Frequently asked questions Frequently asked questions

What is the function of the Postgraduate Research Service?

The Postgraduate Service's Science team deals with:

  • Sending out offer letters to successful candidates
  • Supplying studentship and funding information once an offer has been made
  • Registration and Induction queries
  • Checking fees and funding eligibility
  • Student letters (for banks/letting agencies/sponsors, visa extensions/renewals etc)
  • Receipt of medical certificates
  • Concessions requests (eg extensions, interruptions)
  • Appointment of examiners
  • Thesis submission (including the dispatch of theses to examiners)
  • Viva reports

Who deals with financial issues?

Maintenance stipends are for postgraduate research students whose awards are paid via the University and not direct from funders, and are paid monthly in advance on 28th of each month through SCI Finance. Payments are authorised by the PGR Service and then sent to the Science Finance Office to set up payments during students' funded periods.  

If you are in receipt of a research training support grant and need information on expenditure you should contact the Science Finance Office.

If you have debts to the University, you must go to the Cashiers Office in the Registry reception. Financial hardship issues are dealt with by the Student Support Service.

On what grounds can I request an extension or interruption to my period of study?

You can request an extension or an interruption to for unexpected or unforeseen circumstances (eg medical) if you can provide us with the appropriate evidence. The Regulations for degrees may permit the Board of Schools to approve adjustments to the period of study for individual candidates. The Board may also be permitted to alter the total period of registration, and therefore the deadline for the submission of the thesis. Futher information on circumstances affecting your study and how to apply for an extension or interruption to your studies can be found at

What is the University's Plagiarism Policy?

To plagiarise is to take or use another person's thoughts, ideas and/or writing in such a way as to give the impression that it is your own work.

The University takes very seriously cases of plagiarism or collusion. Students who deliberately plagiarise or collude threaten the values and beliefs that underpin academic work and devalue the integrity of the University's awards. In proven cases offenders shall be punished, and a punishment may extend to failing their degree, temporary suspension or expulsion from further study at the University if the case comes before a Discipline Committee of the University. Plagiarism and collusion at any stage of a student's course, whether discovered before or after graduation, will be investigated and dealt with appropriately by the University.

I want to withdraw from my course, what happens now?

You will need to supply the PGR Service with written, dated confirmation of your intention to withdraw and indicate your effective date of withdrawal. If you are in receipt of a stipend that has been paid in advance you may be required to return part of it.

How do I request Special Arrangements for my Viva?

Complete the section ‘Special Circumstances to be drawn to the attention of the Examiners' on page 2 of the Research Degree Entry form.

How do I submit my thesis?

Two soft-bound copies and one electronic copy of your thesis should be presented to the PGR Service with the appropriate documentation. You should submit two copies thesis in a secure soft binding sufficiently durable and one electronic copy (on USB) for the assessment process. Assuming your examiners have been appointed the PGR Service will send one copy to each of your examiners, and an electronic copy to them if requested. 

It is the responsibility of your internal examiner to contact you to arrange a suitable date for the viva. This should happen within three months of the thesis being submitted. 

Examiners should be appointed at least three months prior to the thesis being submitted. Appointment of examiners can be a lengthy process and delay in requesting the appointment of examiners may lead to a delay in the examination of the thesis. The appointment of examiners is the responsibility of your supervisory team. 

What is the role of my supervisory team?

Each student must have a nominated supervisory team of at least two research-active teachers in the University. 

The role of the supervisory team is to provide students with academic and pastoral guidance as they pursue their studies. To ensure continuity of guidance for the student and communication between the supervisory team, the School and other parts of the University, one member of the supervisory team will be designated as the primary supervisor (including in cases of joint supervision). The primary supervisor will be the line of communication with the University.

Details of the University's Guide to Good Supervisory Practice.

How are my examiners selected?

Recommendations for appointment of examiners should be made by the Primary Supervisor on the appropriate form provided by the PGR Service (the form is available on the 'forms' tab of the SCI Graduate School pages). This is the responsibility of your primary supervisor. The PGR Service must receive the completed nomination form at least three months prior to your thesis submission date. Failure to keep to this timescale may result in a delay in your viva. 

A student's primary supervisor or other member of the supervisory team cannot be appointed as an internal examiner. 

While you cannot influence the choice of examiners, it is good practice for your primary supervisor to share freely with you information concerning the recommendation of examiners and inform you on ratification of appointment. 

If my contact details change, who do I need to inform?

You can change your own address details online (Intranet/portal).

I need a letter as proof of student status, for renting accommodation, for re-entry to the UK at the end of vacations, visa purposes, etc...where do I get this from?

There is a form on this web site for requesting such letters: you reach it by clicking on the Forms button on the left hand side of this page. Fill in the form and either email it to or bring it in to the PGR Service (Elizabeth Fry Building 2.30). Please allow three working days for the letter to be ready for collection. For visa renewals letters please allow 5-7 working days for the letter to be ready for collection.

How does the Council Tax Exemption Form work?

You will be able to print a council tax certificate when you start university from your student homepage on the Portal (, this will cover you for the length of your course. If you lose it you will need to print off another copy from your student homepage on the Portal.  If you intercalate or transfer from MPhil to PhD you will need to print a new certificate to cover you for the new extended period.

Students in their registration-only year will not be entitled to receive a council tax exemption form. However, on request the PGR Service will compile a letter for signature by your supervisor. This letter can then be given to your Council for consideration for an exemption. Exemption is not automatic and is at the discretion of the Council.

I need to be away from University on fieldwork/research, do I need permission?

Yes, you do.  Leave of absence even if it is for study away from UEA on approved fieldwork or research must have the prior permission of the PGR Director of the appropriate school.

There is a form in the Forms tab of this page which should be completed by your supervisor and jointly signed. The form should then be given to the PGR Service for authorisation.

I have lost my Campus Card, where do I get a replacement?

The Library issues replacement campus cards, on payment of fee. If your campus card has been stolen the replacement fee is waived if a police crime sheet number is shown.  Further information can be found at

How will my progress be assessed?

Schools are required to monitor student progress regularly throughout their programme.

Further information can be found at