Key Activities for Postgraduate Research Students

Throughout their research degree a typical postgraduate research student can expect to engage in the following key activities:


Activity Timings Description
Registration On arrival and at the start of each academic year (September)

Students are required to confirm their personal and course details, accept the University’s terms and conditions, pay their fees and confirm their attendance. 


Induction On arrival

Students are welcomed to their Faculty and School and provided with useful information to assist them throughout their studies. 


Learning Agreements One month after first registration

Students are required to complete a Learning Agreement at an early stage of their research degree in consultation with their supervisor.  It provides confirmation that students have received, understood and accepted the expectations of their research programme.


Faculty Research Training Ongoing throughout studies, but likely to be weighted towards the early stages of the degree

Students must engage in research training to ensure they develop the skills that are essential for successful research.  Evidence of engagement in research training is requested as part of the Annual Progression Review.


Project Approval Approximately three months after first registration

Students must submit a research proposal and research plan to be approved by their supervisors, an independent panel, the Head of School and the Dean of Postgraduate Studies.  An essential requirement for progression.


Meeting Records Ongoing throughout studies until the point of submission (home students) or completion (students holding Tier 4 visas)

As required by the Code of Practice, students must maintain records of all structured interactions as evidence of engagement with their studies.  Requires the involvement of both the student and their supervisor(s). 


Attendance Monitoring Ongoing throughout studies until the point of submission (home students) or completion (students holding Tier 4 visas)

A central University process undertaken to provide confirmation that students are engaging with their studies.  This process allows the University to meet its obligation to the Home Office to ensure students who hold Tier 4 visas are complying with the terms of their visa.


Progression After 9 months then annually up to submission

An activity to confirm a student is making satisfactory progress and that they can progress to the next stage of their studies.


Examination At end of studies, on completion of minimum candidature

Students submit their completed thesis, undertake an oral examination and are advised of any corrections/revisions.  Once these steps have been completed and a hardbound thesis is submitted, the degree is awarded.


Further information for International Students

International students may need to renew their visa during their studies or to seek advice on their visa options.  Further information on specific issues that may affect PGR students holding Tier 4 visas can be found here.


PGR Employment within the University

If you are a research student who wishes to take up employment on campus, you may find the following information helpful.

The Policy on Student Employment outlines how students are able to engage with work opportunities on campus. The policy outlines that full-time students are normally limited to 20 hours of employment per week. Research students are able to work additional hours during holiday leave periods. There is a FAQ page that may also be helpful.

There are linked policies that Supervisors and research students should be aware of:

PGR Holiday Policy - please see page 2 of this policy for further information on employment within the University

Policy on Postgraduates who Teach