The York St John Postgraduate Research Student Lifecycle

Following York St John University's successful application for research degree awarding powers, research students are now admitted on to York St John University research degree programmes only.

When the University was granted Research Degree Awarding Powers (RDAP), a number of research students transferred to York St John research degree programmes. Since then all research degree applications are made to York St John research degree programmes. The information below is specific to research students studying for a York St John Research Degree.

The Document Directory contains all documentation relevant to Research Degrees at York St John University, with a specific page for York St John research degree programmes. Please refer to the Document Directory as you read the Quality Gateway.

 

Key Documents

 The links below provide information on the process and requirements for research degrees:

Studentships

The University lists studentships (when available) on the Degree Funding Opportunities webpage. Relevant areas of supervision offered by the University and contact details to discuss prospective research are provided on the Supervision Areas webpage.

 

Applications

All applications for research degrees should be made using the online application form links available on the website.  Applicants are advised to contact potential supervisors before making an application in order to identify whether supervisory capacity is available in their chosen topic.

For further information, applicants should read the ‘How to Apply for a Research Degree’ webpage and online application guide.

 

Admissions and Interviews

For staff involved in selecting, interviewing and admitting prospective research students, the University recommends consulting the Research Student Admissions Policy and Interview Guidance Notes (DOC 0.1MB). This document includes:

  • Entry Requirements for research degrees
  • Interview Guidance
  • An outline of the admissions process for research degrees

For successful candidates, the relevant School Research Lead should send the Interview Proforma and Post Interview Admission Approval Form to Registry for consideration by RDSC. The sub group of RDSC considers applications and decides whether to recommend admission.

Once the recommendation to admit a candidate is approved, Registry will inform Admissions that a formal offer may be sent out to the student.  Only Admissions can issue formal offers of admission to research degrees.

Applicants must then complete the reply slip confirming their acceptance of the offer and meet any outstanding conditions, such as providing original certificates to Admissions.

The following forms are in operation:

 These are available on the document directory.

 

If a change to the agreed start date is subsequently necessary, the Change in Start Date Form (DOCX 36KB) form must be completed, signed by the appropriate School Research Lead and submitted to Registry.

International students should note that:

  • Once they have arrived in the UK and have obtained their Tier 4 student visa, it is not possible to delay their start date.
  • Prior to arrival, if a visa application has not yet been made, the start date can be changed and a new offer will be made.
  • Prior to arrival, if a visa application has been made, a delayed start of up to 6 weeks can be made which can be absorbed into the standard period of study without affecting the end dates as per the original CAS.

Periods of study

Students are registered for research degree programmes with standard periods of study in which the University expects the programme to be completed. Students who enter the overtime period for their programme will be charged an administration fee (currently £155 per annum).

Award

Mode of Study

Minimum period of registration

Standard Period of study

Normal maximum period of registration to submission

Doctor of Philosophy

Full time

2 calendar years

3 calendar years

4 calendar years

Part time

3 calendar years

6 calendar years

7 calendar years

Professional Doctorate

Part time

4 calendar years

6 calendar years

7 calendar years

Master of Philosophy

Full time

1 calendar year

2 calendar years

3 calendar years

Part time

2 calendar years

4 calendar years

5 calendar years

Master of Arts/Master of Science by research

Full time

1 calendar year

1 calendar year

1 calendar year

Part time

2 calendar years

2 calendar years

2 calendar years

 

Induction

On, or soon after, the first day of attendance, each student receives a full and comprehensive induction to York St John University. The Academic Development Directorate provide an Induction Checklist which students work through with the Academic Development Directorate, Registry and their supervisory team.

Research Students are also provided with a file containing the induction checklist, the Code of Practice, Research Degrees Handbook, and other relevant documentation. Students should familiarise themselves with the Research Document Directory and the Academic Development Directorate webpages. These pages contain policies, procedures and forms relevant to research degree programmes at the University.

Completed and signed Induction Checklists should be retained by both the student and supervisor. A copy should also be emailed to Registry for the student file (research@yorksj.ac.uk).

 

Students and supervisors should consid

er completing the health and safety induction checklist. Once completed, the student and supervisor should each retain a signed copy.

 

Training and Development

Research Students should complete the Training and Development Needs Analysis (TDNA) and produce a Training Plan in liaison with their supervisor within one month of their start date (for full-time students and within two months for part-time students). The TDNA is based on the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) that describes the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of successful researchers. It is used to identify strengths and gaps in development, prioritise development needs and monitor progress. Training and development needs should be discussed with the supervisor and will be reviewed as part of academic progress monitoring procedures.

Details of training and development courses and opportunities are outlined on the Research Degree Training page and the Research Events page.

 

Progress Monitoring and Transfer Assessment Process

Progress Monitoring

Regular reviews of research students’ academic progress are carried out throughout the candidature and a record of these is retained using the suite of review forms. Information relating to progress monitoring can be found in section 6 of the Code of Practice for Research Degrees (DOCX 0.1MB). Progress monitoring reviews must occur by the designated amount of time after commencement, as follows:

 

Full time PhD

Part time PhD

Full time MPhil

Part time MPhil

Full time Masters

Part time Masters

First formal review

6 months

9 months

6 months

9 months

6 months

9 months

Transfer assessment

12 months

24 months

 

 

 

 

Annual Review

24 and 36 months

36, 48, 60 and 72 months

18 and 30 months

18, 30, 42, 54 and 66 months

 

21 months

For each review meeting, the student must submit:

  • A piece of written work – the content of which will be agreed between the supervisor and the student and should be appropriate to the point the student has reached in their candidature;
  • A reflection on progress to date, which might include completed chapters / laboratory work and conference attendance;
  • A plan for completion of the research and the thesis within the remaining period of study (eg Gantt chart);
  • Completed Progress Report for Review;
  • Completed/updated
  • Training and Development Needs Analysis and Training Plan.
  • Completed Supervision Log (DOC 52KB)

Review meetings are chaired by an independent assessor who will be an academic member of staff, from a cognate discipline but outside the supervisory team. The student, main supervisor (and co-supervisors if available) will be present at the meeting. The Progress and Monitoring forms can be found on the Document Directory.

For more information on the review process, refer to the Code of Practice for Research Degrees (DOCX 0.1MB).

Processing Review forms

  1. Progress Reports should be signed by the student, the supervisory team and provided to the review panel in advance of the meeting.
  2. TDNA/Training Plan and supervision log should be signed by the student and a supervisor and provided to the review panel in advance of the meeting.
  3. The Review Report should be completed and signed by the Chair of the panel and the main supervisor.
  4. The Chair of the Panel must provide the progress report, TDNA and review report to the School Research Lead for countersignature within ten working days of the meeting.
  5. The School Research Lead should provide the signed progress report and review report, along with the TDNA/training plan and supervision log (within five working days of receipt), to Registry for consideration by RDSC.

Transfer

For Provisional PhD Students, assessment at the transfer stage is intended to identify whether the individual student and the research project have the potential for research at doctoral level and also whether completion of a thesis within the standard period of study for the programme concerned is a reasonable expectation.

The process includes two stages:

  1. Completion of the Progress Report - Pre-Transfer (DOCX 38KB) by the student and supervisors and submission of written work by the student. These will be made available to the panel in advance of the transfer meeting.
  2. The student attends an oral assessment at which a transfer assessment panel considers the written work, progress report, previous reviews and training plan.

As with final examinations, a member of the supervisory team may attend the transfer assessment meeting as an observer/note-taker at the request of the student. After the transfer meeting the Joint Report of Transfer Panel (DOCX 89KB) is completed by the chair of the panel.

Transfer Panels will comprise of at least two academics from the same or a cognate subject or discipline who are independent of the supervisory team.  The panel will be chaired by a senior YSJU academic who has relevant supervisory experience. All members of the panel will read the written submission and participate in the oral examination. In exceptional cases, consideration may be given by RDSC for the use of an external assessor on the Transfer Assessment Panel.

Full details of the process can be found in the Code of Practice for Research Degrees (DOCX 0.1MB).

 

Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Procedure

Where a supervisory team has concerns about the progress of a research student the Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Procedure (DOC 144KB) should be considered.  Its purpose is to investigate the concerns and identify whether the student may be able to continue their degree through to successful completion within the remaining period of study. Through using the UAPP a series of actions may be set to enable immediate improvement of academic performance.  The UAPP may take place at any stage in a research degree.

A supervisor must initially raise their concerns in writing with the student and if there is no improvement then the supervisor should formally bring the matter to the attention of the relevant School Research Lead. The SRL will arrange an unsatisfactory academic progress meeting with the student to consider what action is required.  If it is agreed that the UAPP should be instigated an action plan and milestones will be set and a date for formal review will be arranged.

Full details of the Unsatisfactory Academic Progress Procedure (DOC 144KB), along with template forms and sample letters, are available in the Document Directory.

 

Suspensions and extensions

Where students experience events or circumstances which disrupt their academic progress a suspension or extension may be requested.  Normally the student will complete a Student Suspension Extension Request Form (DOCX 36KB) and submit it to their supervisor and the School Research Lead for authorisation.  The request will be considered by the RDSC sub group.  In the event that a student is unable to complete the form themselves, a supervisor or School Research Lead should complete the School Suspension Extension Request Form (DOCX 24KB).  Further details on suspensions and extensions can be found in the Code of Practice for Research Degrees (DOCX 0.1MB) and the Suspensions and Extensions FAQs (DOCX 29KB).

 

Postgraduate Research Students Engaging in Teaching

Participation in teaching is normally limited to PhD students who have successfully completed the transfer process.

All postgraduate research students engaged in teaching should be appropriately qualified and supported. To ensure this:

  • They must not engage in teaching until they either have a recognised HE teaching qualification (e.g. Fellowship/Associate of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) or YSJU Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PCAP)) OR have attended ‘Academic Induction’, a three day induction event run at YSJU by Academic Development Directorate designed to introduce new academic staff to the University’s approaches to teaching, learning, assessment and research.
  • Schools are responsible for ensuring that postgraduate research students that they employ to teach have appropriate subject expertise AND are provided with an appropriate induction and development opportunities.

More information can be found in the Protocol for postgraduate students engaging in Teaching at York St John University.

Teaching Opportunities are advertised on the Opportunities for Research Students webpage.

 

Thesis Submission and Examination

Thesis submission and examination information is available in full on the York St John Thesis Submission and Examination pages.

 

Expenses

Student expenses are managed by the Academic Development Directorate and students should contact the University Research Administrators for information on account limits and procedures. For more information on expenses, please read the Expenses Policy for postgraduate research students.

 

Other Useful Information

In the first instance, please consult the Research Degrees Handbook for other useful information related to research degrees. Topics covered include:

  • National and institutional context for research degrees
  • Management of research degrees at York St John
  • Research Degree Supervision
  • The Research Student Journey
  • Training and Development
  • Thesis Submission
  • Integrity, Ethics, Safeguarding Data, Copyright and Health & Safety
  • Support Services
  • Complaints and Appeals
  • Regulations, Codes, Policies and Procedures
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