Research

Frequently asked questions

How do I get a student visa or visa extension?

Student visas (Tier 4 visas) are only issued once you have an unconditional offer of a place on a programme and you have accepted the offer. This is evidenced by a Certificate of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) which is issued by the Finance and Student Records Department. It is important to allow plenty of time when applying for a visa. Visa extensions are issued on the basis of evidence that you are still a student and require more time to complete your programme. The best place to go for advice on visas and extensions is the International Students Centre. Immigration is complex and it is always best to get expert advice. There are fees for visas and extensions.
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Who do I talk to if I have a problem about enrolment or administration?

All research degree admissions are dealt with by the Research and Innovation Services, so if you have a problem with enrolment you should inform us first. Enrolment is done online (using E-Vision) and advice on enrolment can be obtained from the Finance and Commercial Development Department. The administration of your degree is done by Schools and by RIS. If you have a question about routine matters of administration then the first person to approach is the Postgraduate Tutor or the Secretary/Administrator for the School. If you are still unsure about an aspect of your degree administration, then talk to staff in RIS.

Who do I talk to if I have a problem with my supervisor(s) or my School?

The first thing to do to resolve a problem is to discuss it with your supervisors. If the issue is not resolved, then the Postgraduate Tutor should be able to help or you may be referred to the Assistant Dean (Research) or the School Dean. Finally, if all avenues have been tried with no result, then please discuss the issue with staff in RIS.

How does progression work? What do I have to do?

Progression is an important stage of your degree where the University determines whether your work has progressed sufficiently for you to be allowed to continue on your programme of research. It takes place at the end of the first year for all students, both full and part time. The date of progression is given to you in your offer letter. Make a note of the deadline as you will be asked to prepare a report of your progress to date and submit this along with a form to be considered by a panel, which includes external assessors. You will be invited to attend a meeting where you will be asked questions about your report and your research. You may be invited to respond in writing to issues raised by the assessors. Finally, the panel makes a recommendation to the School and then to the University Research Degrees Committee. The possible outcomes of progression are: a) recommendation to progress further on the degree of Registration; b) recommendation to progress further on a lower degree (MPhil rather than PhD); c) recommendation for withdrawal.

When do I re-enrol?

You MUST re-enrol annually. This applies to everyone studying for a research degree, regardless of stage or status. You will need to re-enrol on the anniversary of your original start date. If you do not re-enrol annually you are no longer formally a student and are likely to be withdrawn. You cannot submit your thesis if you are not enrolled. If you think you'll have problems paying your fees you should still re-enrol as it is possible to make arrangements with the Finance and Student Records Department to deal with the fees later. If you encounter problems with re-enrolling, contact RIS immediately.

Where can I find out about English language courses?

English language courses are available via the School of Social Sciences, Humanities & Law. Two kinds of courses are available. There are generic English language courses for basic English taught in classes along with undergraduate and other taught degree students. We also have some specialised English language courses for research students, please contact Dr Andrew Rawnsley in RIS for further details.
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Where can I find funding for conferences or travel to events?

If you are funded by a Research Councils UK studentship, extra funding to attend training events is provided. For other students, please enquire within your School. RIS do not allocate funding specifically for conference attendance or to cover travel to events.

What format should a thesis have?

The formatting requirements for a thesis are given in the 'Framework and Regulations for the Award of Higher Degrees by Research' Section B4.3vi. A separate PDF document covering format requirements is also available from GRS.

When do I have to submit my thesis?

Each student will submit according to their own progress and timetable for submission. Full-time students should aim to submit their thesis in around 3 years. Part-time students should aim to submit their thesis in around 6 years. However, the maximum time for full-time students is 4 years and for part-time students 7 years. If you do not submit within this period, you will need to apply for an extension of registration or your submission will be invalidated.

Where and how do I submit my thesis?

All theses should be submitted to GRS and include a formal 'Declaration of Submission' form. Contact Dr Rawnsley for further information.

How are viva examinations arranged?

Viva examinations are arranged by RIS and not by Schools. Contact Dr Rawnsley for further information.

How do I find out about the award ceremonies?

Award ceremonies take place annually in November. Your degree must have been ratified by early October at the latest for you to attend the following month. You will be invited to attend by the Finance and Student Records Department, who are responsible for arrangements at Awards Ceremonies. GRS do not organise Awards Ceremonies and cannot issue invitations or issue you with tickets for guests.

Common abbreviations and links to further information

  • Research and Innovation Services - RIS
  • School of Computing, Media & the Arts - SCMA
  • School of Health and Social Care - SoH
  • School of Science, Engineering & Design - SSED
  • School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law - SSSHL
  • University Research Degrees Committeee - URDC
  • University Research Ethics Committee - UREC
  • University Research Degrees Board - URDB
  • Department of Academic Enterprise - DAE