Handbook for Supervisors of Research Postgraduates

8.0  Monitoring Progress and Formal Assessment

8.1  Changes in Candidature

  • Upgrading or downgrading

    One of the options available to supervisors is to recommend that the student transfer to another scheme. For example, upgraded from MPhil to PhDor downgraded from PhDto MPhil . This can be done at the annual reporting stage.

    Please note that transfer from one scheme is only possible during the candidature of the shorter degree, e.g. to an MPhil from a PhD- full time students have three years in which to submit for an PhDand part time students five years. Therefore it would only be possible to recommend transfer from the PhDto MPhil if the student has been enrolled on the PhDfor fewer than three or five years respectively.

  • Changing Mode of Study from full time to part time or vice versa

    If a student wishes to change mode of study (i.e.change from full time to part time or vice versa) then s/he should fill in a Change of Postgraduate Registration Form, available from the Academic Office.

    Change of mode of study can only happen during the registration period i.e.during the period for which tuition fees are payable.

  • Withdrawal

    If a student wishes to suspend studies then s/he will need to fill in the Withdrawal Form (available from the Academic Office), attach any documentary evidence (such as medical certificate, letter from employer if the grounds are inordinate work commitments, etc.), get the form signed by the Director of Student Support and Head of Department /departmental nominee, and the Dean in applications for temporary withdrawal, and submit it to the Academic Office. The Academic Office will make the necessary administrative arrangements and report the suspension to the Research Degrees Board.

    • Temporary Withdrawal

      Temporary withdrawal allows the student to suspend their studies at the University with the option of returning in the future. In effect, time stands still while a student is temporarily withdrawn. The registration period and submission end date (maximum candidature) are automatically altered accordingly.

    • Permanent Withdrawal

      Permanent withdrawal does not allow the student to return to their studies and therefore it is essential to confirm that the student is aware of the consequences of this and is absolutely positive that it is the course of action they wish to follow.

      If supervisors feel uncomfortable discussing with the student what options are available to him/her you could ask him/her to make an appointment with the Student Welfare Office (see contact details in section one) who would be happy to discuss the matter in more detail.

    • Extensions

      An extension of higher degree time limit may be requested by departments where students cannot submit their thesis for examination within the time allowed for the programme of study. For example, time limit of a student pursuing a PhDon a full time basis is four years from the start of the programme. See Table 1 for more details.

      Extensions may be granted on compassionate grounds, in cases of unexpected illness, serious domestic difficulties, or inordinate professional commitments, or in cases of unforeseen research problems which can be demonstrated to have adversely affected the candidate. A full and reasoned case, supported by appropriate medical or other independent evidence, must be made by the department for the consideration of the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. A clear statement must be supplied, showing that the department concerned has evaluated the situation in which the candidate finds him/herself as a result of the extenuating circumstances and that it considers the requested extension to be appropriate. Extensions should not be requested where students feel that, given more time, they could submit theses of a higher standard. They should be requested only where students are, for good reason, not able to submit a complete piece of work for examination.

      The department is required to submit an application to the Deans' Office accompanied by documentary evidence to substantiate why an extension is being requested. The Deans consider these requests, and communicate the decision to the student, department (which must inform the student), the Academic Office, the relevant Faculty and University of Wales Registry.