Questions that lots of PGR Students ask… Questions that lots of PGR Students ask…

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

You can change your own address details online. Please also inform the PGR Office.

I have lost my campus card, where do i get a replacement?

The Library issues replacement campus cards on payment of a fee of £10. If your campus card has been stolen the replacement fee is waived if a police crime sheet number is shown.

Who deals with financial issues?

If your query is about a studentship maintenance payment, an expense claim on your research training support grant or any financial matter relating to studentships, please contact the PGR Office (see above). However, if the query is about invoices for tuition fees/accommodation or if you have debts to the University, you must go to the Cashiers Office in the Registry reception. Students experiencing financial difficulties are able to talk to the Student Support Service where staff are experienced in dealing with student problems of any kind.

What is the role of my supervisory team?

Research students are allocated primary and secondary supervisors who collaborate to make up a student's supervisory team. Sometimes supervisors will assume equal responsibility, but the primary supervisor is responsible for administrative arrangements.

Initially, students will receive considerable guidance from their supervisors in locating a clearly defined research topic, and close supervision in developing the chosen field of study. To ensure that a well-planned start is made to a research degree programme, first year students should arrange to meet regularly with their primary supervisor (e.g. about once a fortnight for full-time students or once a month for part-time students). You should be aware, however, that the supervisor's role is to provide academic advice and not detailed instruction.

The thesis must represent in all respects (e.g. data collection and analysis, theoretical discussion, and conclusions) the original work of the student rather than simply reflect the ideas of the supervisor. The role of the supervisor is to give encouragement, read outlines and draft chapters and give advice on the general standard and direction of your work.

After the first year, students and supervisors might expect to meet less often. You should expect to have at least two formal meetings with the supervisory team per year (part time) and three formal meetings per year (full time), although students/supervisors often meet much more frequently than this.

Supervisors are obliged, and students are encouraged, to keep a written record of all meetings as well as the major targets set and accomplished over the period of research. It is essential that copies of notes and minutes are provided to the PGR Office to be retained on the students' records and recorded on the student IT system. This is for the benefit of the student and UEA, as these meeting records may be checked in the event of a problem with a student's progress at any point during their research programme.

If your supervisor is on study leave, a substitute will normally be provided, who will be chosen in consultation with you.

Am I expected to attend any training during my period of study?

All UEA PGR students registered for a PhD (full time or part time) are required to undertake both subject-specific and Personal and Professional Development (PPD) training whilst working towards their PhD.

Subject Specific skills are those required to complete a PhD thesis successfully. These can be developed by availing the learning opportunities offered by the School where you are registered. This training usually comprises of advanced research methods training and core subject related seminars/workshops/lectures etc.  Students are informed of the availability and regulations of subject-specific training within their School upon registering with the university.

Personal and Professional Development Skills are more generic, transferrable skills that should be of value to a researcher at all points in their career. These include written and oral communication, research management, team working and leadership, personal effectiveness, project management and career management. The UK Government requires universities to ensure that all full-time PhD students undertake a minimum of 10 credits of PPD training for every year of their period of study (5 credits per year of period of study for part-time students). Generally speaking, 1 day of PPD training equates to 1 credit.

SSF PGR students are encouraged to avail the wide range of training courses offered by SSF, other Faculties and the University's Centre for Staff and Educational Development (CSED). It is also possible to gain credits through experiential learning and training opportunities outside UEA.

Full details on PPD training regulations and training provision can be found on the SSF PPD Training blackboard site, to which all SSF PGR students are signed up to upon registration.

For further information, please visit our training pages.

How will my progress be assessed?

Schools are required to monitor student progress regularly throughout the programme and each year the supervisory team is required to report student progress. Students and their supervisors will be asked to fill out an annual review form assessing their progress, as well as commenting on supervision and the facilities in the School and University. The form is generated electronically through e:Vision and should be completed online – students and supervisors will receive automated emails when they need to start the process.

The completed forms are then considered by the School's Director of Research and the report returned to the PGR office which is then forwarded to the Faculty for consideration by the Graduate School Executive before a final report is made to the Postgraduate Research Executive. It is important that annual report forms are completed on time, as their contents could assist with any concession request made by students. It is also essential for students in receipt of studentships to return the forms in good time.  Failure to do so may mean not receiving your monthly payments or the studentship being withheld.

What is the process for passing probation?

The status of postgraduate research candidates on PhD, MPhil and Master’s by Research programmes will be probationary. This probationary status will continue until the candidate has undertaken and passed a formal assessment during their first year which will occur at the Annual Progress Review meeting, usually approx. 8 months after the start of a full-time course. For part-time students the formal assessment will take place at their second Annual Progress Review meeting. The meeting will consist of the student, the supervisory team and either one or two internal assessors, including the panel’s chair. The internal assessor(s) will be independent of the supervisory team.

Candidates will be asked to demonstrate that they satisfy the following criteria at probationary review. These reflect the final assessment criteria, but at a level appropriate for this stage in the candidate’s study:

• Is the work presented the candidate’s own, giving appropriate acknowledgement of the work of others where there is an element of collaboration?

• Has the candidate shown appropriate industry?

• Is the candidate competent to fulfill the research and to keep to the proposed schedule of work?

• Does the candidate show the level of knowledge and understanding of the field in which they are working that would normally be expected after 6-9 months of research?

• Is the candidate able to show how their work relates to this wider field and that they have developed a command of presentational and scholarly conventions and methodology?

• Is there evidence that the work has a reasonable prospect of generating a significant contribution to the development of understanding, for example, through the discovery of new knowledge, the connection of previously unrelated facts, and the development of a new theory or the revision of older views?

• For PhDs only - Is the topic viable as doctoral research in its originality, intellectual level and scope (for execution within the planned timeframe)?

The precise documentation to be submitted varies according to School and Faculty. Details of this can be found in Section 12 of the Research Degree Policy Documents.

Where can I view copies of past theses?

Copies of past theses are held in both the library and in the School.

To request a copy of a past thesis from the Library, you should contact the Library Helpdesk. These are collected from a store at 11am daily Monday-Friday. They can be collected from the Library Helpdesk from 12noon. Theses are issued to be read in the Library. They may not be removed from the Library building.

Each School has their own procedures for borrowing of past theses within the School. In the first instance you should contact the Local Support Office or the PA to the Head of School.

How do I submit my soft-bound thesis?

Submission of the soft-bound thesis means submission of the finished thesis to the PGR Office. It is not, for instance, submission of a final draft to a supervisor for approval. If a thesis is not submitted in time, or if in exceptional circumstances students have been granted an extension to the submission date, the student will become liable to pay Continuation Fees.

The University charges a suspended fee of £250 for the ‘registration only' year if you do not submit your thesis by the end of that year. Where subsequent extensions to the ‘registration-only' period are approved (in light of unforeseen or extenuating circumstances), students will be liable for an increased continuation fee of £500 for the second or part-year in addition to the £250 suspended fee, and £1,000 for each of the third and subsequent years.

Further details on the presentation of the thesis can be found in the document Research Degrees: Submission, Presentation, Consultation and Borrowing of Theses but students might like to note that the following word limits apply:


Word Limit







LLM by Res


MA by Res


All these word limits include footnotes and bibliography but not appendices

How do I submit my final hard copy thesis?

Students will have the option of submitting the final copies of their thesis after examination as:

  • One hard bound copy and one electronic copy on a CD/DVD or memory stick.

You should continue to submit two soft bound copies at first for examination purposes. Further information on electronic submission of theses can be found at:

How is my thesis examined?

The degrees of LLM by Research, MA by Research, EdD, MPhil and PhD are awarded on the basis of the thesis and an oral examination of the thesis conducted by at least two examiners, one of whom shall be external to the University. For staff candidates both examiners will be external to the University.

The choice of examiners can be discussed informally between the student and supervisor, but the final approval is made by the School's Director of Research and the Academic Director of Research Degree Programmes.  Students should note that their supervisors cannot be one of the examiners. The procedures for the nomination and appointment of examiners are contained in the Code of Practice for the Examination of Research Degree Awards at UEA.

The title of the thesis must be submitted at least three months before the expected date of submission. Once the thesis is submitted, the timing of the oral examination will depend on the availability of the examiners but should normally take place within three months.  Exceptions and extensions to this require approval by the Academic Director of Research Degree Programmes.

How are my examiners selected?

Recommendations for appointment of examiners should be made on the appropriate form provided by the PGR Office. This is the responsibility of your primary supervisor. The PGR office must receive the completed nomination form at least three months prior to your thesis submission date. Failure to keep to this time-scale 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.

What is the University's Plagiarism Policy?

The University takes all cases of plagiarism and collusion very seriously. Students who deliberately plagiarise or collude threaten the values and beliefs that underpin academic work and devalue the integrity of the University's awards.  Where plagiarism is identified in the work of a postgraduate research student then the procedures outlined in General Regulation 15 Conduct of Research will be followed except where the plagiarism is identified in the taught components of the professional doctorates (ClinPsyD, EdD). In these circumstances the procedures outlined in the University's Plagiarism and Collusion policy will apply.

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


In exceptional cases, the period of study may be extended by up to six months on the recommendation of the supervisors. In such cases, you are required to pay tuition fees for the period of extension. Applications must be made at least three months in advance on a form (available from the PGR Service), and be supported by your supervisors.

Extensions to the period of registration may also be granted but students will be required to pay a continuation fee. Details of this can be found on the Planning Office Website.

You can request an extension for medical, personal or other reasons, appropriate evidence will be required (e.g medical certificates etc).


A period of interruption of not more than one year may be granted by the School on the recommendation of the supervisors, but only if there are extenuating circumstance such as ill health of an ongoing nature or difficult home/family circumstances.

Interruption is meant to be a ‘temporary measure' to permit students to resolve short-term issues, not to address long-term health concerns.

Students who interrupt do not pay fees for the period.  Applications should be made at least three months in advance (form available from the PGR Office), and be supported by your supervisors. Further periods of interruption have to be approved by the University's Academic Director of Research Degree Programmes.

Please note that for ESRC funded students, interruptions will not be granted retrospectively under any circumstances.

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

If, for any reason, students decide they need to withdraw from their research degree they should discuss the matter with their supervisors in the first instance. It is essential that they write to the PGR office with a letter confirming their date of withdrawal since students will be liable for fees up to the date of withdrawal.