1. Definitions of Full-Time Study and Part-Time Study
Research students study over the full calendar year. Full-time students are entitled to take up to four weeks holiday per annum, plus Public Holidays and the Christmas closure period.
Full-time students will spend a minimum of 35 hours a week on research and study during the period of supervised study for the degree. All full-time students (Method A and Method B) must normally be resident in the United Kingdom during the period of supervised study for the degree and should live within easy commuting distance of the University. Full-time students for whom the University acts as student visa sponsor must be resident in the United Kingdom and live within easy commuting distance of the University for the total duration of candidature.
Part-time students are expected to spend approximately 15 hours a week on research and study during the period of supervised study for the degree. Part-time students do not need to be resident in the United Kingdom during the period of supervised study for the degree; however they should ensure that there is regular contact with the supervisor and, as a absolute minimum, one face-to-face meeting during each academic year.
2. Periods of Study for Each Degree
|Table 1.1: Minimum candidature/maximum submission period in years|
|Programme||Mode of Study||Minimum Candidature||Maximum submission|
|Professional Doctorate (and PhD Extended Period of Study)||Full-time||4||5|
|Degree of Doctor of Philosophy (BBSRC Doctoral Training Programme)||Full-time||4||5|
|MA/MSc/LLM by Research||Full-time||1||2|
The maximum submission period for degrees, irrespective of mode of study, will normally be one year more than the minimum candidature period. There may be exceptions (granted by Academic Regulations and Cases Board approval eg DBA)
Each research degree programme has a normal period of supervised study – the minimum candidature period, at the end of which a student is expected to submit.
There is also a maximum submission date after which a student will be deemed to have run out of time and will not be permitted to submit a thesis.
3. Minimum Candidature Period
During the minimum candidature period the research student will undertake research work under full supervision. The 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. The supervisors will assist the 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 student will be liable for fees at the appropriate level based on residency, method of candidature and subject area.
4. Confirmation of Candidature
The Faculty/School is required to confirm the candidature of a student to the Progression and Awards Board within three months of the initial enrolment of the student. In doing so, the Faculty/School is confirming that the 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 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 student after three months, the Progression and Awards Board will require the student either to suspend or to withdraw from the programme (see Guide to Suspensions and Extensions for Research Students and Guide to Transfer and Withdrawal of Research Students). However, in very exceptional circumstances, a 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 student is not permitted to significantly change their topic of research, as such a change would invalidate the confirmation of candidature. If a student wishes to significantly change their topic of research, the student 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 postgraduate 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 EEA students only. It is the responsibility of Swansea University supervisors to notify the University’s International Student Compliance Team (Academic 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 Change of Research Topic Policy and Procedure.
5. Progression Monitoring
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 degree student with a recommendation regarding the outcome in order for the student to continue on their programme (see the Guide to Progress Monitoring of Research Students for more details).
At the end of the minimum candidature period the 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 student’s progress to the Progression and Awards Board, giving an indication when the student will be ready to submit a thesis (see the Guide to Progress Monitoring of Research Students for more details).
Normally, a research student is expected to submit their thesis by 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 Research Students for more information).
6. Early Submission
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 students are permitted to submit a thesis before the end of the minimum candidature period, the student 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 candidate’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 his 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 and the 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 candidate 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.