Graduate School

Key stages

Guide to key stages of your degree

You may be studying either full or part-time for one of a variety of different research degrees including MPhil, PhD and Professional Doctorates. Whatever you are studying you will be required to complete the following stages: major review, annual review, thesis submission and viva. The specific requirements for these stages can be found in the Student Handbook and the relevant regulations on our Academic Registry webpages.

To find out when each of these key stages occur, please view the Research Degree Timeline.

Preparing for your Major Review

Start to prepare for your Major Review in good time (you will receive a reminder from Academic Registry that your Major Review is coming up) and work with your supervisor to develop your submission. You might also find it useful to attend the GSDP workshop ‘Preparing for your major review’ which has been exclusively designed to help students prepare for this key stage. Please book via Skills Forge should you wish to attend. Don’t forget that you will be expected to document the training and development you have undertaken prior to your Major Review, so you should make sure that you have kept up-to-date records of this in Skills Forge which you can then include in your Major Review document. Your attendance at any GSDP events will be automatically recorded in Skills Forge, but you can add any other training and development yourself.

Preparing for your Annual Review

As with your Major Review, you should start to prepare for your Annual Review in good time (again, you will receive a reminder from Academic Registry that your Annual Review is coming up) and work with your supervisor to develop your submission. The exact requirements of the Annual Review may differ locally, so make sure that you are aware of the procedure in your Department. You will be expected to document the training and development you have undertaken, so you should make sure that you have kept up-to-date records of this in Skills Forge which you can then include in your Annual Review document.

Preparing for your thesis submission

There is a range of support for you when you are writing your thesis, and you should start to do this as early as possible. You will receive support in writing your thesis from your supervisory team, and you can also access a range of relevant workshops via the GSDP including ‘Introduction to writing the literature review’ and ‘Writing and revising your thesis’. You can book onto these workshops via Skills Forge. There are also a range of relevant books available in the University Library. Prior to your viva you will be expected to submit soft-bound copies of your thesis. After your viva, and once any corrections have been completed and approved, you will be asked to submit hard bound copies. In both cases when you are preparing to submit your thesis you should check that you have adhered to the requirements for the presentation of your thesis and check the procedure for submission as detailed in the Research Student Handbook and the relevant regulations. Information about thesis binding services can be found on our Resources page.

Preparing for your viva

Preparing for your viva can be a nerve-wracking time, but you will find there is a lot of support and guidance to help you to get ready. Your supervisor will be a key source of support, but you can also ensure you are as prepared as you can be by attending the GSDP workshop ‘Preparing for your doctoral Viva Voce examination’ (please book via Skills Forge). There are also a number of books available in the University Library about how to prepare for your viva. As usual the specific requirements for these stages can be found in the Research Student Handbook and the relevant regulations. Make sure you are familiar with these, and ask your supervisor about any queries you might have.

 

You will find all of the forms that you and your supervisor will need from admission through to submission here.