||These Regulations cover higher degrees by research of the University of Southampton. They also apply to the higher degrees by research of the University of Chichester. The University of Chichester is referred to throughout as the Accredited Institution.|
The Accredited Institution may offer higher degrees by research under the aegis of the University of Southampton's External Research Degrees Committee (ERDC) which reports to Senate through the Academic Standards and Quality Committee. For the purposes of these regulations, where appropriate, ERDC appears in the text to represent the University's approval process in relation to the Accredited Institution.
Award of the Degree
- The degrees of Master or Doctor of Philosophy or Doctor of Business Administration (MPhil, PhD or DBA) may be awarded by the Senate to postgraduate students who have successfully pursued a course of study as prescribed below to the satisfaction of the Faculty Programmes Committee/ERDC and have fulfilled any other University requirements.
The following Regulations 2 to 5 should be applied in conjunction with the University Calendar's Section IV - Regulations for Admission to Degree Programmes, the University's Admissions Policies and Paragraphs 13 to 19 of the University's Code of Practice for Research Candidature and Supervision.
- The requirements for candidature shall normally be a degree in a suitable subject of any approved university or whatever award/range of experience might be deemed equivalent by the Faculty Programmes Committee/ERDC using agreed University AP[E/C]L guidelines as set out in Paragraph 13 of the University's Code of Practice for Research Candidature and Supervision. Applications from candidates with other non-standard qualifications must be approved by the appropriate Faculty/ERDC on a case by case basis. Candidates may be admitted on transfer from another university (with or without their supervisor) according to the guidelines set out in paragraphs 20 to 23 of the University's Code of Practice for Research Candidature and Supervision.
- Candidates satisfying the requirement for candidature may be admitted provided the Faculty Graduate School Directorate/ERDC is satisfied with their chosen subject for research, that there is access to appropriate resources and facilities, and that there are satisfactory supervisory arrangements in place.
- In approving candidature the Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC shall state the effective starting date which may not normally be backdated beyond three months.
- For the purposes of these regulations the University shall be deemed to include any institutions where the Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC is satisfied that University staff can arrange proper supervision of a research student.
Supervision and Progress
- The programme to be followed shall be one of supervised study, including research and generic skills training, and may be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis. Part-time study may be undertaken as set out in Regulations 7 to 13 below. The programme shall be pursued in the University or Accredited Institution except in the case of research students for whom joint supervisory arrangements have been approved in accordance with Regulation 10 below, or in other special cases where the Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC permits a period to be spent elsewhere.
- The DBA programme may be undertaken on a part-time basis only.
- Research and Teaching Fellows may, with the approval of the Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC, be admitted to staff candidature but shall normally, by virtue of their status and experience, be in part-time candidature and shall pay the appropriate fees.
- Research and Teaching Assistants shall be in part-time candidature except that, in special circumstances, the Faculty Programmes Committee, on the recommendation of the Director of the Faculty Graduate School, may approve full-time candidature. Research and Teaching Assistants shall pay the appropriate fees.
- The Faculty Programmes Committee/ERDC may approve arrangements for an individual research student to receive supervision provided jointly by the University and another institution. In such cases, the Faculty Programmes Committee/ERDC may permit a period or periods of study to be undertaken at the other institution. The minimum period of full-time study at the University shall be twelve months for research students of jointly-supervised research degrees with approved institutions.
- The University may from time to time formally admit an appropriate institution to a special relationship for the purpose of furthering co-operation in teaching and research. A person holding an appointment in such a link institution may be registered in part-time candidature for a higher degree by research. If a research student so registered leaves the employment of the link institution, candidature shall be reviewed by the Faculty Programmes Committee/ERDC and, if permission is given for its continuance, the general provisions for part-time candidature shall normally apply.
- A research student is normally required to register initially for the degree of MPhil/PhD. A research student wishing to upgrade from such registration to the degree of PhD must successfully complete the required transfer/upgrade process to the satisfaction of the Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC not less than six months before submission of the thesis. In the case of a research student transferring from another institution into the Faculty/Accredited Institution, submission of the thesis is not normally permitted earlier than 12 months from the date of transfer, even if the research student has already transferred/upgraded from MPhil to PhD at his or her previous institution. A research student for the degree of PhD may be permitted at any time prior to submission of the thesis to transfer to a course leading to the degree of MPhil. The period spent in candidature up to the point of transfer will be counted towards the period of candidature required for the degree to which the transfer is made.
- Research students registering on a DBA will not initially register for the degree of MPhil. At the end of Part 1 of the programme there will be no exit route for students who fail to progress to Part 2 of the DBA. Students may be able to transfer from the DBA onto the MPhil or PhD programme in consultation with the Faculty of Business and Law.
Duration of Research Courses
- Every research student shall be allocated to a supervisory team by the Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC on the recommendation of the research student's Director of the Faculty Graduate School. The supervisory team shall consist of at least two supervisors, one of whom will be the 'main supervisor'. The main supervisor should be an academic member of University of Southampton staff. The co- or second supervisor should be a member of University of Southampton staff, or be appointed as a ‘Visitor’ to the University and approved as an appropriate supervisor by Faculty Programmes Committee. Additional supervisors, who may be external to the University, may be appointed if required. The main supervisor has responsibility for the supervision of the design and progress of the student's research project and for providing academic advice to the research student. The supervisory team may contain additional supervisors and shall report on the research student's work and progress when requested to do so by the Faculty Graduate School directorate. Paragraph 40 of the Code of Practice for Research Candidature and Supervision sets out the responsibilities of the supervisory team.
- Every research student will take part in an individualised assessment of their research training needs with their supervisor(s) at the commencement of their postgraduate research studies. Research students will also be required to take part in a postgraduate student research training programme which addresses research/generic/transferable skills and may include a range of compulsory and optional elements, the former as determined by the Faculty Graduate School directorate or the Accredited Institution.
- The Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC may at any time review the progress of an individual research student. If this is unsatisfactory and if, after due warning, there is insufficient improvement, the Faculty Programmes Committee/ERDC may recommend termination of candidature to Senate. The research student may appeal against the decision by using the procedure set out in Section IV: Regulations Governing Academic Appeals by Students.
- The duration of MPhil, PhD and DBA research courses is set out in (a) to (d) below; these paragraphs should be read in conjunction with Regulations 18 to 26.
- Except as provided under (b) and (c) below the minimum period of candidature, from the date of enrolment, shall be:
|Full-time research students:
||not less than 12 months
|Part-time research students:
||not less than 24 months
|Full-time research students:
||not less than 24 months
|Part-time research students:
||not less than 36 months
|Part-time research students
||not less than 36 months
- This minimum period of candidature must be spent in supervised study. In practice, the period of candidature will usually be longer than the minimum period.
- In exceptional circumstances, and for academic reasons only, a student may be permitted to submit a thesis earlier than the specified minimum period of candidature. In such a case, the request must be made by the main supervisor to the Faculty Graduate School directorate for recommendation to the Faculty Programmes Committee for approval. In the case of the Accredited Institutions, a recommendation must be made to ERDC.
- With the permission of the Faculty Graduate School directorate, a research student registered for a research degree may be permitted to register concurrently for a Postgraduate certificate of Academic Practice (PCAP). In such a case, the candidature must be full-time and the period of supervised study/minimum candidature shall be increased to a minimum duration of 24 months (MPhil), or 36 months (PhD). Students who register solely for the Postgraduate Induction to Learning and Teaching (PILT) can do so in either full- or part-time candidature and the period of supervised study/minimum candidature will not be increased.
- The period of study for a research degree ends when the thesis is submitted. The maximum period of candidature, including nominal registration but excluding periods of suspension (see Regulations 22 and 24 below), is four years (48 months) for full-time candidature and seven years (84 months) for part-time candidature. A research student who fails to submit a thesis by the end of the maximum period of study shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the course (see Regulations 25 and 26 below).
- The Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC may allow transfer to nominal registration for both full and part-time research students for a period not exceeding twelve months in the first instance. The supervisor(s) must confirm that the minimum period of candidature for either the MPhil the PhD or the DBA has been completed, upgrade has taken place (in the case of a PhD research student), research is substantially complete as determined by the Faculty Graduate School Directorate/ERDC, and the thesis is being written up. A research student returning from suspension may not transfer to nominal registration until at least two months after his/her return from suspension. If a research student is on nominal registration for longer than six months, a fee becomes payable (see Section IV of the University Calendar or the relevant Accredited Institution fees information). In cases of illness, family crisis or exceptional or unforeseeable circumstances beyond the research student's control, the Faculty Programmes Committee/ERDC may permit a research student to suspend when in nominal registration (see Regulation 23 'Temporary Suspension').
- research students retain access to library and computing facilities until their thesis is examined and, where appropriate, any revisions requested by the examiners have been made. Access to other facilities (eg: office space) may be extended at the discretion of the research student's Faculty or by the Accredited Institution.
- With support from his/her supervisor, a research student may apply in writing to extend the period of nominal registration beyond twelve months, taking account where applicable of Regulations 25 and 26 below regarding extension of candidature.
- Periods of nominal registration count towards the maximum period of candidature.
Extension of Candidature
- Research students for either degree must continue in registration for the degree until such time as they submit their thesis or withdraw, except that the Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC may permit temporary suspension of candidature. A Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC may allow suspension of candidature having considered a request from the student accompanied by a written justification and supported by the supervisory team. In general, suspensions are allowed in extenuating circumstances (eg: illness, family crisis or unforeseeable problems beyond the student's control) and should not be granted as a matter of course. The maximum period of suspension should be stipulated in accordance with University of Southampton regulations (Section IV of the University Calendar). In the case of Research Council or sponsor-funded research students, due regard should be given to Research Council or sponsor rules governing suspension. Periods of temporary suspension shall not count towards the maximum period of study. On returning from suspension a research student who intends to submit his/her thesis must give the required two months' notice using the Intention to Submit form. The Intention to Submit form may only be submitted by a research student in active registration.
- Suspended students should not receive supervision and normally should not have access to services. However, where a Faculty/Accredited Institution judges that there is a need access to services can be granted on an individual student basis through the student administration system.
Submission of Thesis
- The minimum and maximum periods of candidature should be strictly adhered to. Extensions of candidature beyond the maximum period of time will be granted only where there is good cause and on specific application by the research student, supported by the supervisory team, before the candidature is due to expire. A Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC may allow extension of candidature having considered a request from the student accompanied by a written justification and supported by the supervisory team. An action plan should be agreed with the research student setting out what needs to be achieved during the extension period.
- Extensions may be approved at Faculty level by the Faculty Graduate School directorate (see PGR Extension of Candidature in the Quality Handbook for information on extension of candidature and a template application form for extensions). Extensions should be requested only exceptionally, when unforeseen circumstances arise, and such circumstances must be demonstrated in each case. Due regard should also be given to limits or conditions placed on extensions by Research Councils or sponsors and any penalty which may apply if funded students extend their study period. Applications for extension must be submitted with the supervisory team's approval through the Faculty Graduate School directorate. The relevant fee will be charged in accordance with the research student's registration status; ie: whether in candidature or in nominal registration.
- After completion of the necessary period of study, a thesis shall be submitted for examination in accordance with the instructions in the document Completion of Research Degree Candidature (available via Quality Handbook - Completion of Research Degree Candidature or from the Accredited Institution). Research students in Music may submit original musical compositions or offer recital work, together with additional material, specifications for which are set out in Appendix 1.
- Research students in Art and Design, and Drama, Dance and Performing Arts may submit original practical work in part fulfilment of the MPhil or PhD requirements. The relative weighting of practical work and written thesis is variable and depends on the nature of the individual research project. In each case the weighting will be agreed in advance between the supervisory team and the research student, and confirmed in writing in the formal offer letter sent out by the Faculty/Accredited Institution. See paragraphs 8 to 10 of the Code of Practice for Research Candidature and Supervision for further amplification.
In Art and Design, practical work is completed in conjunction with an accompanying thesis (between 35,000 and 40,000 words); the nature and extent of each component must be agreed in advance by the supervisor and approved by the Faculty Graduate School directorate. The relationship of the practical work and thesis must be such as to form a holistic original research project.
Research students on the DBA shall submit a Professional Development Portfolio in part-fulfilment of the DBA requirements.
- The submission following full-time candidature shall be made not later than four years from the date of first registration, excluding periods of suspension. The submission following part-time candidature shall be made not later than seven years from the date of first registration, excluding periods of suspension. On returning from suspension a research student who intends to submit his/her thesis must give the required two months' notice using the Intention to Submit form. The Intention to Submit form may only be submitted by a research student in active registration. In cases where there have been periods of full-time and part-time candidature, the maximum permitted period of candidature shall be determined by the Faculty Student Office/Accredited Institution, and agreed by the Faculty Graduate School directorate, on the basis that periods of part-time candidature shall be deemed to be equivalent to four-sevenths of an equal period of full-time candidature. Where periods of extension are approved by Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC, these will be added to the maximum period of candidature.
- A research student who is about to submit a thesis shall give at least two months' prior notice in writing (using the Intention to Submit form) to the Faculty Student Office or the Accredited Institution which shall include the full title of the thesis. Such notice of intention to submit a thesis shall be given not later than 31 January if the research student seeks award of the degree by the following July.
- With the exception of restrictions on access as defined in Regulation 32 below, research work submitted as a thesis for a higher degree shall be openly available and subject neither to security classification nor to restriction on access. research students may publish the whole or part of their work prior to its submission as a thesis, provided that in the published work it is nowhere stated that it is in consideration for a higher degree.
- In exceptional circumstances access to a thesis may be restricted by the relevant Faculty Programmes Committee/ERDC, on behalf of Senate, where such restriction is regarded as desirable on commercial grounds or pending patent applications, or as necessary to maintain confidentiality. The period of restriction shall be determined by the relevant Faculty Programmes Committee/ERDC but shall normally not exceed three years from the date of examination. After three years the period of restriction may be subject to review in some circumstances. Each instance of Faculty Programmes Committee/ERDC approval of restriction of access to a thesis should be reported to the University Library who will maintain a master list to be presented annually to the Researcher Development & Graduate Centre Advisory Group (RDGC).
- On submission of a thesis a research student shall be required to sign two documents:
- a form of consent that the thesis, if successful, will be made available electronically through the University of Southampton Research Repository from a date stipulated (subject to the law of copyright)1.
- a declaration, bound into the thesis, stating: that the thesis is the result of work done wholly or mainly while the research student was in registered candidature; that where the thesis is based on work done by the research student jointly with others, a substantial part is the original work of the research student; the extent to which the thesis incorporates material already submitted for another degree.
1Paragraph 33(a) not applicable to the Accredited Institution.
- A thesis may not exceed 75,000 words in length in the case of a PhD, or 50,000 words in the case of an MPhil, or 70,000 words in the case of a DBA, unless prior permission to exceed this length has been given by the Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC on the recommendation of the supervisor. Where appropriate, the Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC may determine a higher word limit for a specific discipline. Research students who exceed this limit without Faculty Graduate School directorate/ERDC permission will normally be required by the examiners to resubmit in a form which does not exceed the stipulated length. The maximum length does not include supporting material or evidence which may be bound in as appendices. Appendices should be clearly marked as such and listed on the contents page. If appendices are submitted in separate volumes, they must be prepared and bound in the same style as the thesis. All supporting material or evidence will be available to the examiners and will form part of the record.
Research students should also refer to Paragraph 78 of the Code of Practice for Research Candidature and Supervision regarding research data management.
Outcomes of the Examination
- For each research student, normally one internal and one external examiner shall be appointed to examine the thesis; in exceptional cases, one additional external examiner may be appointed. No member of the supervisory team may be appointed as an internal examiner; nor may they take part in the judgement of the thesis under consideration in any other way. In addition, other researchers who have had any co-authoring or collaborative involvement in the research student's work, or whose own work is the focus of the research project such that there would be a conflict of interest or potential lack of objectivity, may not be appointed as internal or external examiners. Members of staff who have had pastoral involvement with the research student such that objectivity would potentially be affected may also not be appointed to the examining team. However, at the request of the research student, one member of the supervisory team may be invited to the viva voce, but a supervisor who is requested to attend by the research student will not play an active role in the examination. Where the research student wishes a supervisor to be invited, a request should be made in writing to the Faculty Graduate School Office. One examiner, either the internal or the external, may be drawn from the transfer/upgrade panel or committee (eg: the internal member of staff who acted in the role of independent 'assessor' or an external 'assessor' if used) provided that he/she has had no further material contact with the research project since the transfer/upgrade and that the other examiner is entirely new to the project.
- Research students submitting for the MPhil, PhD and DBA will be required to attend for an oral examination. In conducting the oral examination, arrangements will be made, where necessary, to accommodate the requirements of students with special communication needs.
- The examination process for research students registered for a degree Jointly Awarded with another University will be based on the principles described in paragraphs 35 and 36. These principles are that:
The University's Regulations for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy awarded jointly with another institution can be found in Section V of the University Calendar.
- No member of the supervisory team may be appointed as an examiner; nor may they take part in the judgement of the thesis under consideration in any other way.
- The research student will be expected to submit a written thesis (or equivalent) and to defend this in some form of oral examination.
- The panel of examiners will consist of at least two examiners, one of whom will be an examiner external to the Universities awarding the degree.
- For degrees examined jointly with an international partner, additional members of the examining panel beyond two will be agreed as part of the negotiations when setting up the agreement.
- Having taken into account the criteria for the award of PhD or MPhil as set out in Paragraphs 5 or 7 of the University's Code of Practice for Research Candidature and Supervision the examiners for each research student shall recommend one of the following courses of action.
It should be noted that where the recommendation of the examiners is for re-examination at a later date as set out in paragraph e. above, options d. and e. are not available as outcomes at the later re-examination.
- That the degree for which the research student has submitted a thesis be awarded.
- That the degree for which the research student has submitted a thesis be awarded subject if necessary to minor amendments to the thesis being made by a date specified (minor amendments include: minor omissions of substance, typographical errors, occasional stylistic or grammatical flaws, corrections to references, addition/modification of one or two figures, and minor changes to layout, and require no new research. These changes need only be certified by the internal examiner). The date specified for the submission of such minor amendments should normally be no later than a month after the formal notification to the research student.
- That the degree for which the research student has submitted a thesis be awarded subject to the correction of modest errors/omissions of substance being made, by a date specified (the procedure for certification of the amendments should be clearly specified in the report). Such amendments may require limited further analysis but will not affect the originality of the central thesis. They will be of a scale to require certification by both the internal and external examiners, though normally not so extensive that an oral is required. The date specified for the submission of such intermediate amendments should normally be no later than six months after the formal notification to the research student.
- That the research student be required to attend for a further oral examination.
- That the research student be permitted to submit by a date specified a revised thesis for the same degree for re-examination on one subsequent occasion. The date specified for submission of the revised thesis should normally be no later than twelve months after the formal notification to the research student. As a fee is payable, the Fees Office should be informed when a research student has been asked to submit a revised thesis.
- That, in the case only of a PhD research student who has failed to satisfy the examiners, permission be given to the research student to apply within a specified time for the award of the degree of MPhil. Submission may be allowed without re-examination, subject to any minor amendment of the thesis which may be required by the examiners. Or, at the request of the examiners, submission of a revised thesis may be subject to re-examination, including a viva voce. In such circumstances, the work must meet the normal criteria for the award of the MPhil degree.
- That the degree be not awarded and that resubmission of the thesis be not permitted.
- A research student who fails to submit a corrected or revised thesis by the date set by the examiners shall normally be regarded as having failed the examination and the recommendations of the examiners shall lapse. In exceptional circumstances a revised date for submitting corrections may be approved by the Faculty Graduate School directorate.
- Where the examiners recommend that the degree be not awarded and that submission of a revised thesis be not permitted, the research student may ask for the case to be reviewed in accordance with the procedures laid down by the Senate. A copy of the Regulations Governing Academic Appeals by Students may be obtained from Section IV of the University Calendar.
Approved by AQSC on 27 April 2005 and by Senate on 22 June 2005
Approved by AQSC on 31 May 2006 and by Senate in July 2006 (Chair's Action)
Amendments approved by AQSC on 6 June/11 July 2007 and by Senate on 20 June 2007 and by Chair's Action for Senate, July 2007.
Amendments approved by AQSC on 23 April/4 June 2008 and by Senate on 18 June 2008
Amendments approved by AQSC on 22 April 2009 and by Senate on 17 June 2009
Amendments approved by UPC in July 2011
Amendments approved by UPC in July 2012
Reviewed in July 2012; no changes made
Amendments approved by UPC in April and May 2013 and by Senate in June 2013
Amendments approved by AQSC in May 2014 and by Senate in June 2014