Recruitment of Research Students To New Academic or Research Units

contact: David Ashton, Director of Student Administration, Student and Registry Services



1. The Research Degrees Committee, at its meeting on 14 June 2011, approved the following requirements and procedure for the recruitment and registration of research students to new academic or research units.


2. With the exception of the professional doctorates, research degree programmes do not need to be considered by the Programme and Module Approval Sub-Group. The research programmes, MPhil, PhD and EngD, exist as generic programmes but that are subject to the Academic Regulations for Research Degree Students as well as the Code of Practice for Graduate Research Degrees. Any new research degree type would be considered by the Research Degrees Committee.

3. From time to time, new academic or research units are established by UCL and these units may wish to recruit and register research degree students. Currently there is no mechanism to ensure that these units are equipped to be able to discharge their duties on behalf of UCL with regard to the Code of Practice and the Academic Regulations.


4. The following criteria need to be met in order for a new academic or research unit to recruit and register research degree students:

(a) A Faculty overseeing the research degree student experience;

(b) A Departmental Graduate Tutor;

(c) Sufficient research activity so that there is a research environment, together with sufficient facilities, within which the student can work;

(d) Sufficient potential supervisors within the unit in order to act as principal supervisors as well as others engaged in research relating to potential students’ research interests;

(e) The opportunity to participate in a staff/student consultative committee;

(f) A unit-level committee that is either solely responsible for the oversight of research degrees or has it as part of its remit;

(g) The necessary administrative support.

5. Where there are not sufficient potential supervisors based in the unit, consideration should be given to place the student in a related and established academic/research unit.

6. Before any new academic or research unit can recruit and register research degree student, it must satisfy the Research Degrees Committee that it meets the criteria specified above.

7. The expectation is that this will normally be considered by the Chair on behalf of the Committee and reported under Chair’s business. The Chair can of course refer matters for wider discussion to the Committee, if that is deemed necessary or appropriate, and withhold permission until after Committee discussion and resolution.

June 2012