Researcher Development, Review and Assessment
Training Needs Analysis
During the probationary period, you will carry out a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) in order to personalise the range of skills development in research required for your project . You will complete this within three months of enrolment for full-time students and six months for part-time students. A range of compulsory and optional courses from the Researcher Development Programme form the basis of the TNA, which can be supplemented according to your specific needs (eg in languages, technical skills, etc). The TNA is submitted online with the support of your supervisor.
All research students registered on the Doctoral Researcher Programme carry out a Formal Review to confirm PhD as their award aim (This does not apply if you are studying for the MA/MSc by Research or if you are aiming for an MPhil). The Formal Review submission includes a detailed review of literature relevant to your topic along with discussion of your proposed research methods and work you have undertaken to that point—such as data collection and/or analysis, as well as your plans for the work required to complete your project. Students completing practice-based PhDs (for example where artistic creation is part of the research methodology) will also submit examples of practical work completed to that point.
A formal Annual Review Panel is held to discuss in detail your proposed research objectives for the following year and the research project achievements of the previous year.
Online progress reports are required at least once a month. As a research student you are required to discuss your work regularly with your supervisors as an essential part of the teaching and learning contract between you and the University. These Progress Reports are an important record of the interactions you have with your supervisors and really help keep your work on track to successful completion.
The submission of your thesis for examination is be accompanied by a thesis submission form which confirms the originality of the work. You will complete this form when your thesis is submitted to the Graduate School Office (GSO).
The Viva Voce Examination
All research degree students undergo an oral examination, the ‘viva voce’, which takes place after you have submitted your thesis to the GSO. The examination team consists of at least two academics with significant expertise in your field. Normally there will be one internal examiner (a member of staff of the University) and an external examiner who is chosen for their particular experience and academic status.. Your first supervisor will take responsibility for arranging the viva voce examination once the nominated examiners have been approved by your Faculty and the Director of Graduate School.
Full-time research degree students are expected to undertake at least 35 hours a week of study throughout the year. Part-time students are expected to undertake 12 hours per week. This will include meeting regularly with your supervisor, as set out in the Code of Practice for Research Degree Students.