The following are guidelines for Supervisors and students:

Key Milestones
  • by 6-8 weeks after start:  Project description and objectives.
  • 6 month report.
  • 8 months: Powerpoint presentation (>10 mins) at Departmental annual postgraduate symposium
  • after 9-15 months or between 18-24: Upgrade/transfer to PhD
  • 20 months: Poster presentation at Departmental annual postgraduate symposium
  • 30 months: Meet with primary and secondary supervisor in mid-year 3 to evaluate progress and plan calendar for thesis submission.
  • 32 months: Seminar presentation at Departmental annual postgraduate symposium

The progress of each PhD student will be monitored by their Thesis Committee (TC) which will consist of two members of academic staff: their Secondary Supervisor and their “Thesis Chair” (an individual with more distant expertise in the broad, but not necessarily the narrow, subject area of the research topic). The Primary Supervisor of the student will not be a member of the TC but can be invited by the TC chair to sit in on meetings of the TC.


The TC is responsible for monitoring progress, but not the week-to-week minutiae of the project.  Each TC ought to meet their student intermittently (once or twice per year). For each meeting, the Primary Supervisor should provide a < 1-page report and the student should submit a brief written report and give a brief oral presentation.

Throughout the cycle of meetings, the TC will evaluate the student’s performance and progress via the student’s written and oral presentations together with the Primary Supervisor’s reports. After each meeting the chair of the TC ought to write a short report outlining their opinion of the student’s progress and send it to the student, Primary Supervisor and Departmental Graduate Tutor.


If the student is deemed to be significantly underperforming, then the TC should determine the causes via discussion with the Primary Supervisor and the Departmental Graduate Tutors.

Addressing Poor Performance Guidelines  The new guidance can be found in Part 3 of the Academic Manual. These guidelines are designed to ensure that cases of poor performance are dealt with consistently and fairly, with the prime objective of improving an individual student’s performance to the required level for the successful and timely completion of their programme.


See Upgrade from MPhil to PhD for details.

Page last modified on 06 aug 15 13:07