The major research project is submitted in the summer term of the third year, usually on the penultimate Friday in June. Almost all trainees complete their thesis within this time scale, but some do not, for a variety of reasons. There are two possibilities for later submission: a brief extension or a longer deferral.
Brief extensions of the hand-in date are given in the case of life events that affect the completion of the thesis (for example, illness or bereavement), or other problems that impeded the progress of the research (e.g., substantial recruitment problems). The normal length of an extension is two weeks, in order that the examiners can have sufficient time to read the thesis before the viva in September. You can ask for longer but along with delay there is a risk that the student will not be examined along with their cohort in September, and so will be delayed in graduating. This risk increases the later you submit, as we cannot reasonably ask examiners to receive a thesis too late - they need time to read and consider it.
Deferrals are given for longer-term delays in submission which mean the student can not be examined in September. They typically result from more severe problems – extreme circumstances which seriously impede the trainee’s ability to conduct the research or write up the thesis.
We will manage deferrals on an individual basis, and arrange a viva as soon as possible. It will normally take between one and two months for a viva to be conducted following submission of the thesis. Thus the trainee will qualify later than normal, which may mean that their pay is reduced if they work in the NHS. Trainees should discuss this with their prospective employer and with course staff.
Trainees who are considering an extension or deferral should discuss it with their UCL research supervisor and then submit the relevant form by email following the protocol below. There is no need to submit a formal EC request via Portico for extensions to viva or thesis-related deadlines as this is handled internally. The timing of this is not set in stone, but we don't normally consider requests until mid-May, so that you have a concrete sense of how much time you will need. Until that point you should aim for the standard deadline, but hold in mind that we will always approve extensions and deferrals where there is a good reason.
How to apply:
You need a short extension of up to 2 weeks: send the "extensions" form to Priya, cc your supervisor, and ask your supervisor to reply-all in support. Do not email the Research Directors, Priya will manage short extensions.
You need a longer extension but still hope to be examined in September: send the "extensions" form to the Research Directors, cc Priya & your supervisor, and ask your supervisor to reply-all in support.
You need to defer your submission and viva date: send the "deferrals" form to the Research Directors, cc Priya & your supervisor, and ask your supervisor to reply-all in support.