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5.1 New students may only enrol on the programme in either September and January of each year. Students shall submit an application to the Research Degrees Sub-Committee to register for the degree of MA, MSc or LLM by Research. This shall be done on form RDSC-MRR within the first three months of enrolment for full-time students and within a maximum period of four months for part-time students. If a student has not registered within a maximum of four months of enrolment, on the recommendation of a student’s supervisors and the Faculty Postgraduate Research Tutor, the Research Degrees Sub-Committee will terminate the student’s enrolment (except as in paragraph 5.3 below). All students should have a formal interview as part of the registration process, as detailed in their Faculty Handbook. The form RDSC-MRR shall be completed by the candidate, with the assistance of the supervisors, and shall be approved by the Faculty Postgraduate Research Tutor who will forward it to the Research Degrees Sub-Committee for consideration.
5.2 The date of registration given in the application sets the start of the time period for the programme of research. The date of registration shall be the date the candidate initially enrolled on the research degree programme. The date of registration may not be backdated before the candidate’s date of initial enrolment as a student at the University.
5.3 In approving an application for registration, the Research Degrees 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;
(d) the University or formally approved collaborating establishment is able to provide appropriate facilities for the conduct of scholarly research in the area of the research programme;
(e) the candidate is enrolled as a student of the University and the research programme has been approved by the candidate’s Faculty;
(f) Ethics approval has been obtained or an application submitted as appropriate;
Intellectual Property Rights have been signed off.
Since this approval requires appropriate academic judgement to be brought to bear on the viability of each research proposal, the Research Degrees Sub-Committee shall be composed of persons who are or have recently been engaged in research and who have appropriate experience of successful research degree supervision (see Annex 1).
5.4 Where a research project is part of a piece of funded research, the Research Degrees 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 programme.
5.5 Except where permission has been given for the thesis and the oral examination to be in another language, the Research Degrees 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 be sought at the time of application for registration. Permission to present a thesis in a language other than English shall only be given if the subject matter of the thesis involves language and related studies.
5.6 Where a candidate or the University wishes the thesis to remain confidential for a period of time after completion of the work, this shall be identified and approval sought from the Research Degrees Sub-Committee at the time of registration. In such cases where the need for confidentiality emerges at a subsequent stage, the request for the thesis to remain confidential after submission shall be made immediately to the Research Degrees Sub-Committee.
The Research Degrees Sub-Committee shall normally only approve an application for confidentiality in order to enable a patent application to be lodged or to protect commercially or politically sensitive material. A thesis shall not be restricted in this way in order to protect research leads. The normal maximum period of confidentiality shall be one year from the date of oral examination and in such cases all examiners shall be required to complete and sign a Confidentiality Agreement RDSC-CA. In exceptional circumstances the Research Degrees Sub-Committee may approve a longer period. Where a shorter period would be adequate the Research Degrees Sub-Committee shall not automatically grant confidentiality for one year.
5.7 A candidate seeking substantial change to an approved programme of research at any time after registration shall submit a revised registration form to the Research Degrees Sub-Committee for approval.