All research students study over the full calendar year.
Full-time research students will spend a minimum of 35 hours a week on research and study during the period of supervised study for the degree. Full-time research students are entitled to take up to four weeks holiday per annum, plus Public Holidays and the Christmas closure period.
Part-time research students are expected to spend approximately 15 hours a week on research and study during the period of supervised study for the degree.
All research students should ensure that there is regular contact with their supervisor(s) and at a minimum there must be at least four formal supervision meetings each year, however due to the nature of the Doctor of Philosophy (External) Programme, it is recommended there are significantly more supervisory meetings (ideally on a monthly basis) to provide support and to ensure engagement. Research students will not normally be requested to physically attend the meetings unless there is a particular request to do so.
Mode of study
|Expected End Date (Minimum Candidature Period)
|Expiry Date (Maximum Candidature)
Table 1.1: Expected End Date (Minimum Candidature Period)/Expiry Date (Maximum Candidature) in years.
The maximum submission period for research degrees, irrespective of mode of study, will normally be one year more than the minimum candidature period.
The research degree programme has a normal period of supervised study, the minimum candidature, at the end of which a research student is expected to submit (Expected End Date). There is also an Expiry Date at the end of the maximum candidature, after which a student will be deemed to have run out of time and will not be permitted to submit a thesis.
During the minimum candidature period the research student will undertake research work under supervision. The research student will receive regular support, advice and guidance from their supervisors to ensure that the research can be completed, including the preparation of the thesis, by the end of the minimum candidature period (Expected End Date). The supervisors will assist the research student in producing a detailed work-plan and timetable for the research and will monitor the student’s progress in relation to this plan. During the minimum candidature period the research student will be liable for fees at the appropriate level based on residency, method of candidature and subject area.
The Faculty/School is required to confirm the candidature of a research student to the Progression and Awards Board within three months of their initial enrolment. In doing so, the Faculty/School is confirming that the research student has fulfilled the specified administrative requirements and is academically prepared, considered to be of the appropriate academic standard and possesses the capability to undertake the agreed research project (see the Guide to Progress Monitoring of External Research Students for more details).
A report of all non-confirmed candidatures will be made to the Progression and Awards Board three months after enrolment. If the Faculty/School cannot confirm candidature for a research student after three months, the Progression and Awards Board will require the research student either to suspend or to withdraw from the programme (see Guide to Suspensions and Extensions for External Research Students and Guide to Transfer and Withdrawal of External Research Students). However, in very exceptional circumstances, a research student may submit an application to extend their Confirmation of Candidature by three months to the Progression and Awards Board for consideration.
After confirmation of candidature has been completed, a research student is not permitted to significantly change their topic of research, as such a change would invalidate the confirmation of candidature. If a research student wishes to significantly change their topic of research, then they should be required to withdraw from the current degree and re-apply for the new topic of research.
In the event any changes are made to the research student research proposals, the University has a requirement to notify UKVI within 28 days of any changes to postgraduate student research proposals, for those that require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate. Information regarding which courses require an ATAS certificate can be found via: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/find-out-if-you-require-an-atas-certificate#find-out-how-to-apply.
This applies to non UK students only. It is the responsibility of Swansea University supervisors to notify the University’s International Student Compliance Team (Education Services), of changes to the student’s original research proposal or the use of any new research technique. For more information, please read the ATAS and ATAS and Change of Research Topic Policy and Procedure.
All research students’ progress will be continuously assessed throughout their period of study. Faculties/Schools must submit to the Progression and Awards Board a formal progress assessment report for each research student with a recommendation regarding the outcome, in order for the research student to continue on their programme (see the Guide to Progress Monitoring of External Research Students for more details).
At the end of the minimum candidature period (Expected End Date) the research student is expected to have completed their research and to be preparing to submit the thesis. The Faculty/School must submit a formal assessment report on the research student’s progress to the Progression and Awards Board, giving an indication when the research student will be ready to submit a thesis (see the Guide to Progress Monitoring of External Research Students for more details).
Normally, a research student is expected to submit their thesis by the end of the maximum candidature period/date, then the student will be deemed to have run out of time and their record will be closed. In exceptional cases, the research student may apply for an extension to the maximum candidature period/date (see the Guide to Suspensions and Extensions for External Research Students for more information).
If a research student wishes to submit their thesis more than six months before the Expected End Date (minimum candidature period), then permission should be sought from the Progression and Awards Board. The research student and the supervisor(s) should provide an in-depth written statement, counter-signed by the Executive Dean or nominee, outlining the reasons for the early submission and confirming that the research student is in fact ready to submit. If a research student wishes to submit their thesis less than six months before the Expected End Date (minimum candidature period), then a brief statement from the research student and the supervisor(s) (normally endorsed by the Faculty Postgraduate Research Academic Lead or equivalent), should be sent to the Progression and Awards Board.
It should be noted that where research students are permitted to submit a thesis before the Expected End Date (minimum candidature period), they will still be liable for fees for whole of the minimum candidature period.
In the event that a Faculty/School or the Progression and Awards Board does not support a research student’s application for the early submission of a thesis, or which falls before the six-month window permitted within the minimum period of candidature (in accordance with the regulations and guidelines), an application for early submission can be made to the Vice Chancellor. The Vice Chancellor, or their nominee (who shall be a member of the Senior Management Team and who has no material interest in the case), may authorise the early submission provided that an appropriately worded declaration be signed by the supervisor(s) and the research student, which will also be countersigned by the authorised member of the Senior Management Team.
This declaration will include waiving any right on the part of the research student to pursue a complaint or redress in respect of deficiencies in research support or supervision, or any other matter relating to the recording and management of the candidature arising from early submission.
In all other regards, the thesis submission and assessment will follow appropriate University procedures, including for example, the appointment of examiners, the composition and arrangement of the examining board, the conduct of the viva, and the possible outcomes of the examination.