with a minimum of 6.0 in each of the four components) if English is not your first language.
The outcome of the selection process should be announced by the end of June. The successful candidate will formally start their doctorate either in July or in October 2022.
For queries regarding the application process, please email the School.
Equality, diversity and inclusion
City, University of London is committed to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion in all its activities, processes, and culture, for our whole community, including staff, students and visitors.
We welcome applications regardless of gender, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, race, nationality, ethnic origin, religion or social class. For more information on our approaches to encouraging an inclusive environment, please see our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion pages.