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Student handbook

This site provides quick links to the areas of UCL you are most likely to require access to as well as providing general information for procedures relating to your studies in the SECReT DTC.

If you cannot find the information you require, you may find it on the Security and Crime science department website.

You can also search the UCL website.

SECReT administrator

Amy Clemens

Room G02

35 Tavistock Square

London WC1H 9EZ

Drop in sessions

Teaching Room (G01), Dept of Security and Crime Science, 35 Tavistock Square, WC1H 9EZ

Tuesdays and Thursdays November-April 13:00-14:00

Thursdays May-September 13:00-14:00

MRes in Security Science

Generally speaking, the information for the MRes in Security Science can be found on the Department of Security and Crime Science website in the student handbook (click for access).

The exception to this is the information on finances and expenses which can be found below.

Progressing from the MRes to the PhD

This page is is addressed to those students who are finishing their MRes project in security science and would like to apply for a place on the second year of the security science programme.

In order to enroll on the second year of the Security Science programme, students registered on the MRes in Security Science must satisfy the following conditions:

  1. Students must demonstrate a capability to undertake and benefit from research training through to completion, to the standard necessary to qualify for a PhD;
  2. Students must submit a PhD proposal form describing an original multidisciplinary and security-related research project. The form must include the signatures from two suitable UCL academics, from different disciplines, who accepted to act as supervisors.

Current recipients of the EPSRC scholarships are expected to receive further funding if:

  1. They enroll on the second year of the course
  2. The marks obtained during the MRes year are above the benchmark set for this scheme;
  3. The proposal doctoral project can be completed by the student in three years;
  4. The research is grounded in engineering or in the physical sciences.

PhD in Security Science

Your guide to the PhD in Security Science is quite a hefty document so we've put it in a separate section.

The PhD handbook should be read in conjunction with the:

  • Code of practice for research degrees
  • Academic regulations for research degrees

Both of these are available from the Graduate School website.

The links below are also navigable from the left hand menu

PhD handbook

Appendices to handbook

FAQs on expenses, purchasing and finances


Receiving purchases

Once your purchases have been received please tell your administrator as soon as possible. This is needed to register that the purchase has been received in order to trigger payment.

Can I attend conferences?

If you wish to attend a conference please follow the following procedure:

1. Send an email to your supervisor with the following information, and request their approval:

  • Name of the conference 
  • Weblink of the conference: 
  • Location of the conference:
  • Dates of the conference:
  • Dates when you are away:
  • Amount left in your SECReT budget: 
  • Estimated cost of the trip:
  • Will you present a paper/poster?
  • Will you miss any lectures or compulsory events?
  • Reasons for attending if this is not obvious:

Your supervisor should confirm that the conference is directly relevant to your project, and that attending it will support your research training at SECReT.

2. Forward your supervisor's confirmation email to Herve Borrion a few days before booking your trip, so he has time to review the information and approve it.

Permission from the Director must be sought before booking conferences outside of the UK, students should provide a recommendation from their supervisor which justifies the conference attendance. Students who book without permission from both the supervisor and Director will not be reimbursed

If you do not wish to purchase the cost of the conference through the expenses system, you must first request a purchase order number. Please complete the purchase request form and give it to Amy Clemens. You must include the following details, incomplete forms will not be processed:

  1. The trading name of the company (this is needed in order to find its details on the UCL financial system database)
  2. The cost of the conference (ex-VAT)
  3. The name of the conference.

To generate a purchase order, the order must first be approved and may take several days to process.

Travel insurance

All students must also obtain UCL travel insurance (click link for more info).

Can I buy something then claim it back?

For some purchases, the easiest method is to buy them yourself and then claim back using the expenses form. The instructions on this page should be read in conjunction with the UCL EXPENSES POLICY which details what can and cannot be claimed.

Please note that the department cannot deviate from this policy and if you go 'off list' and purchase anything else, the Department will not be able to reimburse you.

The expenses form is available for download here and contains more complete information than can be easily provided on this website so you are strongly urged to download it and read it before having to make any claims.

Any incorrect or incomplete claims will be returned to you and will result in a delay in you being reimbursed.

Procedure for claiming your expenses

The full procedure on how to claim expenses is detailed in the Excel spreadsheet. Should any part of the procedure need to change, I will upload a new sheet.
Please, however, remember the following.

  • You must print two copies of each sheet you fill in, however you do not need to print the tab that says 'UCL KATI ONLY'
  • One copy of the form must have the ORIGINAL receipts attached to it this is UCL Central Finance requirement. The only exception is for meals for which you are claiming only the amount allowed without receipts (see below).
  • The second copy of the form must have photocopies of the receipts attached to it.
  • Please list EACH receipt in the relevant section of the spreadsheet and number the receipt to match the list on the form.
  • For subsistence (meals) the maximum claims allowed is currently:

With receipts
Breakfast (if accommodation is room only): £10
Lunch: £7
Dinner: £20

Without receipts
Breakfast (if accommodation is room only): £5
Lunch: £5
Dinner: £10

  • If your receipts are in a foreign currency you must show evidence of the exchange rate used: i.e. printout of internet currency converter result.

How do I book flights or accommodation?

UCL uses Ian Allan Travel Management for its accommodation and travel (excluding rail, which you can book yourself and claim back via the expense forms). Please contact them directly and obtain a quote. When you are ready to place an order they will request a purchase order number. If you have a specific hotel or flight that you want to take, include this information in your email to Ian Allen Travel.

Ian Allen Travel: (0845 872 6011)

Please forward Ian Allan's quote to me, stating the full amount the purchase order should be for and the reason for your travel or accommodation ie. IACS conference, New Zealand.

If Ian Allen have given you a number of options you must indicate which option you prefer. If you are organising multiple bookings you will need to let me know the names of all the students going on the trip and how this breaks down financially.

Ian Allan usually ask that the purchase order be sent to them by 5pm on the day they provide the quote or the price may go up. It is therefore advised that you contact them as early on in the day as possible. This will give your administrator enough notice to raise the purchase order before 5pm that day. This will not always be possible, depending on work load.

Do I need travel insurance?

In short, yes. Even if you have your own cover we must also get cover for you via UCL travel insurance (click link for more info).

How do I purchase equipment for my project?

If you wish to purchase anything not on the expenses list, you will need to purchase it via a recognised UCL supplier. Unfortunately, the UCL finance pages do not allow students access to the list of suppliers!

Please therefore use the following procedures:

  1. On the purchase request form write down the item, manufacturer and any other relevant identifying details. Where possible, find the item number of the product you wish to purchase. All products have a manufacturer's item number individual to them.
  2. Send the form to Amy
  3. If the item is available through the UCL marketplace Amy will place an order. There is no way of guaranteeing that your items will be in stock, therefore you will need to allow at least two weeks from order to delivery.

In some instances there will be no UCL accredited supplier able to provide the items you need, or equivalent items. In this case we will either purchase using the Department card or we will be required to set them up as a supplier. If we need to do the latter then it will take at least four weeks to process.

Can I pay subjects for participating in my research?

Fees may be paid to subjects taking part in research experiments, to a maximum of £50.00 per day, per subject. These fees may be paid to subjects and claimed through the expenses system OR staff may apply for a Research Advance for this purpose.


  1. Only STAFF may apply for the advance. For student projects it would have to be the supervisor.
  2. This department does not hold petty cash and in any event departmental petty cash cannot be used for this purpose.

Whether advanced or claimed afterwards, all subjects must sign a form to confirm receipt of the money. These forms must include the following:

  • Subject name
  • Subject home address (including postcode)
  • Date
  • Amount paid to subject
  • Subject signature
  • Experimenter name, signature and extension number

If supervisors wish to claim an advance, the research advance form (click to download) must be completed along with a manual expense form (click to download) coded for the student's account. These forms must be completed and given to the SECReT Administrator (Amy Clemens) at least two weeks before the money is needed.

If an advance is claimed it MUST be reconciled within two weeks of the
date of the experiment.

If it is not possible for the supervisor to claim an advance, students may claim subject fees through the expenses system as usual and must include the subject receipt form.

It is advisable to consider alternatives such as vouchers or a prize draw. If vouchers are given to individuals they will still need to sign a receipt as described above.

Further information

Full regulations for research advances
Subject fees and expenses

Can I buy books?

This will need to be done via the departmental credit card. Please complete a purchase request form AND email Amy the Amazon link with the subject line: Book purchase.

FAQs on research resources

I'm collecting information from people, what should I know?

  • Research registration form

A Form 2 (research registration form: click for link) must be completed for all research involving the use of personal data (data relating to a living individual who can be identified). Please email the registration number and a copy of the form to Kati Carter.

  • Data protection

All students have a responsibility to make sure that their research complies with the Data Protection Act. Information on UCL and data protection can be found here

The data protection officer for the department is Kati Carter.

Do I need ethics approval?

ALL research projects run by students in this department need ethics approval and there are no exceptions.

The research project proposals for the MRes in Security Science will be discussed at a meeting held in February and ethics approval will either be granted at this meeting or you will be required to submit a formal form to the UCL ethics committee. Your supervisor or programme convenor will advise you on this.

The above link gives guidance on ethical approval. Please discuss any initial queries with your supervisors. Click here to download the UCL guide to research ethics.

Do I need to complete a risk assessment form?

All students involved in off-site working should complete a fieldwork risk assessment form. All students should also complete a project risk assessment form. Both can be accessed using the link above.

FAQs on other administration

How do I update my student profile?

You are required to keep your student profiles up to date.

Information on how to do this is available for download here.

Poster templates

REMEMBER: Usually you should try and get your file to the printer two weeks before you need it to leave plenty of time in case things go wrong.

Pay for the poster yourself and claim back through expenses. Log the cost in your research budget spreadsheet.

Templates and layout
Use the SECReT poster template (powerpoint file) of the size and orientation required by the event organisers to prepare your poster.

A0 landscape
A0 portrait
A1 landscape
A1 portrait

For more general advice and examples of good posters see the poster-guidance-examples.ppt

Finalising poster
Conference posters must be shown to your supervisor for checking BEFORE they are printed.

Printing the poster
Once everything’s finalised, you can print your poster either through any commercial print shop or through UCL Media Services:

UCL Media Services
Laura Tovey
Tel: 020 7679 6669 or ext: 46669

This link will take you to its information page on poster printing. This includes advice on general design such as corporate identity and font use.

Usual cost from UCL Media (ex VAT):
A1 (841x594mm)     £32.00   
Lamination         £11.00

A0 (841x1189mm)     £57.00   
Lamination         £17.00

You get free cardboard tube, but can buy a plastic one for £9.