School of History, Philosophy and Culture

  • Processes and procedures

    The following information is taken from the University Research Degree Regulations, which you were given when you enrolled (see Documents in the Useful Documents and Links). You are advised to read these regulations carefully, not least the expectations upon you to report on and present your work at key transition points in your study.

  • When we receive your Acceptance slip accepting our offer of a place and agreeing with the University’s Conditions of Acceptance, the University Research Degrees Team will send you details of how to enrol. Enrolment is conducted by the Research Degrees Team, which is also responsible for the organisation of your continued annual enrolment and payment of fees, and for processing all stages of the programme through the Humanities, Environment and Social Sciences (HESS) Research Degrees Sub-Committee (RDSC).

    Full-time students should formally register their research degree from three months of enrolment and within a maximum period of 9 months (exceptional twelve months) for part-time students. MA/MSc/LLM by Research and PhD by Published work students should formally register within the first three months of their studies (four months for part-time students). This process should include a formal interview and once completed, you should complete the RDSC-R form (see Documents in the Useful Documents and Links section) with the assistance of your supervisors and forward this onto the relevant Postgraduate Research Tutor (see Postgraduate Research Tutor in the Important Contact Details section).

    All students must be able to meet the University’s requirements for a research degree, which for full-time students is to be able to devote a minimum of 35 hours per week over a 44-week year to the research or a minimum of 15 hours per week for part-time students. In addition, full-time students should not undertake more than 20 hours per week paid employment or other commitments.

    Continuation of your studies is dependent on satisfactory academic progress. Please be aware that the first year of your research degree is a probationary period, which must be completed satisfactorily, in order to progress to the second year of the programme. If you are an MA/MSc/LLm by Research or PhD by Published Work student the first three months of your research degree is a probationary period which must be completed satisfactorily in order to progress with your research degree.

    The progress and status of all research students is reviewed annually by the Faculty. This includes:

    1. Your progress report (approximately 1000 words) which you should send to the relevant Postgraduate Research Tutor and your supervisory team (in addition, the report is assessed by someone external to the supervisory team),
    2. a progress report written by your Director of Studies,
    3. a piece of your written work should be submitted for completion of a Turnitin analysis, the results of which must be formally recorded on your Annual Progress Report, and
    4. an interview with the relevant Postgraduate Research Tutor and a member of your supervisory team

    At the end of the first year’s study (or two years part-time), the University requires that the student progress review includes a clear indication about whether the student is likely to achieve the degree in the time normally allocated for the degree (four years full-time and six years part-time). For full-time MA/MSc/LLM by Research students this review should occur at the end of the first six months (or at the end of the first year for part-time students).

    In terms of University procedures the transfer from MPhil to PhD marks a critical milestone in your progression on the programme. This should be done when sufficient progress has been made on the work to provide evidence of the development to PhD (normally after 18 months of full-time study or 24-26 months of part-time study). Transfer comprises three main elements:

    1. a 1000 word transfer report which should be sent to the relevant Postgraduate Research Tutor and your supervisory team,
    2. an oral presentation and/or interview, and
    3. an additional piece of work as indicated by the Faculty, Department/School or supervisory team.

    You should then apply using the RDSC-T form (see Documents in Useful Documents and Links) which should contain a summary of your full progress report, a timetable outlining the additional PhD element, and a statement of support from your supervisors. The form should then be sent to the relevant Postgraduate Research Tutor for consideration at the HESS Research Degrees Sub-Committee.

    For all other matters relating to the research degree programme (e.g. extension of study, temporary suspension of studies, withdrawal of registration, approval of examination arrangements, submission of thesis, format of thesis, etc.) please refer to the relevant University Research Degree Regulations.

    It is University policy that all research carried out by research students which involves human participants should be submitted for research ethics review. Research ethics review is carried out by the University Research Ethics Committee (UREC) or, for those conducting research on patients, staff, carers or a study on NHS Premises, by an NHS Research Ethics Committee. Students must have full ethics approval before any attempt is made to recruit participants and collect data ( click here for further information).

    Please contact the Faculty Research Ethics Officer, Dr Carol Brown (see Other Useful Contacts in the Important Contact Details), for any questions you have regarding research ethics.