Guidance and forms for doctoral students
Here you will find guidance and links to the forms that you will need to complete during the course of your doctoral studies.
We have also produced a quick reference guide to academic milestones which you may find useful. Please contact your supervisor or the Doctoral College programmes team for further information. Your department/Faculty/School will also provide you with further specific information about what is required at certain points for progression through your degree. You can find links to your Faculty / School web page here:
Specific guidance and forms
First meeting(s) with Supervisor
You are expected to make contact with your supervisor when you first start. In order to make sure that you and your supervisor are clear about expectations of the supervisory relationship, as well as arrangements for meetings, and initial information about important progression points, a Checklist is available which recommends what might be covered during those first few initial meetings. You may also wish to consider the Responsibilities of the Supervision Team as well as the Responsibilities of the Doctoral Student, both of which are appendices of QA7.
Using the Library
The University’s Library has a number of resources which you might find useful as a doctoral student, including a guide to using the Library, information on study areas and bookable work rooms, good practice for attracting citations, a guide to citing references and information on submitting your thesis.
Candidature is usually completed within one month of starting your full-time research degree or three months for part-time. If you are on a programme with a taught phase, Candidature must be completed after starting the research stage.
You will need to complete a PGR1 form as part of this process. This is held in SAMIS and there is guidance available on how to complete it. You will receive an email requesting that you go to the task in your SAMIS in tray when it is time for you to fill it in.
Progress Reports are completed every six months through SAMIS using the PGR2 form. This process is initiated by your Supervisor and you will be notified by email once it is your turn to complete the task.
Most doctoral students are required to undertake Confirmation, apart from those on a Professional Doctorate. For those PhD students starting the process from November 2018/19, PGR3 will be available to complete in SAMIS. For those Research Engineers undertaking an EngD, you will continue to use the PGR3 form as part of this process which can be obtained directly from your Doctoral Programme Administrator.
The Doctoral College provides comprehensive guidance to students about the Confirmation process. This guidance provides useful links to resources for all areas of the Confirmation process, including information about writing a data management plan as well as guidance from the Library on citing references. Information on what to do if your research has ethical implications is also included, as well as links to mandatory training in areas such academic integrity, research integrity and research ethics.
All students undertaking Confirmation will be required to submit an electronic copy of their report and associated documents through Moodle.
Further guidance about the Confirmation process is available at department/faculty/School level, please contact the Doctoral College or your supervisor for further information.
Change of Circumstances
There may be instances throughout your degree where you need to seek formal approval for changes to your circumstances. Please note that any changes proposed are subject to approval by Board of Studies (Doctoral), which meets every four/six weeks:
to change your mode of study, complete PGR4 form
to suspend your registration to attend a work placement or internship, please complete PGR16 form.
to suspend your registration for reasons other than to attend a work placement or internship, please contact the Doctoral College to request a pre-populated PGR5 form to complete. You can find further guidance on suspending your studies from Student Services
to apply for an extension to your registration, complete PGR6 form
for approval for a restriction of access to a thesis, complete PGR7 form
to change your Supervisor, complete PGR8
to withdraw from your degree, your supervisor will be required to complete PGR9 form with your input, where possible.
to request to transfer to writing up, complete PGR10 form
to make a change to your thesis title, complete PGR11 form
to transfer to MPhil, you will need to complete PGR12 form
Please note that if you are in receipt of funding for your degree, you are strongly recommended to seek advice from the Studentships team and Student Money Advice (Student Services) to discuss any financial implications arising from any change in your circumstances. If you are a Tier 4 visa student you will also need to contact the Student Immigration Service.
If you wish to make a change, you can either complete the appropriate form and submit it to the Doctoral College, or you can request a pre-populated form directly from the Doctoral College.
The University has a policy on Maternity, Paternity and Adoption leave for Research Students which provides further advice and guidance.
Health and Safety Guide
Under Health and Safety law, when you are carrying out research or associated study activities as a doctoral student, you are required to follow University health and safety policy, standards or guidance. Our Health and Safety Guide for Doctoral students has been put together to raise awareness of the types of health and safety matters that you will need to be aware of whilst carrying out your research and study, and the way that you should be supported by the University.
It includes relevant policy, standards and guidance, available support and the contacts you should talk to if needed.
There may be instances where you are required to undertake activities off-campus, such as fieldwork, data collection and attendance at conferences. You are required to notify the University before you intend to undertake such an activity by completing the Off-Campus Activities Notification Form. You may also be required to complete a Risk Assessment.
Further guidance can be found in our Guide:Off-campus research activities: guidance for doctoral students. You can also find information about Health and Safety considerations in our Doctoral College Health and Safety Guide.
Thesis/Portfolio Submission for Examination
The University has developed guidance to detail the specifications for the presentation of Higher Degree Theses or Portfolios. You may also be interested in submitting an alternative format thesis and can find out further information through the Alternative Format Thesis FAQs. You can find out further information about word limits for your submission in the Guidance on word counts for final thesis/portfolio. The Library has also published a guide to citing references.
All students are required to complete the HD1 form to provide notification of your intention to submit your thesis or portfolio. This can be done through SAMIS by going to your In-tray and clicking on the HD1 task. You will receive notification by email of this task around six months before your end date and you are required to complete it at least two months in advance of submitting your final thesis/portfolio. Doctorate of Clinical Psychology students will not receive an email notification. They will be notified by their Programme team how and when to complete a form version of the HD1.
If you wish to submit your HD1 form earlier than six months before your end date, please contact your programme administrator in the Doctoral College.
All students are required to submit an electronic copy of their thesis/portfolio for examination through Moodle. Doctorate of Clinical Psychology and Doctorate of Business Administration in Higher Education Management students will be notified by their programme team regarding how to submit. When you submit your final thesis/portfolio, you are then required to complete HD2 form and submit it to the Doctoral College.
All doctoral students are required to undertake a final Viva. Your Supervisor, Director of Studies or Doctoral College Administrator will be able to provide you with support and guidance in preparation for this examination. Your Supervisor will nominate the examiners for your examination and you might find it useful to consider the Guidelines for Examiners for further information about how the examination will be conducted.
Final Thesis/Portfolio Submission
Once the examination has been successfully completed, the final version of your thesis/portfolio should be submitted in hardbound copy to the Doctoral College, along with a completed HD3 form before the outcome is approved by the Board of Studies (Doctoral). Your hardbound thesis/ portfolio will be deposited in the Library. The electronic copy will need to be made publicly available by being uploaded to the University’s research information system Pure. The library provides guidance on submitting your final thesis/portfolio.
You may wish to make a complaint about an academic decision made by the Board of Studies about, for example: the outcomes of the taught element of your degree (where applicable); the outcome of Confirmation; or your final award. You are advised to read the University’s guidance about Student Academic Appeals and Reviews as well as Regulation 17 for further information and support.
The University holds its award ceremonies twice a year, in winter and summer. Please contact the Doctoral College to determine which ceremony you will be eligible to attend. This will be dependent on when your viva outcome is approved by the Board of Studies (Doctoral) and when you submit your hard-bound and electronic copies of your final thesis.