REGISTRATION AND PROGRESSION REGULATIONS FOR THE AWARD OF. DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (PhD) MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY (MPhil)

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1 RDC-B REGISTRATION AND PROGRESSION REGULATIONS FOR THE AWARD OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY (PhD) MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY (MPhil) ACADEMIC YEAR TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH: RDC-A GENERAL FRAMEWORK AND RDC-E SUBMISSION AND EXAMINATION REGULATIONS FOR HIGHER DEGREES BY RESEARCH

2 REGISTRATION AND PROGRESSION REGULATIONS FOR THE AWARD OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY, MASTER OF PHILOSOPHY B1 REGISTRATION 1.1 Registration and Entry Qualifications Programmes of research may be proposed in any field of study subject to the requirements that the proposed programme is capable of leading to scholarly research and to its presentation for assessment by appropriate examiners. The written thesis may be supplemented by material in other than written form. All proposed research programmes shall be considered for research degree registration on their academic merits and without reference to the concerns or interests of any associated funding body. i) Qualifications Offered Registration is for the following degrees: a) Master of Philosophy, (M.Phil); b) Doctor of Philosophy, (Ph.D). ii) Registration Criteria In approving an application for registration, the Sub-Committee shall satisfy itself that: a) the candidate is suitably qualified; b) the candidate is embarking on a viable research programme; c) supervision is adequate and likely to be sustained; and d) the University is able to provide appropriate facilities for the conduct of scholarly research in the area of the research programme, and Page 2 of 18

3 iii) Entry Qualifications a) An applicant for registration for the degree of MPhil or PhD shall normally hold a first or upper second class honours degree of the University or of a university in the UK or a qualification which is regarded by the Sub-Committee as equivalent to such an honours degree. b) An applicant holding other qualifications shall be considered on his/her merits and in relation to the nature and scope of the programme of work proposed. In considering an applicant in this category, the Sub-Committee shall look for evidence of the candidate's ability and background knowledge in relation to the proposed research. Professional experience, publications, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment may be taken into consideration. The Sub-Committee may require an applicant to pass an externally assessed qualifying examination before registration is approved. An applicant wishing to be considered under this regulation shall include in the application for registration the names of two suitable persons whom the University may consult concerning the candidate's academic attainment and fitness for research. iv) Group Projects a) An applicant whose work forms part of a larger group project may register for a research degree. In such cases each individually registered project shall in itself be distinguishable for the purposes of assessment and be appropriate for the award being sought. Each individual contribution and its relationship to the group project shall be clearly indicated. b) Where a research degree project is part of a piece of funded research, the Sub-Committee shall establish to its satisfaction that the terms on which the research is funded do not detract from the fulfilment of the objectives and requirements of the candidate's research degree. v) Students working overseas The Sub-Committee may approve an application from a person proposing to work outside the UK, provided that: a) there is satisfactory evidence as to the facilities available for the research both in the University and abroad; and Page 3 of 18

4 b) the arrangements proposed for supervision enable frequent and substantial contact between the candidate and the supervisor(s) based in the UK, including adequate faceto-face contact with the supervisor(s). The candidate should spend normally not less than six weeks per year at the University. vi) Registration backdating a) Students enrolling prior to 1 September 2012 Registrations are backdated to the date of first enrolment. b) Students enrolling on or after 1 September 2012 Registration takes place concurrently with first enrolment and the date of Registration will be that of first enrolment. vii) Advanced Standing Registration periods Where a candidate has previously undertaken research as a registered candidate for a research degree the Sub-Committee may approve a shorter than usual registration period which takes account of all or part of the time already spent by the candidate on such research. viii) Review A candidate may request the review of all decisions concerning registration made by the Committee, in accordance with the Research Degree Assessment Review Regulations. 1.2 Initial Registration i) Research Methods Training In order to support academic achievement in research and to ensure that candidates are adequately prepared for the demands that advanced work places on them, candidates will be required to follow a programme of related studies where this is necessary for the attainment of competence in research methods and of knowledge related to the subject of the thesis. This programme shall be intended: Page 4 of 18

5 a) to provide the candidate with the skills and knowledge necessary for the pursuit of the proposed research; b) to provide a body of knowledge normally associated with a degree in the field of study of the proposed research; and c) to provide breadth of knowledge in the related subjects. Where the programme of related studies includes an approved programme of studies leading to another award and a candidate is registered for that programme and fulfils all its requirements (including the payment of appropriate tuition fees), he/she may be recommended for that award in addition to the degree of MPhil or PhD. ii) Training Needs Analysis If a formal Training Needs Analysis has not been completed, other than during the Application stage, then this should be performed prior to Progression being approved. Evidence should be provided along with Progression documents iii) Pre-requisites for Progression Attendance at all the required training specified in a candidate s offer letter will be monitored and will be a pre-requisite for approval of a candidate s progress at the Progression Board. iv) Integrated Programmes of Work A candidate for a PhD may undertake an integrated programme of work which, as well as the research element, shall include a programme of postgraduate study on which his/her performance shall be formally assessed. Such a course of study shall not occupy more than one third of the total period of registration and shall complement the research. This regulation shall not apply to the MPhil degree. v) Relationship of award-bearing training to the research degree thesis Where award-bearing training modules are undertaken, any practical work may be related to the research which will form the basis of the research degree, but should not form a substantial part of it. Training work may consist of a preliminary or pilot study or a small study of a cognate area and may appear in the research degree thesis (with due acknowledgement of its source) but must not form a major part of the thesis. Page 5 of 18

6 vi) Concurrent Registration The Sub-Committee may permit a candidate to register for another course of study concurrently with the research degree registration only if the research degree registration or the other course of study is by part-time study and that, in the opinion of the Sub-Committee, the dual registration will not detract from the research. vii) Creative Work A candidate may undertake a programme of research in which the candidate's own creative work forms, as a point of origin or reference, a significant part of the intellectual enquiry. Such creative work may be in any field (for instance, fine art, design, engineering and technology, architecture, creative writing, musical composition, film, dance and performance), but shall have been undertaken as part of the registered research programme. In such cases, the presentation and submission may be partly in other than written form. The creative work shall be clearly presented in relation to the argument of a written thesis and set in its relevant theoretical, historical, critical or design context. The thesis itself shall conform to the usual scholarly requirements and be of an appropriate length. The final submission shall be accompanied by some permanent record (for instance, video, photographic record, musical score, and diagrammatic representation) of the creative work, where practicable, bound with the thesis. The application for registration shall set out the form of the candidate's intended submission and of the proposed methods of assessment. viii) Scholarly Editions A candidate may undertake a programme of research in which the principal focus is the preparation of a scholarly edition of a text or texts, musical or choreographic work, or other original artefacts. The final submission shall include a copy of the edited text(s) or collection of artefact(s), appropriate textual and explanatory annotations, and a substantial introduction and critical commentary which set the text in the relevant historical, theoretical or critical context. The thesis itself shall conform to the usual scholarly requirements and be of an appropriate length. Page 6 of 18

7 ix) Language of Thesis and Oral Except where permission has been given for the thesis and the oral examination to be in another language, the Sub-Committee shall satisfy itself that the candidate has sufficient command of the English language to complete satisfactorily the programme of work and to prepare and defend a thesis in English. Permission to present a thesis in another language shall normally be sought at the time of application for registration. Permission to present a thesis in a language other than English shall normally be given only if the subject matter of the thesis involves language and related studies in a language other than English. x) Research Effort A candidate may register on a full-time or a part-time basis. A full-time candidate shall normally devote on average at least 35 hours per week to the research; a part-time candidate on average at least 12 hours per week. xi) Confidentiality Agreements Where a candidate or the University or Sponsor wishes the thesis to remain confidential for a period of time after completion of the work for reasons of anticipated publication, commercial sensitivity or other confidential content, application for approval shall normally be made to the Sub-Committee at the time of registration, stating the reasons. In cases where the need for confidentiality emerges at a subsequent stage, a special application for the thesis to remain confidential after submission shall be made immediately to the Sub-Committee. The period approved shall normally not exceed two years from the date of the oral examination. In exceptional circumstances this period may be extended by the Sub-Committee. Page 7 of 18

8 1.4 The Registration Period i) Minimum and Maximum Registrations The normal minimum and maximum periods of registration shall be as follows: Minimum Maximum MPhil full-time 18 months 36 months part-time 30 months 48 months PhD full-time 24 months 48 months 1 part-time 36 months 84 months ii) Expected completions A full-time candidate shall normally reach the standard for MPhil within two years of registration and for PhD within three years. iii) Accelerated Registrations Where there is evidence that the research is proceeding exceptionally well, the Sub-Committee may approve a shorter minimum period of registration. An application for such shortening should be submitted at the same time as the application for approval of examination arrangements. iv) Effect on Registration Periods of Changes of Mode of Study Where a candidate changes after three years from full-time to part-time study, the minimum and maximum registration periods shall be calculated as if he/she were a full-time candidate. Notification of such a change shall be made on the appropriate form (UTRD CHMS). v) Changes to registered programmes A candidate seeking a change to a registered research degree programme shall apply in writing to the Sub-Committee for approval. Revised Ethical Clearance may need to be applied for. 1 For students whose first enrolment is 9 January 2012 onwards. Students whose first full-time enrolment was prior to 9 January 2012 will have a maximum Registration period of 60 months. Page 8 of 18

9 vi) Monitoring and Review a) Annual Monitoring Once per year - around the anniversary date of enrolment in October, January/February, or May the sub-committee shall establish whether a candidate is still actively engaged on the research programme and is maintaining regular and frequent contact with the supervisors and shall consider a report on the candidate s progress. As a result of obtaining this report, the sub-committee shall take appropriate action which may include the withdrawal of the candidate s registration. b) Review A candidate may request the review of a decision not to permit annual progression, in accordance with the Research Degree Assessment Review Regulations. c) Exceptions to Annual Monitoring Candidates who are required to attend a Progression Board will be exempt from the requirement of annual monitoring on the enrolment anniversary where they are required to attend a Progression Board. Normally, a candidate who is expected to submit a thesis for examination within the three month period subsequent to the date on which they would be required to undertake annual monitoring will be exempt. vii) Suspension of Registration Where the candidate is prevented, by ill health or other valid cause (including Maternity or Paternity Leave), from making progress with the research, the registration may be suspended by the Sub-Committee, normally for normally not less than three months and not more than one year at a time. Notification of such supervision shall be made on the appropriate form (UTRD SUSP). The commencement date for Applications for Suspension cannot be backdated beyond 3 months from the date of receipt by the University Research Degrees sub-committee. Evidence (medical or otherwise) is required to be supplied. However, candidates should make themselves familiar with the requirements of any studentships/scholarships of which they are in receipt as separate approval will be required by external funding bodies, and may result in suspension of the studentship. Retrospective Page 9 of 18

10 applications for suspension may result in requirements to repay fees and maintenance to the relevant funding body. The nomination of an Examination Team will not be approved for any student whose suspension of registration is current. Suspensions must not be used in order to delay the expiry of Registration. In cases where for valid reasons a candidate is unable to submit by the Registration date, an application for Extension of Registration must be applied for. viii) Extension of Registration a) A candidate shall submit the thesis to the Secretary of the Sub- Committee before the expiry of the maximum period of registration. Where for valid reasons a candidate does not expect to be able to submit by the Registration expiry date, a candidate may apply for an extension to the period of registration normally for not more than one year at a time, and normally must do so before the Registration expiry date. A candidate seeking such an extension shall apply on the appropriate form (UTRD EXTN). The Committee may withdraw any candidate who fails to submit a thesis prior to expiry of the maximum registration period. a) In the event that a candidate is prevented by valid reason from not submitting an application for Extension before the Registration expiry date, the commencement date for Applications for Extensions cannot be backdated beyond 3 months from the date of receipt by the University Research Degrees sub-committee. Additionally, evidence (medical or otherwise) is required to be supplied to support late applications. c) A candidate may request the review of a decision not to permit Extension to Registration, in accordance with the Research Degree Assessment Review Regulations. ix) Withdrawal of Registration or Study Where a candidate has discontinued the research, the withdrawal of registration shall be notified to the Sub-Committee on the appropriate form (UTRD WITHD). Candidates should also make themselves familiar with the requirements of any studentships/scholarships of which they are in receipt as notification of withdrawal will be required by external funding bodies. Tuition fees are payable to the University up to the effective date of withdrawal. Retrospective notifications of withdrawal may result in requirements to repay fees and maintenance to the relevant funding body. Page 10 of 18

11 The Sub-Committee may also approve the withdrawal of candidates whose failure to attend Supervisory meetings, Research Training sessions and/or submit assignments required by their Supervisory Team indicates that the candidates are no longer engaging in their research. Before proposing the withdrawal, the School s Postgraduate Tutor must investigate the circumstances and the candidate must be called to a Special Review meeting. Candidates must be given two weeks notice to attend the meeting. Failure to attend such a meeting will result in one warning letter giving a further meeting date in the same timescale. Failure to attend that meeting will result in the candidate being withdrawn. For candidates working overseas, Schools must make arrangements for tele- or video-conferencing of Special Review Meetings. x) Enrolment and Annual Re-enrolment Students are required to re-enrol on the anniversary of their start date following determination by their School that academic progress is sufficient. Enrolment is required up to the point at which a student's degree is ratified. Students must be enrolled throughout the duration of their studies, at the point of submission of the thesis, during the period that they are being examined, and during any period subsequent to examination in which they are making amendments or revisions to a thesis. Any student who does not re-enrol for the current academic year following notification that they should do so, and who has not had a formal Application for Suspension approved by URDSC, will be contacted again by post and by within a month to request them to re-enrol. Failure to re-enrol following this second request will result in automatic termination of the student's Registration and Withdrawal. Change of contact addresses or failure to check an official student address will not be considered a valid reason for failure to reenrol. Withdrawal on the basis of failure to re-enrol cannot be appealed. Page 11 of 18

12 B2 SUPERVISION 2.1 Number of Supervisors A research degree candidate shall have at least two and normally not more than three supervisors. 2.2 Supervisory Experience A supervision team shall normally have had a combined experience of supervising not fewer than two candidates to successful completion. This may be achieved as follows: Either at least one supervisor shall have had experience of supervising at least two candidates to successful completion of a UK research degree, or at least one supervisor shall have had experience of supervising one candidate to successful completion of a UK research degree and have taken for credit and passed the Research Supervisors Training Module, or approved external equivalent. In the case of a PhD, the successful supervision must be at PhD level. 2.3 Research Supervisor Training Academics who wish to become research supervisors must normally successfully complete an approved supervisory training programme, (or approved external equivalent), before they undertake any supervisory role. Only in exceptional circumstances will a member of staff be allowed to undertake supervision without such training and in that event the training programme must be successfully completed within twelve months of the uptake of such a duty. 2.4 Director of Studies One supervisor shall be the Director of Studies (first supervisor) with responsibility to supervise the candidate on a regular and frequent basis in accordance with the Code of Practice for Research Degrees. Normally a Director of Studies should not be responsible for supervising more than six students as Director of Studies at any one time. Directors of Study must be Internal to the University but other members of the Supervisory Team may be External to the University. Page 12 of 18

13 2.5 Additional Advisers In addition to the supervisors, an adviser or advisers may be proposed to contribute some specialised knowledge or a link with an external organisation. 2.6 Supervisors Registered for Research Degrees A candidate for a research degree (except for a degree of PhD by Completed Work) normally shall be ineligible to act as a member of a Supervisory Team for another research degree candidate. 2.7 Change of Supervisory Arrangements A proposal for a change in supervision arrangements shall be made to the Sub-Committee on the appropriate form (UTRD CHSUP). A change may be instigated either by the Student or by a member of the Supervisory Team, in consultation with the relevant School s Tutor for Postgraduate Students, and all parties concerned. Page 13 of 18

14 B3 PROGRESSION Progression Application 3 A candidate enrolled initially for a research degree on or after 1 September 2012 shall apply on the appropriate form (UTRD PROG) at 10 months from the commencement study to permit independent assessment to take place and completion of the Progression process within commencement of one year of study. The purpose of the application to the Progression Board will be to seek confirmation of the level of degree on which the student may proceed to further study. The date of the Progression Board should be preset in the Offer Letter in accordance with the timescale above, and a case must be made if this cannot be preset. Applicants on Distance Learning programmes must be made aware of the requirement to attend in person. Attendance at Research Induction and Research Methods and Skills Training programmes will be monitored and will be a pre-requisite for approval of a candidate s progress at the Progression. 3.2 Length of Progression Reports In support of the summary of progress on the application form, the candidate shall prepare supporting material on the work undertaken. The supporting materials should normally be of the following length but Schools may notify candidates of additional requirements: a) A progress report of not more than 30 pages (single spacing) including diagrams, references, other ancillary data, etc, or b) At least 2,500 and not more than 5,000 words, as appropriate, or in the case of Art and Design an adjudged equivalent. Supporting materials/progress reports should normally include: c) a review and discussion of the work already undertaken, and 2 Transfer Procedures for students registered prior to 1 September For students registered prior to 1 September 2007, Regulations dated 1 September 2007 apply to Transfer procedures. 3 For candidates enrolled initially for a research degree from 1 September 2007 to 31 August 2012, Progression Regulations dated Academic Year apply. Page 14 of 18

15 d) a statement of the intended further work, including in the case of candidates wishing to confirm registration for PhD details of the original contribution to knowledge which is likely to emerge. 3.3 Progression Criteria, Independent Assessment Before approving the Progression and confirming the level of degree on which the candidate will proceed, the Sub-Committee shall be satisfied that the candidate has made sufficient progress and that the proposed programme provides a suitable basis for work at the standard for the level of degree (Masters or Doctorate) which the candidate is seeking to achieve, and is capable of pursuing to completion. The candidate s School will seek advice of two Independent experts chosen in consultation between the Tutor for Postgraduate Students and the Supervisory team. One of the Independent Assessors must be external to the University. Neither should be connected with the student s work. Assessors of part-time students should be informed of the reduced time spent in study in the first year in comparison with fulltime students. The appointment of an External Assessor is to ensure that University research degrees are of a standard commensurate with national standards. In making decisions to approve Progression, the sub-committee will also take account of demonstrated commitment to the programme of research and engagement with supervisor and other support staff as indicators of sufficient progress, in addition to academic criteria. 3.4 Assessment Assessors should submit their reports, in accordance with Guidelines provided and will be given a four-week deadline to return comments. Fees to External Assessors for Progression Reports will only be paid once reports have been submitted. External Assessors should be invited to attend the Progression Board but attendance is not a statutory requirement. Internal assessors will be required to attend the Board. Page 15 of 18

16 3.5 The Progression Board The Board will consist of the Postgraduate Tutor, as Chair, and the Supervisory Team, together with the Assessors and an Independent member. Where the Postgraduate Tutor is a member of the Supervisory Team, an alternative Chair will be appointed. The student will be required to attend the Board. Students may be invited to give a presentation to the Board, but this is not a compulsory requirement and does not replace the written requirement of the report. The Board shall determine if the student can progress on the degree on which they wish to proceed, and will consider primarily whether a study has reached the required standard for progression to that level. The Board will also consider Training needs additional to those identified when the student was admitted. The student and Supervisory Team must be given access to the reports before the Board to be able to respond in writing. The responses must be presented to the Board. Exceptionally, the Board may proceed if the External s report has not been received, but the Internal Assessor s report must have been received and the Internal Assessor must be present. In the event of the unavailability of the External Independent Assessors, discussions must take place via e- mail or post to keep him/her informed. 3.6 Non-unanimous Recommendations Where the Assessors and the Boards recommendations are not unanimous, the Committee may: a) accept a majority recommendation (provided that the majority recommendation includes the External Assessor); b) accept the recommendation of the External Assessor; or c) require the appointment of an additional External Assessor. 3.7 Appointment of Additional External Assessor Where an additional External Assessor is appointed, he/she shall prepare an independent preliminary report on the basis of the Progression Report and, if considered necessary, may conduct a Page 16 of 18

17 further oral examination. That Assessor should not be informed of the recommendations of the other examiners. On receipt of the report from the additional Assessor the Sub-Committee shall complete the Progression Board process. 3.8 Decisions, Outcomes and Feedback The outcome of the Progression Board should be recorded, including any recommendations for changes to the project and formal written feedback should be given to the candidate and Supervisory Team by the Postgraduate Tutor. The recommendation will be communicated to the candidate and Supervisory Team on the day of the Board and forwarded directly to the University Research Degree sub-committee for consideration, together with the Assessors reports and Candidate s/supervisors responses made available to the Board. Candidates who are just short of the required standard may resubmit their Progression application within three months. Subject to agreement with the External Assessor, amendments may be viewed for approval by the Internal Assessor. The Sub-Committee may arbitrate in cases where there is disagreement of the Board. 3.9 Ethical considerations Before approving a Progression the Sub-Committee shall be satisfied that Ethical Clearance, either through Ethical Release or Approval, has been obtained Submission at Masters level by candidates registered at Doctoral level A student whose Registration is confirmed at Progression for the degree of PhD and who is unable to complete the approved programme of work may, at any time prior to the submission of the thesis for examination, apply to the Sub-Committee for the registration to revert to that for MPhil Non-approval of Progression A candidate seeking Progression at Doctoral level whose Progression is approved but only for progression at Masters level must submit within the normal maximum registration period for Masters. A candidate whose Progression is not approved, may not proceed and withdrawal processes will be initiated by the sub-committee. Page 17 of 18

18 Except in the case of mitigation, a candidate whose Progression is not approved on the basis of non-attendance at pre-requisite Research Induction and Research Methods and Skills Training programmes will be withdrawn. However, a candidate may Appeal against a decision not to permit progression, or not to permit progression to the level they are seeking, in accordance with the University s Academic Appeal Regulations. B4 SPECIFIC THESIS REQUIREMENTS 4.1 Thesis length 4 The text of the thesis should normally not exceed the following length (excluding ancillary data): for PhD in Science, Engineering, Art & Design for MPhil in Science, Engineering, Art & Design for PhD in Arts, Social Sciences and Education for MPhil in Arts, Social Sciences and Education 40,000 words 20,000 words 80,000 words 40,000 words Where the thesis is accompanied by material in other than written form or involves creative writing or a scholarly edition, the written thesis should normally be within the range: for PhD for MPhil 30,000-40,000 words 15,000-20,000 words 4 Candidates are warned that Examiners may decline to examine theses exceeding the maximum word length by 20%. Page 18 of 18

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