6.  Progression and examination

 

6.1 PhD Progression: First Year Progress Report and Progression to 2nd Year

In order to progress to the second year of study all milestones on eProg must be complete and up to date.  You must also have successfully completed at least 60 hours of the taught component.  For the progression report milestone in year 1, you will be required to present a written report during your first year. This report will be due 9 months after you first register as a full time student (pro rata for part-time students).

The purpose of the first year report is:

to assess the student's goals, progress and plans for the remainder of the programme

to determine and record the progression path of the student at the  end of the first year of research.

 

The report should cover:



1) a progress report on the project. This report will contain a discussion of the scientific background to your project, describe the work carried out during the 1st year and present a plan for the progress of the project during the second and third year;

 

2) your achievements in year one including courses taken towards the 100 hour taught component requirement, other training taken, any other activities (e.g. teaching, conferences attended, talks given etc.)



The exact format (and volume) can differ substantially depending on the project. This should be discussed with your supervisor.  Your supervisor should give you guidance about what your report should look like.  There will be a viva organized and conducted by an independent assessor and the supervisor before the end of their 10th month of registration. The committee will provide a brief written assessment of this report and the student will be examined viva voce on the contents of the report.

 

The committee's report will also take into account the your in any taught modules you have attended and indicate whether or not you should be allowed to progress to the second year. The report will give the evidence to support its recommendation. In the case of concerns about some aspect of your performance, a course of action will be suggested to address these concerns.  The committee may require a revised report be submitted and an additional examination by an agreed date. The committee's report will be passed to the Director of Postgraduate Studies and Postgraduate Committee who will act on its recommendations. If a revised report is required, the supervisor will inform you in writing of the revisions to be made and your deadline for the submission of the revised report will be the end of month 12. Failure to pass this revised report will lead to immediate termination from the PhD programme

In the event of a recommendation not to allow a student to progress to 2nd year; the examining committee will indicate whether you should be allowed to submit a revised thesis for the award of an MPhil degree.

 

6.2 PhD Progression: End of 2nd Year Assessment and Progression to 3rd Year

In order to progress to the second year of study all milestones on eProg must be complete and up to date.  You must also have successfully completed the required 100 hours of the taught component.  For the progression report milestone in year 2, you will be required to present a written report at the end of their second year. This report will be due 21 months after you first register as a full time student (pro rata for part-time students)

 

The report should cover:

1) progress report on the project. This report will normally contain a description of the theorems proved or results obtained during your second year and will give a plan for further work to be done in the third year;

 

2) achievements in year two including courses taken towards the 100 hour taught course requirement, other training taken, any other activities (e.g. teaching, conferences attended,talks given etc.).

 

Your supervisor and an independent assessor will conduct an oral examination on your report.

 

The exact format (and volume) can differ substantially depending on the project. This should be discussed with your supervisor. Your supervisor should give guidance about what the report should look like.

 

There will be an oral examination organised and conducted by your supervisor and one more examiner before the end of your 22nd month of registration. The committee will provide a brief written assessment of this report and you will be examined on the contents of the report.

 

The committee's report will take into account your progress in the taught component and indicate whether or not you should be allowed to progress to the third year. The report will give the evidence to support its recommendation. In the case of concerns about some aspect of your performance, a course of action will be suggested to address these concerns.  The committee may require a revised student report be submitted and an additional examination by an agreed date. The committee's report will be passed to the Director of Postgraduate Studies and the School’s Postgraduate Committee who will act on its recommendations. If a revised student report is required, the supervisor will inform you in writing of the revisions to be made and the deadline for the submission of the revised report will be the end of month 24. Failure to pass this revised report will lead to immediate termination from the PhD programme.

 

In the event of a recommendation not to allow a student to progress to 3rd year, the examining committee will indicate whether you should be allowed to submit a revised thesis for the award of an MPhil degree (subject to Faculty approval).

 

6.3 PhD Progression: End of 3rd Year Assessment and Submission Pending

PhD students are normally expected to submit their thesis by the end of their period of registration (usually 3, 3.5 or 4 years for full-time students), unless they have received prior approval from the University to register for the submission pending period (not available to students on a 4 year programme).  Again compulsory milestones exist on eProg and you must have a complete record in order to progress to year 4 or into writing up.  If a fourth year of study is required then you should normally provide a draft of your thesis as your end of third year report.  This report will be due 34 months from the start of your programme.  An oral examination conducted by the supervisor and one more examiner and will write a report on the examination.   The committee's report will be passed to the Director of Postgraduate Studies and the School’s Postgraduate Committee who will act on its recommendations. If a revised report is required, the supervisor will inform you in writing of the revisions to be made and the deadline for the submission of the revised report will be the end of month 36. Failure to pass this revised report will lead to immediate termination from the PhD programme; you may then apply to Faculty for permission to submit a revised thesis for the award of an MPhil.

 

PhD students may register for the submission pending period at the discretion of the University to allow additional time for preparation of the thesis for up to one year (but not beyond 4 years since the start of the programme) beyond the completion date of the PhD programme.  You are advised to check any conditions imposed by the Faculty on extensions to the degree and on any restrictions applied by funding bodies.  A fee will be payable for any such submission pending registration that is granted by the University.

 

Extensions to the submission pending period may be sought only in exceptional circumstances (see grounds for mitigation).

 

Start Month

Report Due

Oral Examination  Due

Remedial Work Due (if required)

September

30 June

31 July

30 September

January

30 September

31 October

31 December

April

31 December

31 January

31 March

July

31 March

30 April

31 June

 

6.4 Submission and examination of your PhD thesis

You must submit your thesis within four years (allowing for any interruptions that you may have been granted).  You should consult:

 

The University of Manchester Postgraduate Research degree regulations                                                                           

The University of Manchester Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Degrees                                                         

The University of Manchester Student Complaints Procedure                                                                                                

The University of Manchester Guidance for Students on plagiarism and academic malpractice                                       

The University of Manchester Research governance, ethics support and guidance                                                           

The University of Manchester Guidance on academic appeals                                                                                                

The University of Manchester Code of Practice for dealing with allegations of misconduct in research                         

The University of Manchester Intellectual Property (IP) resource                                                                                          

The University of Manchester Policy on Dignity at work and study                                                                                         

 

6.4.1 Writing your thesis

Your supervisor can give you advice on how to write your thesis. 

 

Guidance on the formatting and presentation of your thesis can be found here http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/DocuInfo.aspx?DocID=7420.  You are very strongly encouraged to write your thesis in LaTeX.  A training course on LaTeX runs in Welcome Week in September and in Week 6 of Semester 1.  There is also a Faculty Graduate Training Course on LaTeX. 

 

A LaTeX style file that is compliant with the University's regulations on the presentation of theses can be found here http://intranet.maths.manchester.ac.uk/it-support/useful-files/

 

6.4.2 Alternative Format Thesis

 

The alternative format thesis allows you to write sections of your PhD thesis in a format suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal whether solely or partly authored by you.  If your PhD project has led to the publication of several papers, then this might be an appropriate option. The alternative format option allows you to include such papers as chapters, whereas the standard format does not.  Guidance on the formatting and presentation of alternative format theses can be found here http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/DocuInfo.aspx?DocID=7420 and it is very important to pay attention to this advice

The thesis should adhere to the basic principles of a traditional thesis i.e. it must still represent an original contribution to the field of research and it must be a coherent body of related work.

The decision to submit in alternative format will be part of the planning of the research project and you should discuss the format of your thesis throughout your programme with your supervisor. You will also be asked to comment on these discussions as part of the eProg annual expectations form.

If you wish to submit your thesis in alternative format, you should first prepare a written request, giving an outline of the proposed thesis structure and rationale. This should be agreed with your supervisor and submitted to the appropriate Faculty/School Graduate Office for approval by the Chair of the Research Degrees Committee. This request must be submitted before the end of year two for full time students and the end of year four for part time students

 

6.4.3 Submission of your thesis

When you are ready to submit your thesis you need to complete a ‘Notice of Submission Form not less than six weeks before submission.This form is available in eProg in the Examination Summary section.  You will also need to read Regulations for the Presentation of Theses and Dissertations available at http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/DocuInfo.aspx?DocID=7420.  Giving notice of submission triggers the process of appointing the examiners, who are then expecting the thesis to arrive on time. 

 

If a thesis is not submitted before the end of the PhD programme or submission pending period, you will not be able submit your thesis without exceptional circumstances.

 

You must submit and electronic copy of your thesis no less than 3 days before your final submission deadline.  You must submit two hardcopies to the Faculty Graduate Office by the deadline.  The electronic and hardcopies must be identical.

 

If you wish to submit a thesis more than 3 months before the end of your PhD programme (or 6 months if part time) you will require a permission of your supervisor and the University. If you are granted permission to submit early then you will still be required to pay full fees for the degree period for which you originally registered.

 

Further information about submitting early is available in your EPS Graduate Resource Folder or from the school PG office.

6.4.4 Late submission

If you do not submit your thesis before the end of your submission pending period and have not formally arranged an extension with the University, the Faculty will refuse to accept your thesis, you will not be permitted to submit it and you will not get a PhD.

 

In the absence of approved exceptional circumstances, an extension will not be granted and you will not be permitted to submit your thesis beyond your final submission deadline. Your final submission deadline is given on eProg.

 

Students may refer to Regulation XIX (academic appeals) where there are adequate grounds for appealing against a decision affecting their academic status or progress in the University.

http://www.studentnet.manchester.ac.uk/crucial-guide/academic-life/formal-procedures/academic-appeals/.

 

6.4.5 Examination of your PhD thesis

Your examiners will usually comprise either (i) an internal examiner (a member of academic staff from Manchester who has expertise in your research area) and an external examiner (a member of academic staff from another university or another suitably-qualified and research-active expert), or (ii) two external examiners and an internal independent chair.  The internal examiner or independent chair will arrange the date and time of your oral examination.  (The oral examination is often called a `viva'; in this handbook, the term `oral examination' is used.)

In the oral examination you will be examined orally on the content of your thesis and its wider context.  After the examination the examiners will make a recommendation to the Faculty PGR Degrees Panel on the outcome of the exam.  The examiners may communicate what their recommendation is to you, but it should be clear that this is unofficial and the final decision is made by Faculty. 

 

The outcomes are:

A(i):         recommend the award PhD and no corrections are necessary.

A(ii):        recommend the award PhD subject to minor corrections being completed.

B(i):         refer: the thesis is satisfactory in substance but defective in presentation; allow resubmission without the need for a further oral examination.

B(ii):        refer: the thesis is satisfactory in substance but defective in presentation; allow resubmission and require a further oral examination.

B(iii):       refer: the thesis requires further research to be done; allow resubmission and require a further oral examination.

C(i):         award MPhil on the basis of the thesis presented.

C(ii):        award MPhil on the basis of the thesis presented, subject to minor corrections being completed.

C(iii):       the candidate be invited to revise and resubmit the thesis for the degree of MPhil within one year. A candidate will be permitted to resubmit on only one occasion.  A fresh examination of the thesis will be required and may include a further oral examination.

C(iv):       no award be made to the candidate and no resubmission be permitted.

 

A(ii) is the most common outcome.  Normally minor corrections required under A(ii) must be completed within 4 weeks of the result being communicated to you by the Faculty PGR Degrees Panel.

 

Students with outcomes B(i)-B(ii) or C(iii) normally have up to six months to resubmit their thesis  Students with outcome B(iii) will normally be given upto one year.   A resubmission fee is charged.  See http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=7452.

 

Complete details of the examinations process can be found here: http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/DocuInfo.aspx?DocID=7445.

 

6.5 Submission and examination of MPhil theses

The MPhil programme is a one-year programme.  MPhil students must complete the `Nomination of examiners' form on eProg before they submit their thesis. 

 

You must submit your thesis within one year (allowing for any interruptions that you may have been granted).  You should consult:

The University of Manchester Postgraduate Research degree regulations                                                                                   

The University of Manchester Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Degrees                                                                 

The University of Manchester Student Complaints Procedure                                                                                                        

The University of Manchester Guidance for Students on plagiarism and academic malpractice                                               

The University of Manchester Research governance, ethics support and guidance                                                                   

The University of Manchester Guidance on academic appeals                                                                                                        

The University of Manchester Code of Practice for dealing with allegations of misconduct in research                                 

The University of Manchester Intellectual Property (IP) resource                                                                                                  

The University of Manchester Policy on Dignity at work and study                                                                                                 

6.5.1 Writing and submitting your thesis

Your supervisor can give you advice on how to write your thesis. 

Guidance on the formatting and presentation of your thesis can be found here http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/DocuInfo.aspx?DocID=7420 

 

You are very strongly encouraged to write your thesis in LaTeX.  A training course on LaTeX runs in Welcome Week in September and in Week 6 of Semester 1.  There is also a Faculty Graduate Training Course on LaTeX. 

 

A LaTeX style file that is compliant with the University's regulations on the presentation of theses can be found here http://intranet.maths.manchester.ac.uk/it-support/useful-files/

 

MPhil students can apply to the School to go into Submission Pending at the end of their first year.  This gives you an additional 12 months to write your thesis.  You can apply for submission pending by contacting Anna Bigland in the Teaching and Learning Office (mathematics@manchester.ac.uk).

 

When you are ready to submit your thesis you need to complete a ‘Notice of Submission Form not less than six weeks before submission.This form is available in eProg in the Examination Summary section.  You will also need to read Regulations for the Presentation of Theses and Dissertations available at http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/DocuInfo.aspx?DocID=7420 . Giving notice of submission triggers the process of appointing the examiners, who are then expecting the thesis to arrive on time. 

 

6.5.2 Examination of your MPhil thesis

Your examiners will usually comprise either (i) an internal examiner (a member of academic staff from Manchester who has expertise in your research area) and an external examiner (a member of academic staff from another university or another suitably-qualified and research-active expert), or (ii) two external examiners and an internal independent chair. 

 

If, having read the thesis, the examiners are in agreement that the award of MPhil should be made, then no oral examination is necessary.

 

If the examiners deem that an oral examination is necessary then the internal examiner or independent chair will arrange the date and time of the exam.

 

In the oral examination you will be examined orally on the content of your thesis and its wider context.  After the examination the examiners will make a recommendation to the Faculty PGR Degrees Panel on the outcome of the exam.  The examiners may communicate what their recommendation is to you, but it should be clear that this is unofficial and the final decision is made by Faculty.

 

 The outcomes are:

A(i):         recommend the award MPhil and no corrections are necessary

A(ii):        recommend the award MPhil subject to minor corrections being completed

B(i):         refer: the thesis is satisfactory in substance but defective in presentation; allow resubmission without the need for a further oral examination

B(ii):        refer: the thesis is satisfactory in substance but defective in presentation; allow resubmission and require a further oral examination

B(iii):       refer: the thesis requires further research to be done; allow resubmission and require a further oral examination

C:             no award be made to the candidate and no resubmission be permitted.

 

Students with outcomes B(i)-B(iii) or C normally have up to one 6 months to resubmit their thesis.   A resubmission fee is charged.  See http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=7452

Complete details of the examinations process can be found here:  http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/DocuInfo.aspx?DocID=7445.

 

6.5.3 MPhil students transferring directly into the 2nd year of the PhD programme

Some students are initially registered on the MPhil programme but decided to apply to transfer directly into the 2nd year of the PhD programme without submitting an MPhil thesis.

 

If you wish to be considered for transfer to a PhD programme, you will need to submit a First year progress report by the end of the 9th month of registration. This report will be assessed by the examining committee. The examining committee will normally comprise the your supervisor plus at least one other member of academic staff. The Committee will provide a brief written assessment of this report and you will be examined viva voce on the contents of the report before the end of your 10th month of registration. If you pass you will be transferred to the second year of the PhD, if you fail, then you may still be given permission to resubmit your report as an MPhil thesis.

 

 

6.6 Graduation

Graduation ceremonies are held twice a year, in July and December.  Following submission of your thesis you will receive information concerning the graduation ceremony and you should indicate at this stage, whether you wish to attend the ceremony or graduate in absentia.  Once you have received confirmation that you have been awarded the degree, this signals that you are eligible to attend the ceremony to receive your certificate.  Further details of the graduation ceremony can be found on the Student Services Centre website: http://www.studentnet.manchester.ac.uk/crucial-guide/academic-life/graduation/

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