Academic Regulations [Version 9.04]
Please note that the University has implemented a new set of Research Degree Regulations which apply to both current and new students. If you are a current or new student, please refer to the new regulations above and not Part Two regulations below as these no longer apply and are intended for archive reference only. The new regulations can be found in the Corporate Information section on the University of Roehampton's main page (under Policies).
12.1 An applicant holding a degree of any approved university, or a degree awarded by the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA), may be admitted to a programme of study and research leading to the degree of Master of Philosophy. An applicant who is not a graduate may be admitted provided that he or she holds professional or other qualifications approved for this purpose. An applicant holding a higher degree in a relevant subject of an approved university, or of the CNAA, with a significant research component, may be admitted to a programme of study and research leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy but will normally register for the degree of Master of Philosophy in the first instance. Transfer from a programme of study and research leading to the degree of Master of Philosophy to that leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy is permitted in accordance with Regulation 14.5 below.
12.2 An applicant may not be admitted to and Registered Part 1 for a programme of study and research leading to the degree of Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy unless he or she has first been accepted by the Dean of the School in which he or she proposes to study.
12.3 Once Registered Part 1 an applicant is required to produce a formal research proposal which should be approved by the University's Research Degrees Board within the first six months (if full-time) or nine months (if part-time). Once the proposal has been approved, the student is automatically registered part two. Such registration may be subject to conditions specified by the Research Degrees Board.
12.4 An applicant may be required to satisfy the Research Degrees Board of an ability to understand and communicate in both written and spoken English that is adequate for the purpose of pursuing the programme of study and research.
12.5 Before approving an application for Registration Part 2, the Research Degrees Board shall be satisfied that suitable facilities are readily available to the candidate, as regards:
- the working environment, both human and physical;
- arrangements for satisfactory supervision (see Regulation 14.1);
- training in research methods;
- provision for attendance at advanced modules, where appropriate
and that the needs of the programme of study and research can be met as regards:
- reasonable access to suitable library, computing and audio-visual facilities as appropriate.
12.6 A candidate for the degree of Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy must Register Part 2 with the University and undertake to comply with the Regulations of the University. Registration Part 2 shall normally be backdated to the date that Registration Part 1 first commenced.
12.7 A candidate must re-register by the beginning of the autumn semester or term in each year that the programme of study is pursued. The registration of a candidate who fails to re-register by the end of December may be deemed to have lapsed. No student is entitled to register or re-register unless the prescribed fees for the academic year have been paid.
13.1 A programme of study and research may be pursued on a full-time basis, part-time basis or in collaboration with industry, a research establishment or other institution having suitable facilities for carrying out research.13.2 A programme of study and research carried out on a collaborative basis shall be subject to an agreement between the University and the collaborating organisation:
- that the research is part of the work the candidate is carrying out at the organisation and that the candidate will normally be permitted to conduct his or her research for a substantial part of his or her time for at least the minimum full-time period of registration for the degree as specified in Regulation 13.4;
- that a suitable Co-Supervisor from the collaborating organisation can be appointed;
- that the candidate will be released from other duties for visits to the University as necessary and also for a period at the end of his or her research in order to prepare his or her thesis.
The Research Degrees Board may specify the exact terms of the agreement in any individual case. The University reserves the right to cancel the registration of a candidate if the collaborating organisation concerned is unable to carry out the agreement.
13.3 A candidate may pursue part of the programme of study and research outside the United Kingdom, only if permitted to do so by the Research Degrees Board.
13.4 The minimum period of full-time or collaborative study and research shall be twenty-one months for a candidate for the degree of Master of Philosophy and thirty-three months for a candidate for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The latter period is reduced to twenty-four months, if the candidate is admitted directly to a programme of study and research leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in accordance with Regulation 12.1. It may also be reduced to twenty-four months, if the candidate was eligible for direct admission to a programme of study and research leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy but was initially registered as a candidate for the degree of Master of Philosophy and was permitted to transfer registration to the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy under the provisions of Regulation 14.5 not later than nine months after initial registration. The minimum period of part-time study and research shall be thirty-three months for candidates for the degree of Master of Philosophy and forty-five months for candidates for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, except that the latter period is reduced to thirty-six months if the candidate is admitted directly to a programme of study and research leading to the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in accordance with Regulation 12.1.
13.5 Subject to the provisions of Regulation 13.6, the maximum period of study and research for a candidate who has pursued at least the minimum period in accordance with Regulation 13.4, on a full-time or collaborative basis, shall be thirty-six months for the Degree of Master of Philosophy and forty-eight months for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. The maximum period for a part-time candidate shall be forty-eight months for the Degree of Master of Philosophy and sixty months for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
13.6 A candidate may apply to the Research Degrees Board for an extension of the maximum period of study and research. The Board may extend the maximum period of study and research by not more than twelve months at any one time. The registration of a candidate for whom the maximum period of registration has ended, and for whom no further extension has been granted, shall have lapsed.
13.7 A candidate pursuing a programme of study and research on a full-time or collaborative basis may not, without express permission of the Research Degrees Board, simultaneously register for another award of the University, or of any other university, or institution, except that, if he or she has completed a programme of study for another award but the award has not been made, he or she may register provisionally for a period not exceeding three months.
13.8 The Research Degrees Board may permit a candidate who has started a programme of study and research at another university or an approved institution of higher education to complete it as a registered candidate, subject to the provisions of Regulations 13.5 and 15.3. The Board shall specify the minimum and maximum periods of study and research in each case.
13.9 At the request of a candidate and with the agreement of the Dean of School, the Research Degrees Board may temporarily suspend the registration of the candidate for a period not exceeding twelve months. In exceptional circumstances such suspension of registration may be renewed. Suspension of registration will not normally be permitted in the case of a candidate registered on writing up status under the provisions of Regulation 14.6.
13.10 A candidate may be permitted by the Research Degrees Board to transfer between full-time, part-time and collaborative registration. The minimum and maximum periods of registration shall be determined in each case according to the periods in which the candidate was registered under each mode.
14.1 On the recommendation of the Dean of School, the Research Degrees Board shall approve the appointment of at least two supervisors for each candidate, a Director of Studies and one or more Co-Supervisors. In the case of a collaborative student, at least one other Co-Supervisor shall be appointed who shall be a member of the collaborating organisation. To qualify as a Director of Studies, a supervisor must normally have subject expertise at a level appropriate for research supervision and experience of supervising at least one PhD candidate from registration to successful completion. The Research Degrees Board may recommend the appointment of a replacement or additional supervisor at any time if it deems this to be necessary, and shall do so if no supervisor continues to be a member of the staff of the University.
14.2 A candidate shall report on the progress of the work to the supervisors at such intervals as the supervisors may determine. The supervisors shall complete an annual report on the progress of the candidate; the annual report shall recommend the candidate's registration status for the next academic year.
14.3 A supervisor may require a candidate to attend a programme of lectures, seminars, colloquia or equivalent educational activities as part of the programme of study and research, and should indicate this through the annual reporting process.
14.4 The Dean of School, on the advice of the supervisors, may recommend to the Research Degrees Board that a candidate's course should be terminated if there is dissatisfaction with the candidate's progress, provided that the candidate has been given written notice by the Dean of School of such dissatisfaction at least three months prior to making the recommendation. The Research Degrees Board may terminate the candidate's course, provided that, at least fourteen days before the recommendation is considered, the candidate has been informed of the recommendation and invited to state reasons in writing why the course should not be terminated, at least four days prior to the meeting. A student may be excluded from the University for other than academic reasons in accordance with the Instrument and Articles of Government and the University Ordinances.
14.5 The Research Degrees Board may approve the transfer of registration from that for the Degree of Master of Philosophy to that for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Such a transfer should normally be made not earlier than one year after initial registration and before the end of the second year of registration in the case of a full-time or collaborative candidate and before the end of the third year in the case of a part-time candidate. The transfer shall be retrospective to the date of initial registration. A candidate wishing to transfer shall apply through his or her supervisors and shall be required to submit to a transfer committee a report of his or her work to date and future plans. The supervisors shall arrange a meeting to consider the transfer application, following which, and in consultation with the supervisors, the Dean of School shall recommend to the Research Degrees Board:
- that the transfer should be permitted, or
- that the transfer should not be permitted but that the candidate be invited to reapply for transfer within a prescribed timescale, or
- that the transfer should not be permitted.
The Dean of School may require other evidence of fitness to transfer before making the recommendation.
14.6 A candidate may apply to register as a "writing-up student" for 12 months while completing his/her thesis or portfolio. Writing-up status may be granted provided that:
- the candidate has completed at least three years full-time or collaborative study or four years part-time study (these periods are reduced by one year if the minimum period of research is reduced in accordance with Regulation 13.4)
- the transfer is approved by the supervisors and Dean of School.
15.1 A candidate shall present a thesis or a portfolio, which:
- for the Degree of Master of Philosophy, should embody the results of a well designed research programme or consist of an ordered and critical exposition of existing knowledge in a well defined field;
- for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, should form a distinct contribution to the current knowledge of the subject. The thesis or portfolio should also show evidence of a systematic study of the subject, and of originality shown by the exercise of independent critical power, and should be worthy of publication in complete or abridged form.
15.2 A candidate for either Degree, if appropriate to the field they are researching (usually the visual or performing arts) may submit a portfolio of original works that he or she has undertaken while registered for the Degree in lieu of a thesis (normally, the portfolio shall comprise a body of original works such as musical compositions and/or recordings, paintings, sculpture, printworks, designs or works of performance (dance, music, etc.). The portfolio ideally should include documentation in appropriate form such as photographs or recordings). The portfolio may be presented for examination in the form of an exhibition or live performance. The works shall be accompanied by notes on each item in the portfolio and either an extended analysis of one item or a dissertation on a related theme. The structure of the portfolio shall be approved by the Research Degrees Board before the candidate first registers for the Degree. The Board may modify the agreed structure at any time on the application of the candidate.
15.3 A candidate shall indicate by means of explicit references the citation of the work of others or work by himself or herself which is not part of the submission for the Degree. Work submitted for another Degree may not comprise part of the submission for the Degree of Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy. Where the candidate has submitted work forming part of a joint or group research project, he or she shall be required to satisfy the examiners that his/her share of the work is sufficient to justify the award of the Degree. In such cases, the thesis or portfolio must contain an introductory note stating the candidate's own claims as to the division of contributions to the work. A copy of such a note shall be countersigned by the co-researcher(s).
15.4 A candidate shall be required to complete an examination entry form which should be returned to the Research Office not earlier than six months nor later than two months before the thesis or portfolio is presented; the proposed title of the thesis or portfolio shall be entered on the form. The title of the thesis or portfolio must be approved by the Research Degrees Board. No changes to the approved title may be made except with the consent of the Research Degrees Board.
15.5 The thesis or portfolio shall be submitted not earlier than the end of the minimum period of research nor later than the end of the candidate's period of registration as specified in Regulations 13.4 and 13.5. In exceptional circumstances, the Research Degrees Board may permit the candidate to submit the thesis or portfolio at an earlier date.
15.6 Three copies of the thesis or portfolio must be submitted to the Research Office. A candidate is advised to keep an additional copy for personal use. When a candidate is being examined on the basis of a portfolio of works, copies of the works in the form of photographs or otherwise shall be included in the bound copies.
15.7 The thesis or text of the portfolio shall be typed on A4 size paper (it is recommended that a margin of 1½ inches (4 centimetres) should be maintained on the side of the paper which is to be bound. A list of binders is available on request from the Research Office). All pages should be numbered. A candidate may submit a thesis in loose leaf or other temporary binding. The title page shall bear the approved title, the candidate's name, the name of the University, the degree for which the candidate is registered and the year in which the thesis or portfolio is presented. After the examination the thesis must be permanently bound and two copies given to the Research Office, before the degree can be awarded. The binding shall be in blue cloth and hard-backed. The degree, year and candidate's name shall appear on the spine. A summary of the work, not exceeding 300 words in length, must be included in each copy immediately after the title page. Whenever possible, subsidiary papers and other material should form part of the thesis or text of the portfolio but a candidate is at liberty to submit such material separately for consideration by the examiners. The thesis or text of the portfolio shall be written in English except when the Research Degrees Board has given permission for another language to be used owing to the nature of the subject. The summary must always be written in English.
15.8 No alterations or additions may be made to a thesis or portfolio after it has been submitted except with the agreement of the examiners in accordance with Regulation 16.4.
16.1 The examination shall be conducted by at least two examiners. The examiners shall be appointed by the Research Degrees Board. No examiner shall have acted as supervisor of the candidate and at least one shall be an External Examiner who has held no appointment of the University, other than that of External Examiner, during the period in which the candidate has been registered for the Degree. If a candidate for the Degree is a member of the teaching staff of the University, there shall be at least two External Examiners, none of whom shall have held any appointment of the University, other than that of External Examiner, during the period in which the candidate has been registered for the Degree.
16.2 Each Examiner shall submit a report on the content and style of the thesis or portfolio.
16.3 The candidate shall be examined viva voce. At least two examiners including one External Examiner shall be present. In addition, the candidate's current supervisors will be invited to attend if the candidate wishes. The supervisors are entitled to question the candidate. In the case of a candidate registered on a collaborative basis, the supervisor from the collaborating organisation, if unable to be present, shall send a written report on the thesis or portfolio to the examiners. The Chair of the Research Degrees Board, the Dean of Research, a Director of Studies (not connected with the case) or a member or ex-member of Research Degrees Board will act as the Examination Convener and will oversee the conduct of the examination. No persons other than the above shall be present at, or otherwise take part in the viva voce examination, except that the Dean of School or Chair of the Research Degrees Board or the Dean of Research, if not an examiner or supervisor, may be present as an observer. The viva voce examination shall be concerned with the content of the thesis or portfolio and any matters which the examiners deem to be related thereto.
16.4 After the examination, the examiners shall report on the viva voce examination. They shall preferably present a joint report but are at liberty to present separate ones if they so wish. They shall jointly make one of the following recommendations:
- that the Degree of PhD be awarded;
- that the Degree of PhD be awarded subject to the correction of minor errors being made to the thesis or portfolio;
- that the Degree of PhD be awarded subject to the correction of omissions of substance being made to the thesis or portfolio;
- that the Degree of PhD may not be awarded but that the candidate be permitted to submit a revised thesis or portfolio, by a specified date, with or without further research, and be examined with a further viva voce;
- that the Degree of PhD may not be awarded but that the candidate be permitted to submit a revised thesis or portfolio, by a specified date, with or without further research, and be examined without a further viva voce;
- that the Degree of PhD may not be awarded but that the Degree of MPhil be awarded, if appropriate, subject to specified minor corrections being made to the thesis or portfolio;
- that the Degree of PhD may not be awarded but that the Degree of MPhil be awarded, if appropriate, subject to the correction of omissions of substance being made to the thesis or portfolio;
- that the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy may not be awarded but that the candidate be permitted to submit a revised thesis or portfolio for the Degree of MPhil by a specified date, with or without further research, and be examined with a further viva voce;
- that the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy may not be awarded but that the candidate be permitted to submit a revised thesis or portfolio for the Degree of MPhil by a specified date, with or without further research, and be examined without a further viva voce;
- that the Degree may not be awarded and with no recommendation regarding resubmission of the thesis or portfolio.
Any minor corrections permitted or required in a thesis or portfolio shall be completed within 7 days of the viva voce examination unless the Research Degrees Board allows a longer time. Any corrections to omissions of substance should be made within 3 months. At least one of the examiners shall certify that any corrections have been carried out satisfactorily. The thesis or portfolio shall be permanently bound when the corrections have been approved. Wherever possible, an electronic copy of the thesis or the written element of the portfolio shall be submitted for storage on the University’s Research Repository.
16.5 The recommendation of the examiners shall be considered by the Research Degrees Board. A recommendation to award the Degree of Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy, if approved, shall then be considered by the Senate. If a recommendation that the Degree be not awarded is approved, the candidate's programme shall be terminated.
16.6 A candidate may submit a revised thesis or portfolio once only, on the recommendation of the examiners and with the approval of the Research Degrees Board. The Board shall determine the date by which the revised thesis or portfolio shall be submitted. If the thesis is not submitted by the specified date the candidate's registration may be deemed to have lapsed; the Board may, however, grant an extension of the time permitted. A revised thesis or portfolio shall normally be examined by the same examiners but the Board may appoint other examiners. The candidate shall be informed in writing of the reasons for the examiners' rejection of the original thesis or portfolio.
16.7 If the examiners are unable to agree on a recommendation in accordance with Regulation 16.4, the Research Degrees Board shall appoint an additional External Examiner and shall consider the reports of all the examiners before reaching a decision.
16.8 Matters concerning the examination of a candidate and the contents of a thesis or portfolio are confidential to those taking part in the examination and appropriate officers of the University until the Senate has approved an award and the thesis or portfolio is available for study in accordance with Regulation 17.1.
17.1 Dissemination of knowledge is one of the objects of the University. Copies of theses or portfolios, accepted for the Degree of Master of Philosophy or Doctor of Philosophy, are placed in the Library of the University and are available for anyone to consult. A candidate is therefore advised to mark his/her thesis or portfolio as copyright. It shall be a condition of acceptance of a thesis or portfolio, however, that the University Librarian and Director of Learning Services be empowered to reproduce the thesis or portfolio by photocopy or otherwise and to lend copies to those institutions or persons who, in the University Librarian's opinion, require them for academic purposes. Note that doctoral students will be required to give consent for the final version of their thesis to be included on the Roehampton University Research Repository and shared via the British Library Ethos scheme by signing the statement to this effect on the Candidate’s Declaration Form at the time of submission.
17.2 If the sponsoring organisation or collaborating body considers that the thesis or portfolio contains matter of a confidential nature, the author may request the University to restrict access to a thesis or portfolio for a period not exceeding five years. Access to the thesis may be allowed during this period only with permission of person(s) specified by the sponsoring organisation or collaborating body. Similarly, if it is desired to seek a patent from matter in the thesis or portfolio, the author may instruct the University to restrict access for a period not exceeding one year. If it is desired to extend the restriction beyond the above periods, or restrict access on other grounds, application must be made in writing to the Deputy University Secretary (Governance).
18.1 The Degree shall be awarded to a successful candidate by the Senate. The date of the award shall be the date on which the Senate approves the award.
18.2 No candidate shall be entitled to the award of a Degree unless all fees for tuition and residence and any other sums due to the University have been paid, and the rightful property of the University returned.
18.3 Degrees shall be conferred formally at a Congregation held for the purpose. The names of candidates who have been awarded degrees shall be published by the University.
18.4 After the formal conferment each graduate shall be given a Degree Certificate. The certificate shall either be handed to the graduate or sent through the ordinary post to his/her address as listed in the University's records. A replacement Certificate can be issued only on receipt of a written request from the graduate and on payment of the appropriate fee.
19.1 A candidate may, in certain circumstances, appeal against an academic decision of the Research Degrees Board. Pursuance of other possible grievances should follow the complaints procedure, on which informal advice may be sought in the first instance from the Deputy University Secretary (Governance).
19.2 An appeal must state the ground on which it is presented. The only legitimate grounds for appeal shall be one or more of the following:
- that the decision of the Board has not been arrived at in accordance with the Regulations;
- that there have been circumstances which affected the student's performance which he/she could not or did not, for valid reasons, divulge;
- that the student had demonstrable reason to believe that one or more examiners or members of the Board was prejudiced or unreasonably biased against the student.
19.3 Appeals will not be accepted against the academic or professional judgements of examiners or the Board, nor will claims for mitigation on the grounds of ill-health or distress be allowed where there is no independent, contemporaneous medical evidence.
19.4 A candidate wishing to appeal must give notice in writing to the Deputy University Secretary (Governance) as soon as possible, and not later than two weeks after the results of the examination have been communicated to him/her. However, appeals received for good reason outside this time limit may be considered, up to a maximum of three months.
19.5 A decision on the appeal will be made as speedily as is consistent with the complexity of the issue and the availability of relevant staff to comment. It is normal for the procedure from appeal to decision to take no longer than two months.
19.6 Appeals are treated (i) in accordance with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy, and (ii) with due regard to confidentiality, so that consideration is restricted to a small number of staff. An intending appellant is encouraged to seek informal advice from the Deputy University Secretary (Governance) or from the Students' Union before lodging a formal appeal.
19.7 On the receipt of an appeal, the Deputy University Secretary (Governance) shall investigate the claim. He/she will ask the Dean of Research to consult with any other member of staff involved in the issue, including, where appropriate, External Examiners, and submit a full and formal report. This report together with any other information or evidence will be sent to the Chair of Research Degrees Board who shall make a recommendation to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor. The Deputy Vice-Chancellor shall review the case and shall have the authority on behalf of the Senate to allow or disallow the appeal and authorise appropriate remedial action if necessary.
19.8 If the matter is not resolved by action under 19.7, but if a prima facie case for appeal has nevertheless been established, an Appeal Board shall be established by the Vice-Chancellor. However, applications which are considered to be vexatious or frivolous will not proceed to this stage, and reasons will be given to the student in writing as to why the University considers further consideration an abuse of process. The Appeal Board shall comprise:
- The Vice-Chancellor or her/his nominee (Chair)
- One Dean not connected with the case
- Two Directors of Studies not connected with the case
- One student nominated by the Students' Union
- The Deputy University Secretary (Governance) [in attendance].