University Calendar 2011/12
Section XIII : Academic Regulations - Faculty of Social and Human Sciences

ARCHIVE 2004/5
ARCHIVE 2005/6
ARCHIVE 2006/7
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ARCHIVE 2008/9
ARCHIVE 2009/10
Academic Unit Psychology
Final Award MPhil/PhD
Programme(s) Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice
Last modified July 2009
Reviewed In June 2010; no changes made
Reviewed in July 2011; no changes made

Academic regulations for research degree programmes (without taught elements) are written and maintained by the University and can be found in Section V of the University Calendar.

1. Admissions
1.1 The requirements for candidature shall be an undergraduate degree which confers the British Psychological Society's 'graduate basis for registration' and a British Psychological Society accredited MSc in Health Psychology, or a pass in an equivalent British Psychological Society examination in health psychology.
1.2 Candidates satisfying the requirements for candidature may be admitted provided the Psychology Board is satisfied as to both their chosen subject for research and the supervisory arrangements. A formal supervision plan will be submitted for approval at the outset of the candidature and any changes to the plan will also be submitted in writing for approval in advance.
1.3 In approving candidature, Psychology shall state the effective starting date which may be backdated to the day after the last Psychology Board meeting in certain cases, at the discretion of the Board.
1.4 For the purposes of these regulations the University shall be deemed to include any clinical institutions in the South and West Regional Health Authority area where the Psychology Board is satisfied that University staff can arrange proper supervision of a research candidate.
1.5 Psychology supports the University's commitment to a comprehensive policy of equal opportunities and cultural diversity. Students are selected solely on the basis of their relevant academic merits and abilities.

2. Structure of Programme(s)
2.1 The course to be followed shall be one of supervised research, consultancy, teaching and training, professional practice and study and shall be either part-time or full-time. The portfolio of evidence of competence in each of those elements shall be presented in the form specified for examination by scrutiny and viva voce at the end of the course of study.
2.2 The Psychology Board may approve arrangements for an individual candidate to receive supervision provided jointly by the University and a suitably qualified supervisor (ie: a Chartered Health Psychologist with experience of postgraduate supervision) in another institution. In such cases the Psychology Board may permit a period or periods of study to be undertaken at the other institution. Such arrangements must be formally notified and agreed in the supervision plan to be submitted to the Board at the outset of candidature, or in the changes to supervision plan to be submitted during candidature.
2.3 A candidate will be required to register for the degree of MPhil/PhD in Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice.
2.4 The period of study for the MPhil/PhD in Health Psychology ends when the portfolio of evidence of professional competence is submitted. The minimum period of study in full-time candidature is one year for MPhil and two years for PhD, and the maximum is three years for MPhil and four years for PhD. The minimum for part-time candidature is two years for MPhil and three years for PhD, and the maximum is five years for MPhil and seven years for PhD. A candidate who fails to submit a portfolio by the end of the maximum period of study shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the course.
2.5 Temporary Suspension and Nominal Registration
Candidates for the MPhil/PhD in Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice must continue in registration for the degree until such time as they submit their portfolio or withdraw, except that the Psychology Bord may, on the recommendation of the Head of Psychology, permit temporary suspension of candidature. Periods of temporary suspension shall not count towards the maximum period of study. The submission following part-time candidature shall be made not later than five years for MPhil or seven years for PhD from the date of first registration. The time limit may be extended by the Psychology Board on the recommendation of the Programme Director in special circumstances.
2.6 If, having completed not less than the minimum period of supervised study, a candidate ceases to receive supervision, the Psychology Board may allow transfer to nominal registration for a period not exceeding twelve months in the first instance after submission of a change in supervision plan. A candidate wishing to extend the period of nominal registration beyond twelve months must apply in writing through the Psychology Office.
2.7 Candidates in nominal registration shall, on transfer, pay the fee prescribed in the Fees Regulations.
2.8 Periods of nominal registration shall count towards the maximum period of study.

3. Progression
3.1 After completion of the necesssary period of study a portfolio shall be submitted for examination. The thesis component of the portfolio shall be examined in accordance with the instructions in the leaflet The Completion of Research Degree Candidature which is issued to candidates. The thesis will form part of the portfolio of evidence of competence in skills relevant to professional practice, specifications for which are set out in a leaflet issued by Psychology. The portfolio for MPhil shall be no longer than 50,000 words in total of which approximately half shall be the thesis. The thesis for PhD shall not exceed 75,000 words in total but the portfolio of evidence of competence can be submitted as a supplement to the thesis. The remaining documents to be examined shall be the Supervision Plan, Practice Diary, Supervision Log and Records of Completion (approximately 12,000 words); two reports on consultancy activities (approximately 6,000 words) and three reports on teaching and training activities (approximately 3,500 words and a 10-minute video).
3.2 A candidate who is about to submit a portfolio of evidence of competence shall give to the Director of Student and Academic Administration, through the Psychology Office, at least two months' prior notice in writing. Such notice of intention to submit shall be given not later than 1 February if the candidate seeks award of the degree by the following July.
3.3 The Thesis
A research thesis for MPhil may not exceed 25,000 words in length and a research thesis for PhD may not exceed 75,000 words unless prior permission to exceed this length has been given by the Psychology Board on the recommendation of the supervisor. Candidates who exceed this limit without Psychology Board permission will normally be required by the examiners to re-submit in a form which does not exceed the stipulated length. Candidates may in addition submit a separate volume, of factual information only related to the content of the thesis, which must be prepared and bound in the same style as the thesis. Such additional information will be available to the examiners and will form part of the record.

4. Assessment
4.1 Candidates are required to complete successfully all specified documents in the portfolio.
4.2 For each individual candidate, normally one internal and one external examiner shall be appointed to examine the thesis. The examiners will be Chartered Health Psychologists. The supervisor may not be appointed as an examiner. If a suitable external examiner who is also a Chartered Health Psychologist cannot be identified, then two external examiners may be appointed: an examiner with suitable expertise to examine the research thesis and a Chartered Health Psychologist to examine the portfolio of evidence of competence in skills relevant to professional practice.
4.3 Candidates will be required to attend for an oral examination.

5. Award of Qualification(s)
5.1 All elements of the portfolio must be passed in order for the degree to be awarded.
5.2 The examiners for each candidate shall recommend one of the following courses of action:
  • that the degree be awarded;

  • that the degree be awarded subject if necessary to minor amendments to the thesis or other documents in the portfolio being made by the date specified by Psychology;

  • that the candidate be permitted to submit a revised thesis or other document in the portfolio for re-examination on one subsequent occasion only by a date specified by Psychology;

  • that the degree be not awarded and that re-submission of the portfolio be not permitted.
5.3 A candidate who fails to submit a corrected or revised thesis or other document(s) by the date set by the examiners shall normally be regarded as having failed the examination and the recommendations of the examiners shall lapse.
5.4 Where the examiners recommend that the degree be not awarded and that submission of a revised thesis and/or other document(s) in the portfolio be not permitted, the candidate may ask for the case to be reviewed in accordance with the procedures laid down by the Senate. A copy of the procedures may be obtained from the Psychology Office.
5.5 The final award is awarded by Senate on the recommendation of the Examination Board to candidates who have satisfactorily completed an approved course of study and have satisfied the assessment requirements.

6. Placements/Study Abroad/Exchange/Fieldwork
6.1 Not applicable.
7. Other
These regulations may be revised during the student's period of registration in accordance with procedures approved by Senate.

Submitted by Corporate Services
Last reviewed: 22-Jul-2011
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