Research Assessment and Progression
All supervisors must complete an annual review report with their students before the end of the academic year. Annual Review meetings should be completed no later than the end of June for students on the September register, and the end of January for students on the March register.
Before the end of the relevant academic year, and in a time period determined by the relevant School or Discipline, the student should submit the annual review report to the Thesis Committee. Thereafter, a meeting should be arranged between the student and the Thesis Committee to discuss academic progress. The Supervisor and/or Co-Supervisor(s) may be present at formal annual review meetings with students as appropriate to local and discipline norms – in accordance with/depending on local and disciplinary policies. The Chair should ensure that time is allocated for the student to speak with the Thesis Committee without the supervisor(s) present.
Following this meeting and, if appropriate, following discussions between the Supervisor(s) and the Thesis Committee, the student's Thesis Committee should sign the annual review report form and indicate whether or not they recommend continuation on the PhD register.
Please note that from 2019, annual review reports must be signed by all members of a Thesis Committee.
Confirmation on PhD Register
A process of academic assessment for all PhD students to confirm their continuation on the PhD register is arranged within the first eighteen months of registration for full-time PhD students, and 30 months after initial registration for part-time PhD students.
The confirmation process replaces the annual progress review process in the relevant year of study.
As part of the process, each PhD student must prepare a Confirmation Report and submit it to their Supervisor(s) in time for them to read it and provide feedback before submission.
PhD students then attend a confirmation interview. The Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) makes the final decision about membership of the confirmation panel, but will consult with the Supervisor(s) before deciding, taking the student’s opinion into consideration.
The Supervisor cannot be a member of the confirmation panel, but the Supervisor(s) may be present as observers at the confirmation interview conducted by the Thesis Committee as appropriate to local and discipline norms. The Chair should ensure that time is allocated for the student to speak with the Thesis Committee without the supervisor(s) present. The Supervisor’s attendance at the interview ensures that they are aware of the panel’s critique of the student’s work.
Written feedback shall be given to the student as soon as possible after the confirmation interview. The recommendation of the panel shall be one of the following:
- continuation on the PhD register,
- continuation on the PhD register after some minor changes have been made to the PhD confirmation report,
- continuation on the PhD not recommended at this time: a new report to be written and confirmation interview to be held again as soon as possible thereafter,
- a recommendation to change to the Masters register to submit a Masters thesis, or
- not to continue as a postgraduate research student.
Transfer to the PhD Register
Students who started on the research Masters register but wish to convert to the PhD register can undertake a ‘transfer process’ identical in all respects to the confirmation process. This process is normally arranged within the first eighteen months of registration for full-time PhD students, and 30 months after initial registration for part-time PhD students.
The transfer process requires the student to prepare a transfer report; the transfer report should be written according to the guidelines issued by the appropriate Director of Teaching & Learning (Postgraduate).
The student then attends a transfer interview. The transfer panel for each student is appointed by the Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) but they will consult with the Supervisor(s), also considering the student’s opinion. The Supervisor cannot be a member of the transfer panel, but the Supervisor(s) may be present at the transfer interview. When necessary, an external discipline expert may be appointed.