The University is continually updating its guidance to students and staff and so we strongly recommend that you regularly check the guidance at the University's Coronavirus page.

This page focuses on doctoral specific issues and will be updated on a regular basis.

Update: 11.00 on Wednesday 25 March

Guidance on funding and income

Read the latest information from the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (International & Doctoral) on funding and income.

Update: 14.00 on Friday 20 March

Submission and Archive of Theses

The Doctoral College are endeavouring to maintain all of the usual levels of support, whilst for the majority of time working from home. This means that it may not always be possible to submit a hard copy of your thesis or (where currently required) confirmation report to the office. For this reason we are changing the submission requirements for the foreseeable future.

First submission of thesis and confirmation reports – a hard copy will not be required, please submit your thesis/confirmation documents via the Moodle submission points by your deadline dates. Arrangements for vivas and confirmation examinations will be forwarded to you in due course.

Archive copy of thesis – we will accept a receipt from Print Services showing that your thesis has been submitted for hard binding in order to process your viva paperwork for graduation. We will be happy to collect hard bound thesis from Print Services when we are next on campus. Please email your Programmes Administrator, at the email addresses below, when your thesis is ready for collection.

If you have any questions regarding your progression please contact your Programmes Administrators using the following addresses:
Faculty of Engineering and Design:
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences:
Faculty of Science:
School of Management:

The information below was emailed to all doctoral students on Tuesday 17 March 2020

It was also copied to Deans, Heads of Department, Associate Deans for Research, Faculty Directors of Doctoral Studies, and Directors of Studies.

Doctoral College support – many of the DC staff will be working from home but, even if a whole team has to work from home, we shall maintain full support as far as is possible. We are currently determining work patterns and shall provide updates on our Doctoral College webpage as to how we will be working. We would encourage students and staff to use email rather than telephone or visiting the office.

Supervisory meetings – whether you remain at the University or are working from a distance, it is crucial that you continue to liaise with your supervisory team. Recognising that face-to-face meetings may not be desirable (or even practical if you have returned to your home) it is important to discuss as to how best to maintain contact. The University has encouraged us to use Microsoft Teams. It is important to recognise that the situation will not ease for a significant period of time, and may in-fact result in more stringent limitations; it is therefore important that in your discussions with your supervisors you look ahead over at least the next few months.

Confirmation events and viva voce exams – the Board of Studies (Doctoral) has recommended that candidates and examiners consider delaying all viva examinations and confirmation exams scheduled to take place over the next few months. However, where this action would be of distinct disadvantage to the student, then under such circumstances a request to hold the exam via video conferencing will be approved and would be coordinated by your internal examiner. See Appendix 3 of QA& Research degrees for guidelines on how to plan, set-up and conduct a video conference viva.

Extensions, suspensions and funding – we recognise that there will be cases where continuation of your research may not be possible e.g. unable to travel to carry out fieldwork. In the first instance we would encourage you to discuss with your supervisory team how your planned activities might be adapted to enable you to continue. However, we will also be very sympathetic as to the effects on your registration, the need for suspensions and extensions, etc.

Taught phase elements of your studies (e.g. for Professional Doctorate programme residentials and Integrated PhDs) – these will be governed by the University’s cessation of face-to-face teaching from the end of today (17 March 2020) – see Coronavirus update: learning and teaching to go online

Research phase elements of your studies – local Departmental/Faculty policies will apply e.g. office and laboratory procedures, attendance requirements, and whether or not to continue with ongoing research activities. Please check with your Supervisor or Director of Studies.

Travelling, including those already on fieldwork or on placement – in keeping with advice from the UK Government current University guidance is that you should not be travelling. If you are already overseas then you should ensure that you monitor the UK Government’s Coronavirus travel guidance and carefully monitor and follow any local advice. In all cases please keep your supervisory team (not just your lead supervisor) fully informed of your plans.

External funding – if your PhD is externally funded, you will need to check whether your funder has provided any specific advice.

Postgraduates who teach – local Departmental/Faculty policies will apply, so please check with whoever you liaise with for your teaching regarding equipment and software to enable you to teach online.

Doctoral Skills – all face-to-face training and workshops will either be transferred online (where possible) or postponed/cancelled.

Doctoral events – we are currently reviewing our events and activities but, as with skills, we will be looking to either transfer events online or postpone/cancel face-to-face events.

If you have any further questions please contact your departmental Director of Studies (Doctoral) or email the Doctoral College and please keep your supervisory team informed of any concerns.

Please be reassured that we want you to succeed as doctoral students and we will do everything we can to support you and to accommodate any changes that need to be made.