Research degrees that may be granted by the University are listed in Appendix 1.
In order to qualify for a research degree, students must:
(a) Meet the specified entry requirements
(b) Pursue the programme of study prescribed for the specified period of enrolment
(c) Comply with supervision, residence and attendance requirements (see 2.4 and 2.5 below)
(d) Fulfil all other progression and programme requirements specified, including successful completion of the University’s Online Research Integrity Tutorial
(e) Pay such tuition fees as may be prescribed.
(f) Meet the specified assessment and examination requirements, including the final thesis, dissertation or research project and, where required, an oral examination.
Failure to meet the requirements set out in 2.1 (a) to (f) above may result in a student not being permitted to enter for assessments or examinations for the specified award .
Powers of Boards of Studies
- To make recommendations to the Standing Committee on Assessment acting on behalf of Senate for the award of research degrees
- To make recommendations to the Standing Committee on Assessment acting on behalf of Senate for any exceptions to these requirements
To be admitted to a research degree programme, a candidate must:
(a) Hold a relevant first degree of this or of another university recognised by the Senate for this purpose, or have qualifications or related experience recognised by the Senate as equivalent to a relevant degree..
(b) Submit the subject of his/her higher study or research to the Board of Studies concerned for approval prior to admission.
Powers of Boards of Studies
- To recommend to Senate candidates for admission to research degree programmes.
(a) General research degree requirements, including the required periods of enrolment for awards, are specified in the Policy on Research Degrees. These publications are available on the York Graduate Research School web pages.
(b) With the approval of Senate, prior learning and achievement relevant to the programme concerned may be recognised through the reduction of the period of enrolment. Parameters and procedures for this are specified in the Policy on Research Degrees.
(c) Specific programme requirements are as approved by the York Graduate Research School on the recommendation of the Board of Studies concerned. Programme requirements are specified in relevant departmental documents.
(d) Students enrolled for a research degree may not be enrolled at the same time for another research degree, unless such enrolment forms part of a collaborative programme of study approved by the University.
(e) Students are not normally permitted to count the same period of enrolment for the award of a research degree and a taught degree unless this forms part of a programme of study that has been approved by the University.
(f) The amount of time that students on full-time research degree programmes may spend on paid employment and voluntary work, and exceptions to these requirements, is set out in the Policy on Research Degrees (PoRD).
(g) Sponsored international students studying on a Tier 4 visa must comply with the conditions of their visa and with the University’s Attendance Management Policy for sponsored international students for the period of their enrolment.
Powers of Boards of Studies
- To recommend to York Graduate Research School research degree programme requirements for approval
- To recommend to Special Cases Committee any exceptions to the specified enrolment requirements, including the reduction of periods of enrolment
- To recommend to York Graduate Research School exceptions regarding paid employment.
See also 2.3 on enrolment requirements
(a) Students on research degree programmes are allocated a supervisor, who is a member of University staff. An additional supervisor may be appointed where desirable. This may be a requirement of specified programmes.
(b) In the case of collaborative programmes, approval may be given for a supervisor (or additional supervisor) to be appointed from the collaborating institution or organisation. This may be a requirement of specified programmes.
(c) Students enrolled on the degree of EngD shall have at least two supervisors, one of whom must be a member of University staff. In addition, an industrial supervisor who is employed by the industrial organisation associated with the programme of study must also be appointed. The University may appoint a third supervisor, who may be a member of staff at another university.
(d) Students are required to attend supervisory meetings at least every 6-7 weeks. Requirements for more frequent meetings and/or for meetings with additional supervisors will be specified by the Board of Studies concerned.
(e) All supervisors for research degrees are appointed by the Board of Studies concerned.
Powers of Boards of Studies
- To recommend to York Graduate Research School programme-level exceptions to supervisory requirements
- To approve the appointment of supervisors for individual students
- To specify acceptable alternatives to face-to-face supervisory meetings (for example, in the case of distance learning programmes).
See also 2.3 on enrolment requirements
(a) Research students should normally live within reasonable travelling distance of their designated place of instruction for the duration of designated periods of study. Where fieldwork constitutes part of a programme of study, the fieldwork location may be regarded as the designated place of instruction. Students are required to provide the University with accurate contact details (including home and term time address) and to ensure these are updated as necessary throughout the year.
(b) Students may be absent from their designated place of instruction during periods of study provided they are not away at any time that interferes with their ability to fulfil their academic requirements.
(c) “Designated periods of study” will incorporate the full calendar year, excluding bank holidays and University closure days. Students may request to have a period excluded as a period of study at any point during the year as annual leave, but only with the permission of their department, and to a maximum of 27 days in any given academic year. Exceptions to this will be recorded as programme requirements in departmental documentation
(d) Exceptions: distance learning programmes: Students on distance learning programmes are expected to demonstrate attendance through participation in all designated academic engagements.
(e) Exemptions: Students seeking exemptions from attendance requirements of ten days or less for medical reasons should follow the procedure for self-certification for short periods of absence due to ill-health. A maximum of seven days for any one period of illness can be self-certified. Students seeking exemptions of longer than ten days must follow either the procedure for authorised absence for periods up to 60 days or Leave of Absence.
Powers of Boards of Studies
- To define designated places of instruction and/or placements
- To define designated periods of study where these differ from the definition in Regulation 2.5c
- To define the academic engagements required for programmes of study beyond those required in the Policy on Research Degrees
- To define exceptions to attendance requirements in programme documentation
- To approve exemptions or recommend exemptions to attendance requirements to Special Cases Committee.
(a) Students must meet progression requirements as specified in Regulation 2.7.7, the Policy on Research Degrees and in programme documentation. Students who fail to meet progression requirements will not be permitted to continue and their enrolment with the University may be terminated or, where permitted, transferred to another programme.
(b) Appeals against progression decisions should be made to the Special Cases Committee. Special Cases Committee will take account only of those exceptional circumstances that were disclosed to the Board of Studies at the appropriate time unless the student can demonstrate acceptable reasons for failure to disclose at that time.
(c) A student enrolled on a research degree programme may request a transfer to a different research degree where such degrees are available and provided that such transfer takes place before the thesis is submitted.
(d) Plagiarism detection software packages may be used at the University's discretion to detect unfair practice in student submissions. As part of the academic community, students accept that work they submit for assessment may be submitted to these software packages. Further information relating to how such software is used can be found in the University's Data Protection Statement, the Academic Integrity website and departmental handbooks.
(e) Procedures for investigating academic misconduct and the penalties applied where it has been committed are contained in Academic Misconduct: Policies, Guidelines and Procedures for all programmes of study.
(f) Requests to transfer enrolment: A student enrolled on a research degree programme may request a transfer to a different research degree where such degrees are available and provided that such transfer takes place before the dissertation, thesis or other final research is submitted.
Powers of Boards of Studies
- To specify programme progression requirements for approval by the York Graduate Research School
- To recommend to the Vice Chancellor l the termination of enrolment of a research student.
- To consider requests for transfers of enrolment.
Detailed assessment requirements and procedures for the award of research degrees are set out in the Policy on Research Degrees. For the award of the degrees of MPhil, PhD, EngD, MA or MSc by Research a student must:
(a) present a thesis according to the requirements set out in 2.7.2 below, and
For the awards of MPhil, PhD and EngD, a student must additionally:
(b) present him/herself for an oral examination on the subject of his/her advanced study.
For research degree programmes, any further assessment requirements specified in programme documentation should be regarded as progression requirements.
(a) Word limits for theses are prescribed by the Board of Studies concerned.
(b) Students who wish to submit a thesis more than three months before the end of the specified enrolment period for the award must seek approval from the Standing Committee on Assessment with the support of the Board of Studies concerned.
(c) Students are required to submit a thesis within the maximum period of enrolment for their specific research degree programme as set out in the Policy on Research Degrees, unless they take an approved Leave of Absence or have appropriate grounds for an extension. In such instances, extensions may be recommended by from the Board of Studies concerned for approval by Special Cases Committee. The extension shall not normally exceed two years. Extensions will be granted only in cases where the candidate’s work has been hampered by exceptional medical or personal circumstances or exceptional circumstances arising from employment. In each case supporting documentary evidence must be made available.
(d) Theses should be presented and submitted in accordance with the rules as set out in the Policy on Research Degrees.
(e) Students are not permitted to submit a thesis containing work that has already been submitted for the award of a degree or other qualification conferred at this or any other university without proper acknowledgement of the work and any award which was granted for it.
Powers of Boards of Studies
- To prescribe word limits for theses and dissertations.
- To make recommendations to the Standing Committee on Assessment acting on behalf of Senate regarding early submission of the thesis.
- To make recommendations to the Special Cases Committee regarding the late submission of theses and dissertations where exceptional circumstances apply.
(a) Candidates for research degree awards, with the exception of any candidate referred to in paragraph (b) below, shall be examined by at least two and not more than three examiners. The number of examiners who are not members of the academic staff of the University shall always equal or exceed the number of those who are.
(b) In the case of candidates for jointly awarded research degrees the details of examiner membership must be clarified in the degree programme specification and approved by Senate.
(c) Any candidate for a research degree award who, at any time, during the five years prior to the date on which he/she submits his/her thesis or dissertation for examination, has been a member of Academic, Research or Teaching staff of the University shall normally be examined by at least two and not more than three examiners, two of whom shall not be members of the academic staff of the University in accordance with the Policy on Research Degrees. Exemptions from this requirement may only be made by the Standing Committee on Assessment on the recommendation of the Board of Studies concerned.
(d) Candidates for jointly awarded research degrees shall be examined under arrangements approved by Senate, taking into account the provisions of paragraphs (b) and (c) above.
(e) Procedures for the appointment of internal and external examiners are set out in the Policy on Research Degrees.
(f) A candidate’s supervisor shall not be appointed as the internal examiner.
Powers of Boards of Studies
- To make recommendations to the Standing Committee on Assessment acting on behalf of Senate on the appointment of internal and external examiners.
(a) No candidate shall be admitted to any examination unless s/he has satisfied the requirements laid down in the Ordinances and Regulations, or has been exempted from any requirements by the Standing Committee on Assessment, on behalf of Senate on the recommendation of the Board of Studies concerned.
(b) Candidates for the award of the degrees of MPhil, PhD or EngD must present themselves for oral examination on the subject of their advanced study or research. Any exception to this requirement must be approved by the Standing Committee on Assessment acting on behalf of Senate on the recommendation of the Board of Studies and a special note on the circumstances in each individual case included in the Examiners’ report.
(c) An oral examination may be a specified programme requirement of an MA or MSc programme by research. Where not required by the programme, an oral examination may nevertheless be required for an individual candidate, at the discretion of the examiners, in order to ensure that the work submitted for examination is the candidate’s own or that the candidate meets the standards required for the degree.
(d) Following the examination the examiners may make one of the following recommendations:
(i) that the candidate be awarded the degree with no corrections to the thesis being required;
(ii) that the candidate be awarded the degree subject to corrections being made to the thesis in not more than three months to the satisfaction of the examiners (in the case of a Masters by Research, this correction period should not exceed one month;
(iii) that the thesis should be revised and resubmitted ('referral') for examination, after a further period of no more than twelve and no less than three months (in the case of a Masters by Research, this referral period should be not more than three months). A thesis may normally be referred on one occasion, only. The thesis shall be re-examined, normally by the original examiners. The examiners may require a further oral examination;
(iv) that no degree should be awarded.
In the case of submissions for the award of PhD, the examiners may also recommend:
(v) that the candidate should be awarded the degree of MPhil or Masters by Research with no corrections to the thesis being required;
(vi) that the candidate should be awarded the degree of MPhil or Masters by Research subject to corrections being made to the thesis in not more than three months for an MPhil, and not more than one month from a Masters by Research to the satisfaction of the internal or another of the examiners;
(vii) that the thesis should be revised and resubmitted (‘referral’) for examination, after a further period of no more than twelve months, for the degree of MPhil or no more than three months for a Masters by Research. A thesis may normally be referred on one occasion only. The thesis shall be re-examined, normally by the original examiners. The examiners may require a further oral examination.
Powers of Boards of Studies
- To determine whether students have fulfilled award and programme requirements to permit entry to University assessments and make recommendations to the Standing Committee on Assessment acting on behalf of Senate.
- To make recommendations to the Standing Committee on Assessment acting on behalf of Senate on exemptions or exceptions to such arrangements.
Students must follow all other examination requirements as set out in the Policy on Research Degrees. Any student not complying with examination requirements may be deemed to have failed the assessment and may not be given a reassessment opportunity.
All materials submitted for assessment or forming part of an assessment process become the property of the University on receipt. The University may pass copies of assessment materials to third parties, but in so doing undertakes not to prejudice the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of the student in accordance with relevant legislation.
The intellectual property contained in assessment materials remains with the originator, except where the provisions of Regulation 12.2 apply.
Powers of Boards of Studies
- To determine whether students have fulfilled award and programme requirements to permit entry to University assessments.
Students are expected to attend scheduled examinations and submit theses and dissertations at the required time and date. If a student is unable to meet these requirements for good cause and would like this to be taken into account, s/he will need to submit an extension request with supporting evidence, in advance where possible, to the relevant Board of Studies for consideration by Special Cases Committee, which can approve an alternative assessment date. (see 2.7.2 above for time limits on extensions). Where medical, personal or compassionate circumstances interrupt a student's programme of study, and where they are unable to return and are unlikely to become able to return, the Board of Examiners may propose the award of an aegrotat degree, subject to the Policy included in the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback.
The University is committed to developing high standards of academic practice among its students and to safeguarding the standards of its academic awards. It regards any form of academic misconduct as an extremely serious matter.
Procedures for investigating academic misconduct and the penalties to be applied where it has been committed are contained in the Policy on Research Degrees.
All students enrolled for a research degree are required to complete successfully the University Research Integrity Tutorial before their first formal review of progress or thesis submission (whichever comes first). Failure to comply with this regulation may result in termination of enrolment with the University.
Plagiarism detection software packages may be used at the University's discretion to detect unfair practice in student submissions. As part of the academic community, students accept that work they submit for assessment may be submitted to these software packages. Further information relating to how such software is used can be found in the University's Data Protection Statement, the Academic Integrity website and departmental handbooks.
(a) Research degrees will not be awarded or conferred until any corrections required by the examiners have been made to the satisfaction of the internal or another of the examiners, and until copies of the thesis or dissertation have been deposited in accordance with the requirements set out in the Policy on Research Degrees.
(b) No student may represent him or herself as holding an award of the University of York until such time as that award has been granted to him or her.
(c) Before the receipt of an award parchment, all students must make adequate arrangements to reconcile any tuition related debts to the University.
(d) Graduands will be presented for their degrees either in person, or in absentia, at a Congregation for the conferment of degrees. They are required to notify the University whether they intend to attend the Congregation.
(e) Students attending a Congregation of the University for the conferment of degrees or granting of other awards are required to wear the dress prescribed for the occasion.
Copies of theses and dissertations must be deposited with the University as specified in the Policy on Research Degrees.
All theses and dissertations deposited shall normally be available for consultation and for reproduction (subject to normal conditions for acknowledgement). Details on the policy on embargo of theses can be found in the Policy on Research Degrees. Information on Intellectual Property can be found in Regulation 12..
(a) Responsibility for considering or hearing appeals by students has been delegated by the Senate to the Special Cases Committee (SCC).
(b) Students may not appeal against exercise of academic judgement.
(c) Students wishing to exercise their right of appeal against a decision or recommendation reached by a Board or Studies or Board of Examiners must follow the procedure set out in the Student Academic Appeals Procedure document.
(d) In order for the decision against which the appellant is appealing to be reconsidered, the Chair of Special Cases Committee, a nominated member of Special Cases Committee or nominated Case Officer, acting on behalf of the Senate, will reach a decision on whether or not grounds for appeal have been established. This may involve a call for further information from either the appellant or other party before a view is formed. The procedure and timescale to be followed by the Chair or their nominee is set out in the Student Academic Appeals Procedure document. Reasons will be stated where a decision that no grounds for appeal exist is reached.
(e) Where a student has also made a complaint under the University’s complaints procedure and the outcome of that complaint might be relevant to consideration of an academic appeal, the Chair may decide that the appeal should be held in abeyance until consideration of the complaint under the complaints procedure has been completed in whole or in part.
(f) Only a student about whom a decision has been made can lodge an appeal against that decision; appeals by third parties are not normally accepted.
A student may appeal against the following decisions or recommendations made by or on behalf of a Board of Studies or Thesis Advisory Panel:
(a) That the degree for which the student was enrolled should not be awarded, but that the student should be required to re-sit an examination or to revise and resubmit a thesis or dissertation for re-examination for the award or for a lesser award; and against the conditions on which such permission is given
(b) A decision of the appropriate academic misconduct investigation panel relating to the application of the academic misconduct procedures.
(c) A recommendation that a student’s enrolment should be terminated or transferred to another programme on the grounds that the student has failed to meet or comply with the requirements of an external organisation in which training or education is undertaken, or of an appropriate professional or regulatory body
(d) A decision regarding student progression, resulting in programme transfer or termination of studies.
(e) A recommendation that a student's enrolment should be terminated, other than where triggered by failure of the programme or failure to progress.
(f) A decision taken by the Chair of Special Cases Committee (or their nominee) not to uphold recommendations of the Board of Studies to grant leave of absence, repeat study, programme extensions or other exceptions to programme specifications and enrolment requirements that fall under Special Cases Committee’s remit.
(a) Students may appeal against any decision listed in Regulation 2.8.2, other than those relating to academic misconduct procedures (see (b) below), only if:
(i) they believe that a procedural irregularity has occurred, or that the assessment was conducted unfairly or improperly; or
(ii) for good reason, relevant exceptional circumstances can be shown that could not reasonably have been brought to the attention of the examiners before a decision on academic performance was reached.
(b) Students may only appeal against a decision made as a result of academic misconduct procedures on the grounds that:
(i) The academic misconduct procedures were not followed properly;
(ii) The appropriate academic misconduct investigation panel reached a decision that was not reasonable in all the circumstances;
(iii) New evidence is available which could not reasonably have been brought to the attention of the appropriate academic misconduct investigation panel at the time of its investigation;
(iv) There was bias or reasonable perception of bias during the academic misconduct process
(v) Any penalty imposed by the appropriate academic misconduct investigation panel was disproportionate or not permitted under the academic misconduct procedures.
(c) An appeal against termination of enrolment, other than where triggered by failure of the programme or failure to progress, is always considered at a full meeting of the Special Cases Committee.
(d) In all other cases, an appeal will only be considered at a full meeting of the Special Cases Committee if, in the judgement of the Chair of the Special Cases Committee (or their nominee), a full meeting is necessary to resolve the issues which cannot be resolved with reference to the appeal documentation.
(a) All procedures concerning student appeals are set out in the Student Academic Appeals Procedure document
(b) The Student Academic Appeals Procedure consists of two formal stages. Formal appeals are considered in the first instance by members of the Special Cases Committee appointed by the Chair or, where appropriate, a Case Officer. Students who are dissatisfied with the initial outcome of their appeal have a further right of appeal to a review by the Chair or nominated deputy.
(c) Student appeals are considered by members of the Special Cases Committee or Case Officers who are not members of the same department as the student concerned and who have had no prior involvement in the consideration of the appeal.
(d) Appellants will always be provided with the reasons for decisions reached regarding their appeal.
When both formal stages of the University's appeals procedures have been exhausted, students who remain dissatisfied with the outcome of an appeal lodged under this Regulation may be able to make a complaint to the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (OIA). Further information about the OIA is available on the website www.oiahe.org.uk.
The degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Publication may be conferred by the University. To be admitted under these regulations a candidate shall:
(a) (i) have held a relevant first degree of this or of another university approved by the Senate for this purpose, or a qualification recognised by the Senate as equivalent, for at least four years before registering the intention to submit for the degree; or
(a) (ii) have held a relevant masters degree of this or of another university approved by the Senate for this purpose, or a qualification recognised by the Senate as equivalent, for at least three years before registering the intention to submit for the degree, and
(b) have held an appointment as a member of academic, research, administrative, library, computing or other related staff of the University for at least three years before registering the intention to submit for the degree, and
(c) have presented work which has satisfied the examiners and which contains a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding.
A person wishing to submit work for the award of this degree shall first seek permission from the Graduate School Board of the department concerned. If permission is given, the Graduate School Board shall appoint a member of staff as adviser. The adviser shall direct the preparation of the submission, including the writing of the integrative chapter that will accompany the publications. On the recommendation of the adviser, and with the approval of the Graduate School Board, the person may register an intention to submit work for the award of the degree.
Registration of an intention to submit must be made in writing to the Registrar and Secretary. Unless the Standing Committee on Assessment approves otherwise, the work will be submitted for examination not less than three months and not more than twelve months after registration of the intention to submit.
A significant proportion of the work submitted for the award of the degree shall have been carried out during the period of employment at the University and during the eight years immediately preceding the registration of intention to submit.
A candidate may not submit work that has already been submitted, by the candidate or by another person, for a degree in this or any other university, except where the previously submitted work is explicitly identified, in a declaration signed by the candidate, as preliminary work from which the remaining work submitted has developed. The candidate must identify his/her contribution to the previously submitted work.
Where co-authored works are submitted, the candidate must provide a written statement, signed by the candidate and by one or more of the major contributory co-authors, specifying the candidate's individual contribution and the conditions and circumstances in which the work was carried out.
The work submitted shall be comparable in quantity and academic standard to that submitted by a candidate for the degree of PhD by thesis, and
(a) shall have already appeared in print, or shall have been accepted for publication and be accompanied by an official, final acceptance which indicates that no further revision is required, or shall have been published on the website of the journal concerned in advance of publication in printed form. The evidence of acceptance for publication must be satisfactory to the departmental Graduate School Board concerned and to the examiners;
(b) shall normally comprise a research monograph, one or more authored books or papers in refereed journals, or musical compositions. The inclusion of some material in the form of chapters in edited books shall be permitted;
(c) shall be accompanied by an integrative chapter, not exceeding 10,000 words, which summarises the aims, objectives, methodology, results and conclusions of all the work submitted, and explains how it forms a coherent body of work and makes an original contribution to knowledge or understanding. The integrative chapter will also specify the candidate's contribution to the work submitted;
(d) The work should be presented and submitted in accordance with the rules for the submission of theses as set in the Policy on Research Degrees.
Every candidate for the degree shall be examined by at least two and not more than three examiners, two of whom shall not be members of the academic staff of the University.
(a) Every candidate for the degree of PhD is required to present himself/herself for oral examination on the subject of his/her submitted work and on matters relevant to it, unless approval to dispense with the oral examination has been granted by the examiners and the Standing Committee on Assessment. Wherever such dispensation is approved, the examiners must include a special note on the circumstances of each individual case in their report to the Senate.
(b) If the examiners are of the opinion that a candidate examined by them has not attained the standard required for the degree, they may at their discretion recommend:
(i) the revision and resubmission of the integrative chapter, after a further period of not more than twelve months; and/or the submission of additional work, within a period to be proposed by the examiners and approved by the Standing Committee on Assessment; or
(ii) that the degree of MPhil be conferred upon the candidate; or
(iii) that no degree be awarded.
- Regulation 1
Regulations for higher doctorates
- Regulation 2
Regulations for research degree awards
- Regulation 3
Regulations for awards relating to taught programmes of study
- Regulation 4
This regulation no longer exists
- Regulation 5
Regulations on assessment
- Regulation 6
General academic regulations and procedures for taught programmes
- Regulation 7
- Regulation 8
Enrolment, residence and payment of fees
- Regulation 9
Election of members to the Senate and Council
- Regulation 10
Freedom of speech within the University
- Regulation 11
Use of computing facilities
- Regulation 12
- Regulation 13