B5-7 Period of study

  • 7.1 Mode of study

    7.1.1 A candidate may register on a full-time or a part-time basis.  A full-time candidate shall devote on average at least 35 hours per week over a 44-week year to the research; a part-time candidate on average at least 15 hours per week.

    7.1.2 Where a candidate changes from full-time to part-time study or vice versa, the minimum and maximum registration periods shall be calculated as if the candidate were a part-time candidate.  Application for such a change shall be made on form RDSC-MS.

    7.1.3 When a candidate moves on to the Writing-up stage of the programme, their mode of study will remain unchanged unless an application for change of mode of study is submitted for approval.

    7.2 Programme length

    7.2.1 A full-time candidate shall normally reach the standard for MA, MSc or LLM by Research within one year of registration or two years for part-time.

    7.2.2 The thesis must be submitted within the following minimum and maximum periods of registration:

    MA, MSc and LLM by Research Minimum   Maximum
    Full-time     1 year    2 years
    Part-time      2 years 3 years

    7.3 Temporary suspension of period of registration

    7.3.1 Where the candidate is prevented, by ill-health or exceptionally, for other reasons, from making progress with their research, the Research Degrees Sub-Committee may suspend their registration for no more than two months at a time and for no longer than a maximum of three months.  All applications will be considered on an individual basis and a case must be made by the student, which will be judged on merit, it should be noted that approval will not automatically be granted.  A candidate seeking such a suspension shall apply on form RDSC-Susp.  The candidate’s enrolment as a student with the University shall be suspended for the period of the approved suspension and access to all University facilities will be put in abeyance for the approved period. 

    7.3.2 Supervisors must ensure that applications for suspension of registration are submitted before the period of suspension and not retrospectively.  Where in exceptional cases an application for retrospective suspension is required, the full application and supporting documentation must be submitted to the appropriate Research Degrees Sub-Committee for consideration.  The approval of applications for retrospective suspension cannot be guaranteed and if the Sub-Committee is unable to approve the application, the student will be required to enrol and pay the appropriate fees for that period of time.

    7.3.3 Applications for suspension of registration will only be considered in circumstances related to illness / accident, exceptional personal circumstances, maternity leave, or where a     difficult language has to be learnt.  If a student applies for a suspension of registration due to illness lasting for any period longer than 4 weeks, a medical certificate must be given to the Postgraduate Research Tutor to support the application.  If a suspension falls during an academic year, fees will not be payable for that period only.

    7.3.4 All candidates beginning their research programme are expected to have given due consideration to their personal and financial circumstances before accepting an offer of a place on the  programme.  Where an application for suspension is not approved, the student will be required to withdraw and apply again at a future date when they are able to maintain continuous enrolment.  All applications must be requested immediately and with the full support of the Faculty Postgraduate Research Tutor and Supervisory Team.  Retrospective applications will not be considered.

    7.4 Extension of period of registration

    7.4.1 A candidate shall submit the thesis to the Research Degrees Team before the expiry of the maximum period of registration.  The Research Degrees Sub-Committee may extend a candidate’s period of registration, for not more than three months at a time and for not more than a maximum of six months.  A candidate seeking such an extension shall apply on form RDSC-Ext. Supervisors must ensure that applications for extension of registration are submitted before the period of extension and not retrospectively.

    7.4.2 A candidate may apply to the Research Degrees Sub-Committee for an extension to their period of registration.  Extensions will be considered for time unavoidably lost through circumstances outside the control of the individual concerned or where a student’s progress has been hindered through extreme pressure of external work for a limited period.  Sympathetic consideration will be given to cases where the student has been absent through illness supported by a valid medical certificate.

    7.5 Withdrawal of registration

    7.5.1 Where a candidate has discontinued the research, the withdrawal of registration shall be notified to the Research Degrees Sub-Committee on form RDSC-W completed by the candidate and/or the supervisors.

    7.5.2 On the recommendation of a candidate’s supervisors and the Faculty Postgraduate Research Tutor, the Research Degrees Sub-Committee may terminate the registration of a candidate for the following reasons:

    (a)     if a student does not register their proposal within a maximum period of three months from the date of initial enrolment or four months for part-time students;
    (b)     if the candidate’s period of registration has expired and an application for extension of registration has not been submitted within a reasonable period;
    (c)     if the candidate has not responded to any correspondence from the supervisors and there has been no contact between the candidate and the supervisors for a period of three months;
    (d)     if the candidate has not maintained enrolment as a student of the University and paid the appropriate fees (see Section 4.);
    (e)     if the candidate’s Faculty provides evidence for unsatisfactory academic progress, over a period of six months.

    7.5.3 A candidate who has formally withdrawn may apply for reinstatement of registration if, due to a change in circumstances, the candidate is in a position to be able to resume the research programme.  The application should be considered by the Faculty Postgraduate Research Tutor in line with the Admission procedures in the Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research.  Consideration will also be given to the likelihood of completion; past academic achievement; progress; references; financial viability and whether adequate supervision is available.

    As part of the application, the candidate should submit a full proposal containing a detailed progress report, clearly outlining the work already undertaken with a full account of the work still to be completed.  The application should include a realistic timetable of when the various stages of the remaining work will be completed. 

    The application will be considered by the Faculty Postgraduate Research Tutor in the same way as for a new application.  However, particular attention will be paid to the progress made and the academic standard of the work already completed when the candidate was previously registered.  The Faculty and the Research Degrees Sub-Committee reserve the right to refuse re-entry to the programme if previous work was not of a satisfactory standard or if there are no longer supervisors available to support the work.

    If an application to resume study is successful, the candidate will be required to enrol on a new student number and pay the appropriate full-time or part-time fee (see Section 4), no concession will be made for fees previously paid.  An application for registration will then be made to the Research Degrees Sub-Committee in the usual way, the amount of time allowed for the backdating of a candidate’s new registration will depend on the recommendations made by the Faculty and Sub-Committee.

    7.6 Paid work and holidays

    7.6.1 Full-time students who wish to undertake paid work not directly related to their research training must get the permission of their Director of Studies and Postgraduate Research Tutor.

    7.6.2 A full-time student must allocate at least 35 hours a week to work on their research programme and should not undertake more than 20 hours per week paid employment or other commitments. Part-time candidates should have a minimum of 15 hours per week available for their programme of study over the full duration of their programme.

    7.6.3 Students may take up to four weeks holiday in each year (pro rata for parts of a year), inclusive    of normal public holidays.  The timing of the holidays must be agreed with their Director of   Studies.