Study Regulations for Research Degree Programmes

Study Regulations for Research Degree Programmes

1. General 2. Registration
3. External Students and Students Working Away From Queen’s 4. Period of Study
5. Interruptions to Study 6. Progress
7. Assessment/Award 8. Academic Appeal Regulations (Research Degree Programmes)
 

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Note: The following regulations cover all students on research degree programmes.  For students registered for the PhD by Published Works, ‘supervisor’ should be substituted with ‘adviser’, and ‘thesis’ should be substituted with the corpus of documents required for submission (see 7.2.13) in the following regulations.

Note: Where specific members of staff or committees are designated in these regulations to undertake particular School-related responsibilities, the relevant Head of School retains the discretion to appoint a nominee or equivalent committee as appropriate.

1. General

1.1 All research students must comply with relevant health and safety legislation, University health and safety regulations, and any specific health and safety requirements applying in the School where the research is being undertaken or in any location, including locations outside the University, where the student is undertaking research.

1.2 All research students must comply with University policies and procedures on Intellectual Property, and research ethics, including those applying in their discipline; and must obtain, through their supervisor(s), any necessary ethical approval for the research.

1.3 Students must comply with the University’s training requirements, the training requirements of their funding body and with any compulsory or recommended training requirements in place in their School.


2. Registration

2.1 Students who have not previously matriculated shall be required to do so when enrolling for the first time.

2.2 Students must register at the start of research and at the beginning of every subsequent academic year.  Registration in the second and subsequent years shall be subject to satisfactory progress reports (see regulation 6.5).

2.3 The following registration statuses are applicable:

  1. Full-time - Full-time registration is equivalent to periods of study, tuition or work experience (whether at University premises or otherwise) which together amount to an average of at least 21 hours per week over a period of more than 18 weeks.  This incurs the full-time fee.
  2. Part-time - Part-time registration is equivalent to periods of study, tuition or work experience (whether at University premises or otherwise) which are less than 21 hours per week over a period of more than 18 weeks.  This incurs the part-time fee.
  3. Thesis-only - Following confirmation by the progress review panel (see regulation 6.5) that the student has completed all the necessary research, and approval by the School Postgraduate Research Committee (SPRC), a student may be registered as thesis-only (writing-up) for one year only (regardless of previous full-time or part-time status).  This incurs the thesis-only fee.  If, in exceptional cases, the thesis is not complete after the thesis-only year, enrolment will revert to either full-time or part-time and the student will be required to pay the appropriate fee.  Students may not transfer to thesis-only registration until they have been enrolled for the normal period of study for their research degree programme.
  4. Graduation Only - Once a thesis has been submitted/resubmitted for examination, the student’s status will be changed to Graduation Only. No further tuition fee is incurred.
  5. Thesis Resubmission - Where a student is required to revise and resubmit a thesis, the status is changed to Thesis Resubmission and the student will be liable for a resubmission charge.

2.4 Students who have registered for a particular period as full-time, part-time or thesis-only must apply through their supervisorsto the SPRCfor permission for any change in registration during that period.

2.5 Registration for PhD by Published Works will be on a part-time basis.  This incurs the PhD by Published Works fee.

2.6 Research students may not normallyregister for any other course of study leading to a degree, diploma or professional qualification, at this or any other institution, while they are registered as research students.  In exceptional circumstances, and only with the agreement of the supervisors, the Head of School may grant such permission, normally for a short, fixed period of time. Exceptions to this regulation may be permitted for students registered on joint research degree programmes, where the registration arrangements should be outlined in a formal agreement between Queen’s University Belfast and the partner institution(s).

2.7 Intellectual Property (IP) is the term which describes the outputs of creative endeavour in literary, artistic, industrial and scientific fields.  (Exceptions may occur in the case of industrial or charity funded postgraduate awards which require the IP to be assigned to the funder.)  Various rights are given or can be applied for when Intellectual Property is created and these rights are known as Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).  IP is usually protected through Patents, Trademarks, Design Rights and Copyright.  The University seeks to protect its valuable IPR and is extremely pro-active in its commercialisation and exploitation.  For academic staff, IP is automatically assigned to the employer, Queen’s University Belfast, for outputs developed whilst in employment.  Subject to conditions of funding or other collaboration agreements, all postgraduate students involved in University research degree programmes shall be required to assign their intellectual property to the University on registration.  In exceptional circumstances, IP shall be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on where and when the work was completed.

2.8 Where the IP assigned to the University is successfully exploited commercially, and a royalty income is generated, the student, if an inventor of any exploited IP, shall enjoy the same revenue split of the net proceeds as members of staff.  Queen’s has one of the best IPR revenue share arrangements of any University in the United Kingdom.  The University pays all fees and legal costs for the protection of IP and 50% of net revenue generated from successful commercialisation is divided between the inventors.


3. External Students and Students Working Away From Queen’s

3.1 Regulations in this section are not applicable for PhD by Published Works.

3.2 Students shall normally be in regular attendance at the University and have regular meetings with their supervisor(s) while registered as research students.

3.3 Students may, however, apply to the SPRC for permission to study for a research degree programme through a distance learning mode of study, whereby students would spend part or all of the period of study working away from the University.  The SPRC shall grant permission only if it is satisfied that suitable arrangements for support, supervision and training are in place, and that the necessary resources are available at the student’s location.  However, if arrangements include a formal agreement of joint supervision with an external supervisor based at the student’s external location, leading to either a single or joint Doctoral award, the approval procedures for collaborative research degree programmes must be applied.

3.4 Permission to spend the whole period of research away from Queen’s shall not normally be granted, and students shall normally be required to visit the University annually to take part in formal annual reviews of progress and to undertake the oral examination after the thesis has been submitted.

3.5 Students remain subject to University regulations for the research degree programme during any period spent away from the University.


4. Period of Study

4.1 Time spent in achieving a Master’s degree doesnot count as part of the time allowed for completion of a Doctorate.

4.2 The minimum, normal and maximum (including thesis-only where appropriate) periods of full-time (FT) or part-time (PT) study in years (including for taught elements where appropriate) permitted for submission of research degree programmes shall be:

4.3 Table 1

Award

Minimum Period

Normal Period

Maximum Period

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

2 (FT) or

4 (PT)

3 (FT) or

6 (PT)

4 (FT) or

8 (PT)

Doctor of Philosophy (by Published Works) (PhD)

3 months (PT)

1 (PT)

1 (PT)

Integrated Doctor of Philosophy* (PhD)

3 (FT) or

6 (PT)

4 (FT) or

8 (PT)

5 (FT) or

10 (PT)

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

1 (FT) or

2 (PT)

2 (FT) or

4 (PT)

3 (FT) or

6 (PT)

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

2 (FT) or

4 (PT)

2 (FT) or

4 (PT)

4 (FT) or

8 (PT)

Master of Surgery (MCh)

1 (FT) or

2 (PT)

1 (FT) or

2 (PT)

2 (FT) or

4 (PT)

 

 

 

 

Professional Doctorates:

 

 

 

Doctor of Childhood Studies (DChild)

(MChild (Research))

4 (PT)

6 (PT)

8 (PT)

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych)

 

3 (FT)

 

3 (FT)

4 (FT)

Doctor of Education (EdD)

 

3 (FT) or

4 (PT)

3 (FT) or

6 (PT)

4 (FT) or

8 (PT)

Doctor of Education (EdD) TESOL

 

3 (FT) or

4 (PT)

3 (FT) or

6 (PT)

4 (FT) or

8 (PT)

Doctorate in Educational, Child & Adolescent Psychology (DECAP)

 

3 (FT)

3 (FT)

4 (FT)

Doctorate in Governance (DGov)

 

4 (PT)

4 (PT)

6 (PT)

Doctorate in Midwifery Practice (DMP)

 

3 (FT) or

4 (PT)

3 (FT) or

6 (PT)

4 (FT) or

8 (PT)

Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP)

 

3 (FT) or

4 (PT)

3 (FT) or

6 (PT)

4 (FT) or

8 (PT)

Juris Doctor (JD)

3 (FT)

3 (FT)

4 (FT)

 

* This refers to PhD programmes with an initial training year, where PhD milestones commence in year 2.

4.4 The maximum period within which students must submit all research elements required for the degree for examination and by which all taught elements must have been completed is calculated from the date of first registration.  These periods exclude suspension, but not extension, of studies.  Sponsored students may also be subject to their sponsors’ requirements in respect of either submission or qualification rates.

4.5 Students shall be expected to submit within the normal period of study for their research degree programme.  Any requests to submit earlier (within the minimum period), or later (within the maximum period) must be submitted to the SPRC for consideration and approval.  In exceptional circumstances, a request to allow an extension beyond the maximum period must be endorsed by the SPRC, and approved by the Research and Postgraduate Committee.

4.6 For any extension beyond the normal period, an action plan shall be agreed with the student setting out what needs to be achieved during the extension period.

4.7 Special arrangements shall apply to part-time research students registered for the PhD programme, who are employed by the University as contract research assistants.  Provided they have the support of their supervisors and the approval of the SPRC, such students may submit after a minimum period of three years from the date of first registration as an undifferentiated research student.

4.8 For students permitted to transfer from full-time to part-time registration, and vice versa, one unit of full-time registration shall be considered equivalent to two units of part-time registration.


5. Interruptions to Study

 

5.1 Regulations Governing Absence and Failure to Meet Deadlines due to Illness

Short-term absence (up to five working days; but refer to next paragraph regarding any failure to meet deadlines).  This shall not be required for PhD by Published Works.

  1. Self-certification of illness is permitted for an absence of up to five working days.  Self-certification forms are available in the School Offices and in each of the University Colleges and recognised institutions.
  2. Fully completed self-certification forms or medical certificates must be submitted within three working days of returning to studies.  Forms or certificates must be submitted to the Office of the School in which the student is enrolled.
  3. Consecutive self-certification is not permitted.

Absence of longer than five working days, absence from any examination or progress review meeting, or failure to meet deadlines due to illness

  1. Absence of longer than five working days, or absence from any examination or progress review meeting, or failure to meet deadlines due to illness must be covered by a medical certificate signed by a registered medical practitioner.
  2. Medical certificates must be submitted to the relevant School Office within three working days of returning to studies.  Medical certificates submitted after this period are not acceptable (see also 5.2).

5.2 General

  1. During illness, and especially if an examination, progress review meeting or a deadline will be missed due to illness, students should inform the relevant School Office in advance.
  2. The Head of the relevant School may require any student to be examined by the University’s Senior Medical Officer.
  3. Repeated self-certification may result in referral to the University’s Senior Medical Officer.
  4. Repeated medical absences may result in referral to the Fitness to Study procedure (See Procedures, Guidelines on Fitness to Continue in Study on the Grounds of Health and/or Safety).

5.3 Temporary Withdrawal

5.3.1 Students may apply to withdraw voluntarily from their programme on a temporary basis, subject to consultation with their supervisors and the approval of the SPRC.  Students may be directed to withdraw temporarily by a SPRC, Occupational Health Service, Fitness to Continue in Study Panel or a Fitness to Practise Panel.  Registration (and student status) normally ceases at midnight on the date of withdrawal.

5.3.2 Although still registered as a student (i.e. not having given up their place on a course), persons who have temporarily withdrawn are not considered to be active students of the University and therefore have no right to avail of the University services unless this is expressly stated in a letter from the appropriate University authority which stipulates the person’s status and entitlements, including insurance status if appropriate.

5.3.3 The SPRC may permit students to withdraw temporarily from the programme for a period of up to one year at a time, normally up to a cumulative maximum of two years, where it is satisfied that good cause exists or continues to exist.

5.3.4 A period of permitted temporary withdrawal shall not count as part of the time allowed by the University for submission or completion.

5.3.5 Students who do not resume/re-register at the appropriate time, and who do not seek permission to withdraw temporarily shall be deemed to have withdrawn from the University.  Students who are dissatisfied with such a ruling may submit an academic appeal (research degree programmes) if a ground for appeal is evidenced (see regulation 8).

5.3.6 Any suspension or extension to the period of study of visa-holding students must be reported to the International Student Support Office as soon as it is known, for report to UK Visas and Immigration.


6. Progress

 

6.1 Supervision

6.1.1 Every registered research student in the University must normally have a principal supervisor and a second or co-supervisor.  A third supervisor may, exceptionally, be appointed where a student’s research is interdisciplinary, to provide a link between the disciplines.  In no circumstances may a student have more than three supervisors at any one time.  The principal supervisor shall have overall responsibility for the student and the research.  Students registered for the PhD by Published Works must normally have one adviser in lieu of a supervisory team, to advise on the critical analysis that shall accompany the works, and to support the student through the process of submission and examination of the published works.  Regulations which refer to the supervisor, or supervisory team, apply in relation to the adviser, as appropriate.

6.1.2 External supervisors shall normally only be appointed where a student has been given permission to work away from the University for an extended period, or is undertaking an external PhD (see regulation 3).  The external supervisor shall be in addition to the internal supervisors, and must meet the criteria for appointment set out below.  The student shall be expected to maintain effective contact with both the external and the internal supervisors.  The principal supervisor retains overall responsibility for the supervision of the research.

6.1.3 Each member of the supervisory team shall normally be an academic member of the University staff, who is experienced in, and actively engaged in, research; who holds a research degree at the same level as, or higher than, the degree being supervised or who has appropriate equivalent experience or professional qualifications or status; and who has an understanding of University and School policies and procedures concerning research students and supervisory responsibilities.

6.1.4 At least one of the student’s supervisors shall have successfully supervised a Doctoral thesis to completion, either individually or as part of a supervisory team.

6.1.5 At least one member of the supervisory team shall be currently engaged in research in the relevant discipline(s), so as to ensure that the direction and monitoring of the student's progress is informed by up to date subject knowledge and research developments.

6.1.6 The following categories of staff are eligible to be considered for appointment as principal supervisors (or advisers for PhD by Published Works): professors, readers, senior lecturers, lecturers (but not normally lecturers on probation), research fellows appointed under the Queen’s University Research Fellowship scheme (who must be supported by an experienced second supervisor), or staff individually approved by the Research and Postgraduate Committee for the purpose of supervision (and who must be supported by an experienced second supervisor).  The principal supervisor must be from the School/Institute where the student is carrying out the research.  Staff in the University Colleges may be appointed as supervisors under the terms of the Agreements between the University and the University Colleges.  All new supervisors must complete the University’s training course for supervisors before appointment.

6.1.7 The following categories of staff are eligible to be considered for appointment as second or co-supervisors: those listed in 6.1.6 above, lecturers on probation and honorary title holders.  The second or co-supervisor may, if appropriate, be from a different School to the one in which the student is carrying out the research.  All new supervisors must complete the University’s training course for supervisors before appointment.

6.1.8 If, for any reason, a principal or co-supervisor shall be unavailable for contact by a student for a significant period which impinges negatively on the progress of the student’s project, a permanent replacement shall normally be appointed as a main or co-supervisor.

6.1.9 A supervisor may not normally be the principal supervisor for more than six full-time (or equivalent) research students (pro rata for those with co-supervisors) at any one time.

6.1.10 Supervisory responsibilities can be changed at the request of a student or a supervisor, taking into account the requirements of sponsors.  Normally, any change of supervisor shall be by mutual agreement between the student and the University.  If, for any reason, a change of supervisor(s) is required during the period of the research, the above criteria shall apply to the appointment of the new supervisor(s).

6.1.11 At an initial supervisory meeting between the student and supervisory team, the following shall be agreed:

  1. Roles and responsibilities of the student and each member of the supervisory team.
  2. The frequency, duration and format of formal meetings.

6.2 Research Plan

Both full-time and part-time research students must agree a research plan with their supervisors at the outset of the research (which should be updated as appropriate throughout the period of study), and attend courses and perform research work as specified in the research plan.

6.3 Initial Review

Students must submit a project summary and research plan, approved by the supervisory team, for independent Initial Review by the Head of School or nominee, normally within three months (FTE) of first registration.  The independent reviewer shall determine the feasibility of the project and the research plan, outlining any required amendments, and taking account of the required timeframe for the degree.  This shall not be required for PhD by Published Works.

6.4 Regular Progress Monitoring

6.4.1. There shall be at least six but normally ten formal meetings per year between the principal supervisor (and/or co-supervisor, if appointed) and full-time student (six for part-time students) to monitor progress against the research plan.  All members of the supervisory team shall attend at least half of these meetings.  Minutes of the meetings shall be retained as records.

6.4.2. A supervisor who has concerns about a student’s progress at times other than the normal Annual Progress Review period outlined in regulation 6.5, shall inform the student in writing of the areas of concern and invite the student to a meeting to discuss the concerns.  Following the meeting, and taking account of all known circumstances, the supervisors may do one of the following:

  1. Agree a plan of action for the student, with a review date, and monitor the student’s attendance, progress and performance during that period.  If the student’s performance has not improved within the specified period, the supervisors shall notify the Head of School or nominee and submit a report for review by the SPRC.
  2. In exceptional circumstances, notify the Head of School or nominee and submit a report for review by the SPRC, without undertaking a period of monitoring.

6.4.3. In either case, where a supervisor report is made to the SPRC for review of the student’s progress, the student shall also be given the opportunity to submit a report.  The SPRC shall inform the student of the outcome of the progress review, and the appropriate registration status.

6.5 Annual Progress Review

6.5.1 The School shall appoint a progress review panel for each student.  This should normally comprise two independent members of staff.  One member of the supervisory team, preferably the principal supervisor, may be present to provide input, but may not take part in making the final recommendation concerning the student’s progress.  The progress of each student must be reviewed annually until the research degree is awarded.  The SPRC may specify more frequent reviews at its discretion.  For students who are required to differentiate to Doctoral status (e.g. PhD students), it is recommended that reviews are held within nine months to allow for any remedial actions arising from the review to be completed within the year.  Registration at the beginning of an academic year shall be dependent on the completion of a satisfactory progress report by the end of the previous academic year.  The normal outcome of the Annual Progress Review is that the student progresses to the next year, unconditionally or subject to the completion of specific targets.

6.5.2 The Annual Progress Review procedure shall be deemed equivalent to a Board of Examiners and therefore the University's Regulations Governing the Allegation and Investigation of Misconduct in Research shall apply to any reported or suspected research misconduct.

6.5.3 The exact format of the Annual Progress Review shall be determined, at School level, by discipline and year of study, but must contain the following three elements:

  1. A written submission from the student.
  2. A meeting with the student, whereby the student can be questioned about their work by the progress review panel.
  3. A documented outcome of the review and the progression decision.

6.5.4 The progress review panel shall make one of the following recommendations regarding progression, for the approval of the SPRC:

  1. That the student’s performance is satisfactory, and that the student be permitted to proceed to the next stage.  For students who are required to differentiate to Doctoral status (e.g. PhD students), this shall comprise a recommendation to permit registration on the appropriate research degree programme.
  2. That, notwithstanding some concerns, which the student and supervisory team should act upon, the student’s overall performance is satisfactory, and that the student be permitted to proceed to the next stage.  For students who are required to differentiate to Doctoral status (e.g. PhD students), this shall comprise a recommendation to permit registration on the appropriate research degree programme.
  3. That the student’s performance is unsatisfactory, and that a further assessment be held within a specified period to determine whether progress on the programme shall be recommended.  For students who are required to differentiate to Doctoral status (e.g. PhD students), this may comprise a recommendation that the student be permitted a second attempt at differentiation.  Students may not normally make more than two attempts at differentiation/Annual Progress Review.  Students shall normally be offered a second attempt before recommendation iv or v is made.
  4. That the student’s performance is unsatisfactory and that a submission for the appropriate Master’s degree examination (MPhil, or as specified in Professional Doctorate programme specifications) be recommended instead of a submission for a Doctoral degree examination, for students enrolled on a Doctoral programme.
  5. That the student’s performance is unsatisfactory and that no submission for a Doctoral degree or Master’s degree examination be recommended, and that registration be terminated.

6.5.5 For students who are completing the final year of their normal period of study, the progress review panel shall confirm whether or not the student has completed all the necessary research and should be permitted to register as thesis-only (see regulation 2.3 iii).  If all the necessary research is not complete, the progress review panel may specify a further period of full-time or part-time registration to complete the research before the student can register as thesis-only.

6.5.6 The SPRC shall consider progress review panel recommendations and shall invite any student who has received a recommendation under iv or v above to appear before it before the decision is confirmed.  The SPRC shall inform each student of the outcome of the progress review exercise, and the appropriate registration status.

6.5.7 Students who are dissatisfied with the outcome of the progress review may submit an academic appeal (research degree programmes) if a ground for appeal is evidenced (see regulation 8).

6.5.8 Students registered for the PhD by Published Works shall normally have completed the programme within 1 year of registration, and therefore shall not be expected to engage in Annual Progress Review.  However, it may be useful for the student to undergo a mock viva prior to submission in preparation for the oral examination.  If an extension is granted beyond the normal 1 year period of study, due to extenuating circumstances, progress must be reviewed annually until the research degree is awarded.

6.6 School Postgraduate Research Committee (or equivalent)

6.6.1 Each School shall have a committee responsible for implementing University policy on admission of postgraduate research students, appointment of supervisors and internal examiners, differentiation, progress monitoring and review, and any other policies or issues affecting postgraduate research students.  The Committee shall be chaired by the Head of School (or nominee of senior lecturer level or above), and normally include up to eight other members of academic staff.  Where possible, there will be an equal gender balance on committees.  A quorum shall comprise the Chairperson and three other members, as far as possible to include at least one male and one female member.  Where appropriate (e.g. when considering students who are undertaking an interdisciplinary project) the School may invite staff from another School to assist in its deliberations.  Minutes shall be taken as a formal record of SPRC meetings, and retained.

6.6.2 Students asked to appear before a SPRC may be accompanied by a registered student of the University (which shall include a Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer) or by a member of staff of the University or University Chaplaincy.

6.6.3 On consideration of any case referred to it, a SPRC shall have the power to do any one or more of the following as it considers appropriate:

  1. To advise students of the course of action considered to be in their best interests with a view to completing a degree or other programmes of the University.  This may include temporary withdrawal or transferring to another programme, if appropriate.
  2. To require students to follow a specified course of action to meet specified targets, provided such targets do not normally exceed what would be required for the student to restore his/her good academic standing.
  3. To require students who have persistently failed progress review to withdraw from their current pathway, or transfer to another programme.
  4. To require students who have persistently failed progress review to withdraw from the University.
  5. To seek the advice of the University Occupational Health Service where the student’s medical fitness is in question.
  6. To refer the case to the Director of Academic and Student Affairs where the student’s fitness to practise his/her chosen profession is in question.

6.6.4 Where students fail to satisfy a requirement imposed under ii, the SPRC may either impose a further requirement under ii, or require students to withdraw from the programme or University as appropriate to the circumstances of the case.  In such cases the student shall have the right to appear before the SPRC meeting at which the withdrawal decision is taken or confirmed.  All SPRC decisions shall be confirmed in writing to the student concerned within five working days of the decision being made.


7. Assessment/Award

 

7.1 Notice of Intention to Submit

7.1.1 Students shall prepare a detailed timetable for final preparation and submission of the thesis, in consultation with the supervisors, at least six months before the end of the normal period of study.  This shall not be required for PhD by Published Works.

7.1.2 Students must give written advance notice to the SPRC of intention to submit the thesis.  To allow the thesis to be examined in time for graduation at a particular date, guideline dates for notice of intention to submit, and submission of a thesis are as follows:

Graduation

Notice

Submission

July

1 February

1 May

December

1 May

15 September

7.1.3 Students must be registered as research students in the academic year in which the thesis is submitted.

7.1.4 Students who fail to submit the thesis by the notified date must notify the SPRC of a new date of submission, after consultation with their supervisors.

7.1.5 The principal supervisor must ensure that appropriate sections of the draft thesis (or critical analysis for PhD by Published Works) have been submitted to the University-recognised similarity checking service, and the report used for feedback purposes, prior to the submission of the thesis (or critical analysis).

7.2 Title and Format of Thesis

7.2.1 Students shall specify the title of the thesis when giving notice of intention to submit.  The title may not be changed thereafter, except with the permission of the SPRC.

7.2.2 Normally all theses must be written in English.  Students may, however, apply to the SPRC at the time of registration to write a thesis in a language other than English where the language is relevant to the subject of the research.  Where permission is given to write in a language other than English, the summary of the thesis and its title must be given both in English and the approved language.

7.2.3 The thesis should not normally exceed the following word limit (excluding appendices and the bibliography):

Research Degree Programme

Word Limit

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

80,000*

Integrated Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

80,000*

Master of Philosophy (MPhil)

50,000**

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

80,000

Master of Surgery (MCh)

50,000

Doctor of Childhood Studies (DChild)

50,000

Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (DClinPsych)

2 research papers

Doctor of Education (EdD)

40,000

Doctor of Education (EdD) TESOL

40,000

Doctorate in Educational, Child & Adolescent Psychology (DECAP)

 

30,000

Doctorate in Governance (DGov)

50,000

Doctorate in Midwifery Practice (DMP)

40,000

Doctorate in Nursing Practice (DNP)

40,000

Juris Doctor (JD)

30,000

* A maximum page length of 300 pages may apply in lieu of the 80,000 word limit, where this is appropriate for the discipline and the research project.

** A maximum page length of 200 pages may apply in lieu of the 50,000 word limit, where this is appropriate for the discipline and the research project.

7.2.4 The layout of the thesis must conform to the format prescribed by Student Services and Systems.  The thesis must be bound in a secure binding of a type approved by Student Services and Systems when it is submitted for examination.

7.2.5 The first page of the thesis must give the author’s full names, degrees, School, the approved title of the thesis, the degree for which it is offered, and the date.

7.2.6 The submission of a creative practice research project for the degree of PhD shall comprise:

  1. Original creative work(s) presented in the appropriate form(s) for the subject field(s).
  2. A critical analysis, written in English, defining the research objectives of the creative work(s); addressing its intellectual and theoretical contexts; reflecting on research methodologies, production processes and the relation between them; analysing, and outlining other factors taken into account in its conception, development, and conclusions.

7.2.7 The written critical analysis (ii) shall be a maximum of 60,000 words (excluding references, appendices, and bibliography) and must be of Doctoral standard.  It is expected that the relative weighting of the practice and critical components will be indicated at the Annual Progress Review/differentiation interview in year 1 of the PhD.

7.2.8 Parts i and ii of the research project must be comprehensively and convincingly integrated and the complete submitted project must reach the required standard for research degree programmes.  The practice component must demonstrate a high level of skill in the manipulation of the material of production and involve a research inquiry.

7.2.9 Where an exhibition or live performance is involved, it may be necessary to appoint external and internal examiners earlier than is customary for traditionally written PhDs.  If process or product (perhaps presented well in advance of the written submission) is to be examined, external and internal examiners shall need access to that process and/or product.

7.2.10 In some cases, where multiple practice events form part of a submission, if the examiners are satisfied with the levels of access to practice they are afforded, it may not be a necessary condition of the assessment that they are given access to all the manifestations of practice.  Such circumstances shall be agreed in advance.  In such cases, it is expected that documentation of practice shall form an integral part of the submission.

7.2.11 Prior to attendance at any live performance/exhibition, external and internal examiners must receive from the student a statement of no more than 1000 words contextualising the practice component and outlining the research questions being addressed.

7.2.12 Where live performance/exhibitions form part of the practice component, permanent records of this research practice (DVD recordings, audio recordings, photographs, or other appropriate records) must be submitted in appropriate form and be bound into the final version of the thesis.  Other documentation relevant to the practice may be included as an appendix to the thesis.

7.2.13 The submission for the degree of PhD by Published Works shall comprise:

  1. A title page, giving the author’s full names, degrees, School, the title of the work, the degree for which it is offered, and the date.
  2. A statement, in the case of multi-authored, joint or collaborative work, of the extent of the student’s own contribution, substantiated by the co-author(s) or collaborator(s).  It is expected that the student will have been a major contributor to each published work.
  3. A critical analysis, not normally exceeding 10,000 words, of the published works included in the submission.  This shall include a statement of the contribution of the work to the advancement of the field of study, a critical account of its significance, an explanation of the inter-relationship between the material presented, and a critical appraisal and discussion of the corpus.
  4. Copies of the published works which should comprise research outputs which match the criteria for submission to the periodic national research assessment exercises.  A work shall be regarded as published only if it is traceable in ordinary catalogues, abstract or citation notices, and web-based materials only if copies of it are, or have been, available to the general public through normal channels.  Documents prepared for a restricted readership and/or on a confidential basis shall not normally be eligible for inclusion in a submission for this degree.  Proofs of papers not yet published but accepted for publication shall be acceptable in their final format.  Any material which has been previously submitted by the student for another degree must be clearly specified and will not be included in the assessment of the works.  The degree will not be awarded unless substantial new work of the appropriate standard is also submitted.  Only works published within the 10-year period prior to submission for the degree will be considered.

7.3 Requirements for the Master’s Degree by Research

7.3.1 Master’s degrees are awarded to students who have demonstrated:

  1. A systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at, or informed by, the forefront of an academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional practice.
  2. A comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship.
  3. Originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline.
  4. Conceptual understanding that enables the student:
    1. To evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline.
    2. To evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses.

7.3.2 Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:

  1. Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  2. Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level.
  3. Continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level.

7.3.3 Holders will have:

  1. The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring:
    1. The exercise of initiative and personal responsibility.
    2. Decision making in complex and unpredictable situations.
    3. The independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

7.4 Requirements for the Doctoral Degree

7.4.1 Doctoral degrees are awarded to students who have demonstrated:

  1. The creation and interpretation of new knowledge, through original research or other advanced scholarship, of a quality to satisfy peer review, extend the forefront of the discipline, and merit publication.
  2. A systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge which is at the forefront of an academic discipline or area of professional practice.
  3. The general ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the generation of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline, and to adjust the project design in the light of unforeseen problems.
  4. A detailed understanding of applicable techniques for research and advanced academic enquiry.

7.4.2 Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:

  1. Make informed judgements on complex issues in specialist fields, often in the absence of complete data, and be able to communicate their ideas and conclusions clearly and effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  2. Continue to undertake pure and/or applied research and development at an advanced level, contributing substantially to the development of new techniques, ideas, or approaches.

7.4.3 Holders will have:

  1. The qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and largely autonomous initiative in complex and unpredictable situations, in professional or equivalent environments.

7.5 Procedure for Submission

7.5.1 Students must submit to Student Services and Systems sufficient copies of the thesis (normally two) for the internal and external examiners.

7.5.2 On submitting a thesis (or published works, to be substituted for references to a thesis below), students must sign a statement that:

  1. The thesis is not one for which a degree has been or will be conferred by any other university or institution.
  2. The thesis is not one for which a degree has already been conferred by this University.
  3. The work for the thesis is the student’s own and that, where material submitted by the student for another degree or work undertaken by the student as part of a research group has been incorporated into the thesis, the extent of the work thus incorporated has been clearly indicated.
  4. The composition of the thesis is the student’s own work.

7.6 Appointment of Examiners

7.6.1 The SPRC shall appoint internal examiners and nominate external examiners for approval by the Research and Postgraduate Committee.  There shall normally be at least one internal and one external examiner.  For PhD by Published Works, there shall be at least two external examiners.

7.6.2 Where the student is a member of staff, or in any other case where personal interest might be involved, a second external examiner must be appointed in lieu of the internal examiner.  The two external examiners must each come from different institutions or organisations.

7.6.3 In any instance where an internal examiner is not appointed, the School shall appoint an independent member of the internal staff to co-ordinate the examination process.

7.6.4 Only persons of seniority and experience who are able to command authority within the area of research concerned shall be appointed as examiners.

7.6.5 The examiners shall not have had substantial co-authoring or collaborative involvement in the student’s work, nor examine a thesis whose focus is the examiner’s own work, nor have any links, including personal links, with the student which could be perceived to influence their judgement.

7.6.6 The external examiner shall be appointed from amongst the current professors, readers, or senior lecturers (or equivalent) from an external university.  External examiners from outside the higher education system, for example from industry or the professions, may be appropriate for theses in some disciplines, subject to evidence of appropriate experience.  An external examiner must not have been a member of staff or a student of the University at any time during the three years prior to appointment.

7.6.7  The internal examiner shall be appointed from amongst the current professors, readers, senior lecturers, lecturers (but not normally lecturers on probation), research fellows appointed under the Queen’s University Research Fellowship scheme or staff of the University individually approved under regulation 6.1.6 for the purpose of supervision by the Research and Postgraduate Committee.  Recognised teachers may be appointed as internal examiners in the Institute of Theology.  In exceptional circumstances, honorary title holders may be appointed as internal examiners in Medicine, Health and Life Sciences.

7.6.8 The principal, second or co-supervisor (or any other supervisor) may not be appointed as an examiner.

7.7 The Examination Process

7.7.1 The examiners shall each prepare anindependent report on the thesis before the oral examination.

7.7.2 There shall be an oral examination attended by the internal and external examiners and independently convened by a Director of Research (or nominee of equivalent experience, i.e. senior lecturer or above).

7.7.3 The oral examination shall take place in the University.  In exceptional circumstances, and at the written request of the student, the SPRC may grant permission for an oral examination to be held elsewhere, or for it to be held via video-conferencing.

7.7.4 The student may not communicate with the examiners about the thesis before the oral examination.

7.7.5 After the oral examination, the examiners, via the School, must send Student Services and Systems all the independent reports plus a joint report which includes one of the following decisions:

  1. The Doctoral degree be awarded as the thesis stands.
  2. The Doctoral degree be awarded subject to corrections* being made to the thesis that must be completed within three months.
  3. The Doctoral degree be awarded subject to corrections* being made to the thesis that must be completed within six months.
  4. The thesis be revised and re-submitted** for the Doctoral degree at a later date.  Students are normally only permitted to revise and re-submit a thesis once, not counting minor corrections or minor revisions.  When making this decision, examiners may also propose one of v, vi, or vii below as a possible alternative.  The student must confirm the preferred option.
  5. A Master’s degree be awarded as the thesis stands.
  6. A Master’s degree be awarded subject to corrections* being made to the thesis that must be completed within three months.
  7. A Master’s degree be awarded subject to corrections* being made to the thesis that must be completed within six months.
  8. The thesis be revised and re-submitted** for a Master’s degree at a later date.
  9. No degree be awarded.

For PhD by Published Works, ‘thesis’ shall be substituted with ‘submission’ and any required corrections, or revisions shall relate to the critical analysis.  Decision viii above is not applicable for PhD by Published Works.

* Normally the internal examiner must submit to Student Services and Systems, via the School, written notification of the corrections required, along with the completed examination forms, and normally within eight working days of the oral examination.  Students must normally complete the corrections to the satisfaction of the internal examiner within three or six months (as determined within the Joint Report) from receipt of the examination outcome letter and notification of the corrections required.

** Revision and re-submission reflects that substantial revisions are required to make the thesis acceptable.  Normally the internal examiner must submit to Student Services and Systems, via the School, written notification of the major revisions required, along with the completed examination forms, and normally within eight working days of the oral examination.  (If the examiners have also proposed a possible alternative option from vi or vii above, normally the internal examiner must submit to Student Services and Systems, via the School, written notification of the appropriate amendments required by the appropriate deadline, and normally within eight working days of the oral examination.)  Students must normally complete major revisions and resubmit the thesis for re-examination, within twelve months of receipt of the examination outcome letter and notification of the major revisions required.  A new oral examination shall normally be required for the resubmission.  The same examiners as for the original submission shall examine the resubmission.

7.7.6 Students who fail 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 decisions of the examiners shall lapse.

7.7.7 If the examiners cannot reach agreement on a decision, the internal examiner (or Convenor, if no internal examiner was appointed) shall notify the Chair of the SPRC, who shall arrange for an additional external examiner to be appointed following the procedures set out in regulation 7.6.  The additional external examiner shall be informed that the original examiners have been unable to reach agreement and shall be sent the independent reports.  The decision of the new external examiner shall be final.

7.7.8 If the Board of Examiners wishes to depart in any way from the normal examination procedures, the SPRC Chair shall seek permission from the Director of Academic and Student Affairs.

7.7.9 Students who are dissatisfied with the outcome of the examination process may submit an academic appeal (research degree programmes) if a ground for appeal is evidenced (see regulation 8).

7.8 Copyright

All copies of a thesis submitted, whether or not adjudged by the examiners to deserve the degree, remain the property of the University.  The University shall assign the copyright of a thesis back to the author.

7.9 Library Regulations

7.9.1 Where the examiners decide to award a degree and before the result is officially posted, the student must submit to Student Services and Systems two copies of the thesis bound in the manner of a book and certified by an examiner as being the accepted copy of the thesis (containing any amendments required by the examiners) and the approved summary of the work.  One of these copies shall be deposited in the University Library and one given to the School concerned.

7.9.2 Students commencing a research degree programme from September 2016 onwards must also make the final, post-correction version of their thesis (as approved by the internal examiner) available in electronic format. The student must agree that the thesis be stored and made available publicly in electronic format unless an embargo period has been approved.


8. Academic Appeal Regulations (Research Degree Programmes)

 

8.1 Students may appeal to the Faculty Student Research Appeals Committee (FSRAC) against a decision of their School Postgraduate Research Committee about progression, assessment and/or award or against an examiners’ decision regarding the outcome of an oral examination.   If the appeal is unsuccessful students have the right to appeal this decision to the Central Student Research Appeals Committee (CSRAC).

8.2 The FSRAC comprises the Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or nominee) and a senior academic colleague who has no prior knowledge of the case. The CSRAC is a committee drawn from a panel of senior academics from across the University.

8.3 The process outlined in Study Regulation 8 is set out in a flowchart in Annex 1.

Scope of the Procedure

8.4 Any registered postgraduate research student of the University may appeal to the FSRAC, on grounds, against a decision of their School Postgraduate Research Committee about progression, assessment and/or award or against an examiners’ decision regarding the outcome of an oral examination.

8.5 There is no appeal against academic judgement.  Academic judgement is a decision of an academic body about a matter, such as assessment, degree classification, research methodology, or course content/outcome.  It is a judgement made about a matter where only the opinion of an academic expert will suffice.

8.6 The FSRAC and the CSRAC have the authority to consider and address other issues which may not be a substantive part of the appeal, but come to light as part of the Committee’s deliberations.  The FSRAC/CSRAC may refer such matters back to the School Postgraduate Research Committee for further consideration, if appropriate.

8.7 In complex cases, where more than one procedure may apply, the Director of Academic and Student Affairs shall decide which University Regulations shall be followed.

Confidentiality

8.8 The University will take all reasonable steps to limit the disclosure of information as is consistent with investigating the issue(s) raised and the provisions of the Human Rights Act 1998, the Data Protection Act 1998, the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and any other relevant legislation.  All staff and students who become involved in the appeal process are required to respect the integrity of the process and the confidentiality of information arising from it both during and after the conclusion of the process, unless there is an overriding reason to disclose information.  Information will only be released to those who need it for the purpose of investigating or responding to an appeal; no third party will be told any more about the investigation than strictly necessary in order to obtain the information required from them. 

Communication

8.9 The University will normally communicate by email with anyone involved in the University process.  In the case of registered students or University staff, this will normally be to their University email address.  Where correspondence is sent to a registered student by post it will be sent to the term-time address registered with the University. 

Notification of Decisions

8.10 Unless otherwise stated, notification of a decision will be sent to the student and copied to relevant persons normally within five working days of the decision being taken.  If there is a delay in the decision being made, the student will be advised. 

Defamatory or Derogatory Comments

8.11 When submitting an appeal, appellants should be careful not to make unsubstantiated or defamatory allegations or comments about students, members of University staff or any other person.  If the University considers that an allegation or comment may be deemed to be defamatory, it may require it to be retracted or deleted before accepting an appeal.

Duty of Candour/Fabricated Evidence

8.12 It is expected that any person involved in any University process will treat all others involved with respect and courtesy and will behave honestly and with integrity throughout the process.  It is also expected that any evidence (written or oral) provided to the University will be true to the best of that person’s knowledge.

8.13 Any registered student considered to have acted dishonestly or to have provided false evidence may be referred for investigation under the Conduct Regulations, the Guidelines on Fitness to Continue to Study on the Grounds of Health and/or Safety and/or the Fitness to Practise Procedure as appropriate.  

Evidence

8.14 The University reserves the right to request and consider independent evidence, including medical evidence, as it deems appropriate.  Where considered necessary, a committee may adjourn in order to allow time for such further evidence to be obtained.  

Suspension of Investigation

8.15 The University reserves the right to suspend any appeal procedure if the appellant behaves inappropriately.  In such cases the Chair of the FSRAC or the CSRAC will suspend the procedures and will advise the appellant accordingly, including the consequences of this decision on the appeal and any conditions which must be met in order to reinstate the appeal. The student may also be referred for investigation under the Conduct Regulations, the Guidelines on Fitness to Continue to Study on the Grounds of Health and/or Safety and/or the Fitness to Practise Procedure as appropriate.  

Right to Be Accompanied

8.16 Any student has the right to be accompanied at any stage in the proceedings by a registered student of the University (which shall include a Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer), or by a member of staff of the University, or University Chaplaincy. At all stages of the process, students will be notified of their right to be accompanied. The role is one of support, not representation.

Equality, Diversity and Fair Treatment

8.17 The University has a legal, as well as a moral duty, to treat all students fairly.  The University values and promotes equality and diversity and will seek to ensure that it treats all individuals fairly and with dignity and respect.  The University seeks to provide equality to all, irrespective of: gender, including gender re-assignment; marital or civil partnership status; having or not having dependants; religious belief or political opinion; race (including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins, including Irish Travellers); pregnancy, including maternity and paternity rights; disability; sexual orientation and age.

8.18 Within this procedure, where possible, there will be an equal gender balance on committees. 

Less Favourable Treatment

8.19 No person who submits an appeal will be treated less favourably as a result, whether or not the appeal is upheld.  Victimisation shall be grounds for a further, separate complaint.

Standard of Proof

8.20 At all times, the principles of natural justice shall be observed and the standard of proof shall be on the balance of probabilities.

Reasonable Adjustments

8.21 Students will be invited to notify Academic Affairs if they require any reasonable adjustments in order to make the process accessible.  This may include consultation with Disability Services.

Deadlines/Timescales

8.22 The University will endeavour to meet all timescales set out in this procedure. It may however prove impossible to meet these timescales when key staff are on leave, or otherwise indisposed, or where the complexities of the case warrant extended scrutiny.  Where it is not possible for the University to meet the deadlines, for whatever reason, the student will be informed.

Stage 1: Appeals to Faculty Student Research Appeals Committee (FSRAC)

8.23 Students have the right to appeal to the FSRAC against a decision of the School Postgraduate Research Committee on student progression, assessment and award or an examiners’ decision regarding the outcome of an oral examination, including the following decisions:

  1. Appeal against a decision that a student cannot progress to doctoral study or is required to withdraw from their current programme of study.  This includes students not allowed to progress on their current course and who are offered transfer to another research degree programme (and so their registration with the University is not terminated).  Students are not thereby denied the right to appeal.
  2. Appeal against a decision not to award the qualification for which a student is registered.  This relates to decisions made at the end of a student's research degree.

8.24 Students may request an appeal on any of the following grounds to Academic Affairs using the FSRAC Appeal Form:

  1. New evidence has become available which could not have been provided to the School (evidence that a student chooses to withold from the School will not normally constitute new evidence);
  2. There has been a procedural irregularity which has had a demonstrable impact on the progress/assessment/award outcome;
  3. There is evidence of inadequate assessment on the part of one or more examiners in an oral examination;
  4. There is evidence of inadequate supervision. This refers not to the academic judgment of supervisors regarding the quality of students’ work, but rather to the adherence to University regulations, procedures and codes of practice for the supervision of postgraduate research students.  The student shall be expected either to show that they took action at the earliest possible stage to deal with any alleged supervisory problems, or to explain why they did not take such action.

8.25 The FSRAC shall have no authority to alter assessment/award decisions. 

8.26 The FSRAC Appeal Form must be submitted within ten working days of the date of the written communication stating the progression, assessment, or award decision.  The grounds for appeal, with reasons, should be clearly stated.

8.27 On receipt of an appeal, Academic Affairs will refer the matter to the student’s Head of School (or nominee) for a response.

8.28 In responding to the issues raised in the appeal, the response from the School should include copies of all correspondence relating to the case and other relevant information, as required. 

8.29 The student’s appeal and the School response will be considered by the FSRAC. A decision will be reached based solely on the paperwork submitted by the student and the School.

8.30 The FSRAC may:

  1. Recommend that the School meet with the student to mediate a solution to help inform the outcome of the FSRAC.
  2. Dismiss the appeal, with reasons, and confirm the original decision against which the appeal is made.      
  3. Uphold the appeal in part or full by varying the progression decision.
  4. Uphold the appeal in part or full by choosing one of the following in relation to the final examination (assessment/award) decision:
    1. Declare the oral examination null and void and direct that a new oral examination be conducted.  New examiners, including at least one external examiner, shall be appointed.  There shall be no fewer examiners than for the original examination.  The School shall not inform the examiners that they are conducting a re-examination on appeal.  There shall be an oral examination, and the examiners shall submit independent and joint reports in the normal way.
    2. Recommend to the examiners that, for reasons stated, they reconsider their decision.
    3. Give the student permission either to revise the thesis and re-submit for re-examination within a specified time or to re-register for a further period of time to undertake more research before re-submitting the thesis. The FSRAC shall specify whether the thesis is to be re-examined by the same or new examiners.  
    4. Apply on the student's behalf for a concession to the Study Regulations for Research Degree Programmes.

8.31 If the appeal has been upheld on the ground of inadequate supervision the FSRAC shall recommend to the School that one or moresupervisors be replaced.

8.32 In exceptional cases, the FSRAC may decide to refer the case to the CSRAC for consideration with the student present. There shall be no appeal against a referral to CSRAC as this does not constitute a decision on the appeal.

8.33 The decision of the FSRAC shall be communicated to the student within five working days of the decision being made, giving the reasons in full and advising the student of their right to appeal to the CSRAC. Students will also be given all copies of information considered by the FSRAC.  

Stage 2: Central Student Research Appeals Committee

8.34 Students may appeal to the Central Student Research Appeals Committee (CSRAC) against decision of the FSRAC on any of the following grounds using the CSRAC Appeal Form:

  1. New evidence has become available which could not have been provided to the FSRAC (evidence that the student chooses to withold from the FSRAC will not normally constitute new evidence).
  2. There has been a procedural irregularity by the FSRAC which has had a demonstrable impact on the outcome.

8.35 The CSRAC Appeal Form must be submitted to Academic Affairs within ten working days of the date of notification of the  outcome of the appeal to FSRAC.

8.36 The CSRAC shall comprise a Pro-Vice-Chancellor (or nominee), who shall chair the meeting, and three Directors of Research or senior academic colleagues from across the University, to include normally one representative from each of the Faculties within the University, i.e. Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; Engineering and Physical Sciences; and Medicine, Health and Life Sciences. 

8.37 The CSRAC shall observe the following procedures:

  1. Students are required to attend to present their appeal in person before the CSRAC and shall be given at least five working days’ notice by email of the date and time of the meeting of the CSRAC.  
  2. The student shall be required to confirm within five working days whether they intend to attend the meeting of the CSRAC.  If the student does not confirm their attendance, the appeal may be deemed to be withdrawn.
  3. If students do not attend the meeting of the CSRAC, without good cause, the CSRAC has the right to consider the case and to reach a decision in the absence of the student and without further notice.  It is the student’s responsibility to establish good cause to the satisfaction of the CSRAC.
  4. Where the student establishes ‘good cause’ to the satisfaction of the Chair, then the meeting may be re-scheduled unless the student has indicated that they wish the case to be considered by the CSRAC in their absence.
  5. The CSRAC shall be provided with copies of all documentation considered by the FSRAC and any further information or documentation submitted by the student in relation to their appeal to CSRAC.  Where appropriate, the School may be required to provide a further response to the student’s appeal to CSRAC.
  6. The CSRAC may also require the Chair of the FSRAC (or nominee) to provide a written response to the student’s appeal. 
  7. The CSRAC shall require the Chair of the FSRAC (or nominee) to attend the meeting of the CSRAC. A representative(s) from the School may also be required to attend to provide information relating to the provision of the research degree programme, student performance and the basis on which the progression, assessment, or award decision was taken.  The student, the Chair of the FSRAC (or nominee) and the School representative(s) (if in attendance) shall be present whilst the others present evidence.
  8. Only members of the CSRAC and of the secretariat shall be present while the decision is made.
  9. The CSRAC reserves the right to request and/or consider further evidence as it sees fit, and may reconvene to allow deliberations to be concluded.  Where possible, the same Committee members will attend the reconvened meeting.

8.38 The CSRAC may:

  1. Dismiss the appeal, with reasons, and confirm the original decision against which the appeal is made.      
  2. Uphold the appeal in part or full by varying the progression decision.
  3. Uphold the appeal in part or full by choosing one of the following in relation to the final examination (assessment/award) decision:
    1. Declare the oral examination null and void and direct that a new oral examination be conducted.  New examiners, including at least one external examiner, shall be appointed.  There shall be no fewer examiners than for the original examination.  The School shall not inform the examiners that they are conducting a re-examination on appeal.  There shall be an oral examination, and the examiners shall submit independent and joint reports in the normal way.
    2. Recommend to the examiners that, for reasons stated, they reconsider their decision.
    3. Give the student permission either to revise the thesis and re-submit for re-examination within a specified time or to re-register for a further period of time to undertake more research before re-submitting the thesis. The CSRAC shall specify whether the thesis is to be re-examined by the same or new examiners.  
    4. Apply on the student’s behalf for a concession to the Study Regulations for Research Degree Programmes.

8.39 If the appeal has been upheld on the ground of inadequate supervision, the FSRAC shall recommend to the School that one or more supervisors be replaced.

8.40 The decision shall normally be confirmed in writing to the student, with reasons, within five working days of the decision having been taken.

8.41 There is no further internal appeal against a decision of the CSRAC.

Central Monitoring and Record Keeping

8.36 Minutes of the meeting, including an individual note of each decision, shall be taken as a formal record of the meeting and retained.

8.37 The Director of Academic and Student Affairs shall make an annual report on academic appeals to the Research and Postgraduate Committee.  Individual students shall not be identified in the report.

Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman

8.38 There is no further internal appeal against a decision of the CSRAC. However a student who feels aggrieved by the decision may make a complaint to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman within six months of notification of the University’s final decision.

Further Information

8.39 Further information is available on the Academic Appeals webpages.