2.  The PhD and MPhil Programmes

2.1 Your supervisory team

All postgraduate research students admitted onto either the PhD or MPhil programme will have been assigned a supervisory team.  This comprises: a main supervisor, at least one co-supervisor, and an advisor.  Your supervisor will normally be your main point of contact.  You will have regular meetings with your supervisor and they will direct your research programme.  The role of the co-supervisor can vary, depending on your research group and research project; they may be closely involved in your research project (this would be the norm if the research project is interdisciplinary in nature), or may just be there as back-up should your supervisor be away from the University.  You can also talk to your co-supervisor to obtain an alternative point of view on your research project.  Your advisor will normally be an academic from a different research group; the role of the advisor is to provide pastoral support should you need it.


You should meet your supervisor as soon as possible after you register in the school.


You are required to meet your advisor within the first 6 weeks of your programme.


The EPS Graduate School strongly encourages you to establish formal meetings with all members of your supervisory team and to keep records of these meetings on eProg (see section 2.2).  More details of the roles of the supervisory team can be found in the Graduate Resource book.


2.2 eProg

eProg is an online system by which you and your supervisor can monitor your progress through your PhD through a series of progression milestones.  eProg also provides access to online forms that you will be required to complete throughout your programme. You need to be familiar with how eProg works and how to access and complete these forms.  Full details of eProg are given in the Graduate Resource book. 


You should make sure that eProg records honest assessments of your progress as this will be used as evidence should you need to apply for an interruption or extension (see section 7).  For international students, eProg is also used to monitor your attendance to ensure that you are complying with the terms of your Tier 4 visa.


eProg is also used to record end-of-year progression decisions (see section 6).  Towards the end of each year, you will need to write a report detailing the progress you have made on your research project and you will need to upload this onto eProg.  You will be examined on this report (see section 6) and the decisions will be recorded on eProg.


eProg is also used for the examination of your thesis.  Before you can submit your thesis you will need to complete the `Notice of intention to submit' form on eProg.  This triggers the process for appointing the examiners.  When you are ready to submit your thesis you then upload it onto eScholar.  You must also hand in 2 hardcopies to the Faculty Graduate Office.


eProg also allows you to reflect on your progress and development of transferable skills through a series of `Expectations' forms.  These should be completed in consultation with your supervisor.


eProg also hosts an extensive skills training catalogue where you can view and book training activities hosted across the University.  See section 2.5.


The following people can view your student record in eProg: your supervisory team, the School's Director of Postgraduate Studies, the School's Postgraduate Administrator, your programme director, the Faculty Graduate Office and Manchester Doctoral College.


2.2.1 Accessing eProg

You can access eProg through https://my.manchester.ac.uk or you can login directly at http://www.manchester.ac.uk/eprog  In both cases you will need your central University username.


2.3 The taught component

All PhD students in the School of Mathematics must take and pass the taught component.  Full details are given in section 5.  MPhil students do not have to take the taught component.  However, if you are initially registered as an MPhil student but intend transferring directly into the second year of the PhD then it is strongly recommended that you comply with the requirements of the taught component. 


In addition, your supervisor may suggest or require you to attend other training courses.


2.4 EPS Graduate training programmes

Please note that as part of the EPS Graduate Training Programme all postgraduate research students are expected to undertake training to complement their research activity. The EPS Graduate School publishes a directory of modules available annually. 



All PhD and MPhil students MUST attend an introductory course – “Introduction to Researchin the Faculty of EPS and complete the compulsory on-line health and safety module.  The Faculty runs other training courses; information is available on eProg. 


2.5 Research skills

A programme of skills training and development is a mandatory component of the research degree. You must undertake a skills audit at the beginning of your degree, and annually thereafter throughout your degree to determine your research, transferable and generic skills requirements. The audit will provide the basis for a planned programme of skills training and development. The outcomes of the audit and programme of skills development must be agreed by your and your supervisory team. Your supervisor will be responsible for ensuring that you have access to the required skills training and development opportunities.


The full list of training opportunities, including those offered by the Graduate Development Scheme is presented in your Graduate Resource Book and on the EPS Graduate School’s website at   http://www.researchsupport.eps.manchester.ac.uk/postgraduate_home/programme/workshop_calendar/.


You can access them via eProg.


2.6 Research seminars

You are expected to attend the seminars in your research area. A list of seminars is published each week and is available on the School website at http://www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/our-research/events.   Please be aware that you may not always fully understand all the concepts and theories that are presented, but this should not discourage you from attending as these seminars are an important component in your education.  Most seminars have a mailing list and you should email the seminar organiser to have your name added.  Your supervisor can advise you on which seminars to attend


There are also a number of other seminar series running in the School.  Each group runs an informal seminar series (The Pure Postgraduate Seminar and The Informal Applied Seminar).  You should attend the series relevant to your research project.  As well as allowing students to learn about mathematical topics related to their own area, the informal seminars give the opportunity for postgraduate students to practice giving talks about their research in a supportive environment.


Each year a committee of postgraduate research students organise the MRSC – the Mathematics Research Student Conference – normally in late September/early October.  This is a one-day conference where postgraduate research students can present their research to other students in the School.  See http://www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/~pgconf/.



2.7 Work and attendance

The School's work and attendance policy is here.  You are expected to have read and to be familiar with this policy.


2.7.1  Attendance requirements

You are expected to attend all meetings with their supervisor and/or supervisory team and any other arranged sessions.  Postgraduate research students are also expected to attend all research seminars in their research area.


Postgraduate research students are not permitted to be absent without prior consent.  You must always report any absence to their supervisor, other member of their supervisory team or appropriate School or Faculty graduate office.  Your supervisor and other members of the supervisory team must report any unauthorised absence to the School Teaching & Learning Office.


All grant-awarding bodies require that the school confirms periodically that a student's attendance and progress are satisfactory.


When studying for the taught component (see section 5) it is expected that all lectures will be attended, although it is realised that there are sometimes unavoidable reasons for absence. It is your responsibility to make sure that the school is informed immediately in cases of absence (e.g.through illness) and to update the student system with any changes in addresses.  All coursework deadlines must be strictly adhered to, except in cases of illness or other mitigating circumstances; the process by which you should inform the School about mitigating circumstances affecting the taught component is given below http://www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/information-for-current-students/student-support/.


Failure to meet the attendance requirements could result in a Formal Warning Letter and, ultimately, if attendance does not improve, you will be deemed to have withdrawn from the programme. 


Persistent unsatisfactory attendance creates difficulties for all concerned. If this occurs an attempt to resolve the problem will be made in discussions with the Director of Postgraduate Studies and the Programme Director before any formal action will be considered. You are encouraged at all times to make known to your supervisor, advisor or the Programme Director any difficulties with the course, or personal problems you may have. Confidentiality will be ensured and you can be sure of a sympathetic response and practical help or advice. 


International students are also subject to the requirements of the Home Office and persistent absence, failure to appear for the Tier 4 audit or unauthorised absence for 60 days must be reported to UK Government which could have serious implications for your visa and your ability to continue your studies with us.


2.7.2 Tier 4 audit for international students

The School needs to provide a report to UK Visas and Immigration on attendance and progression of students who entered the UK under Tier 4 of the points-based system. 


The audit is a requirement of the Home Office and the University is obliged to hold this 4 times per year.  You must attend the audit when required or the university will have no option but to inform the Home Office which could have serious implications for your visa and your ability to continue your studies with us.


Under Tier 4 you are required to maintain an up to date UK address.  You must therefore ensure that you have a valid local address registered in our student system under your TERM TIME ADDRESS at all times via MyManchester.


Under Tier 4 you are obligated to inform the school when you return to your home country or leave the UK.  You must inform the school (via e-mail) when you plan to leave the UK and your return dates.  We can then inform Home Office of your authorised absence if contacted by immigration.


Your audit may take the form of a face to face meeting with administrative or academic staff, or it could take another form (eg registration card collection, monitored attendance at seminars, attendance at examination).  You will be sent an e-mail notifying you of audit points and be given documentary confirmation that you have been included in the census at each audit point.


2.7.3 2016-17 Census Dates:


Census   Point


October   2017

25 September - 6 October 2017

January   2018

15 January - 26 January 2018

May   2018

16 May - 6 June 2018

July   2018

16 July - 27 July 2018


2.8 Library facilities

The library service is provided through various physical locations, as well as over the web. The Main Library (covering nearly all subject areas), The Joule Library (engineering and physical sciences) and The Eddie Davies Library (postgraduate studies in business and management) hold the core working collections. They are supported by a number of smaller, specialised libraries across the campus, most of which duplicate material held in the core libraries.  See http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk.


As a research student you will often need to locate and read research papers published in journals.  Many journals are available online, either from the University Library's website or, in many cases, direct from the journal's home webpage.


Books from the main library can be borrowed for up to one semester.  There is also a Short Loan section for the most popular books which can be kept for a limited period.  Your University card acts as a library card.  Overdue books incur heavy fines and you may not be awarded your degree unless all books borrowed from the university library have been returned and any fines paid.


An induction event explaining the available library facilities is usually organised in September of each year.  All first year research students should attend this.


2.9 Orchid

‌An ORCID is a unique identifier which allows you to distinguish yourself from other researchers throughout your career. They are free to create and enable authoritative links to be created between you and your research activities (e.g. research outputs, funding data, employment history).

Over the coming months the University is encouraging all staff and postgraduate research students to ensure that they have claimed an ORCID. To support this the Library has joined ORCID as a member organisation and created a dedicated team to help staff create and maintain their accounts with minimal input.     

Registering for an ORCID takes 30 seconds on the ORCID website.

See http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/services-and-support/staff/research/services/orcid/ for further details.


2.10 Disseminating your research

As well as writing your thesis, you should consider publishing your research in research journals or conference proceedings.  You should also consider presenting your research at conferences or workshops.  You should discuss with your supervisor the best ways to disseminate the results of your research. 


Attending and, ideally, speaking at conferences/workshops as well as publishing papers can significantly boost your curriculum vitae for both academic and non-academic jobs.


2.11 Personal Webpages

You may create your own profile on the University site http://web-services.eps.manchester.ac.uk/support/staff-profiles/.  You may also find it useful for your future career to have a Linkedin profile.


2.12 PURE



Pure is the University of Manchester on-line profile and research depository.




Getting started:  You can access Pure by using the link: - https://pure.manchester.ac.uk and your University username and password.


A two-page ‘Getting Started with Pure’ guide is available here. Please ensure you read this guide before adding content in Pure.


It is important to note that your personal profile is your responsibility and it can contain as much (or as little) information as you wish. A good example of what a profile page can look like is here: https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/rory.horner.html


If you want some other examples, all the existing doctoral student profiles can be viewed here:-https://www.research.manchester.ac.uk/portal/en/researchers/search.html?filter=students&affiliationStatus=current&page=0







2.13 Intellectual property


You should discuss with your supervisor any issues concerning the intellectual property of your research.  The University's policy is here: http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=24420


2.14 Travelling to conferences


2.14.1 Postgraduate travel funding

For information on applying for financial support to attend conferences or similar activities please speak to your supervisor and read the guidance on this subject here:



2.14.2  Booking travel and accommodation

Egencia is the University’s Travel Management System, and should be used whenever you need to book air or rail travel, or accommodation (e.g. when attending conferences). The School’s designated Egencia ‘champion’ is Sebastian Rees.  He can provide training for new users of the system, as well as general support and guidance. Please feel free to contact Sebastian via email (Sebastian.Rees@manchester.ac.uk or phone (0161-275-4632) or by visiting Room G2.04 Alan Turing Building, if you need any support or would like to organise some training.


2.14.3 Claiming back expenses 

If you have been granted a PG Travel award for food, etc. and attended a conference and need to claim back the cost of your food whilst there you will need to retain all receipts for anything you need to claim back. Once you have returned please complete the ‘Non-University & External Personnel Expenses PR7’ form which can be found here: http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/DocuInfo.aspx?DocID=8287.

If you are claiming back expenses with a receipt in a foreign currency please provide a print out of the desired rate of reimbursement from http://www.xe.com/currencytables


2.15 Ordering supplies

If you are asked by your supervisor to buy items such as books, computer supplies, catering supplies etc., or if you are helping organise a conference you will probably need to apply for access to IProc (Internet Procurement) as a requisitioner (i.e. someone who can request goods). This is the system the university uses to create orders from preferred suppliers. To apply for access to IProc you will need to complete the online P2P Requisitioner eTraining details of which can be found here:


Requisitions should ALWAYS be raised on IProc BEFORE you order the goods from the supplier, you should not request goods or an invoice until you have raised a requisition, then a purchase order can be created by the finance assistant, the purchase order number must be quoted on the supplier’s invoice.  If you cannot find the supplier you wish to use on IProc please contact the finance assistant for help at finance@cs.man.ac.uk.


2.16 Internships, projects and contract work

The school encourages students to undertake internships where possible.  Your supervisor may be aware of opportunities for internships or they may be advertised through the school via e-mail.  There may also be implications for any studentship you receive, as payments may be stopped for the duration of the internship.  There are various regulations with regard to internships, projects and consultancy work and all students undertaking work of this type must obtain the permission of the school.


The application form for permission to undertake an internship is available here http://www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/information-for-current-students/informationforcurrentresearchmphilphdstudents/forms-policies-regulations/.  You should complete both the School Internship Application and the Faculty Interruption List.


2.17 Holidays and leave of absence

In general, you are expected to be in attendance outside normal semester time. Students may, with the prior agreement of their supervisor, take up to eight weeks holiday in each year (pro rata for parts of year), inclusive of university closures and public holidays. Students receiving sponsorship are expected to bear in mind their obligations to the sponsor and consult the policy of their sponsor when planning leave.


If you wish to take any holidays or leave of absence, please complete a PhD Holiday and Leave of Absence Request Form  (located at http://www.maths.manchester.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/information-for-current-students/informationforcurrentresearchmphilphdstudents/forms-policies-regulations/) and obtain consent from your Supervisor. Once completed, email the form to mathematics@manchester.ac.uk or drop it off at reception.  Please note that holiday information will normally be recorded in the ‘comments section’ of your eProg record and approved leave forms will be uploaded into the documents section of eProg.

▲ Up to the top