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Current Graduate Students

 

At the end of the first year of a PhD, in most cases (90-95%) progression to PhD is straightforward, following submission of the first year report and satisfactory assessment of progress by both Supervisor and Assessors, but in some cases it is not and the Department/Degree Committee will then recommend alternative pathways to students.  The Departmental actions described below in b) and c) are IN ADDITION to the procedures set out for First Year Probationary Review by the Degree Committee and designed in order to provide the smoothest path possible for students who do not progress to PhD in a straightforward way following submission of the first year report:

a)  Continue to PhD (typically 90-95% of the cohort)

No special action to be taken. The student’s Supervisor will follow Degree Committee guidance for registration of student following completion of First Year Probationary Review.

b)  Continue to PhD following acceptable resubmission of first year report within three months of initial Assessment:

In all cases of this type, the following procedure will be adopted:

  • Upon the submission of Assessor forms which indicate that a report needs to be rewritten, the Degree Committee will notify you, your Supervisor and the Graduate Student Co-ordinator
  • A member of the Departmental Tutor Group will speak with each student and their Supervisor (in a joint meeting), as well as the first year report Assessors to ensure the pathway being followed is optimal for the student.
  • Following resubmission/assessment of an acceptable report, a member of the Departmental Tutor Group will speak with each student, their Supervisor and the first year report Assessors to ensure that everybody is content with the planned way forward.
  • The Tutor will e-mail the student, Supervisor, first year report Assessors, the Graduate Education Team and Deputy Head of Department with a summary of the conversations that have been had, covering all aspects that were problematic in terms of progressing to the second year and inviting all stakeholders to provide further comment or correction of what is written.The GSC will retain all this information, as an accurate record agreed by all those involved.
  • The student’s Supervisor will follow Degree Committee guidance (which is communicated by email and bespoke to each individual case) for registration of student following successful completion of First Year Probationary Review at this second opportunity.

c)  Other options:

Every student who does not undergo a satisfactory first year probationary review will normally be first given the option of re-writing their report within three months to a standard appropriate for progression to PhD.However, there may be cases where the report is still not of this standard or it is agreed prior to such a re-write that the student will progress via an alternative route and in these cases, the following recommendations are possible:

In these cases, the following procedure will be followed:

  • The student will normally be interviewed by two members of the Graduate Education Team or Deputy HoD, none of whom is the student Supervisor;
  • A summary of the discussion and conclusion will be sent to the Graduate Education Team  Deputy HoD, the student and the student’s Supervisor.
  • Students will need to confirm that they agree with the summary, have discussed the recommendation with their Departmental Academic Mentor and College Graduate or Senior Tutor prior to taking the next steps.

The Degree Committee will consider the Assessors reports and the Department’s recommendation and make a considered recommendation on how to proceed to the Board of Graduate Studies.   The next steps will vary depending on what that recommendation is and are as follows:

If the recommendation is to change Degree Registration from probationary PhD to MPhil:

  • The student will write up and submit the MPhil thesis in a time-frame agreed by the Department, their Supervisor, the Degree Committee and Student Registry (normally not more than three months).
  • The MPhil thesis will be examined by two Examiners (usually one internal, one external) and a viva carried out with the Examiners and student.

If the recommendation is to write up and leave with a Certificate of Postgraduate Studies (CPGS):

  • If it is considered that a student will not be able to generate sufficient material for an MPhil, they will usually be offered the opportunity to have their first year’s work considered for a CPGS and then leave.
  • The student will then write up and submit a CPGS report in a time-frame agreed by the Department, their Supervisor, the Degree Committee and Student Registry (usually one month, normally not more than three months).
  • The report submitted will normally be examined by two Examiners (usually both internal) and a viva carried out with the Examiners and student.

If the recommendation is to remove you from the University Register of Students with no formal outcome (also applies to MPhil students), we will do everything we can to properly support you through this process.

Funding: all students who embark upon a PhD will do so with funding which is specifically intended for students carrying out a full PhD.  If the decision is made to transfer Degree Registration from Probationary PhD to MPhil or write up and leave with a CPGS, the original source of funding may no longer be used.  Exactly when the funding is withdrawn depends upon the individual source but generally students need to be aware that this will occur and they may need to self-fund the final few months when they are completing either the CPGS or MPhil.  The Department is currently working on policy in this area to enable all students to be treated in an equal way.